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Weekend Getaways from Bangalore: Best Places to Visit near Bangalore

The capital of the south Indian state ‘Karnataka’, Bangalore is known for its blooming gardens and IT parks. The city is home to several prestigious software companies, educational institutes, tele-communications and defense organizations. The city is ideally known as ‘Silicon Valley of India’ and can be rightly called the ‘Country of the Geek’. The breathtaking botanical gardens and inspiring temples adds more charm of the city. 

With rapid industrial development, pollution and hustle bustle of the cramped and crowded city, it becomes quite difficult to cope up with the pressures of day to day life. The city of Bangalore is encompassed by architectural gems, wonderful landscapes and beautiful places that are diverse and have not been explored as much as they deserve. A Bangalore Weekend Getaway package is a good opportunity for tourists who want to spend some quality with their dear ones, away from the hustle bustle of the city life. 

Mysore

Mysore - Weekend Getaways from Bangalore

Located 143 kilometers southwest of Bangalore, just about 3.5 hours drive from the city, Mysore offers a perfect juxtaposition of traditional culture still preserved and fast growth towards modernity. It is one of the most important tourist hubs in Karnataka and noted for its beautiful architecture.

It was once a sleepy city and later evolved into a city of apartments, complexes, malls, supermarkets and IT companies. One of the most important attractions in Mysore is Mysore Palace, a beautifully built palace with rosewood doors having ornamental carvings and inlaid ivory works. The palace is illuminated with nearly 1 lakh bulbs during weekends from 7 PM to 8 PM.

Coorg


Coorg -Weekend Getaways from Bangalore

If your idea of a weekend getaway from Bangalore is all about high hills covered with greenery, Coorg, also known as ‘Scotland of India’, is an ideal place for your family to spend a memorable weekend. Nestled amidst the lush Western Ghats, Coorg offers wonderful natural beauty with waterfalls and lush green coffee plantations. Some popular attractions in Coorg include Abbey Falls, Mallali Falls, Honnamana Kere and wildlife parks such as Nagarhole National Park and Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary. 

Ooty

Ooty - Weekend Getaways from Bangalore

Positioned 265 kilometers away from Bangalore, Ooty, also known as Udhagamandalam, is a picturesque hill station in the Nilgiris district. It is one of the most picturesque hill resorts which wrap vast tea gardens, lovely breeze, green pastures and scenery. The town is famous for its abundant natural beauty and is clearly evident through some of the most popular tourist places in Ooty. Some of the popular attractions in Ooty include Botanical Garden, St. Stephen’s Church, Rose Garden and Ooty Lake.

[Check out some of the best hill stations in India to plan your summer holidays]

Bandipur National Park

Bandipur National Park - Weekend Getaways from Bangalore

Located just 217 kilometers away from Bangalore, Bandipur National Park is one of the oldest wildlife sanctuaries in Karnataka. It is a part of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and is highly protected by the Indian government. It is home to 70 Royal Bengal Tigers and over 3,000 Indian elephants. The park is also famous for its sandalwood trees and rare species of timber and bamboo trees. Due to fine weather conditions throughout the year, the Bandipur National Park can be visited anytime from April to October.

[Don't missout to see top national parks in India]

Wayanad

Waynad - Weekend Getaways from Bangalore

Located 265 kilometers away from Bangalore, Wayanad is one of the most exotic and picturesque hill stations in Karnataka. It has been the most charming place for nature lovers. The aesthetic locales, rippled topography, craggy terrains and picturesque scenery from all across the country. A sheer heaven for all nature lovers, Waynad is home to some major tourist attractions such as Pookat Lake, Banasura Sagar Dam and Soochippara Waterfalls.

Jog Falls

Jog Falls - Weekend Getaways from Bangalore

Cascading from a height of 253 meters, Jog Falls is arguably the tallest waterfall in India. It constitutes of four different cascades- locally known as Raja, Rani, Rover and Rocket. These four cascades combine to form a huge waterfall. The waterfall is locally known as Geruoppe Falls, Gersoppa Falls and Jogada Gundi. Other places to visit near the falls include Dabbe Falls, Tunga Anicut Dam, Thyvare Koppa Lion and Linganamakki Dam. 

Tirupati

Tirupati - Weekend Getaways from Bangalore

Located 251 kilometers east of Bangalore, Tirupati is an important cultural and pilgrimage site in Chittoor District. It is located at the foothills of Eastern Ghats and houses richest temple, Venkateswara Swamy Temple, and thus regarded as one of the best options for weekend getaway from Bangalore. The temple is dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara and the main attraction which compels thousands of pilgrims to set on a trip to the region. Tirupati is the busiest and one of the most important pilgrimage centers in the world.

