India Wanderers

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Monday, November 05, 2007

Tourist Attractions in India

A God gifted land, India is home to pleathora of tourist attractions that draw tourists from every nook and corner of the world. Bestowed with a five thousand years history, India is known for its vast geographical diversity, rich cultural heritage and monumental attractions. Of course, it is not possible to condense all the tourist attraction of India in a single article, but here I am providing a berief account of most poular tourist attractions of India.

Taj Mahal : Declared one of the seven ‘Wonders of World’ recently Taj Mahal magnificently stands in Agra city of Uttar Pradesh, India. Built by the Mughal emperor Shahjahan about 350 years ago, Taj Mahal is a symbol of eternal love between the emperor and his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. A white marble monument Taj Mahal is one of India’s most visited tourist spot and draws tourists from all over the world from centuries.

Khajuraho Temples : Constructed by the mighty Chandela rulers during the 9th and 10th century, Khajuraho Temples are excellent example of art forms of early medieval period. Situated in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, Khajuraho Temples are known for housing erotic sculptures. Originally there were 85 temples but now only 22 temples stand and they have been declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Ajanta and Ellora Caves : World Heritage Sites of Ajanta and Ellora are situated close to Aurangabad city of Maharashtra. Ajanta and Ellora Caves were discovered in 19th century by a British official when he was on a hunting expedition. Both these caves has shrines and temples belonging to Hindus, Buddist and Jains. Ajanta caves are also noted for their paintings and the interesting sculptures.

Wildlife in India : Topographically India is a varied land known for its diversified flora and fauna. Due to poaching and other encroachments the wildlife areas of India have been designated as Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Parks. Corbett National Park, Kaziranga National Park, Gir Wildlife Sanctuary, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Ranthambore National Park, Bandhavgarh National Park and Sunderban Tiger Reserve are some of the famous wildlife sanctuaries and national parks of India. All these wildlife sanctuaries and parks provide natural habitat to a variety of floral and faunal species.

Temples in India : India is an ancient land and Hinduism is one of the oldest religions of the country. Over the centuries several Hindu Kings had ruled over India who built thousands of temples across the country. . Even today majority of the people follow Hinduism so you will find a fine collection of old as well as modern temples in India. Some of the popular temples in India are Tiruapti Temple (Andhra Pradesh), Akshardham Temple (Gujarat, Delhi), Sun Temple (Orissa), Jagannath Temple (Orissa), Kashi Vishwanath Temple (Varanasi), Meenakshi Temple (Madurai) etc.

Beaches in India : India is flanked by the sea form three sides including the Bay of Bengal in east and Arabian Sea in west. India’s thousands kilometre long coastline is home time to some of the finest beaches of the world. Goa, Kerala and Tamil Nadu are the states known for the beatiful beaches. Most famous beaches of India include Anjuna Beach (Goa), Dona Paula Beach (Goa), Calangute Beach (Goa), Alappuzha Beach (Kerala), Kovalam Beach (Kerala), Bekal Beach (Kerala), Marina Beach (Tamil Nadu), Kanyakumari Beach (Tamil Nadu) and so on.

Forts and Monuments in India : A historic land, India had been ruled by a number of dynasties and their rulers built numerous forts and palaces during their regime. Today those rulers or their descendant are no more, but you can find a glimpse of the bygone era in forts and monuments built by them. Red Fort (Delhi), Qutab Minar (New Delhi), Red Fort (Agra), Amber Fort (Jaipur), Mehrangarh Fort (Jodhpur) and Jaisalmer Fort (Jaisalmer) are some of the finest forts and monuments of India.

Hill Stations of India : Hills form an important part of Indian topography. In fact, most of the northern and north-eastern part of India is flanked by Great Indian Himalayas. While the western ghat range starts from border of Gujarat and Maharashtra and runs through the states of Goa, Kartanataka, Tamil Nadu ends at Kanyakumari. These mountain ranges are home to a number of beautiful hill stations that include Darjeeling, Munnar, Shimla, Manali, Nainital, Devikulam, Mount Abu etc.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Rickshaw Ride in Chandni Chowk (Old Delhi)

By - Md. Mudassir Alam

If you will ask Delhiites about the attractions of Old Delhi, most probably they will name the Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk, but very few of them will tell about the rickshaw ride through the winding lanes of Chandni chowk. Me too was unaware about the rickshaw ride in Old Delhi, but luckily this past week I got a chance to enjoy the pleasant ride.

