Summer hoilday at Lansdowne

Lansdowne is primarily a cantonment town. It houses the command office of the Garhwal Rifles. Originally known as Kaludanda, after kalun (black) and danda (hill) from the Garhwali language, Lansdowne was founded and named after the then viceroy, Lord Lansdowne, in a supreme act of vanity in 1887 – the viceroy presided over the fate of India from 1888 to 1894. The town was developed by the British to cater to new recruits of the Garhwal Rifles. More than half of the hill station is still made up of the cantonment area with British- era Army quarters and offices dotting the streets and corners. The cantonment’s presence has saved Lansdowne from being spoilt by unbridled development.

Landsdown (Photo courtesy euttaranchal.com)

Sunset in Landsdown

Sunset in Landsdown (Photo courtesy euttaranchal.com)

Lansdowne is about six hours and a half by car from Delhi (it is 245km away). Plan your journey in such a way that you complete it before sunset, so that you can catch glimpses of some of the most beautiful locations on your way to the quaint little town. The quality of the road is pretty good too – the entire stretch from Delhi to Lansdowne is covered by national highway (NH- 58 and NH- 119), but don’t expect a smooth flow and room for manoeuverability (it becomes a two- lane highway from Meerut) as on the Jaipur and Agra highways.

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Yumthang valley, Sikkim

Yumthang Valley is situated at an altitude of about 11,800 ft, is a paradise for nature lovers, surrounded by the Himalayan Mountains located in the North Sikkim district, in the state of Sikkim. The valley is bounded by the Himalayas and is located 150 km from Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. Lachung is the nearest place to the valley, which provides a base to stay and explore the valley. The picturesque road from Lachung and Yumthang is lined with rhododendrons on both sides that bloom during the months of April and May giving the valley its name of the valley of flowers. Rhododendron and primula bloom covering the whole area in a surreal shade. It also offers view of a stunning array of peaks with Pauhunri and Shundu Tsenpa. A number of hot springs are scattered in the valley providing an unexpected opportunity to feel the warmth of the water even in freezing temperature. These springs are believed to have miraculous healing power.  In addition to a vast green meadow, lush green forest abounding in Pine and silver fir trees throngs the place. While driving towards the valley, one can see cascading waterfalls and streams.

Due to its proximity to the Chinese boarder the region was inaccessible to common tourists, both Indian and foreign. Tourist needs special permission to visit this place.

One of the major tourist attractions of Yumthang Valley includes Chungthang, the Sikkim countryside. Apart from that, visitors can explore nearby places like Lachung and Kangchendzonga National Park alongside the valley.

Yumthang Valley, Sikkim, India

Yumthang Valley, Sikkim, India

view of Yumthang Valley, Sikkim, India

View of Yumthang Valley, Sikkim, India

 

Best time to visit

The best season for visiting Yumthang valley starts in late February and to mid-June, when thousands of colourful flowers are in full bloom. However, to enjoy a clear sky and brilliant view of snow-capped mountains, the September – November season would be ideal. Yumthang remains closed between December and March due to heavy snowfall. Since this is a mountainous region, there can be dramatic changes in weather. So, visitors should always be prepared adequately. It is always useful to carry rain gear and clothing in layers. Comfortable, sturdy walking boots are also necessary.

Accommodation

There is no accommodation available at the valley. Visitors stay at Lachung from where the valley is about an hour’s drive. Over the last few years several hotels and resorts have come up in Lachung.

Getting There

To reach Yumthang Valley by air, the nearest airport is Bagdogra in West Bengal. It is 124 km from the valley and connected to the three major cities of Kolkata, Delhi and Guwahati. The airport is connected to Gangtok by helicopter services.

Rail service is also available from major cities in India such as Kolkata, Delhi, Guwahati to New Jalpaiguri. Gangtok is nearly 15 km from this place by road.

The road to Yumthang from Gangtok follows the Teesta River, crossing a spectacular gorge over the Rang Rang suspension bridge. The last major town is Chungthang  from where Lachung is an hour’s drive where tourists stay overnight.

Wayanad travel

Wayanad,  is one of the loveliest hill stations of Kerala located in the heart of the Western Ghats mountain ranges at an altitude of 700-2100m above sea level. Wayanad is a beautiful scenic place with panorama of fascinating nature, sprawling plantations of various spices and tea. Situated amidst lush green vegetation and mist capped hills and smiling breeze blowing round the year, the place offers a lifetime experience to its visitors. The name Waynad is derived from the expression ‘Wayanadu’ which means land of paddy fields.

Wayanad is a beautiful hill resort with fascinating waterfalls, lakes, ancient caves, and varieties of wildlife. Wayanad shelters endangered species as it has an amazing range of flora and fauna. Wildlife aficionados and nature lovers will find Wayanad wildlife sanctuaries as the right place of visit. The place enjoys a pleasant climate the whole year. Having an influential history, numerous evidences depicting new Stone Age civilization is seen on the Wayanad hills. Around Wayanand, Edakal cave is awaiting you with the experience of trekking, feel the serenity of the nature in Kuruva Island, have boating in Pookot lake, refresh your mind by visiting many more places in Wayanad and make this a memorable journey.

Wayanad, Kerala, India

Wayanad, Kerala, India

View of Wayanand

View of Wayanand

Tea garden in Wayanand

Tea garden in Wayanand

Tourist attractions in Wayanad

Sulthan bathery – Edakkal caves:

Eddakkal cave is located 3 kilometres from Ambalavayal which is 25 kilometres from Kalpetta. The depth of both the cleft and the fissure is 30 ft. The new Stone Age pictorial writings on the walls of these natural caves are evidence of the civilization that existed in these regions in prehistoric times,  which drawn attention of worldwide historians and archaeologists. Archeologists suggest that these cave etchings date back to at least 5000 years. One of the legends about this cave states that the caves were formed by arrows shot by sons of Sri Rama, the Hindu god from the epic Ramayana. Another local legend relates the little devil of Malabar, the Kuttichattan with the Edakkal caves. The Edakkal cave site is considered as a habitat of Neolithic people based on the Neolithic carving on the inner side of caves.