[Also check out the top 10 temple in India]
Hampi

Hampi - Weekend Getaways from Bangalore

It would not be an overstatement to call Hampi as the land of architectural delight. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hampi summons scores of tourists from all around the world. It is a charismatic land known for its 500 plus monuments of the 15th century Vijayanagar Empire. The monolithic sculptures and monuments of Hampi represent creative talent of human being which makes this place the most stupendous one. It is located at a distance of 344 kilometers away from Hampi.

[Read more about Hampi Group of Monuments]

Kabini

Kabini - Weekend Getaways from Bangalore

One of the most popular wildlife destinations in Karnataka, The Kabini Forest Reserve is known for its accessibility, verdant landscape surrounding a lake, and sights of elephant herds. It is situated on the banks of the Kabini River and is spread over 55 acres of forestland, water bodies and steep valleys. Considered to be one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in Karnataka, Kabini, located 218 kilometers away from Bangalore, is famous for its spectacular wildlife and birdlife.

[Here are some more wildlife vacation ideas in India]

Madikeri

Madikeri - Weekend Getaways from Bangalore

Located 266 kilometers away from Bangalore, Madikeri is beautifully situated in the centre of Coorg, a popular hill station in Karnataka, India. Also known as Mercara, Madikeri is a congested market town that is spread out alongside a series of ridges. It is a popular weekend getaway from Bangalore and is highly popular among trekking enthusiasts. Huthri, a weeklong festival that commemorates the start of the rice harvesting season, is celebrated in Madikeri around November and December. 

Pattadakal

Pattadakal - Weekend Getaways from Bangalore

Also known as the ‘City of Crown Rubies’, Pattadakal is a World Heritage Site famous for the Chalukya monuments. The town consists of 10 temples, each of which displays interesting architectural features that are a mix of different northern and southern Indian architectural forms.

9 out of 10 temples are Hindu temples and the remaining one is a Jain temple. The 7th and 8th century monuments still stand tall with the passage of time and attract tourists in numbers. It is located 443 kilometers away from Bangalore. 

Srirangapatna

Srirangapatnam - Weekend Getaways from Bangalore

Located 125 kilometers away from Bangalore, the fort town of Srirangapatna is steeped in bloody history and is built on an island straddling the Cauvery River. The former seat of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan’s power, Srirangapatnam was the de facto capital of south India during the 18th century. There are lots of resorts and lodges that make for budget accommodation in the town. 

Hassan

Hassan - Weekend Getaways from Bangalore

Located 189 kilometers away from Bangalore, Hassan is a quiet and peaceful town that dates back to the 11th century, during the Hoysala dynasty. It lasted from the 11th and the 14th century. The city is named after the Hindu goddess ‘Hassanamba’, the city’s goddess and presiding deity. Some people consider it the temple-architectural capital of Karnataka. 

The list of weekend Getaway from Bangalore ends here. However, if you do not wish to step outside your home, then you can also spend the day in the city at many of its popular hangout places. Some top places to visit in Bangalore include Cubbon Park, Lal Bagh, Vidhan Soudha and Tipu Sultan Palace.

Interested in these ideas? Plan your escape by selecting one of the 75 weekend Getaway from Bangalore at IndianHoliday.com


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Places To Visit In India In April

Summer vacations have just begun and if you are wondering which place to visit in India in April then look no further.

With the winter completely forgotten, April ushers in the bright sunny days of summer and simultaneously the hill stations regain popularity as  popular visit destinations for summer holidays in India.

Also school and colleges close down making it the best time for family holidays in India as well as trekking and adventure for adventurous youngsters.

India, the land of diversity, has a huge list of travel destinations and attractions that serve as great summer getaways. Here is a run-down of travel destinations that you could plan to visit to make your vacation a memorable one. 

Saputara, Gujarat

Saputara, Gujarat
A Lake in Saputara, the finest hill station Gujarat
Gujarat is more than just the Rann Utsav. If you are planning your summer holiday in India then, Saputara is a a good choice if you live in Gujarat or near Maharashtra. infact Saputara is one of the popular weekend getaways from Mumbai.

Situated at an altitude of 1000 m above the sea level, ‘Abode of Serpents’ is the literal meaning of Saputara as the town is positioned in Dangs, the footrest regions of Sahyadri Ranges. This hill station is a place to be visited throughout the year as the climate is cool and pleasant.

[Check out some awesome hill stations in India to plan your summer holidays]

According to the Hindu Mythology, it is said that in the dense Saputara forests, Lord Ram had spent his 11 years of exile. At the banks of Sarpaganga River, one can also find a deity of a serpent.

