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Top 10 Summer Festivals in India That You Should Not Miss

India is known to be the land of festivals. And, when summers arrive, they bring along summer vacations. Thus, it is not only about scorching heat but also about happy faces. Summer festivals in India add a fun charter to everyone’s life. Folk dance, music, interesting rituals and people clad in colorful attires light up the groggy atmosphere. Such fairs and festivals offer a sneak-peak into the vibrant culture and heritage of the country.

Here is the list of popular summer festival in India:

1. Gangaur – A flamboyant celebration

Gangaur - Summer festival in India

One of the most important festivals in Rajasthan, Gangaur is celebrated all around the state but mainly in the ‘Pink City’, Jaipur. It is also celebrated in some parts of West Bengal, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh. The festival starts on the day, after Holi and continue for around 18 days. During the festival, married women dress-up in best of their clothes, and worship Goddess Gauri (Parvati), the spouse of Lord Shiva, for a happy married life.

Married ladies and sometimes even unmarried girls keep fast during the festival days. There are processions of camels and elephants, and celebrations with dance, music, food stalls and fireworks on the last day of the festival. It is said that Goddess Parvati came to her husband’s house on this day.Read More...

Location: Rajasthan, some parts of West Bengal, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh.
Dates: According to Hindu calendar, it starts on the 1st day of Chaitra, and continues for 18 days. 30th March – 14th April 2017 and 20th March onwards in 2018.
Highlights: Colorful processions, Goddess worship, and folk dances

2. Baisakhi – Starting of new year

Baisakhi - Summer festival in India

Also known as Vaisakhi, Baisakhi is largely celebrated by people of Sikhism and Hinduism. One of the most popular summer festivals in India, it is commemorated by the harvest of rabi crops by the Punjabi farmer community. On the day of the festival, people adorn themselves in new clothes, visit Gurudwaras, cook lip-smacking delicacies and attend fairs. There is traditional dance and music too like gidda and bhangra performances during colorful processions.

Baisakhi holds religious as well as historical significance. It is mainly celebrated in North India. This was the day in the year 1699 when the order of ‘Khalsa’ was organized by Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Guru of the Sikhs. Langars are also organized all across.Read More...

Location: North India mainly Punjab and Haryana
Dates: 13th / 14th April, every year
Highlights: Sowing of rabi seeds, and special fairs

3. Chithirai – Soak-in the spirit of spirituality

Chithirai - Summer festival in India

An annual festival in Madurai, Chithirai festival is organized at the magnificent Meenakshi Amman temple. Also known as Chithirai Thiruvizha, this festival brings enthusiasm all across the southern region of the country. A grand fair is also organized. There are sparkling processions where golden chariot carrying idols of deities are pulled, accompanied by devotional songs, chants and drum beats. Sweets and incense sticks are also offered.

Other highlights are exciting fair, decorated temples, folk performances and stalls serving street food varieties. This festival is a wonderful amalgam of entertainment and devotion. Stall of shopping at Pudumandapam, a 17th Century monument in the city, are organized. There are a number of rides also. Even the locals dress as gods and various mythical characters.Read More

Location: Madurai, Tamil Nadu
Dates: 29th April- 5th May
Highlights: Colorful processions, Wedding celebration of Goddess Meenakshi (Parvati) and Lord Sundareswarar (Shiva)

4. Moatsu – A feast of delicious food, fun, and more

Moatsu - Summer festival in India

Moatsu is a 3-day event that is celebrated in the first week of May by the Ao Naga trial community in Nagaland. This event marks fun, joy, happiness and excitement in the people of the community. On this day, the tribals repair their houses, clear their fields, sow fresh seeds, and clean water wells. There is enthusiasm all around.

During the three days of the festival, there is eating, drinking, tribal music and dance. The main idea is to invoke the blessings of the Lord. People celebrate by making huge groups. Rice beer too is brewed in huge quantities. Tribals adorn themselves in new clothes during the celebrations. The whole atmosphere is relaxed.Read More...

Location: Mokokchung district villages (Chuchuyimlang village) Nagaland
Dates: 1st – 3rd May
Highlights: The event of Sangpangtu, where a huge fire is lit. Men and kids gather around the fire where they are served with meat and wine by the women.