The caves can be approached by 1km trekking trail starting from Edakkal. The best visiting hours are morning and it is open till 5 pm. Tourists need to indulge in a one and half hour long trek to reach the entrance of the caves. The roads are in good condition. In order to reach the actual cave, tourists will have to trek uphill for another 45 minutes.

Stone carving inside edakkal cave

Stone carving inside edakkal cave

Muthanga /Wayanad wildlife sanctuary:

The Wayanad wildlife sanctuary is rich in bio-diversity. The sanctuary is an integral part of the Nilgiri biosphere reserve. It is located on 345 square kilometers of densely forested land. This sanctuary have abundance of peacocks, babblers, egrets, snipes, bulbuls, peafowl, and cormorants  . The Wildlife Species that could be spotted during Wayanad Wildlife Safari include Asian elephants, leopards, cheetahs, tigers, gaurs, spotted deer, sloth bears, and sambars etc are reside here. There are also tiny and brightly colored butterflies flitting on sweet flowers and shrubs. You can arrange for an elephant ride into the dense forest to explore the sanctuary by contacting the Forest Department.

During the months of June through October, you will be able to see a flourishing atmosphere in Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary. The Western Ghats, Nilgiri Sub-Cluster including all of the sanctuary, is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site.

Wayanand wild life centuary

Wayanand wild life centuary

Chembra Peak:

Chembra Peak, the uppermost spot in Wayanad is situated at 6,900 feet above the sea level  is a beautiful spot located in the Wayanad hill ranges in Western Ghats. Chembra peak is neighboring to the Nilgiri Hills and Vellarimala. From Meppady, Chembra peak can be accessed by walk. District Tourism Promotion Council provides guides and trekking equipment’s with a little charge from the tourists. Permission from the forest office in Meppady is required for trekking up to Chembra Peak. From the top of Chembra peak you can view almost the whole of Wayanad.  Climbing Chembra peak is a really exiting trekking experience. For nature lovers it may take a whole day to enjoy the beauty of this peak and reach the top. The picturesque locations and viewpoints from the Chembra peak are really fascinating.

Chembra peak, Wayanand

Chembra peak, Wayanand

Banasura Sagar Dam:

Banasura Sagar Dam is approximately 21 km towards the north west of Kalpetta. It is considered to be the largest dam in India and the second largest in Asia. The dam extends to a wide area with crystal clear waters. Undisturbed and engulfed amidst the hills, it is an ideal place for picnic as it is surrounded by the bounty of nature and the low sound of the clear water gives a feeling of freshness.

In the dam’s reservoir there is a set of islands that were formed when the reservoir submerged the surrounding areas. The islands with the Banasura hills in the background provide a spectacular view for nature lovers and photographers. The Dam has become a major tourist attraction in Wayanad and undoubtedly it is a must view spot a in Wayanad. Boating facilities in the dam and it is an ideal starting point for hikes into the surrounding scenic mountains .

Kuruva Island:

Kuruva Island is situated on the tributaries of the river Kabani and is a picturesque picnic spot. With a total area of 950 acres Kuruva Island is plentifully rich with green woods.K uruva Island is a gift of nature to Wayanad tourists Its serene silence and wide expanse of the evergreen forest leaves you astonishing. This island is the home of uncommon species of birds, herbs and orchids.  It is far from the busy city life making it an exotic place for visitors to relax and enjoy the beauty of the nature. It is closed during monsoon (June to September).

You can also take a guided tour of this island, with the help of local guide arranged by the authorities. The island surrounded by streams and river can be accessed using rafts or fiber boats run by Kerala Tourism Department. Entrance to the island is restricted and monitored by Vana Samrakshana Samiti, a Dept of forest of Kerala.

Soochipara Falls:

The Soochippara Waterfalls also known as Sentinel Rock Waterfalls is  a thundering water  steam amidst dense greenery in the Western Ghats.  Soochipara Falls, is located about 13 kms from the town of Meppady in the Wayanad district of Kerala in India. The waterfall cascading from a height of 100 to 300 feet is a treat to the eyes.  To reach Soochipara Falls, one has to drive through lash green forest of tea, coffee and spice plantations which is an enjoyable destination itself.

Kanthanpara Waterfalls, Wayanad, Kerala

Kanthanpara Waterfalls, Wayanad, Kerala

Kanthanpara waterfalls:

Surrounded by bamboo forests, the Kanthanparra Waterfall is more noted for the breathtaking beauty of the path leading to the fall itself. The waterfall at Kanthanpara is about 30 meters in height. Even though Kanthanpara waterfalls are relatively smaller than Sentinel Rock Falls, it is also a beautiful cascading water body for exploring and trekking. The major advantage with Kanthanpara waterfalls is that it is an easy hike away from main road, and even children can reach the waterfalls with minimum effort.

Water Fall in Wayanad

Water Fall in Wayanad

The Pookot Lake:

The Pookot Lake is  surrounded by an stunning location. The water is clear and the foliage that surrounds it is a beautiful forest. Visitors can enjoy a boat ride against a serene backdrop.  The area surrounding the lake has an aquarium, children’s park and a small emporium selling handicrafts and spices

Thirunelly temple :

Close to the Papanashini stream in Wayanad district of Kerala stands the 3000 years old Thirunelly temple. The temple is devoted to lord Vishnu and is constructed with 30 granite columns to protect it. There is a bridge from the Papanashini stream coming to the temple. This is of great help to the Thirunelly temple as the Papanashini water is used for the temple directly for its precincts. Thirunelly temple is a marvel of temple architecture.

Towards the south of the Thirunelly temple is the holy pond called Panchatheertha. The pond is named Panchatheertha as it is believed that five rivers met at this point.

