Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hotels in India

I was browsing on net and i found these links about the Hotels in India...
I hope it might help you in one or the other way.

Hope to add more links soon.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

India's Incredible

Report presented by Meenakshi Kumar on Times of India

Software engineer Naveen Pathak is packing his bags for a trekking trip through Sikkim this summer. Nothing unusual about that, except that a year ago, it would have been Paris or Vienna. PR executive Harsh Mehta has also reworked his holiday schedule. He has just returned from an 11-day trip to the Himalayas, canceling his plan for a five-day break in Bangkok.

In Bangalore, IT professional Mickey Bopanna says he has switched his holiday from violence wracked Sri Lanka to Goa’s quiet beaches.

India, it seems, is traveling around India like Pathak, Mehta and Bopanna are just three of large numbers of tourists to change their travel plans in this summer of discontent, with its economic slowdown, global swine flu scare and scattered violence-hit holiday destinations.

Vibhas Prasad, director of Leisure Hotels, says Indian tourists “are pushing back their travel plans to later in the year”, even as they increasingly put on hold plans, to visit swine flu- hit north and Latin America.

Adds Druv Shringi, co-founder of travel portal, “Many people have been modifying travel plans, especially to the US and South America in the last few weeks. At least 12-15% is open bookings. People are hoping that the situation will improve so that they can continue with their travel.”

Indians are holidaying still but for many it’s Bharat Darshan time, discovering India like never before. Tourism figures for the first quarter of the year are not yet avail.,) able, but industry experts estimate that domestic tourism has grown 10-15%.If true, that would be a substantial addition to last year’s figures 400 million Indians traveled domestically and nine million went abroad.

Subhash Goyal, president of the Confederation of Tourism Professionals and chairman of Stic Travels, says, “The most happening domestic travel trend this year is to go on short trips for two-three days or over the weekends. And for such short trips, people are opting for destinations closer home where they have to spend little and can relax and enjoy more.”

Travelers are not just being cautious but canny as well with value-for-money deals. Harsh Mehta, who lives in Mumbai, says he’s happy he aborted plans to visit Bangkok because he’s spent the same money to visit several places in the Himalayas instead. “I got the best deals and visited many places - Shimla, Chail, Jammu & Kashmir, Rishikesh and Haridwar. It’s been the most cost-effective holiday for me so far,” he says.

Vinni Pannu, who heads Dabur Retail Venture’s North India operations in Delhi, agrees. “Smaller vacations and traveling to multiple places turn out to be much cheaper Often, the pack- ages have hidden costs, which are not revealed to the customers initially. Later, even a trip to Bangkok turns out pretty expensive,” she says.

But some industry experts say the apparent spike in domestic tourism is a mirage. Karan Anand, who heads relationship and supplier management at travel agency Cox and Kings, says, “Domestic tourism has been on a growth curve for the last couple of years with various state tourism boards such as Kashmir, Kerala, Goa, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh promoting their destinations aggressively in the Indian metros. We see growth in the range of 10-15% year-on-year.”

Whatever the truth, European destinations, once popular with the Indian tourist, seems to be losing some of their appeal.

Shringi estimates that demand is down by 2530% this year, compared to 2008. “People who would have travelled to Europe are now looking at options in South-east Asia and the Far East. And those who would have ‘traveled to the Far East are opting to travel within India. And even within India, they are going traditional, opting to go to the hills or historical sites,”she says.

Ketaki Narain, director of corporate communications of The Oberoi Group confirms that “domestic tourism to hotels in leisure destinations like Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur and Shimla has witnessed an increase.”

Friday, April 3, 2009

Great Indian Forts

Great Indian Fort

India has more than its share of great forts - many of them now deserted - to tell of its tumultuous history. The Red Fort in Delhi is one of the most impressive, but Agra Fort is an equally gigantic cue of Mughals power at its height. A short distance south is the huge, impregnable-looking Gwalior Fort.
The Rajputs could build forts like no¬body else and they've got them in all shapes and sizes and with every imaginable tale to tell. Chittorgarh Fort is awful, Bundi and Kota forts are fanciful, and Jodhpur Fort is huge and high, Amber Fort simply beautiful and Jaisalmer the essence of romance.

Way out west in Gujarat, there are the impressive forts of Junagadh and Bhuj built by the princely rulers of Saurashtra.

Further south there's Mandu, another fort impressive in its size and architecture but with a tragic tale to tell. Further south again at Daulatabad it's a tale of power, ambition and not all that much sense with another immense fort which was built and soon de¬serted. Important forts in the south include Bijapur and Golconda.
Naturally the European invaders had their forts too. We will see Portuguese forts in Goa, Bassein, Daman and Diu, the last being the most impressive. The British also built their share: Fort St George in Chennai is open to the public and has a fascinating museum. Those built by the French, Dutch and Danes are, regrettably, largely in ruins, although the ruins also have a certain appeal.

