Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

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chandrasekaran
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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby chandrasekaran » 19 Jan 2016 11:26

Visit Gangtok. Fly to Siliguri or to Calcutta and from there take a train (overnight). I went there 5 years back - but back then it wasn't too crowded but had all the facilities. I don't think there are enough places in Gangtok itself to justify a 5 day stay, but you can combine it with either Darjeeling or a trip to East Sikkim. North Sikkim may be too much into wilderness per your definition :)

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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby Javee » 19 Jan 2016 11:35

March will be colder in the Himalayas, not too cold, but colder than your current environs. You could potentially do the MP jungle circuit but then you will not be able to see the big cats (if you do, its purely luck). If you need beach, then you got Lakshadweep (Agatti, Bangaram) or the Andamans. Ive also heard there are places around your native state, up north, near Mahe. If you are going to the islands, particularly Agatti, book ahead as the rooms are limited. If Andamans, a BRF jingo owns a resort there, check the archive for his contact details.

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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby sum » 19 Jan 2016 11:40

Singha wrote:
andaman is also good, but you will need a ferry to havelock island hotel if you want to explore outside port blair. and travel and hotel there at equivalent level more expensive.

Saar, Andaman is very good and our very own BRFite, Bibhas-da has a lovely resort there and arranges some amazing trips all over the off-beat tracks in the Island ( suitable even for family).
Definitely worth it

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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby dhruvM » 19 Jan 2016 11:40

Sachin Sir,

I'd recommend North Bengal & Sikkim (Darjeeling, Gangtok and Kalimpong). Highly recommend this place for the best relaxing vacation.

Its a homestay property with a bunch of independent bungalows perched on a hillock. The family that runs the place is lovely to talk to, and regale you with interesting stories about the history of the region over dinner. They also have an animal farm on the property full of ducks, rabbits, parrots, a bunch of dogs and cats who love to chill in the lawns. Will be fun for the kid. You can then pick between Gangtok (Walking down MG Road on a cold evening is some experience. Very TFTAish place) or Darjeeling (If you'd like to take up a tea garden homestay or do a Barfi-esque toy train hopping. Tons of sight seeing/sunrise point/valley view type spots around each of these three towns to pick from.

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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby Sachin » 19 Jan 2016 13:23

Javee wrote:March will be colder in the Himalayas, not too cold, but colder than your current environs.

That is what worries me a bit. My daughter seems to get fever when ever there are frequent climate changes. So what triggered Andamans in my mind is that the climate may be very close to what she usually "endures".

dhruvM wrote:I'd recommend North Bengal & Sikkim (Darjeeling, Gangtok and Kalimpong). Highly recommend this place for the best relaxing vacation.

Thanks. The north eastern India is another area which I have not been able to go. So this becomes an option as well. A couple of questions I have:-
1. What would be the weather conditions at Gangtok etc.? Would it be too cold to cause head-aches etc. Understand that there is also a place where we can see the Chinese border. Guess, I would have to skip that as my kid may not be able to tolerate the weather.
2. Are these hill stations really crowded? Or are there are places outside the main crowded tourist area where there is some calmness and serenity. For example, when coming from Leh, I had to drive through Manali (which until then was a good tourist destination in my list). Man!, it was densely crowded, various business establishments built close to each other and at every angle possible and the whole place also looking dirty. Ooty during a trip in 2012 also gave me the same impression.

Saar, Andaman is very good and our very own BRFite, Bibhas-da has a lovely resort there and arranges some amazing trips all over the off-beat tracks in the Island ( suitable even for family).

If Andamans, a BRF jingo owns a resort there, check the archive for his contact details.

Thanks all. Yes, I did check up the older pages and have dropped an e-mail to Bibhas. One thing I noticed was that the flight costs to Port Blair seems to be pretty much the same irrespective of booking in advance :).

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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby nandakumar » 19 Jan 2016 15:15

Sachin
This link should help.
https://www.tripadvisor.in/Hotel_Review ... lands.html
The owner of the resort is BRF member too (Bibhaas). He had posted about his resort in this thread some time back. I am unable to post a link. It should be in the previous page.