The Glass Temple of Kottamunda :

This temple is located on the slope of Vellarimala and is dedicated to Parswanatha Swamy of the Jain faith. The mirrors inside the temple walls reflect images of the icons in the temple’s sanctum sanctorum.

Best time to visit Wayanad

Wayanad experiences tropical monsoons and rather hot summer. Thus the best time to visit Wayanad is between the months of August and May.

How to reach Wayanad:

By Air : Nearest airport is Kozhikode.

By Rail : Nearest railway station is Kozhikode

By Road : Wayanad is well connected by roads from Kozhikode, Kannur, Ooty (175 km from Kalpetta) and Mysore (140 km from Kalpetta).

Tawang – Unexplored Paradise

Tawang is a small town situated in the north-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh located at an altitude of 3500 m above the sea level covers the area of 2085 sq km and is surrounded by Tibet in the north, Bhutan in the southwest, Kameng in the east and is separated from the west by Eastern Himalayan ranges. Tawang offer a fine blend of sightseeing and adventure which attracts and fascinates traveler.   Tawang is an adventure lover’s paradise and offers wonderful trekking opportunities. Trekking lovers may undertake short to long treks along the beautiful countryside. The landscape of Tawang assumes a new look during snowfall in the months of December and January.

Tawang is also famous for Buddhist influences and has one of the biggest monasteries of India. Tawang has countless monasteries and nunneries, picturesque landscape and hills, upstream lakes like the Sangetsar Lake, PTso Lake, Madhuri Lake which is known for its scenic surroundings as well as rare animals, flora-fauna like snow pigeon and musk deer, several waterfalls and hot water springs. The place is perfect for religious as well as adventure tourism amidst unexplored scenic beauty. Tawang is popular haunt for several adventure sports. The rivers Tawang-Chu and Namjang-Chu are ideal for river-rafting activities. There are several options for rock-climbing, paragliding, skating and other winter sport activities available.

Tawang View

Tawang View (Photo courtesy Anoop Negi)

Tawang Valley , Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh

Tawang Valley (Photo courtesy Anoop Negi)

Tourist attractions in Tawang

Tawang Monastery (Gompa):

Tawang Ganden Namgyal Lhaste, popularly known as the Tawang or Gompa Monastery, is a 400 years old Mahayana Sect Buddhist Monastery. It was built during the 17th century AD by Mera Lama, a contemporary of the 5th Lama. It is one of the largest lama series of Mahayana Buddhism and the second oldest monastery in the world after Lhasa. The monastery houses over 500 monks. It is also a centre of Buddhist Cultural Studies.

It is worth visiting place because of the collection of huge scriptures, books, gold lettered Buddhist scriptures, images and tapestries. The Parkhang Hall of the monastery has the library with the rare hand-written and block-painted thankas or manuscripts of revered books like Tangun, Kangyur and Sungbhum. The 108 gold-embossed manuscripts of the ‘Teaching of Lord Buddha’ and 225 volumes of the explanations of Buddha’s teachings covered with specially designed moth – proof silk adorned with paintings are the other rare works of Buddhist literature. The highlights of this monastery are the imposing three-storied assembly hall and the 28 ft high golden statue of Lord Buddha. The famous Buddhist gold inscribed scriptures Kangyur and Tangyur are preserved here. The festival of Torgya is held in the 11th Monpa month called the Dawa Chukchipah in the Tawang Monastery. A Craft Center here produces fine woolen carpets in various colorful designs. With the backdrop of snow-clad Himalayas and gushing waters of the rivers, Tawang is a tourist paradise and a perfect blend for adventure and religious tourism.

Khinmey Nyingma Monastery,Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh

Khinmey Nyingma Monastery,Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh

Regyaling Gompa:

Regyaling Gompa was constructed by the former Rigya Rinpoche, is located at a distance of 1 kilometre from Tawang Town. However, after his death, the charge of the Gompa was taken over by his secretary, Chang-sey. The monastery is surrounded by a lush green pine grove.

Urqelling Monastery:

Believed to have been in existence since 14th century, it is about 3 km from Tawang. Urqelling Monastery is the birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama who is the only Indian to have risen to such a high position in Gelupka Sect of Buddhism so far. These monasteries along with several other monasteries and nunneries are visited by several tourists from all over the world.

Gyangong Ani Gompa (Buddhist Nunnery):

Gyangong Ani Gompa, perched on the top of a beautiful hillock is nunnery, is located at a distance of around 5 kilometer in the north of Tawang. Being home to about 50 Buddhist nuns, it was found by Mera Lam Lodre Gyamtso.

Taktsang Gompa (Tigers Den):

Taktsang Gompa, located at a distance of 45 kilometre from Tawang Town, is one of the most famous tourist attractions. The site of this gompa is believed to be blessed in the 8th century AD by the visit of Guru Padmasambhava. Located on the ridge of a small hill, the monastery is surrounded by dense coniferous forest, where devotees can conduct a roundabout.

Taksang Gompa, Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh

Taksang Gompa, Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh (Photo courtesy srikanth bhargava)

Gorsam Chorten:

Situated 90 km from Tawang, it is the largest stupa in the area. It is believed to have been constructed in early part of 12th century; it is founded by a Monpa monk, Lama Pradhar. On the top of the chorten is a semi-circular dome that rests up on a three-terraced plinth. In addition, on the lower most terrace of the plinth, there are four miniature stupas standing erect on the four corners.The base of this chorten is squared with each side about 170 feet in length with a niche running along its whole length. Moreover, there are around 120 manis set in the wooden frames. Encircling the stupa is a well paved path on which pilgrims go roundabout for praying, which is also known as Kora.