5. Mount Abu Summer Festival – A miscellany of shades

Mount Abu - Summer festival in India

The only hill town in Rajasthan, Mount Abu bustles with activity during its 2-day event of Mount Abu Summer Festival. With Lake Nakki in the front, the rugged mountains form a wonderful background. The festival is organized by the Tourism Department of Rajasthan and is a treat for cultural aficionados. The atmosphere is wonderful. There are a number of cultural performances, competitions and entertainment options.

The other highlights of Mount Abu Summer Festival are Rajasthani folk music and dance, such as Daph, Ghoomar and Gair dances. Sham-e-Qawwali is a must-attend performance for some soulful music and singing. There are horse races, boat races, CRPF band show, Matka race, puppet shows, and tug-of-war etc. An amazing display of fireworks marks the end of the festival.Read More...

Location: Mount Abu, Rajasthan
Dates: 9th – 10th May
Highlights: Gair and Ghoomar dance performances, and Sham-e-Qawwali

6. Ooty Summer Festival – A wonderful extravaganza

Ooty - Summer festival in India

One of the most popular summer festivals of India, Ooty Summer Festival is a bouquet of various interesting events, organized in the Nilgiris. Some of the highlights are cultural programs, Flower Show, Dog Show, Fruit Show, Vegetable Show, Spice show, boat race, a vintage car rally, painting exhibition, photo competition, hot air balloon show, marathon race, eco-trekking program vintage car rally etc.

The event is organized by the Tamil Nadu Department of Tourism and the National Ministry of Tourism. Competitions and shows are organized at different venues such as Ooty Botanical Garden, Sim’s Park, Government Arts College ground, Nehru Park etc.Read More...

Location: Ooty, Tamil Nadu
Dates: Month of May
Highlights: Flower show at Ooty Botanical Garden, Competitions and other shows at different venues

7. Yercaud Summer Festival – The Carnival of hues

Yercaud - Summer festival in India

Celebrated in Yercaud, the 3-day Yercaud Summer Festival attracts locals as well as tourists from all across the state and the neighboring state. Floral arrangements done by the Horticulture Department using more than one lakh flowers is one of the highlights. The venue of this event most of the times is Anna’s Park.

The peaceful towns become lively during this Summer Festival. Some of the highlights are folk dance performances, horse riding, dog shows, flower competition, rangoli competition, photo exhibitions, and cookery contest. Cultural shows are also organized.

Location: Yercaud, Tamil Nadu
Dates: 31st May- 2nd June
Highlights: Floral arrangements made from using 1 lakh flower

8. Shimla Summer Festival – A fiesta in the summer capital

Shimla - Summer festival in India

Organized in the month of May/June, Shimla Summer Festival marks the advent of the summer season. The hill town opens its arms to welcome tourists. This is a 10- day festival wherein the town bustles with dance, music, shows and various kinds of competitions. This is an ideal time to get a sneak-peak into the local folk art and music. There are festivities all around.

Some of the highlights of the Shimla Summer Festival are family games poster making competitions, local handicraft exhibitions, ice skating shows, photography contest, flower show, food exhibitions, ice skating competitions, and live theater etc. There are live performances too by local as well as popular artists.Read More

Location: Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
Dates: May / June
Highlights: Shows, Competitions, and Himachali Film festival

9. Sikkim Summer Festival – The exciting summer celebration

Sikkim - Summer festival in India

Sikkim Summer Festival is a month-long extravaganza amid the pristine snow-capped Himalayas. Local food festivals, cultural shows, white water rafting in River Teesta, films on Sikkim tourism, Sikkimese folk dances, and local handicraft exhibition. Do not miss attending flower shows to show a display of colorful of primulas, rhododendron, and orchids.

The scenery of Gangtok is going to cast a spell on you. This is the peak flowering season too and thus there is color all around. This is basically a five-day event, alluring people from all across. Get a glimpse of the culture of the state as there are cultural shows also. Bird watching, trekking, and mountain biking are also offered during the Sikkim summer festival.Read More...

Location: Gangtok, Sikkim
Dates: May
Highlights: Local food festival, Water rafting in Teetsa River, Mountain Biking, Yak safari ride in the outskirts of the city

10. Hemis Festival – Adding colors to the cold desert

Hemis - Summer festival in India

The largest and the richest Buddhist monastery in Ladakh, Hemis Monastery every year hosts Hemis festival, one of the most popular summer festivals in India. This 2-day event is a state holiday and falls on the 10th day of the Tibetan lunar month. It is also the birthday of the founder of Tibetan Buddhism, Padmasambhava. During the event, people dress themselves up in traditional attire. While women wear lots of jewelry and colorful headgears, men wear cummerbunds.