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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby manjgu » 19 Jan 2016 18:31

go to udaipur and jaisalmer..ping me at manjgu2010@yahoo.com

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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby shyamal » 19 Jan 2016 22:23

I would not go to Andamans just for 4-5 days. It requires 7 days at least unless you just want to do PB-Havelock-PB and back.
How about Himachal? Shimla is avoidable but fagu, narkanda will be nice(and good chance of snow view). Kinnaur will be amazing but difficult with kid and most hotels will be closed at that time.
Rajasthan is amazing in march(not too hot and not too crowdy). Udiapur-jodhpur(and nearby attractions -ranakpur, kumbhalgar, chittor).

I know nothing about where you have traveled before but I cannot resist whenever anyone asks travel advise. I am a (crazy) travel blogger :)

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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby Yayavar » 19 Jan 2016 23:14

Rajasthan is a good suggestion. R The fort of Kumbalgarh (beautiful and birthplace of Rana Pratap), and surrounding areas with dry forests - so good chance of wildlife spotting. The Ranakpur temples are beautiful; and just stopping in some village along the way with a small pond and temple on a quite afternoon was a treat. The kids just roamed around and we sat under the tree and talked with the pujari and wife.

Gujarat - It is warm, clean and lots of wildlife as well as temple/architecture. Also went to Lothal ruins.

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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby shyamal » 19 Jan 2016 23:19

yayavar wrote:Rajasthan is a good suggestion. R The fort of Kumbalgarh (beautiful and birthplace of Rana Pratap), and surrounding areas with dry forests - so good chance of wildlife spotting. The Ranakpur temples are beautiful; and just stopping in some village along the way with a small pond and temple on a quite afternoon was a treat. The kids just roamed around and we sat under the tree and talked with the pujari and wife.

Yes, that area is my favorite in RJ :)
Fits perfectly for a 4-5 day holiday.

Gujarat - It is warm, clean and lots of wildlife as well as temple/architecture. Also went to Lothal ruins.

Gujarat is one of my favorites too but I would take atleast 10-12 days for a GJ trip.
Maybe just Kutch?

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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby Yayavar » 20 Jan 2016 00:24

yea.. would have to be partitioned to specific places. I enjoyed a 2 day trip here for example https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackbuck_National_Park,_Velavadar

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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby disha » 20 Jan 2016 04:39

^^ Sachin saar., there was a BRFite who had setup shop in Andamans.

Andamans is a recommended place, but in some areas the ground water got polluted and during high seas it might force its way into the water system. So pick up reputed places to stay.

Another of my family friends went there. All 'oldies' and they seemed to enjoy it. Including something called "snuba diving"!

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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby Bade » 20 Jan 2016 06:04

What would be the weather conditions at Gangtok etc.? Would it be too cold to cause head-aches etc. Understand that there is also a place where we can see the Chinese border. Guess, I would have to skip that as my kid may not be able to tolerate the weather.


If your kid is not 16+ yrs of age, do not take them above 9000ft above MSL. I know lot of Indian parents do, as I saw one Bengali family in Arunachal and the kid was suffering quite a bit. The damage can be permanent, depending on the severity of high altitude illness. Not an expert, but I did see warning signs posted even in the big island of Hawaii at about 9000ft. Tawang is around 15,000ft so is Gangtok.

Added later: Gangtok is much lower... :oops: so should be ok. Even Nathu La near the border seems lower.

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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby Sachin » 20 Jan 2016 09:24

shyamal wrote:I would not go to Andamans just for 4-5 days. It requires 7 days at least unless you just want to do PB-Havelock-PB and back.

Well actually I have not decided on even Havelock Island :). Because I understand it requires a ferry travel for a couple of hours one-way. My idea is to kind of get away from the main land, and in Port Blair my main interest remains the Cellular Prison. Our last major vacation (for a week) was to Bhutan. Some how we kind of have this pattern of having vacation in the hills & the beaches alternating :).

How about Himachal? Shimla is avoidable but fagu, narkanda will be nice(and good chance of snow view).

That is a good pointer. And a chance to see snow clad mountains makings it even more exciting. Will check on the weather and off course the travel cost aspects. Have a few contacts in Kejriwal's territory, so can check with them as well.

yayavar wrote:The fort of Kumbalgarh (beautiful and birthplace of Rana Pratap), and surrounding areas with dry forests - so good chance of wildlife spotting

Hmm.. I am not very keen on wild life and not-so-modern history. That is why I have Rajasthan lower in the priority list. Kind of started getting borded with the old forts, temples. A bit of modern history is more of my liking. Due to this very reason stuff like Taj Mahal, Agra, Fatehpur Sikri are also kind of avoided.

disha wrote:^^ Sachin saar., there was a BRFite who had setup shop in Andamans.