P T Tso (Pangang Teng Tso) Lake:

It is located 17 km away from maddening crowd of township of Tawang,  is an ideal picnic spot. The calm water, silently moving clouds, earth with its wetness, chirping of birds and warmth is all that one gets while visiting Pankang Teng Tso Lake. The lake is well maintained by the Indian Army and offers a soothing and tranquil atmosphere to its visitors. The lake remains frozen in winter and is ideal to visit only in summers. During winter, the lake provides an ideal spot for skiing. The path towards the lake is laden by bright rhododendron flowers that add to the exquisiteness of the place. One can also find colourful birds on the lake side and engage in wonderful nature photography.

P T Tso (Pangang Teng Tso) Lake, Tawang

P T Tso (Pangang Teng Tso) Lake, Tawang ( Photo courtesy SOURADIPTA)

Shonga-tser Lake (Madhuri Lake):

Shonga-tser lack is popularly known by Madhuri Lake as the Hindi film Koyla was shot here. Nestled amidst the pristine mountains and picturesque surrounding, it is located about 42 km from Tawang. It was formed in the aftermath of the 1950 earthquake. Prior to the earthquake, this piece of land used to be employed as the grazing ground for the cattle. The evidence of it can be seen in the protruding trunks of the dead trees from the middle of the lake. The lake has been under supervision of Army men, who have also arranged for a cafeteria nearby. Tourists can relish on the delicious Momos, Maggis topped with a cup of tasty coffee or tea. Tourists can also take to trekking around the lake while enjoying the gentle lashes of the pleasant breeze around.

Shungetser Tso(Madhuri Lake), Tawang

Shungetser Tso(Madhuri Lake), Tawang( Photo courtesy Mandeep Baruah)

Banga Jang Lake:

Banga Jang Lake, situated in the Banga Jang range, is one of the famous lakes located near Tawang Town.  It is a very charming lake, situated in an enchanting backdrop. This lake also has the religious significance. This place has been the favorite haunt for the number of religious minded people.

 Sela Pass:

Located at 13, 714 ft above mean sea level, Sela Pass is of high strategic importance. It is the world’s highest motorable high-altitude mountain pass. It connects Tawang to Tezpur and Guwahati and is the main road connecting Tawang with the rest of India. Tawang is situated at a distance of 78 km from Sela Pass while Guwahati is at a distance of 340 km. The pass has hardly any vegetation and is usually snow covered to some extent all through the year. During winter temperature in the pass can go down to 0 to -10 degrees.  The visitors can also see another attraction before reaching this pass, known as the Paradise Lake.

Sela Pass, Tawang , Arunachal Pradesh

Sela Pass, Tawang , Arunachal Pradesh (Photo courtesy rob.)

Jaswant Garh:

Jaswant Garh, other important tourist destination of Tawang which is located at a distance of 21 Kms from Sela Pass is broadly recognized for a home of a warrior named as Jaswant Singh, who sacrificed his life during the battle fought against Chinese soldiers in the year 1962. The place has its own importance and attracts many tourists every year to give respect to this heroic warrior.

Jaswant Garh, Tawang

Jaswant Garh, Tawang (Photo courtesy gsurya)

Tawang War Memorial:

Dedicated to Indian soldiers who lost their lives during the 1962 Indo-China war.  It is also known as Namgyal Chorten, it is a 12 m high multicoloured memorial whose structure resembles the design of a large stupa. The memorial is situated among beautiful peaks which overlooks the Tawang-Chu valley.

Tawang War Memorial, Tawang,  Arunachal Pradesh

Tawang War Memorial (Photo courtesy foto_morgana)

Bong Bong (Nuranang) waterfall:

One of the most beautiful waterfalls close to Jang, the micro hydel project is Nuranang Waterfalls. It is situated on the Tawang Sela main highway, just 40 km from the city of Tawang.

BTK (Bap Teng Kang) Waterfall:

Bap Teng Kang, known popularly as BTK Waterfall is one of the most striking and beautiful waterfalls in Tawang, attracting countless tourists every year. Bap Teng Kang is situated in a picturesque paradise of lush green vegetation, falling from a height of over 100ft. This waterfall is located in Yumkhang, 85 km on route from Tawang towards Zemithang.

Gorichen Peak:

Gorichen Peak, highest peak of Arunachal Pradesh, is located between Tawang and West Kameng districts. Bordering with China, this peak has a height of 22,500 feet. Located at a distance of 164 kilometre from Tawang Town, this peak is also known as Sa-Nga Phu, which literally means the Kingdom of Deity. According to Monpa tribe, this peak is considered to be one of the sacred peaks protecting them from all the evils.

The peak is one of the ideal bases for trekking and mountaineering in the entire region. Months of April, May, September and October are considered to be best months to explore the Gorichen Peak

Ghesila range:

Ghesila Range is located at a distance of 25 kilometre from Tawang Township. This range is also believed to be a protection wall for Tawang. The entire range runs along the north-eastern side of Tawang Township.

Tawang Library:

The library is a repository of thousands of block-printed commentaries and treasures on the subject of Mahayana Buddhism. This is a valuable resource for Buddhist scholars in the region. Even the paper used in this library is produced by the Monpas locally, from the bark of the Hong Seng tree.

Best time to visit:

Summer season starts in Tawang from March and ends in June. Temperature ranges from 5- 22 degrees Celsius. Hottest month of the year is usually June. Tawang gets rainfall between July to October. Temperatures are much lower during winter period and visiting Tawang during this time is not a good idea. December, January and February constitute winter season. Temperatures range from a minimum of -2 degrees Celsius and can go up to a maximum of around 5 degrees Celsius during this time. April to October is the best time to visit.

How to reach Tawang:

Indians require special inner line permits to visit Tawang while foreign tourists intending to visit Arunachal Pradesh require restricted area permit. The inner line permit can be obtained from any of the following places: Residence Commissioner, Govt of Arunachal Pradesh, Arunachal Bhawan, Kautilya Marg, Chanakyaputi, New Delhi, Deputy Residence Commissioner, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh, Kolkata, CE-109, Sector-1, Salt Lake City, Kolkata, Deputy Residence Commissioner, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh, R G Baruah Road, Guwahati and Deputy Residence Commissioner, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh, Parvati Nagar, Tezpur.