[Also check out wildlife in Gujarat]

The Serpent God is revered by the local tribes and the festival of Maha Shivaratri and Nag Panchami are celebrated with great show and vigor. The list of the popular attractions includes Saputara Lake, Pandava Caves, Sunset Point, and Echo Point.



Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh

Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh

Being associated with Lord Krishna, Vrindavan is one of the most popular destinations for pilgrims. Apart from religious significance, the natural beauty of the town also attracts tourists in great numbers throughout the year. The divinity of the destination is also one of the major aspects that win the heart of the visitors.

Apart from temples and religious sites, Vrindavan is highly popular for architectural splendors and gardens. Visitors can also indulge in shopping spree as there is a myriad of option available in devotional items such as incense sticks, devotional items made of brass, silver shoes for deities, silver tulasi necklaces and silver puja items.

Further, to make the trip a memorable experience, visitors can also plan for side trips to Mathura, Mahaban and Gokul.

Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu

Kodai Lake Tamil Nadu, Kodaikanal

Located at an elevation of 6,854 ft above the sea level, Kodaikanal is one of the gorgeous cities in the Western Ghats. Being the calm and charming hill station, Kodaikanal is one of the appropriate destinations for vacations for family and honeymooners.

The list of must-see attractions in Kodaikanal includes Kodai Lake, Bryant Park, Bear Shola Falls, Kurinji Andavar Temple, Green Valley View, Coaker's Walk, Kodai Astrophysical Observatory, Fairy Falls, Pillar Rocks and Silver Cascade. In addition to this, the hill-town is also a favorite travel destination for tourists wanting to indulge in entertainment activities such as rowing, playing golf, and a many more.

Check out this awesome 8 days summer tour package of South Indian hill stations at Indian Holiday.com to plan your trip to Kodaikanal, Ooty and Munnar... three of the best hill stations in South India.

Manali, Himachal Pradesh

A Yak in Manali
Yak ride is one of the popular activity in Manali
Manali is one of the popular hill-towns in Himachal Pradesh. Located at a close proximity of around 40 km from Kullu and about 250 km from Shimla, Manali provides exciting side-trips and excursions. People can also reach Manali through air as the nearest airport (Bhuntar) is situated at a distance of about 50 km. Visitors are mesmerized by the amazing views of the surrounding as the town is located at a height of 2000 m above the sea level.

The natural canvas is complimented with the snow-capped peaks. Town experiences cold weather throughout the year and thus, May to November are regarded as ideal months of the year to visit. Moreover, visitors interested in witnessing snowfall should plan to visit Manali during December to January. From here, there are a number of treks in Himalayas that adventurous souls could embark on.

[Here are some more ideas for holidays in Himachal Pradesh]

Gangtok, Sikkim


Lake Tsongmo, Gangtok
Gangtok in Sikkim is one of the top places for families for summer holidays in India

Nestled in the lap of snow-capped mountains of the Kanchenjunga, Gangtok is one of the prominent hill-stations to visit and enjoy a memorable vacation. Being at an elevation of around 5600 feet above the sea level, the town offers amazing views of the surrounding. The huge list of attractions has also won the hearts of the visitors.

The list includes the Deer Park, Dul Dul Chortena, Pemayangtse Monastery, Labrang Monastery, the Royal chapel - Tasuklakhang, Tsomgo Lake, Kechopari Lake, Tashi Viewpoint, and a lot more. The breathtaking views of the mighty Kanchenjunga also win the heart of the visitors. Travelers can also opt for an excursion to Changu Lake (35 km) from Gangtok, to ensure a memorable vacation.

[Check out packages in Sikkim to plan your summer vacation in North East at IndianHoliday.com]

Kausani, Uttarakhand

Terracced Fields, Kausani
Kausani is one of the top places for honeymoon in India in summer
Situated in a proximity to Nainital, Kausani is one of the charming hill-stations in Uttrakhand. With an elevation of 1890 meters above the sea level, the destination assures for captivating the minds of the visitors by providing excellent views of the surrounding. The natural canvas is complemented with dense forests and Kumaoun Himalayas in the backdrop.

Along with nature lovers, Kausani is also a favorite travel destination among honeymooners. Among the attractions in the town, Gandhi Ashram is one of the most popular and must-visit attractions.

Moreover, from Kausani, the snow-clad mountain peaks of the Kumaoun Himalayas are clearly visible. One can also spot some important Himalayan peaks such as Kedarnath, Nanda Devi, Chaukhamba, Panchchuli, Nanda Kot, and Trishul.