I have already dropped a note to Bibhas and his team. Yet to get a response. Would now give a ring on phone :). Now that I get more options (Narkanda etc.), need to slowly start working on the plan.

Bade wrote:If your kid is not 16+ yrs of age, do not take them above 9000ft above MSL. I know lot of Indian parents do, as I saw one Bengali family in Arunachal and the kid was suffering quite a bit.

My kid is no way near the 16+ age bracket :). One of our relatives had made a visit few years back, and their son (who was then 12-14 years old) was literally weeping all the way. Chap had severe head aches. It got even more acute when they reached Bum La (?); the Chinese border.

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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby Bade » 20 Jan 2016 09:29

I could not make it to Bum La due to heavy snow, but went close to the closed gates and met with a Mallu soldier who came up seeing us. He was from Trivandrum. Dunno if I will make it again to Bum La. Since it was a hurried trip and the place I stayed in Tawang was not great (not even traditional heating in the room) I was literally shivering under the yak wool blankets. But it could be altitude sickness too, had indigestion but no vomiting. Felt miserable for sure at times but did not keel over...must have damaged some pathways in the brain. ;-)

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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby Paul » 20 Jan 2016 16:48

Nathu La is at around 10000 ft but very cold and windy.

Lachung is at around 15000 ft and Yumthang in N Sikkim is at around 17000 ft.

This hotel in Lachung is worth a look. If you want to see mountains in Sikkim I recommend a straight road trip from Siliguri to Lachung with an overnight stay in Gangtok. Gangtok is still a good place to visit though.

http://www.worldmarcopolo.com/resorts.html

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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby Bibhas » 20 Jan 2016 21:34

Thanks Guys. Finally Me & Sachin could connect.

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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby shyamal » 20 Jan 2016 22:58

Sachin wrote:
How about Himachal? Shimla is avoidable but fagu, narkanda will be nice(and good chance of snow view).

That is a good pointer. And a chance to see snow clad mountains makings it even more exciting. Will check on the weather and off course the travel cost aspects. Have a few contacts in Kejriwal's territory, so can check with them as well.


If you are keen on mountains(and do not want to go very remote) then its either HP or WB/Sikkim.
Check the HP destinations first. Easy to reach(flight to delhi from your city and then a bus/car to HP) and amazing views and good accommodation. Check Narkanda, dharamsala, Bharmour, Chamba. None are remote and there are good accommodation suitable for family.
In WB - kalimpong is a better option than Darjeeling. Plenty of nice homestays. And plenty of more remote(and better views) destinations if the kid is feeling fine.
In Sikkim - avoid Gangtok. Its a nice city but time is better spent in west Sikkim. check pelling(a bit crowded these days), kaluk, rinchenpong. its the rhododendron flowering season and the absolutely best time to visit. I am not suggesting north Sikkim because of kid's health(though I have seen 7-8 year olds do perfectly well in ladakh, spiti and arunachal).

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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby Sachin » 21 Jan 2016 09:26

Thanks Bibhas, Paul, shyamal. Now I have my plates full :). Some thing should get formalised by next week.

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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby Bob V » 28 Jan 2016 18:40

Just a pooch. Among the Club Mahindra resorts, which one of the following would be good for the month of Apr'16 -
Poovar, Cherai, Asthamudi, Munnar & Kumarakom.

This is for a family of 4 with 2 small kids.

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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby amritk » 28 Jan 2016 18:47

For HP, would recommend flying to Chandigarh, saves road time vs. Delhi.

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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby rsingh » 30 Jan 2016 21:46

yayavar wrote:Rajasthan is a good suggestion. R The fort of Kumbalgarh (beautiful and birthplace of Rana Pratap), and surrounding areas with dry forests - so good chance of wildlife spotting. The Ranakpur temples are beautiful; and just stopping in some village along the way with a small pond and temple on a quite afternoon was a treat. The kids just roamed around and we sat under the tree and talked with the pujari and wife.

Gujarat - It is warm, clean and lots of wildlife as well as temple/architecture. Also went to Lothal ruins.