By Air: Tezpur Airport, located 385 km away, is the nearest airport. It is connected by flights from Kolkata and Guwahati. Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, 547 km away at Guwahati is the nearest international airport.

By Helicopter: Pawan Hans operates helicopter services daily from Guwahati airport except Sunday. It costs around Rs 4000 for adults and Rs 2500 for children one way.

By Rail: Tezpur and Guwahati is the major rail head closest to Tawang. You can avail Buses and private taxis to reach Tawang from Tezpur or Guwahati. From Guwahati you can take a bus or tavera to reach Tezpur. A taxi from Tezpur to Tawang will cost you around INR 4000 to 5000. You can contact Himalayan Holidays (Himalayan Holidays, Kabar Khana Road, and Tezpur. Ph: 03712-223580 (O), 221646(R), 9957178796) to get a taxi and a driver. It is advised that you take a Sumo or Safari.

By Bus: Buses and Taxi ply regularly between Tezpur (Assam) and Bomdila. It takes about 12 hours to reach Tawang from Tezpur. In addition to private taxis, shared taxis are also available. The journey to Tawang by road is an arduous one. A major part of the road is loose tarmac and gravel giving way to mud in many places. However, it is a scenic journey and makes up for the strain one has to endure.

Arunachal State Transport runs buses to Bomdila are available from Tezpur on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and the journey time is 8hrs. Private buses also run daily and frequently via Bomdila to and from Tezpur, depart Tezpur at noontime and arrive Tawang early in the morning of the following day.

Coorg Travel

Coorg the most abundant hill station in South India which is situated 252 kms from Bangalore and 1525 m above sea level, in the state of Karnataka. Dense teak wood forests, lush green valleys of coffee plantations and mountain ranges make Coorg an exquisite location for the tourist. The coffee estates here produce some of the world’s best coffee. The location is enriched with rare species of flora and fauna, Steep hills, valleys and countless streams that flowing through them stuck trekkers and rock climbers. Tadiandamol, Brahmagiri and Pushpagiri peaks in Coorg are very challenging for the trekkers and the natural scenic surroundings of these peaks are really eye charming. Coorg is a spot for invaluable bird watch. The sheer beauty of the landscapes, the unpolluted fresh environments attract tourist in large number all-round the year. Coorg is considered as a mind blowing summer retreat for escaping from the hot summer days in downtown cities. Monsoon is also one of the best time to visit Coorg, many tourists arrive in Coorg in monsoon to enjoy the wild beauty during the monsoon. Coorg offers many exciting outdoor activities like angling, trekking and golfing for the adventures. It also furnish plenty of admiring facilities to the golf lovers with its three golf courses namely, ‘Mercara Downs’ in Mercara, ‘Coorg Golf Links’ in Bittangala, and golf course in Pollibetta.  

Coorg Hills

Coorg Hills

Morning view, Coorg, Karnataka

Morning view, Coorg, Karnataka

Misty Coorg Morning

Misty Coorg Morning, Photo courtesy Gopu P.( flickr.com)

Tourist attractions in Coorg

Madikeri:

Mandikeri, the capital of Kodagu (also called Coorg) district is located in a beautiful hilly setting surrounded by the forested slopes of the Western Ghats.  Madikeri is the picturesque town of Kodagu (also called Coorg), located in a beautiful hilly setting surrounded by the forest slopes of the Western Ghats. Covered with a chunk of red-roofed house and a bustling bazaar, the town, situated at an elevation of 1,525 m, has a charming old look. There are plenty of sight-seeing opportunities near Madikeri like the Madikeri Fort, Raja’s Seat, Raja’s Tomb, Omkareshwara temple and the Nisargadhama Forest in the town. A good place to visit the local eating joints for some typical Coorgi food.

Sunset at Madikeri, Coorg, Karnataka

Sunset at Madikeri, Coorg, Photo courtesy Vishal R.

Madikeri Fort:

Situated in the middle of Madikeri, this historic fort which was built in the 19th century, contains a museum, a prison, a chapel and a temple. The 19th century Madikeri Fort with its stone ramparts now houses the prison, a temple, a chapel, a small museum, and assorted government offices.

Nagarhole National Park:

The place derives its name from the twisting river – Nagarhole , meaning “snake river” – which flows through the park. Nagarahole has an astonishing abundance of wildlife, With over 250 varieties of birds, panthers, tigers, Asiatic elephant and flying squirrels, this park is made up of teak, rosewood, sandalwood, silver oak etc. The backdrop of the lofty Brahmagiri Mountains, the natural sounds of the jungle, the gurgling of streams and rivers, and the twittering of the birds make Nagarahole a memorable experience.  Jeeps and elephants are available to tourists for transport in this Park. A summer is the best time to visit, when animals roam more freely in search of water.

Nagarhole National Park

Nagarhole National Park, Photo by Orange County Resorts

Abbi Falls :

Abbey Falls is an astonishing waterfall where the Kaveri River cascades down a rockface from a height of 70 feet. A hanging bridge has now been built across the gorge for best view of the falls. The falls can be reached by a narrow road from Madikeri. Cars can reach the entrance of these falls from where a downhill walk of 500 metres on slightly paved steps takes one to the waterfalls. One has to makes the way past stocky coffee bushes and tall trees entwined with pepper vines, the falls make a dramatic appearance as they cascade their way down steps into crystalline pools to join the river Kaveri River. These falls are most impressive during the monsoons.