[Check out packages in Uttarakhand at IndianHoliday.com]

Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan

Tiger seeking respite from heat, Ranthambore National Park
A tiger seeking respite from the summer heat in a pond at Ranthambore National Park

If you are wondering why we have included this wildlife sanctuary as one of the top places to visit in India in April despite the fact that its really hot in April in Rajasthan then let us enlighten you a bit.

The secret to spotting tigers in any of the national parks in India is that as opposed to the best time to visit a sanctury which is mostly suggested weather wise- which is from November till February - the best time to spot a Royal Bengal Tiger is from March till May and that is why we have included Ranthambore, one of India's top wildlife sanctuaries in our list of things to do in India in April.

Do the jeep safari and embark on a wild trail accompanied by guide to catch the sight of elu a guide is also provided on request to help the visitors get the best of the information about the national park. The national park also provides shelter to a myriad of birds, including native and migratory. The national park is also a retreat for wildlife photographers as they get to capture some of the amazing shots in their camera.

[Check out Rajasthan tour packages to plan your holiday in India]

Nagaland, Assam
Nagaland, Assam

A picturesque hill-state, Nagaland is located in the extreme north east region of India. The state is surrounded by Assam in the west and Myanmar in the east, and thus is bestowed with rich cultural heritage. In spite of being a small state, there is huge footfall experienced throughout the year. Saramati (12600 ft) is the highest peak in the state.

Moreover, the rich flora and fauna also makes the state a must-visit travel destination for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. The list of major attractions in the state includes Japfu Peak, Dzukou Valley, State Museum, Khonoma, and more.

Pench National Park, Madhya Pradesh

Pench National Park – Land of Mowgli

The list of travel destinations to visit in April also includes Pench National Park. The national park is situated at the bottom of the Satpura Ranges in Madhya Pradesh and beside the wide stretch of the Pench River. The rich flora and fauna in the national park has attracted wildlife lovers from India and abroad to visit Pench.

The national park also provides shelter to various native and migratory birds, providing great opportunity for bird lovers to enjoy their trip. Wildlife and nature photographers are also delighted with the abundant chances to capture some of the best stills. Visitors can also opt for safari in the park to satisfy their love for wildlife.

Kalimpong, West Bengal

Kalimpong - hill station in West Bengal

The green meadows, dense virgin forests and undulating valleys mark the unique identity of Kalimpong. Located between the Deolo and Durpin Hill, at a height of 1250 m above the sea level, the visitors can enjoy the amazing views of the Khangchendzonga in the backdrop. During April, the destination has its own natural beauty to showcase and captivate the minds of the guests.

The list of must-visit places includes various view points, from where the visitors can enjoy magnificent views of down town and surrounding. Additionally, there also are orchid plantation, monasteries, museums, churches, mountains, and parks worth to be visited. Do not miss to shop. The local markets are flooded with traditional artifacts and similar items that could be purchased as souvenirs.

Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand

Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
Jim Corbett National Park - The oldest National Park in India
Formerly known as the Hailey National Park, Jim Corbett National Park is sprawled over an area of 1288 sq km. Being the oldest national park in India, the park experiences huge footfall from all parts of the globe. Apart from rich flora and fauna, the national park is also praised for its scenic beauty.

The national park is providing shelter to various conserved and endangered species of mammals, birds and plants. To ensure a memorable experience, the visitors can also enjoy safari in the park. Do not miss top take your camera along as you would get a lot of opportunities to capture some of the amazing shots of the inhabitants performing their activities in their natural environ.

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Mandu - The City Of Joy

“I know of no place so pleasant in climate and so pretty in scenery as Mandu during the rains.” ~ Emperor Jahangir.
In this "City of Joy", the lyrical voice of Rani Roopmati across the Narmada recalls the noble love tales of Baz Bahadur and Rani Rupmati.

The fortress of joy, Mandu is located at an elevation of 634 m in the Vindhya Range. The fortress is enclosed in the 37 km long battlements. In this well-defended plateau, one could find the wealth of palaces, mansions, pleasure pavilions, mosques and tombs. Thus, Mandu showcases structures that are considered as fine specimens of Afghan style of architecture.

During monsoon, the hill range of Mandu is at its best in natural scenery. The entire area is covered in lush greenery with number of torrents and brooks, gushing down into the narrow valley. The beauty of the place is further enhanced by numerous ponds and lakes dotted across.