Do not get carried away. Last time I went to long drive towards Jaiselmer. I like hot environment,open dunes or dry forest, straight road for 10s KM. No other soul in sight. At very isolated place I found a guy with cold water bottles. We stopped as I wanted to buy something to drink. Asked for the price. Guy looked away from me (as if not interested doing business with me) and told me 100 Rs. I bought water (thinking that may be that is price for cold water in theses remote areas. Then I started talking to him as I wanted to know about the area. The guy gave up telling me " Saab mahrro dimag na chatoo, agee ja ke pooch lo" ( Sir do not eat my head, ask someone bit further). :((

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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby Yayavar » 31 Jan 2016 06:55

rsingh: Luck of the draw. It could be even worse, someone could direct you the wrong way - it has happened.

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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby Sachin » 09 Mar 2016 13:17

Finally made it to the Andamans. I had quit Vegetable Oil.Co and that gave me some free time to spend. And off course the stay was at Ixzire owned by BRFite Bibhas :). I was in constant touch with him for guidance & advice and when things got finalied he passed the baton over to his team at the resort.

Andamans, was a good experience even though I am not that kind of a person who would jump into the sea the moment I see it. The island does bring out lot of aspects of a different life style which we "main landers" may not be able to visualise. One thing the life is much simpler and laid out, with lot of the planning shaped around the availability of the boats and ferries. The air seems to be cleaner when compared to the cities in the main land. With a small kid, SHQ was a bit worried about the medical facilities available out there. Our driver mentioned that the government provided health care is good (especially when the same is rated as bad in the main land), and they have good clinics and hospitals at every island. The biggest hospital (G.B Pant Hosp.) is at Port Blair, and they even have ferries berthed at every major landing point in the night. So that an ambulance coming from an island or remote area can be ferried across to Port Blair if required. All these brought down the fears of SHQ, and luckily my kid had no health problems at all. She seems to be the person who enjoyed the trip to the best. The whole of Andamans gets its electricty by huge diesel gen set plants built at strategic locations. I was under the impression that the power is taken from the main land (using under sea cables). The "hands of the law" looked like was heavily focusing on traffic law enforcement. As per our driver, crime rate at Andamans is really low. So much so that for the "visible policing", traffic law enforcement seems to be a good option :). There were also fire stations strategically placed. To sum it up, Andamans have pretty much all the comforts which the main land offers, and the life seems to be more relaxed.

Some more random thoughts:-
1. Cellular Prison, Andamans: For any person it is a "must see" place. For one, I don't think there are any "prison" museums in India other than this. Keep aside the "freedom fighting" etc. The museum does give a person a chance to see how prisons look like. The gallows, the condemned cells etc. are a real eye-opener. Infact a friend of mine suggested that the entire JNU gang (Kanhayya, Umar Khalid et.al) are housed at the condemned cell for a week in this prison. They would get a good view of the gallows right next door, 24/7. And then they would really know the meaning of "Azaadi". The focus generally have been only on the fact that freedom fighters were lodged here, and all pictures are made using just this. Many don't know that this prison had a rank of "petty officer" who was a convict, and whose job was to enforce discipline. These "petty officers" were all criminals convicted for other heinous crimes.
2. The islands seems to have a lot of Bengali population. Infact in some beaches I felt that I was actually at West Bengal :). Did a bit of checking on this. It seems after the 1971 war there was a large pool of refugees who had moved to West Bengal from Bangladesh. The India Govt. now had to accomodate them. An easy was found out. They were all to be transported to Andamans, and alloted with a large share of land there. It was left to them to clear up the area, settle down and make a living. Many tourists from West Bengal also now make a visit here, perhaps because they do not have language problems and would get food which suit their taste buds.
3. At times, especially after checking the place names a person from Kerala may get an impression that Andamans is part of Malappuram District in Kerala :). I spotted Tirur, Manjeri, Wandoor, Nilambur and Calicut (Village) in and around Port Blair. Ernad Taluq (today's Malappuram Dt.) of Malabar District, Madras Presidency saw one of the worst communal riots in the year 1921. Moplahs (Muslims) really screwed up the life of the rest of the communities. People who were rich fled the area (to Kochi, Travancore or to North Malabar). The British adminisration finally showed its aptitude & military skills. A special police force - The Malabar Special Police (MSP) was raised in order to crush the rebellion. The entire rebellion was soon crushed and any Moplah who played some significant role was kicked out to the Andamans. The more key players how ever were executed after summary court martials. Andamans at that point of time was just a nameless forest. So these transported convicts were settled into certain areas. And they had to give the place a name. And what best name can they give, other than the areas from which they originally came from?