As the rickshaw ride in Old Delhi was a new experience for me, so I thought to make that journey memorable. Several small and beautifully designed rickshaws were available at the rickshaw stand close to Sri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir, located in Chandni Chowk area. The rikshawalas were shouting in harmonized unison, as in a chorus, each with an invitation to ride in only their rickshaws. After thinking about various routes, finally I decided to take a ride from Chandni Chowk to Chawri Bazaar.

From the very beginning of my rickshaw ride, I came across the sights and sounds of Old Delhi. I was involved in observing the things across the busy streets, on the other hand the rickshaw puller was clearing his route by chanting the sentences, ‘bhai jara hatke’, ‘o babu sahab side dena’ etc. En-route, there were several shops that were offering everything of daily usage right from A to Z. Apart from these, the old buildings of the Chandni Chowk area were providing a glimpse of British India alongwith describing the 400 yrs old history of Chandni Chowk area. Finally, I reached Chawri Bazaar metro station, I paid the rickshawala his fare and moved towards the station to catch a train to Luteyn’s Delhi that is Connaught Place.

Moreover, a rickshaw ride in Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan’s Shahjahanbad city (Old Delhi) is one of the wonderful attractions in Delhi. So, take out some time your next holiday for a rickshaw ride in Old Delhi. I am sure, that the inexpensive and very cost effective ride will surely provide you lots of fun and enjoyment. Lastly, if you are looking for some shopping then must visit the market offering textiles, electronic, goods and watches at reasonable prices. Are you feeling hungry? Don't worry, because there are a number of eating joints in Chandani Chowk area which offer sweets, snacks and several other delicacies to satisfy your taste buds.

Monday, February 26, 2007

So our gang is back from Nainital. Here are some of the pics of our memorable escapade. Stay tuned for further updates on the same and more...

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Racism Row : A Popularity Stunt Gone Bad?

REALITY SHOWS ABOUND on television these days, and why not, they successfully keep you hooked to the idiot box (or may be not so these days with all the enlightening stuff to feast your brains with) like buzzing bees to a luscious fruit. Though a new concept for Indian television, these so called real life dramas are not a new affair for the overseas audience, with shows like American Idol, Amazing Race and Temptation Island becoming a craze with the viewers and earning millions of dollars for its producers. Naturally, the producers and the participants resort to some or the other antics to boost up the TRP ratings, stuff which includes everything from creating fake conflicts amongst the participants to introducing surprise guests (like John Abraham in Big Boss) to add that extra bit of tinge and spice.

Big Brother, a reality show broadcasted on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom joined the bandwagon a few years ago and has since been one of the most watched reality shows in the entire country. It became the hot topic for the Indian masses with the introduction of Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty, as a celebrity participant along with few of the other ’white’ celebrities, and more so after Shilpa accused her co-participants of abusing her on racist grounds. The issue has become the topic of debate for people all over India and the United Kingdom since, and channel 4 has received thousands of letters seeking apology for the injustice done to the Indian film star. What may have been intended to be a popularity stunt to gain a few more TRP points became a bone in the throat for the sponsors with the biggest patron pulling its hand back from the sponsorship suggesting and claiming that it had nothing to do with supporting racism. The thought of a popularity stunt gone bad is empowered more so by the fact that Shilpa Shetty has now went back on her accusations of her being made a victim of racism.

The row over racism might subside down in a few days time but one thing is for sure, in future channels will have to think hundreds of times before carrying out any such popularity stunts that may go bad and instead of earning those few more bucks for them gains a whole lot of unwanted publicity.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Dilli, Dilwalon Kii…..

By - Md. Mudassir Alam

Delhi, often referred to as the “City of Dilwalas” (City of loving people) is not only providing shelter to ‘Dilliwallahs’ but also to people from far and near. Some come to the national capital for higher studies, some for jobs in technology, management and other fields and some for simply viewing the tourist attractions.

After finishing my studies from AMU, Aligarh I also reached Delhi with an aim to get a job and I got it very soon. As I was new in Delhi so it was obvious for me to explore those places about which I have earlier read in books, magazines and newspapers. Hence on my weekly off-days, I used to visit the attractions of Delhi. Apart from Delhi’s tourist attractions, I always came across a large number of beggars in places like bus stops, temples, mosques etc.