Abbi falls near madikeri, coorg

Abbi falls near madikeri, coorg

Iruppu Falls:

Located around 50 kms away from Madikeri town and 20 kms beside the Nagarhole National Park, the Iruppu falls presents a majestic sight with waters cascading down from a height of 170 feet. Originating in the lofty Brahmagiri peaks; the falls become a part of the Lakshman Teerth River in the plains. The never -ending music of the falls and the hush of the surrounding densely wooded forest make this a great picnic spot. . The people of Coorg believe that bathing in the Iruppu Falls will wash ones sins away. The Rameshwara Temple, located nearby the falls, attracts a large congregation of devout pilgrims during the festival of ‘Sivaratri’.

The Omkareshwar temple:

This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, which was built in1820 and featuring a blend of red-tile roofed and Islamic -style domes. It has a mix of Islamic and Kerala architecture style. This template is located near Madikeri Fort.

Omkareshwara Temple, Coorg

Omkareshwara Temple, Coorg

The Raja’s Seat:

This is a beautiful viewpoint in Coorg. This hilltop offers stunning views of the surrounding forests and the view of the sunset. It is said that the kings of Kodagu came to this viewpoint to see the panoramic view of their kingdom and spent their evenings.

View of Coorg from Raja's Seat, Madikeri

View of Coorg from Raja’s Seat, Madikeri, Photo courtesy Avinash Bhat

Bhagamandala :

It is situated at the confluence of 3 rivers (the Cauvery, the Kanika and the Sujyothi). Among many small shrines dedicated to various gods, the main temple, known as the Sri Bhagandeshwara temple, is constructed in a large, stone courtyard. It possesses pagodas and multi-layered roofs that have a reddish hue. Each pagoda ends in the form of a silver hood of a snake. The temple also hosts idols of other Lords, like Subramanya, Mahavishnu and Ganesh.  Bhagamandala is also famous for its bee farming.

Talacauvery :

Talakaveri is considered to be the source of the river Kaveri. It is situated at the Brahmagiri hill. Talakaveri is situated approximately at a distance of 48 km from Madikeri. At the spot that is said to be the origin of the Cauvery, a tank or ‘kundike’ has been erected on a hillside. There is also a small temple at the spot, and the area is frequented by pilgrims. The river originates as a spring that feeds this tank that is considered to be a holy place to bathe on special days. The waters are then said to flow underground to emerge as the Kaveri River some distance away.  On Tulasankramana day (October 17th) thousands of pilgrims flock to this place to witness the miraculous rise of the fountainhead, when water rise up from the spring at a predetermined moment.

Cauvery Nisargadhama:

It is a beautiful river island, the biggest of a cluster of five islets created by the river Cauvery. It can be accessed by traveling over a hanging bridge from the mainland. Nisargadhama covers with green floras, thick bamboo groves, teak, and rosewood. Located 25 kms from Madikeri town, this popular nature resort boasts of a deer park, orchidarium and elephant rides amid bamboo groves.

Cauvery Nisargadhama, Coorg

Cauvery Nisargadhama, Coorg

Bylakuppe:

One of the largest Tibetan settlements in South India, Bylakuppe is spread over four regions just before Coorg. It is known for its monasteries, handicrafts, carpet factories, and an incense factory. This place is filled with several monasteries; the main ones amongst these are the Great Gompa of Sera Je and Sera Mey. The Mahayana Buddhist University is located at Sera. It also has an enormous prayer hall. The other important monastery in the neighboring settlement of Bylakuppe is Tashi Lhumpo monastery.

Tibetan settlements, Coorg

Tibetan settlements, Coorg , photo by Joydeep Mitra

Buddhist Monastery, Coorg

Buddhist Monastery, Coorg, Photo courtesy Anupam Chatterjee

Dubare Elephant Camp:

The place is a good place for rafting amateurs.  Dubare Elephant camp is a project undertaken by forest department and Jungle Lodges and Resorts Ltd. This camp has plenty of elephants which are trained under naturalists .The reserve forest is famed for its amazing variety of fauna, an elephant training camp and angling possibilities on the Cauvery. Elephant interaction in the morning time is the popular activity attracts hundreds of tourist daily.

Harangi Dam:

Around 8 Km from the Madikeri Kushalnagar Road is the Harangi Dam. The Harangi River forms a huge reservoir that looks beautiful. It is a nice place for a picnic lunches and leisurely stroll.

Tadiyendamol :

Tadiyendamol, the tallest peak in Kodagu . The hill top offers views of the surrounding and also serves as a landmark to sea travellers. During clear days, visitors can view the coastline too. Rock climbing in Thadiyendamol Hill attracts a lot of sport lovers every year. Rock climbing is usually arranged between the months of September to May. The Nalnad Palace is located at the base of the mountain and is ideal for a stay.  

Tadiyendamol Peak

Tadiyendamol Peak

Valnur Fishing Camp:

Valnoor fishing camp,  is celebrated as one of the most exotic angling sites in the state of Karnataka. The destination is located near Kushalanagar, on the backwaters of the river Cauvery, nestling in the south-western part of the state of Karnataka. The place is a home to a few rare species of fishes. Some of the more common varieties of fishes that can be spotted include mapps, marals, eels and mahseer. Valnur is also a heaven for birdwatchers, with innumerable avian species to be spotted and identified.

Best time to visit Coorg

The climate of Coorg is very pleasant and can be visited during any time of the year. But the most ideal time to visit Coorg is between September and March..

How to reach Coorg:

By Air: The nearest airports are Mangalore 136 km and Bangalore 260 km.

By Rail: The nearest Railway Station to Coorg, located in Mysore is at 114 km.

By Road: Coorg is well connected with major cities like Mysore, Mangalore and Bangalore.

Ananthagiri hills

Anantagiri is a charming hill station located at the top of the Elysian Tirumala Hills approximately 17 km from Araku valley. Among the ranges of the Eastern Ghats Anantagiri is located at a distance of 40 km from Visakhapatnam. Anantagiri Hills are well known for its scenic beauty and charming weather. It is a perfect gateway to spend some days amidst the lap of nature.