Mandu is a celebration in stone, of life and joy,of the love of the poet-prince Baz Bahadur for his beautiful consort, Rani Roopmati.
View from Jahaz Mahal in Mandu
Every structure in Mandu is an architectural gem and these were built in the duration of hardly 125 years, i.e., between 1401 A.D to 1526 A.D. Structures such as massive Jami Massjid and Hoshang Shah’s tomb have also been an inspiration for the designing of glorious Taj Mahal.

Location:
A ruined city Mandu (Mandavgad) is located in the present-day Mandav area in the Dhar district. Mandu is situated at a distance of 35 km from the Dhar city in the Malwa region of western Madhya Pradesh. From Indore, this fortress town is located at a distance of 100 km.

History:
In the 10th century, Mandu was founded by Raja Bhoj and later in 1304, was occupied by the Muslim rulers of Delhi. In 1401, when the Mughals occupied Delhi, the governor of Malwa, Afghan Dilawar Khan, located his own little kingdom and subsequently golden era of Mandu began.

Mandu was established as an independent kingdom by Dilawar Khan, but it was his son, Hoshang Shah, who made efforts and shifted the capital to Mandu from Dhar. The legacy then was ruled by Hoshang’s son Mohammed, for one year and then was poisoned by the militaristic Mohammed Khalji, who thereafter ruled Mandu for 33 years.

In 1469, Mohammed Khalji was succeeded by his son Ghiyas-ud-din, who ruled for next 31 years. Thereafter, he was poisoned by his son Nasir-ud-din at the age of 80.

Bahadur Shah of Gujarat occupied Mandu in the year 1526. In 1534, Mandu was reoccupied by Mallu Khan after ousting Mughal prince Humayun. After 10 more years of invasions and feuds, Baz Bahadur emerged as the ruler of Mandu. But, later in 1561, Baz Bahadur fled Mandu instead of facing advancing troops of Akbar.

Mandu, after being added to the Mughal Empire, was considered as a significant degree of independence. In 1732, Mandu was occupied by the Marathas. Thereafter, the capital of Malwa was again shifted back to Dhar, and the fall in fortunes of Mandu had begun with the running away of Baz Bahadur, which became a drop.

Jal Mahal,Mandu

Attractions:
Splendid Palaces, mosques, monuments and tombs mark the identity of Mandu. These attractions are broadly categorized into three groups, namely, The Royal Enclave, Rewa Kund Group, and the Village Group. The entry to any of these groups requires a nominal fee of INR 100 and INR 5 for foreigners and Indians respectively. Apart from this, there are smaller ruins dotted across other regions of Mandu.

  • Royal Enclave Group: This is the most extensive and impressive group of attractions in Mandu. This group includes a collection of Palaces, which were built by different rulers around 3 tanks. The multi-level Jahaz Mahal (Ship Palace) is one of the major highlights of the group. This used to house Sultan Ghiyas-ud-din-Khilji's substantial harem of women.
  • Rewa Kund Group: This group lies 4 km to the south, and features Palace of Baz Bahadur and Rupmati's Pavilion. You can enjoy the spectacular view of sunset and overlook the valley. The tragic and legendary romantic tale of Mandu ruler Baz Bahadur and beautiful Hindu singer Rupmati make this place popular among visitors.
  • Village Group: This group is located in the heart of Mandu. There is a mosque, which is regarded as the finest specimen of Afghan style of architecture in India. The Hoshang Shah's Tomb is also featured in this group. These both attractions served as the source of inspiration for the construction of the Taj Mahal centuries later. The Ashrafi Mahal is also worth a visit due to its detailed Islamic pillar work.

How to Reach:
  • By Air: Indore Airport is the nearest airport to reach Mandu. After arriving at the airport, you may hire a taxi or cab to reach Mandu.
  • By Rail: Indore Railway Station is the nearest railhead to reach Mandu. There are taxis and cabs available for hire to reach Mandu.
  • By Road: There are 4 buses that operate from Indore to Bhopal via Dhar. To reach Mandu, you need to change at Dhar. 

Travel Tip:
Mandu (Madhya Pradesh) is an ideal destination for the visitors looking for peace and relaxation. The best way to explore the place is cycling; cycles are easily available on rent. It is advised to plan a leisure trip of 3 or 4 days to explore Mandu. Mandu's picturesque beauty is at full bloom during monsoon making it one of the best places to visit in India during monsoon.

Side Trip:
The visitors can plan to visit the Bagh Caves, situated on the bank of River Baghini at a distance of 50 km from Mandu. These caves, date back to the 5th-6th centuries AD, are a series of 7 Buddhist rock cut caves. The exquisite murals and sculptures make this attraction worth a visit. On a one day trip, you can also visit Maheshwar, the Varanasi of Central India.