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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby disha » 10 Mar 2016 02:22

^^ How is the clean factor? Water and other solid waste disposal amenities?

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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby Sachin » 10 Mar 2016 12:20

disha wrote:^^ How is the clean factor? Water and other solid waste disposal amenities?

If you are asking about the resort where I stayed, I found it to be clean and tidy. The cottages have modern toilets and bathing facility. Food is generally taken at the restaurant itself, which makes the rooms also remain cleaner. From the resort staff (and from Bibhas), I understood that the resort focuses on rain water harvesting to a very high extent.

And in Andaman I found that they really encourage more of "responsible tourism". The beaches were very clean, and pretty much every place had clean & working toilets. May be it is the fact it is far away from the main land, and perhaps more expensive to reach - I also did not find any group of tourists who generally come as one big gang, mess up the place and leave.

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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby disha » 11 Mar 2016 00:58

Sachin wrote:
disha wrote:^^ How is the clean factor? Water and other solid waste disposal amenities?

If you are asking about the resort where I stayed, I found it to be clean and tidy. The cottages have modern toilets and bathing facility. Food is generally taken at the restaurant itself, which makes the rooms also remain cleaner. From the resort staff (and from Bibhas), I understood that the resort focuses on rain water harvesting to a very high extent.

And in Andaman I found that they really encourage more of "responsible tourism". The beaches were very clean, and pretty much every place had clean & working toilets. May be it is the fact it is far away from the main land, and perhaps more expensive to reach - I also did not find any group of tourists who generally come as one big gang, mess up the place and leave.


Thanks all of the above was very helpful., and the bolded nugget is important.

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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby jamwal » 19 Aug 2016 20:15

Hello,
I hope that it's not against the rules and it is the correct place for it.
Using my free time over the last 4-5 weeks, I have made a website http://HimachalPradeshTravel.com . Another website focusing solely on Lahaul Spiti region is also online: http://LahaulSpitiTravel.com

I have kept it simple and primarily text based to keep it easier to process and also because I'm too cheap to spend more money on a web-designer. My intentions are:

1) Provide a neutral, spamfree source of information to travelers interested in Himachal Pradesh.
2) Promotion of offbeat destinations and activities.
3) Make it easy for people to collect information and plan their journey.

As of now, forums are fairly good source, Wikitravel is nice, but they have certain limitations. Former has too much and scattered information which is difficult to process. Latter has too much spam and quality of information is doubtful in many cases.

My sources of information for this website are books, government issued tourist brochures and my own personal experiences and those of trusted acquaintances. The website is still under construction and am adding more information whenever possible. I have some requests for you people though:

1) Please take 2-3 minutes to visit the site and provide your feedback.
2) If you have information, pictures or something relevant about some place, please share it. You'll get proper credit with a backlink or acknowledgement for it.
3) If you've stayed in some really remarkable accommodation, consider sharing the details. I've just put up HPTDC hotels till now and don't want to promote big hotels or make it full of random hotel information like Wikitravel. It is specially relevant for remote destinations which few people know about.


Working further, I've added a page with some references which include research papers, historical maps and other sources on this link : http://himachalpradeshtravel.com/references/

List of government run guest houses, forest houses and circuit houses is added to already existing list of HPTDC hotels. Some useful phone numbers and other contact details are also added. http://himachalpradeshtravel.com/important-contacts/

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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby Rahul M » 19 Sep 2016 20:04

Bibhas wrote:Thanks Guys. Finally Me & Sachin could connect.

Bibhas da, if you are reading this please check PM. your hotmail bounced. I have some guests to send your way. :)

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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby Neshant » 28 Nov 2016 05:44

Motorcycle Journey in Arunachal Pradesh : North East India

A Travel Film in Marathi (with English subtitles)

click it and go on a journey of our great hidden gem, Arunachal Pradesh


Jayram
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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby Jayram » 28 Nov 2016 07:06

Thanks for posting .. that was really beautiful..
Jayram

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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby deWalker » 02 Dec 2016 07:06

Hello fellow Rakshaks:

I'm looking for recommendations for good travel agents in India: I want to plan a family trip to visit Ranthambore / Jim Corbett (or other national park options). I need help as I'm US-based and don't have a good feel for the options outside of TripAdvisor feedback.