One of the prime attractions is Cham dance, which is a sacred masked dance performance, done by the lamas. Their dance is accompanied by cymbals, long horns, and drum beats. This performance is linked to Tantric form of Buddhism.Read More

Location: Hemis Monastery, Ladakh
Dates: July
Highlights: Chams dance or Mask dances by lamas of the Monastery

Related Post:
Best Places to go for Summer Holidays in India 
Top summer destinations in India 

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Comprehensive Guide to the Holi Festival in India

A carnival of colors, Holi is one of the most popular festivals in India, which is loved by one and all. This festival is loved not only by Indians but also by foreigners due to its lively feel. The vibrancy and excitement of various colors, water tubs, water balloons, water weapons, great music and tasty food is absolutely infectious.

Here is all about Holi festival in India that you might want to know:

Holi Festival of Colors in India

When is Holi Celebrated?

This Hindu festival is celebrated in the starting of the Spring season. According to the traditional Hindu Panchanga, it is celebrated on the day of Phalguna Purnima (full moon) that is also called Dol Purnima in some states. This year Holi is on 13th March 2017, Monday. The festival falls mostly in the month of March and is mainly celebrated in India and Nepal.

When is Holi Celebrated?

Why is Holi Celebrated?

This festival signifies the victory of love and peace over evil. Legends state that Demon King Hiranyakashyap and his demon sister Holika were won over by his son Prahalad who had a firm devotion in Lord Vishnu. Holi celebration starts in the night with Holika Ddehen (bonfire) before the main festivity and on the next day there is a play of colors, music, food and dance. 

Why is Holi Celebrated

What is the Significance of Colors on Holi?

On this day, family and friends smear each other’s faces with gulaal (powder colors) and water. Children use pichkaris (water guns) and water balloons. There is music, dance, and gujiyas, a special sweet made during this festival. This festival is celebrated by people of all ages.

What is the Significance of Colors on Holi?

Religious Implication of Holi

In the same manner as other Hindu festivals, this festival also as a religious significance. There are a few stories behind the origin of Holi but the most popular one is the legend of Prahlada and his father Hiranyakashipu, who was a demon king.

Hundreds of years ago, there was a young boy named Prahlad who was a staunch devotee of Lord Vishnu. All day, he kept chanting his praises. Contrary to this, his father Hiranyakashipu was a demon king. He considered himself to be the supreme power and hated all gods. He asked his son several times to forget Lord Vishnu and worship him. But young Prahlad was never scared of his father and was completely devoted to the Lord.

Holika Dahan
One day, the king lost his temper and challenged his son to prove the presence of the Lord or his life would be taken away. Hiranyakashipu’s demon sister Holika was brought to his court. She had a boon that nothing could burn her. A pyre was lit, she sat in the fire while making Prahlad sit in her lap. The young boy kept chanting god’s name. In the end, she was burnt to ashes and nothing happened to the boy. Finally Lord appeared from one of the pillars in the incarnation of Narsimha (half lion half human) and killed the demon king. This was the victory of goodness over evil.

Rituals of Holi around India

The festivities of Holi expand in the duration of 2 days. The first day is Choti Holi when in the evening Holika Dahan is performed. And, on the second day, Badi Holi or Rang ki Holi is celebrated. People of all ages and castes become a part of this joyous celebration.

Rituals of Holi around India

Here are some rituals related to this festival:
  • At a number of places including Assam, on the day of Chhoti Holi, people play using mud and dirt. There is bonfire in the evening, prepared at the intersection of two roads, called Chauraha. It is done for removal of all evil, representing Holika.
  • On the day of Holi, people dress up in simple generally white clothes and mingle with their loved to play with gulaal and water. Some also fill colored water in balloons to throw at each other.
  • In Uttar Pradesh state, Mathura (the birth place of Lord Krishna) and Vrindavan (the place where he spent his childhood and teenage) are extremely popular for their holi celebration. The festivities are around a week long including lath mar holi, phool ki holi, rang ki holi, pani ki holi and so on. During this time, devotees of the Lord from all across the country land-up here. In Mumbai (Maharashtra), Matka-phod holi is celebrated with great fervor.
  • Barsana (UP), Delhi, Shantiniketan (West Bengal), Anandpur Sahib (Punjab), Hampi (Karnataka), Jaipur (Rajasthan), and Purulia (West Bengal) are the other popular places known for holi celebrations.
  • Food is one of the best parts of any festival. Some of the special food items on Holi are Gujiya, Puran Poli, Bhang and Thandai. People exchange sweets with each other on this day.
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12 Best Eco Friendly Hotels & Resorts in India

Whenever we get tired of our daily city life, we yearn to go close to nature. The concept of co-friendly tourism in India captures the same emotion. From past many years, such hotels have been established that offer their guests a chance to feel close to nature, without compromising on modern comforts.