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Amarnath Yatra by Helicopter 2014 | Helicopter Service from Baltal

The annual pilgrimage to Amarnath cave will soon commence. This write up talks about why and who should choose Amarnath Yatra by Helicopter besides underlining the religios significance and important things to keep in find while planning for Baba Barfani yatra.

Dates for Shri Amarnathji Yatra 2014
This holy pilgrimage will commence from 28th June, 2014. All the preparations for this annual event is done by the administration and government of Jammu & Kashmir.  The temple is located at a height of 13,000 feet, and therefore high altitude illness and the effects of extreme cold are quite common here.

Amarnath Helicopter Yatra from Baltal
Amarnath Yatra Helicopter Services from Baltal are available for elderly, families and those short on time
Despite of such tedious and challenging trek, the indispensable faith of pilgrims inspires them to travel up to the cave temple of Baba Barfaani - as the ice form of lingam is referred to. However, tourists who are running short of time, the Amarnath Yatra by Helicopter tour package is the best way to reach the cave temple in a shortest possible time.

Religious Significance of Amarnath Yatra

Lingam formation at Amarnath Cave
The snow lingam formation gives the name Baba Barfani to Lord Shiva's manifestation at Amarnath Cave
“Attainment of Moksha is guaranteed if one completes the holy journey to Amarnath”, this is the belief that invites millions of devotees from all around the world to the sacred cave of Amarnath. Amarnath Cave is the mystical abode of Lord Shiva nestled amidst the snowy peaks of the Himalayas. It is one of the most revered pilgrimages in India. This Yatra organized by the government of Jammu and Kashmir between the months of June and August every year.

Age Limit for Amarnath Yatra
Ideally, age should not be a barrier between pilgrims and their revered deity. But keeping in mind, the challenging terrains, high altitude and extreme cold conditions, the Shri Amarnath Ji Shrine Board (SASB) has barred below 13 years old and above 75 years of age for Amarnath Yatra 2014. Also, women with 6 weeks pregnancy would not be allowed to undertake this year’s Amarnath Yatra.

Reaching the trekking points for beginning Amarnath Cave Yatra
The nearest railway station in broad gauge is Jammu Railway Station. From Jammu, there are two traditional routes that lead to the Amarnath Cave. One is Pahalgam to Amarnath Cave and the other more popular is from Baltal to Amarnath cave.

How to reach from Pahalgam to Amarnath
Pahalgam is the starting point of Amarnath Yatra and is situated 96 kilometers north of Srinagar. On the way to the holy cave of Pahalgam, pilgrims have to travel to Chandanwari, which is just 16 kilometers away from Pahalgam and from hear to Panjtarni where the route from Baltal merge with Pahalgam route.

How to reach from Baltal to Amarnath
Baltal is well-connected to Jammu via road. Once you’ll arrive in Baltal, the journey to the holy cave is just 14 kilometers away by foot or on ponies & dandies.  En-route Baltal, the pilgrims can enjoy the scenic beauty of Kashmir, which is heaven on earth.

Why Amarnath Yatra from Baltal is Popular?
Amarnath Yatra from Baltal to Cave is the popular route for Amarnath Yatra due to its proximity with the cave. The route being shorter, the pilgrims can return to Baltal and even go back to Srinagar on the same day after having darshan especially if the yatris opt for helicopter service. The Amarnath Cave distance from Baltal is about 16 kilometers which can be covered in about 4 hours.

Benefits of Amarnath Yatra by Helicopter

Amarnath Yatra by Helicopter was launched by the government of Jammu and Kashmir in 2004. It is a perfect option for those pilgrims who are either running short of time or averse to the usual trekking route due to health issues.

Different packages offered for the holy Amarnath Yatra by Helicopter could include airport pick-up, accommodation, VIP Darshan and sightseeing excursions to Srinagar, Pahalgam and Gulmarg for a complete experience of holidays in Kashmir.

Amarnath Yatra by Helicopter (from Baltal)
The helicopter service from Baltal goes as far as Panjtarni from where the Amarnath Cave is just 6 kilometers walk.

Pilgrims at the entrance of Amarnath Cave
Pilgrims watching the sky as helicopters do the round: Amarnath Yatra 2014
Cost of Amarnath Yatra by Helicopter
The ticket price for Helicopter service is disclosed each year by Shri Amarnath Ji Shrine Board (SASB). The shrine board has collaborated with Pawan Hans Limited and Global Vectra Helicorp Ltd for providing helicopter service from Baltal to Panjtarni and Himalayan Heli Services Private Ltd for helicopter services from Pahalgam-to Panjtarni. 