Thanks in advance,

Diwakar

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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby Bhurishravas » 02 Dec 2016 16:23

deWalker wrote:Hello fellow Rakshaks:

I'm looking for recommendations for good travel agents in India: I want to plan a family trip to visit Ranthambore / Jim Corbett (or other national park options). I need help as I'm US-based and don't have a good feel for the options outside of TripAdvisor feedback.

Thanks in advance,

Diwakar


Check out this. nirvanatourism dot in

Run by a friend. Professionally managed.

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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby deWalker » 11 Jan 2017 03:41

Hello fellow BRites, I'm in the process of chalking out for a Feb trip to India, and I'd like to get some feedback on an itinerary . More experienced folks may be able to shed light on feasibility and their own experience. This is for my family (wife + 6 yo) + parents: I appreciate any and all comments - thanks.

My family splits their time between Bombay and Hyderabad, so those 2 cities are the starting and ending spots of this trip. Stuff in Bombay and Hyderabad is easily managed, I'm looking for thoughts on the touristy sections.

- Take train from CST to Aurangabad (Nandigram Express). Two nights in Aurangabad, spend 1 day in Ajanta, and 2nd day in Ellora.
- Take train from Aurangabad to Nagpur (same Nandigram Express). Essentially spend 1 day at Tadoba Nat'l Park, 1 morning and 1 evening safari trip.
- Train from Nagpur to HYD (multiple choices). Wrap up trip back to BOM separately.

I chose to travel by rail because it is definitely better to see the country this way (plus, no great choices in flying between Tier-2 cities). Either AC-2 or AC-3, should be enjoyable for kids along the way. Is it easiest to book via makemytrip.com or cleartrip.com? I believe I will need to register on Indian Railways webpage in either case, is that true?

Will 2 days at Aurangabad and Nagpur each be sufficient?

If you have any recommendations on accommodations, let me know. I have found a few that look good on tripadvisor (as well as Google).

I will also need to book local tour guide plus car rentals. If you have any suggestions or recommendations, I'd be obliged.

Thanks!

Diwakar

PS: Bhurishravas: I did try and contact your friend's company, by email - fairly soon after seeing your post. No response to-date, unfortunately.

Pathik
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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby Pathik » 11 Jan 2017 06:02

Sachin wrote:Finally made it to the Andamans. I had quit Vegetable Oil.Co and that gave me some free time to spend. And off course the stay was at Ixzire owned by BRFite Bibhas :). I was in constant touch with him for guidance & advice and when things got finalied he passed the baton over to his team at the resort.

Andamans, was a good experience even though I am not that kind of a person who would jump into the sea the moment I see it. The island does bring out lot of aspects of a different life style which we "main landers" may not be able to visualise. One thing the life is much simpler and laid out, with lot of the planning shaped around the availability of the boats and ferries. The air seems to be cleaner when compared to the cities in the main land. With a small kid, SHQ was a bit worried about the medical facilities available out there. Our driver mentioned that the government provided health care is good (especially when the same is rated as bad in the main land), and they have good clinics and hospitals at every island. The biggest hospital (G.B Pant Hosp.) is at Port Blair, and they even have ferries berthed at every major landing point in the night. So that an ambulance coming from an island or remote area can be ferried across to Port Blair if required. All these brought down the fears of SHQ, and luckily my kid had no health problems at all. She seems to be the person who enjoyed the trip to the best. The whole of Andamans gets its electricty by huge diesel gen set plants built at strategic locations. I was under the impression that the power is taken from the main land (using under sea cables). The "hands of the law" looked like was heavily focusing on traffic law enforcement. As per our driver, crime rate at Andamans is really low. So much so that for the "visible policing", traffic law enforcement seems to be a good option :). There were also fire stations strategically placed. To sum it up, Andamans have pretty much all the comforts which the main land offers, and the life seems to be more relaxed.