Fort State
Red Fort Delhi
Agra Uttar Pradesh
Chittorgarh Rajasthan
Bundi Rajasthan
Kota Rajasthan
Jodhpur Rajasthan
Amber Rajasthan
Jaisalmer Rajasthan
Junagadh Gujarat

Red Fort
The red sandstone walls of Lal Qila, the Red Fort, extend for two km and vary in height from 18m the river side to 33m on the city side. Shah Jahan started construction of the massive fort in 1638 and it was completed in 1648. He never completely moved his capital from Agra to his new city Shahjahanabad in Delhi because he was deposed and imprisoned in Agra Fort by his son Aurangzeb.

The Red Fort dates from the very hit the highest point of Mughals power. When the emperor rode out elephant-back into the streets of Old Delhi it was a display of pomp and power at its most magnificent, The Mughals reign from Delhi was a short one, however: Aurangzeb was the first and last great Mug emperor to rule from here.

Today, the fort is typically Indian. It's still a calm haven of peace if you've just left the frantic streets of Old Delhi; however the city noise and confusion are light years away from the fort gardens and pavilions. The Yamuna River used to flow right by the eastern edge of the fort, and filled the 10m deep moat (a wide dugged channel around the fort to make it more difficult to attack). These days river is over one km to the east and the moat remains empty.
Lahore Gate -:
The main gate to the fort takes its name from the fact that it faces towards Lahore, N-W in Pakistan. If one spot could be said to be the emotional and symbolic heart of the modern Indian nation, the Lahore Gate of the Red Fort is probably it. During the struggle for independence, one the nationalists' declarations was that they would see the Indian flag flying over the Red Fort in Delhi After independence, many important political speeches were given by Nehru and Indira Gandhi to crowds amassed on the maidan outside, and on Independence Day (15 Aug each year, the prime minister addresses a huge crowd from the gate.

You enter the fort here and immediately find yourself in a domed covered passage, (Covered Bazaar). The shops in this covered passage used to sell the up market items that the royal household might fancy – silk, jewellery, gold.
These days they cater to the tourist trade and the quality of goods is certainly a little lower, although some still carry a royal price tag! This covered passage of shops also known as the Mina Bazaar, the shopping centre for ladies of the court. On Thursdays the gate of the fort were closed to men; only women were allowed inside the citadel.
The covered passage leads to the Naubat Khana, or Drum House, where musicians used to play for emperor, and the arrival of princes and royalty was heralded from here. There's an Indian War Memorial museum (free) upstairs. The open courtyard beyond the Drum House formerly had gallery along either side, but these were removed by the British Army when the fort was used as the headquarters. Other reminders of the British presence are the monumentally ugly, three storey barrack blocks which lie to the north of this courtyard.

Diwan-i-Am -:
The Hall of Public Audiences was where the emperor would sit to hear complaints disputes from his subjects. His alcove (bay) in the wall was marble-paneled and set with precious stones many of which were looted following the Mutiny/Uprising. This elegant hall was restored as a résumé a directive by Lord Curzon, the viceroy of India between 1898 and 1905.
Diwan-i-Khass -:
The Hall of Private Audiences, built of white marble, was the luxurious chamber which the emperor would hold private meetings. Centre piece of the hall (until Nadir Shah carted it off to 1 in 1739) was the magnificent Peacock Throne. The solid gold throne had figures of peacocks standing behind it, their beautiful colors resulting from countless inlaid precious stones. Between them the figure of a parrot carved out of a single emerald.
This masterpiece in precious metals, sapphires, rubies, emeralds and pearls was broken up and called peacock throne is displayed in Tehran simply utilizes the original bits.. The marble pedestal on which the throne used to sit remains in place.

Reference: Lonely Planet

Friday, March 27, 2009

Ayurveda: The Knowledge of Life

Ayurveda, an ancient medical system originating from the Indian subcontinent, underlines healthy living by striking a balance between the body, mind and spirit. Today, this healthy lifestyle is widely practiced by millions around the world, completely transcending all borders and beliefs.

Kerala, a state in the southeastern India, is blessed with lush topography and in ideal climate, enabling this coastal state to flourish as one of India’s premier Ayurveda destination. The therapeutic from kerala has left an impression on many citizens of the world and one such who has reaped the benefits of this ancient healing goodness is Goh Eng Leang, Director of Ayurvedium Medispa, Starhill Gallery. After being amazed by the treatment that cured his stomach discomfort and back pain while he was in kerala, he now wishes for Malaysians to be introduced to and experience the great benefits of Ayurveda.

To be continued....