The Baltal to Panjtarni helicopter fares are decided on the basis of competitive bidding by helicopter service provider.The helicopter service from Baltal to Amarnath takes around 30 minutes. You could find details and pricing of Amarnath Yatra by Helicopter at the website of Indianholiday.com

Online Booking for Amarnath Yatra by Helicopter 2014

You could book your Amarnath Yatra 2014 packages directly from indianholiday.com for a hassle free planning and execution of your pilgrimage tour.

Preparation for Amarnath Yatra
The journey to Amarnath Cave is very tough and requires a lot of physical and mental preparation. Hence, these few basic travel tips for Amarnath Yatra will help you in getting prepared for Amarnath Yatra.

1. Since the Amarnath Yatra entails excessive trekking to heights such as 14,000 feet, pilgrims need to be physically and mentally fit.

2. Pilgrims must carry warm clothes in adequate amount. It is also useful to wear a good set of body warmers.

3. Amarnath Yatra is physically exhausting, therefore, it is advised to carry some easy to perishable eatables such as candy, dates, juices, biscuits and dry juices to power oneself along the route.

4. Alcohol and smoking is strictly avoidable.

5. Don’t walk swiftly. Halt for rest if you feel tired.

6. Relax at designated spots only. There are several dangerous spots that are marked appropriately. You must obey these warnings.

7. The route to Amarnath Yatra is narrow at places and is hardly traversed by humans and ponies. You need to walk to the side of the mountains and leave way for laden ponies.

Here are some more tips for planning Amarnath Yatra and how to do registration for the yatra

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Top 10 Places To Visit In India In March Plus A Bonus

March, the month of the spring season, makes everything in the surroundings appear fresh and clean. Blossoms all around make the place appear colorful and vibrant. Thus, there are various travel destinations in India that are best known for their pleasant climate in the month of March.

Thus, here is a small rundown depicting some of the major tourist destinations in India that are worth a visit during the month of March.

Lakshadweep Islands

Lakshadweep - The tiniest Union Territory of India with 12 atolls, 3 reefs and 5 submerged bank.
Lakshadweep - The tiniest Union Territory of India with 12 atolls, 3 reefs and 5 submerged bank.

Lakshadweep, formerly popular as the Laccadives, located around 400 km from the western coast of India in the Arabian sea, is one of the union territories of the country. The 12 islands make it a beautiful travel destination in India.

The major highlights are 5 submerged banks, three beautiful reefs, mosques, villages and more. In addition to this, the travel destination is also popular amidst adventure seekers as there are various water sports and activities organized for tourists.

Shillong

Shillong has beautiful lakes and waterfalls, and is set in pine forests and green mountains.
Shillong has beautiful lakes and waterfalls, and is set in pine forests and green mountains.
In the north-eastern region of India, Shillong is one of the beautiful travel destinations. The capital city is also acclaimed as ‘Scotland of the East’ for beholding a likeness to that of the highlands of Scotland. Additionally, ‘the abode of clouds’ is also another popular name of the city.

The pollution-free environment wins the heart of the guests. Tall pine conifers and pineapple shrubs add a unique charm to the place. The list of major attractions include Gunner's Falls, Sweet Falls, Crinoline Falls, Shillong Peak, Dumpeep Peak, Umiam or Barapani Lake, Ward Lake, and Grotto Church. ‘Gleneagle of the East’, the Golf Course at Shillong is also one of the must-visit attractions.

Darjeeling

Darjeeling- One of the best hill stations in the state of West Bengal, India.

In West Bengal, Darjeeling is one of the beautiful travel destinations. In Tibetan, Darjeeling stands for ‘the place of the thunderbolt’. The town is also popular as ‘queen of hills’ and the toy train ride is reminiscing to the glorious old-world charm. During the toy-train ride, the visitors onboard can enjoy the incredible site of Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga, lush greens and the cascading rivers.

The town also welcomes adventure seekers as they can indulge in various activities such as river rafting, trekking and mountaineering. Various Hindu Temples and Buddhist Monasteries are also a few major places to visit in the list of tourist attractions. The visitors can buy finest blend of tea, curio carpets and Himalayan handicrafts as souvenirs.

Also check out our feature on best places to go for summer holidays in India

Andaman & Nicobar Islands

Andaman & Nicobar Islands - A veritable Garden of Eden and a naturalist’s heaven.

Andaman & Nicobar Islands, a cluster of 572 islets, located at the confluence of Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal, is another Union Territory of India. During the British Era, the islands were known as ‘Kalapani’.

The present scenario has made the destination a favorite choice for honeymooners. Along with enjoy quality time at the pristine beaches, the visitors can indulge in various exciting water sports and activities.