Some more random thoughts:-
1. Cellular Prison, Andamans: For any person it is a "must see" place. For one, I don't think there are any "prison" museums in India other than this. Keep aside the "freedom fighting" etc. The museum does give a person a chance to see how prisons look like. The gallows, the condemned cells etc. are a real eye-opener. Infact a friend of mine suggested that the entire JNU gang (Kanhayya, Umar Khalid et.al) are housed at the condemned cell for a week in this prison. They would get a good view of the gallows right next door, 24/7. And then they would really know the meaning of "Azaadi". The focus generally have been only on the fact that freedom fighters were lodged here, and all pictures are made using just this. Many don't know that this prison had a rank of "petty officer" who was a convict, and whose job was to enforce discipline. These "petty officers" were all criminals convicted for other heinous crimes.
2. The islands seems to have a lot of Bengali population. Infact in some beaches I felt that I was actually at West Bengal :). Did a bit of checking on this. It seems after the 1971 war there was a large pool of refugees who had moved to West Bengal from Bangladesh. The India Govt. now had to accomodate them. An easy was found out. They were all to be transported to Andamans, and alloted with a large share of land there. It was left to them to clear up the area, settle down and make a living. Many tourists from West Bengal also now make a visit here, perhaps because they do not have language problems and would get food which suit their taste buds.
3. At times, especially after checking the place names a person from Kerala may get an impression that Andamans is part of Malappuram District in Kerala :). I spotted Tirur, Manjeri, Wandoor, Nilambur and Calicut (Village) in and around Port Blair. Ernad Taluq (today's Malappuram Dt.) of Malabar District, Madras Presidency saw one of the worst communal riots in the year 1921. Moplahs (Muslims) really screwed up the life of the rest of the communities. People who were rich fled the area (to Kochi, Travancore or to North Malabar). The British adminisration finally showed its aptitude & military skills. A special police force - The Malabar Special Police (MSP) was raised in order to crush the rebellion. The entire rebellion was soon crushed and any Moplah who played some significant role was kicked out to the Andamans. The more key players how ever were executed after summary court martials. Andamans at that point of time was just a nameless forest. So these transported convicts were settled into certain areas. And they had to give the place a name. And what best name can they give, other than the areas from which they originally came from?


...and they all speak hindi

Sachin
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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby Sachin » 11 Jan 2017 12:03

Pathik wrote:...and they all speak hindi

Yes. Hindi is the "official language" in Andamans. So even the Moplahs etc. speak Malayalam at home, but for official use it always Hindi. But there are also schools run by bigger communities which do have the community language as one of the subjects. But from what I could see, Andamans is now pretty much an extension of West Bengal (rather than say Tamil Nadu).

SBajwa
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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby SBajwa » 19 Apr 2018 19:09

Food tourism


disha
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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby disha » 01 May 2018 11:20

Gentle rakshaks, I am planning a trip to India in June/July and I have the following requests:

1. I am planning to visit K'taka (again) and do starting from B'gloru/Hassan/Madikeri/Mysoru/and ending up at B'gloru in @7 days. Is that doable or I am reading google maps too much?

2. If I visit Hassan or Mysoru, where are the hotels I can stay? Safe and Clean is what I am looking for.

3. How do I book local taxis. If I drive, I will be an hazard to Indian roads. So best is to get a car with a driver. How can I go about it?

Any tips will help.

Zynda
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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby Zynda » 01 May 2018 12:24

^^Had to use a hotel for an overnight stay at Mysore recently. Stayed at Pai Vista and had a nice experience. Pretty clean and safe as well. Located in the heart of Mysore. Of course, we are extremely familiar with Mysore. Can't comment on food since never ate there but should be decent.

http://www.paihotels.com/hotel-pai-vista-mysore/

I am sure Pai have a chain of hotels in other major cities as well.

You can use a tourist service like this one: http://www.sathyasaitourists.com. They do offer vehicles for rent/hire...in fact, you can ask them to come up with itinerary based on your schedule. Best would be to get price quotes from a few of these to make sure you are not getting ripped off.

Can't help you with question #1...BLR to MYS is around 3-3.5 hours by road (depending on which time of the day you travel).

Suraj
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Re: Indian Tourism: News & Discussion

Postby Suraj » 24 Jul 2018 02:38

This data wasn't posted here previously, so here it is. International tourist arrivals into India:
2014: 7.7 mlilion
2015: 8.0 million
2016: 8.8 million
2017: 10.0 million

Foreign tourist arrivals hit new high of one crore, earnings cross $27 billion
In happy tidings for India's tourism sector, the year 2017 ended on a high with the number of foreign tourist arrivals crossing the 10 million mark, which pushed the country's earnings from foreign tourism to over $27 billion

The GoI Tourism Ministry has a nice stats site: http://tourism.gov.in/market-research-and-statistics

So far, 2018 has seen approx 12% growth in foreign tourist arrivals, with all of Jan-Mar of the winter peak season registering over 1 million arrivals. Should finish the year with over 11 million visitors.


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