An eco-friendly resort or ecotel is an interesting concept, comprising of nature resorts, tented accommodation, Ayurveda retreats, special initiatives and so on. This is an absolutely refreshing concept. These properties are committed to their duty towards nature, use consumption bulbs, are made of recycled or eco-friendly materials. For a rejuvenating experience, here is a list of 12 best eco-friendly hotels and resorts in India:

Vythiri Village, Wayanad – Housing the first artificial waterfall in India

Lying at an altitude of 2600 feet above the sea level, amid the lofty hills, Vythiri village resort, spreads on 22 acres of verdant green jungle that has vegetable gardens. One the best treehouse resorts in India, it has 200 accommodations, games rooms, health center, convention hall, multi-cuisine restaurants, conference room and so on.

Open your eyes to the chirping of the birds, savor the wonderful views of the gushing waterfall and the Chembra peak, relish the lip-smacking delicacies of the local cuisine, and rejuvenate yourself with Ayurveda therapies and so on. Have a comfortable stay in rooms, villas, cottages or suites, well-appointed with world-class facilities.

Indulge in activities such as archery, cycling, zip lining, trekking, stream walk, yoga, and morning walk. Get rid of all your tiredness around the bonfire. A meal at the traditional Kerala houseboat restaurant would be memorable. The artificial there-tiered waterfall is the major attraction here. Relax yourself with a spa session.

[Read more about Kerala and tour packages]

Coconut Lagoon, Kumarakom- Hidden treasure for tourists

With the Lake Vembanad traversing its landscape, Coconut Lagoon resort is a part of a tiled roof bungalow, which supposedly has a part that is 400 years old. The property features villas, which are recreated tharawads of Kerala, which are made by local craftsmen. The décor too is vintage with some traditional artifacts. The resort is accessible by boat and looks like Kerala countryside.
An amazing feature of the resort is its composting plant, which converts waste into manure, which is later used in solar-powered boats for offering rides to the guests. They also have an organic farm and its products are used in the resort’s kitchen to prepare freshest of meals.

Guests can partake in different types of activities such as bird watching, canoeing, coconut husking, backwater cruises, sunset cruises, bird watching, Ayurveda massages, and watching a special Kalari wrestling match in the morning. Savor sumptuous food delights of varied cuisines.

Nameri Eco Camp, Nameri National Park- Getaway for nature-lovers

Founded 22 years back, Nameri eco camp is one of the oldest nature camps in north-east India. Accommodation here is offered in the form of tents with colorful fabrics, well-made beds, attached bathrooms, and thatched-roofs. There is another bigger tents with dorm beds. At the open-side restaurants, enjoy lip-smacking meals, prepared by trained cooks.

Enjoy panoramic views of the clear skies and the Eastern Himalayas, and listen to the gushing of River Nameri. One of the best activities in Nameri is bird watching that has as many as 370 species of birds. You can also enjoy trekking. If you love water sports, enjoy river rafting in River Jia Bhoroli or wildlife spotting in a rubber dinghy.  Visit the nearby villages to catch a glimpse of their lifestyle.

Kipling Camp, Kanha National Park- A mix of luxury and wilderness

Located in the buffer zone of Kanha National Park, Kipling camp was founded in 1982 by Anne and the late Bob Wright, two celebrated wildlife conservationists. One of the finest wildlife camps in India, it is one of the oldest ones in the region. Shamiana is the on-site restaurant cum bar where Indian and World fares are served. Special meals can be planned at different venues.

The rooms and cottages here have been built using indigenous materials and come with all contemporary comforts. One of the special features here is a sewage treatment plan, which filters water by using sand and other natural elements.

There is a lot to do. Read books at the well-stocked library. Lie down on the hammock to enjoy the lush scenery. Enjoy a relaxing Ayurvedic massage or a game of volleyball. The resort also features a wildlife-theme souvenir shop. The evenings are made special by tribal dance performances or screening of wildlife documentaries.