Interested in vacation in Andaman? Check out Andaman Island tour package.

Mahabaleshwar

 Verdant Green Valley - Mahabaleshwar
To escape the scorching summer, Mahabaleshwar is a great place to visit in the month of March. Located in the verdant valley of the Western Ghats, the hill station is beautifully positioned amidst the Sahyaddri ranges.

The natural setting of the location makes the guests enjoy vacation in a dream location. The destination has also earned the title of ‘Queen of Maharashtra's Hill Stations’ as it attracts holidaymakers, filmmakers, adventure enthusiasts and peace seekers. Additionally, the visitors can also opt for a side trip to Panchgani for a memorable vacation experience.

Kaziranga National Park

Kaziranga National Park - a world heritage site, the park hosts two-thirds of the world's Great One-horned rhinoceros.
The Kaziranga National Park is a must visit for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. The national park is majorly famed for providing shelter to the world’s largest endangered population of one-horned rhinoceros.

The rich flora and fauna, and natural setting of the place win the heart of the visitors. The national park has also been enlisted amidst the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. There are about 35 species of mammalian, including 15 species of mammals that are regarded as threatened as per the IUCN Red List. The list of attractions to be visited in and around the park includes Bokakhat, Behora, Kakochang Falls and Deopahar.

Also check out some of the top national parks in India.

Hampi

Hampi - UNESCO World Heritage Site
Hampi, the 14th century charming town, is built on the shores of the River Tungabhadra. There are three major temple complexes that are to be explored to get the best of the Hampi tour. The complexes are named as The Virupaksha Temple, the Vittala Temple, and the Palace of King in Hampi’s ruins. Badami, located at a distance of 140 km from Hampi, offers the opportunity to visit the small hamlet Aihole en-route.

In addition to this, the list of must-visit attractions includes Durga Temple, the Lad Khan Temple, Ravalphadi Cave and the Buddhist Temple.

Rameshwaram

Rameshwaram - the part of Char Dham Piligimage & considered to be one of the holiest places in India to Hindus.

Rameshwaram is popularly known as the ‘Varanasi of the South’. The town is situated in the Gulf of Mannar on the eastern side of the islands. The town is also regarded as a major pilgrimage destination for Shaivites and Vaishnavaites. The town is also popular as Lord Rama performed thanksgiving rituals to Lord Shiva post his victory over the demon king Ravana. Ramanathaswamy Temple is one of the major attractions in the town.

The temple is best known for its 1200 massive granite columns and excellent specimen of Dravidian style of architecture. Agnitheertham is another notable attraction, which is popular for the place where Lord Rama worshipped Lord Shiva after killing Ravana. Pilgrims also tale bath in the holy shrine.

McLeodganj

Mcleod Ganj - A well known learning centre of Tibetan culture, rituals and Buddhism.
McLeodganj has gained huge popularity worldwide after the visit of Dalai Lama in 1960. The village hosts various Tibetan settlements, including religious education and different rehabilitation centers. The village is also praised as an important Buddhist center and hosts numerous Buddhist Gompas.

The list of attractions in McLeodganj includes various ancient Jain and Hindu Temples. The Tibetan culture and crafts also win the heart of the visitors. The handicrafts, garments, thangkas, carpets, etc., make great souvenirs.

Trek to Triund in Dharamsala is one of the most popular activity among tourists and visitors in McLeod Ganj.

Wayanad

Wayanad -  The very unique terrain of Wayanad provide for exceptional adventure experiences.

In Kerala, Wayanad is one of the beautiful districts praised for its location amidst lovely landscape. The district is also known as the home to a few of the oldest tribes that are untouched by civilization. The major attributes of the district include sprawling plantations of coffee, tea, rubber, pepper, and cardamom. Tribal village of Wayanad also makes an important tourist attraction in Kerala.

Thus, to make the best of the vacation, do not miss to visit Vythiri, Lakkidi, Kalpetta, Soochipara Falls and Banasura Dam. Elephant safari at Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary is also an important ‘to-do’ activity. 

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Naukuchiatal

Naukuchiatal - Best hill station in Nainital

Naukuchiatal, located in Uttarakhand, is considered as a great weekend getaway from Delhi. Situated at a height of 1220 m, the picturesque location is praised for its peaceful environ. Moreover, the beautiful panorama of the hill station wins the hearts of nature lovers.

Here, the visitors get to enjoy the best of the nature. One can also enjoy a small road trip to reach Naukuchiatal as there is proper road connectivity available via NH 74. The hill-town is also dubbed as ‘lake of nine corners’.

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