One can Walk across meadows of wild flowers and apple orchards in full bloom, see flowing streams cascade down the mountainside, and enjoy beautiful views of sunrise and sunset at Anantagiri Hills. Anantgiri is filled with many mango graves and orchids. The coffee plantations are a wonderful sight. Tourists can also embark on excursions to the Borra Caves.

Accommodation is easily available in Anantagiri Hills. There are various types of hotels and lodges in the area which offer pleasant lodging facilities and services. One can also visit the popular dining and shopping hubs.

Ananthagiri Hills

Ananthagiri Hills view

Ananthagiri AP Tourism Resorts

Ananthagiri AP Tourism Resorts

Anthagiri

Coffee plantation in Anthagiri

 

Ananthagiri hills is the best place inexperienced trekkers. Most of the people come here for trekking will follow any of the two trails. First trail starts from the anantha padmanabha swamy temple and the other starts from 0.5 km away from the temple towards kerelli.

One can park vehicle at the temple and then follow the steps that lead to the tracking path. That path will directly goes inside the forest, you have do some walk to reach the top of the forest.  This trekking root offers picturesque views of the forest and the valleys. There are many small hills in the ananthagiri region and if you are really interested then cover as many as you can. Instead of just trekking  through the roads , you can go inside the forest and can enjoy exploring the forest too.

Ananthapadmanabha swamy temple :

Ananthapadmanabha swamy temple is one of the prime attractions in ananthagiri hills. It was built by nizam nawabs, 400 years ago and has big historic importance.

Nagasamudram lake or kotipally reservoir is situated at a distance of about 20km from ananthagiri hills. Which is a huge lake with, clear water. It offers picturesque views in Monsoon with full water.

 Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple, Anathagiri

Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple, Anathagiri

Araku Valley:

Araku Valley is a hill station in Visakhapatnam. It is a beautiful valley in the Eastern Ghats inhabited by different types of tribes and is one of the less commercialized tourist destinations in South India. Valley is located 114 km from Vishakhapatnam, close to the Orissa state border. Anantagiri and Sunkarimetta Reserved Forest are part of Araku Valley.

Borra Caves :

The Borra Caves are situated 29kms from the Araku Valley, near Vishakhapatnam and are acknowledged for their highly beautiful stalactite and stalagmite formations that nature has created with her own hands. In 1807, William King George discovered the Borra Caves and assumed them to be a million years old. It provides its visitor an exotic experience.

Borra Caves, Ananthagiri Hill

Inside of Borra Caves, Ananthagiri Hill

Ramakrishna Beach :

The Ramakrishna beach, one of the loveliest beaches in east cost is a favorite resort for tourists. Ramakrishna beach is a favorite and wonderful spot to spend the time relaxing on the soft and lofty sand. The twin beaches – Ramakrishna Beach and Lawson’s Bay present the tourists with mind-blowing scenic view of the nature, especially the reddish setting sun.
‘Victory at Sea’, the war memorial is located at the beach shore which was dedicated to the memory of 1971 Indo-Pak war soldiers is worth visiting.

Dolphin’s Nose

Dolphin’s Nose, a mammoth rocky headland of about 174 meter high, is situated in the southern part of Visakhapatnam city. The rock resembles a dolphin’s nose is nicely placed at an altitude of 358 meter with its projection to the Bay of Bengal in Visakhapatnam. This is a fresh attraction for many visitors as it is nature’s gift in its truest form.

A renowned powerful light house highly useful for the shippers and has a light beam that can be seen as far as 64 km out at sea is also placed nearby. One can have a panoramic view of the city from this place

Sri Venkateswara Konda

It is the third hillock, has a temple dedicated to the Lord. It is believed to have been built by an Englishman, Captain Blackmoor, in the 19th century. From this hillock one can see the port channel, which was the entrance of the inner harbour for ships and liners.

How to reach Anantagiri:

By Road:  From Hyderabad, there are two ways for reaching ananthagiri hills through vikarabad. One route is Hyderabad – APPA Junction (outer ring road) – Vikarabad (approx 60km from APPA junction). And the other route is JNTU(KPHB) – BHEL –  Vikarabad (approx 90km). After reaching vikarabad, proceed towards Ananthagiri road.

Vikarabad is situated on the Hyderabad – Mumbai railway line, so all the trains from Hyderabad to Mumbai will have a stop at vikarabad. Reaching ananthagiri by road will be best option rather than opting for train. And it is better to travel in your own vehicle from Hyderabad, instead of using public transport for reaching ananthagiri from vikarabad, as there are limited options available in vikarabad.

By Rail : Anantagiri Hills has Srikakulam railway station at a distance of 3 km.

By Air : The nearest airport is located at Vishakhapatnam. One can easily come to Anantagiri Hills from Vishakhapatnam by roadways and railways.

Best time to visit

Anantagiri hills experiences a similar moderate weather throughout the year. The summer months are pleasant and mild while the winter months are cold. The season for tourist is all  year round. The beauty of the hills is doubled because of the cool weather and calm surrounding.

The ideal time for making trips to Anantagiri Hills is between the months of March and October when the weather is pleasant and mild.

Where to stay in Anantagiri

There are Hotels, Inspection Bungalows, and Private Cottages available to suit all types of budgets at Anantagiri.

APTDC:

Andhra Pradesh tourism is organizing APTDC resort in Ananthagiri hills. There are 36 AC rooms available in the resort, and tariff is 1500 per day. You can book the rooms through online from APTDC (APTDC website) or by visiting the nearest AP tourism booking office. During weekends, the resort will be completely filled.  Location, restaurant and cleanliness are the plus points for APTDC resort.

Deccan Trails:

Deccan trails is the best place for  night camp near hyderabad. Deccan Trails is located just 50 kms from the city. The Campsite is nestled in the serene Anantagiri Hills, adjacent to a Reserve Forest providing plenty of Wildlife Spotting Opportunities. They have over a many activities including Rock Climbing, Flying Fox, Commando Nets, Burma Bridge, Balancing Boards, Spider’s Web, Tarzan Swing and many more.