Being a Muslim visiting the Dargah of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia is a regular affair for me. One particular day I went to the Dargah, after completing the necessary rituals I was on the way to my home. Just outside the main gate beggars were blessing the people with the words, Allah ke naam pe kuch paise do baba, apki Murad poori hogi “Dear give some paise in the name of God, your wish will be fulfilled.”

As the day was too hot, so I stopped outside a shop and bought a bottle of cold drink to end my thirst. Though I was drinking the cold drink but my attention was also towards the beggars close to shop. All of a sudden my ear stuck to conversation of two beggars, who by chance were talking in some language that belongs to my home district Kishanganj. With bottles of cold drink in their hands they were talking, Aree bhai itni garmi hai, dekho Dilli ke log kitne pareshan hai, hum log hi thik hain din bhar mein 300 se 400 rupaiye kama lete hain “Brother it’s very hot today, see the people of Delhi who are always in hurry, we are better than them as we easily earn three to four hundred rupees daily.”

Although their conversation was continued, but one beggar was looking little worried. His co-beggar asked him, have you any problem, no, actually my relatives are coming next week and they have no any knowledge about my profession, if they will know about it, it will surely hurt them. With a gentle smile the other beggar told, don’t take any tension, I will arrange accommodation for them, you have to stop your work for some days and when they will go back you can start your work again. By the idea of his fellow beggar, the other beggar was looking quite relaxed.

My bottle of cold drink was also finished, after paying to the shopkeeper I left the place for my home. When I reached home I described the whole story before my family members and laugh endlessly. Even today the conversations of those two beggars are fresh in my mind. From the story of these two beggars I realized in Delhi’s fast life when people have little knowledge about others, people from far places taking advantage of this hidden identity and are earning their livelihood by opting different professions, leaving behind all hesitation. Why not, overall Delhi is a ‘City of Dilwalas.’

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Assam’s Mass-Suicide Joint, heard of it?

It is weird, but this mass-suicide story is as new to me as it must be to you guys. A friend working for the DD, Bhagyajeet’s repeated requests to join his Orkut community on the same got me wondering – what the heck is this mass-suicide about?

Twenty years, in ‘oxomi aiyr kulat’ (in the lap of mother assam) and never did I take notice of this crazy phenomenon. I know, you want me to come to the point at once.

Well, there’s this sleepy village in North Cachar Hills, 330 km south of Guwahati, which hosts a mass-suicide of migratory birds every year. The suiciding-spree lasts for 4 months beginning August.

Here are excerpts from news clippings I found enlightening ---

“The birds come crashing to the ground like ghosts from nowhere during the nights, which are usually moonless and foggy, accompanied by wind and drizzle, in the village inhabited by some 2,500 Jaintia tribal people.....

Legend has it that the Zemi Naga tribal villagers at Jatinga were the first to witness the phenomenon in the late 19th century when disoriented birds in their thousands flocked to a bonfire lit by locals in a field to scare away wild pigs. The experience frightened the villagers, as they believed the birds were evil spirits swooping down from the sky. Eventually the Zemi Naga tribe deserted Jatinga.

The Jaintias, who moved to Jatinga in 1905, stumbled on the phenomenon while going to the hills at night with flaming torches to round up cattle. The bamboo torches attracted showers of birds, which the Jaintias regarded as a "god-sent gift".

Experts say that up to 50 species of birds get killed, including the Tiger Bittern, Black Bittern, Little Egret, Pond Heron, Indian Pitta and Kingfishers.....”.

Intriguing isn’t it? This gives me a new vacationing idea while going hometown this year-end. Wonder if Assam Tourism realises that this can mean good-moolah and of course, a good stop-over for nature enthusiasts who like it better, when there is some mystery involved.

Want to know more? Go ahead and read my friend Bhagyajeet’s story at

Saturday, October 14, 2006

My Rajasthan escapade

The gateway to the City Palace of Maharajah Jai Singh..the same man stuffed with loads of tht grey-matter...who built the 5 Jantar Mantars across the nation. The Museum inside is one antique archipelago you shudnt miss!