Desert Hill Station Mount Abu

Mount Abu has the unique flavor of being the only hill station in desert of Rajasthan. It is located in the south-western corner of Rajasthan, close to Gujarat. Mount Abu is also a famous pilgrimage center. Abu is at an altitude of 1220 meters, and is the highest point on the Aravalli range. Mount Abu was once the summer resort of the Rajput royal families and later the British. It still bears the remnants of the royal patronage as is evidenced by the numerous recreation bungalows of the British. It is built around a Nakki lake and surrounded by hills and is the most popular summer resort. It’s cool climate, lovely lakes, and breathtaking beautiful Jain temples attracts tourists on a large scale.
Mount Abu with its world-class tourist facilities with hotels ranging from budget to three star and heritage provides a great holiday escape and honeymoon attraction.

There are many hotels located around Nakki Lake. Tourist can easily find various hotels and resorts at Mount Abu. Various five star & three star hotels located at Mount Abu are famous for their hospitality. Hotels in Mount Abu are spread in such a way that all the tourist attraction places and shopping places are nearby so that tourists can visit most of them easily. Most Hotels even provide transportation facility.

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Lovers Point, Mount Abu

Mount Abu,  Rajasthan, India

Mount Abu, Rajasthan, India

 

Tourist attractions in Mount Abu

Dilwara Temples : One of the finest examples of Jain art and architecture, these set of temples are beautiful stone carvings with intricate details. The complex consists of five major temples dedicated to five Jain tirthankaras. These exquisitely carved Jain temples were built between the 11th and the 13th century AD.

Dilwara Jain Temples ,Mount Abu

Dilwara Jain Temples ,Mount Abu

Dilwara Jain Temples, Mount Abu

Dilwara Jain Temples, Mount Abu

Dilwara Jain Temples, Mount Abu

Dilwara Jain Temples, Mount Abu

Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary: The sanctuary is known for its rich variety of flora and fauna and attracts wildlife enthusiasts on a large scale. Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary is located in one of the oldest mountain ranges of India, the Aravali range. It was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1960. The tourist can spot panthers, bears, foxes, wild boars and migratory birds inside the park. Apart from rich wildlife species that can be found, the sanctuary is also rich in floral biodiversity with 112 varieties of plants.

Nakki Lake : Nakki Lake is located centrally, at a height of 1200 meters as a major attraction in Mount Abu. Water rides in Nakki Lake are memorable for life time. Nakki Lake is the very ancient sacred lake, according to Hindu Legend. It is called by this name because it was dug out from Nails (Nakh) of Hindu God. Sri Raghunathji Temple and Maharaja Jaipur Palace are located near the lake. The green hills near the lake, date-palms and Gandi Ghat garden enhance its beauty.

Nakki lake (Mount Abu), Rajasthan

Nakki lake (Mount Abu), Rajasthan

Achalgarh fort : The Achalgarh fort, built in the 14th century by Rana Kumbha of Mewar, stands nearby. It encloses several beautiful Jain temples, including the Achaleswar Mahadev Temple (1412) and the Kantinath Temple (1513).

Gaumukh Temple : Located at a distance of 4km south of Mount Abu, it is dedicated to Lord Rama. Gaumukh literally means ‘from the mouth of the cow’. The Gaumukh Temple in Mount Abu gets its name from a natural spring, which flows out of a sculpted cow head. The temple has been cut from a huge rock in the sacred spot where rishi Vashistha performed the great rite and offered sacrifices to Lord Vishnu in order to obtain his blessings.

Adhar Devi Temple : The Adhar Devi Temple is carved entirely out of a single, huge rock. It can be reached only after a tremendous climb of 360 steps.

Guru Shikhar : This is the highest peak on the Mount Abu which provides an excellent view of the whole town. Guru Shikar is the highest peak of the Aravali range, located at about 15 km northeast of Mount Abu. The cool climate and serene environments make the peak a much sought place for seclusion. This peak is the home to the temple of Dattatreya an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. There is a huge brass bell outside the shrine, which overlooks the lush greenery of Mount Abu. The cold sweeping breeze in adjunct with the panoramic view of the natural scenery full of charm and dense distant forests fill in the visitors a throbbing thrill.

Mount Abu Observatory, Rajasthan

Mount Abu Observatory, Rajasthan

Shri Raghunathji Temple: Situated near the ‘Nakki’ lake is the temple dedicated to Lord Raghunath (another name for Lord Rama), the temple holds an ancient idol, which was placed there by Shri Ramanand, the famous scholar and preacher in the 14th century A.D.

Sunset Point: Spectacular sight of the setting sun when the hills are covered in the golden glow can be viewed from here.

Honeymoon Point : Honeymoon Point Known as the Andra Point, which offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding landscape. Take time out to visit Honeymoon Point at sunset when the ambiance is very romantic. The place looks most beautiful during the dusk hours.

Museum and Art Gallery : Located at the Raj Bhawan, it was a collection of archaeological excavations dating back to 8th-12th century A.D. It also has Jain bronze carvings, brassworks etc.

Getting There

Air: Udaipur at 185 kms is the closest airport.

Rail: Abu Road is the closest railhead at 29 kms, connected to Delhi, Jaipur and Ahmedabad

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Road: Mount Abu has a good network of roadways and is in close proximity to the NH 8 and 14. It is connected to Jaipur, Ahmedabad and other cities of Gujarat and Rajasthan.

Best time to visit Mount Abu

One can enjoy a great holiday here irrespective of the season. There is not any bad time to take a tour to this beautiful hill station. Best times to visit Mount Abu are between February and June or any time after the rains between September and December. Lightweight clothes are adequate for the summer months and a warm jacket , sweater or Shawl is required in winters (November-January).