Rainforest Retreat at Mojo Plantation, Coorg- Up close and personal with nature

Mingling eco-tourism with environmental education and sustainable agriculture, Rainforest retreat at Mojo Plantation was founded by Sujata, and Anurag Goel, a botanist couple, in the year 1994. One of the most picturesque eco lodges in Coorg, this place offers memorable trekking and birding experiences to its guests.

Closed in the monsoon months, from July 15 to August 30, this retreat has deluxe and plantation cottages, tents, which are made using nature-friendly materials and are powered by 12V solar lighting. Lodges are also available for long-term rental. This award-winning eco-lodge uses its organic waste in biogas plants for electrifying its kitchen. The rest of its used as a fertilizer.

One can enjoy interesting activities such as Mojo plantation tour, trekking, bird watching, sightseeing including Golden Temple at Kushalnagar, and visit to Dubare Elephant camp. Educational camps for school groups are also organized here.

Barefoot at Havelock Resort, Andamans- Refreshing break at beach-side jungle resort

Inspired from the pristine beauty of Andamans, Barefoot at Havelock resort is the only beach-side jungle resort in India. The resort is placed amid the rainforest of Havelock beach and comprises of 31 stylishly made cottages, thatch tents, and cottages, filled with world-class conveniences for a comfortable stay. The only source of water at the resort is natural spring field and rainwater harvesting. Relax amid nature, away from city chaos.

The resort has its own farm. Freshest of poultry and seafood is used in making tasty meals of international standards here. It is one of the few Indian places where courses in diving are offered. The on-site spa is pure bliss and absolutely rejuvenating.

Kayaking, snorkeling, nature walks, fishing and scuba diving are some of the other activities at which the guests can try their hands. Stay surrounded by clear skies, colorful creeks, white sandy beaches, and sparkling lagoons.

Wildernest Nature Resort,  Goa- A getaway with the family

Showing a different side of the beach state of Goa, Wildernest nature resort spreads in an area of 450 acres, which joins Mhadei and Bhimgad Wildlife sanctuaries, at an altitude of 800 m above the sea level. The resort offers breathtaking views of the verdant Swapnagandha Valley and the cascading Vazra falls. The resort gives employment to locals and uses solar power.

The resort has 16 eco-friendly cottages built from local materials. Enjoy a pleasant stay amid world-class facilities and amenities. The resort bans the use of plastic, conserves energy and recycles wastes. Boasting of tranquil surroundings, the resort is a multi-cuisine restaurant to meet your food needs.
Enjoy activities such as nature walks, bonfires, folk dances, and village excursions. Hike up to the Machan to enjoy bird watching and wildlife spotting. The resort also has an interesting souvenir shop. Enjoy a stay in the lap of nature.

The Dune Eco Village and Spa, Pondicherry- A nature’s retreat

Spread in an area of 35 acres of land, the Dune Eco Village and Spa is a stunning beachfront property that is placed just north of Pondicherry. An amazing feature of this resort is that it has 55 well-equipped bungalow and all the bungalows have different interiors as well as exteriors. The accommodation features organic linen, solar water system, and low consumption bulbs.

The food at the dining venues of this eco village is nutritious yet lip-smacking. The meals are prepared from the vegetable that come from the organic farm land, spread in 500 acres, helping 4000 farmers. Paradise is a Vedic Spa at the property offering refreshing and rejuvenating therapies.
Make your stay interesting by indulging in interesting activities apart from sightseeing. Enjoy activities such as partaking in pottery classes, milking the cows at the farm, swimming at the 14 meter long swimming pool and so on. Savor the wonderful surrounding views.

Ananda–in the Himalayas, Tehri, Garhwal- A luxurious rejuvenation

An award-winning luxury destination spa in the foothills of Himalayas, Ananda-in the Himalayas adopts eco-friendly gestures such as recycling bottles for the purpose of gardening to making bags and pends of biodegradable material. Afforestation drives are also organized by the hotel for increasing forest cover in the hills.

If you love being amid nature, you will love this retreat that overlooks the Ganga River Valley, and Rishikesh town. Organic cuisine at the dining venues is the specialty and gels well with traditional Ayurveda, and Vedandta coupled with modern wellness. Special menus and low calorie food made from fresh ingredients is served. The world-class spa spread in 2500 square feet and comprises of gym, 24 treatment rooms, hydrotherapy facilities and outdoor temperature-controlled swimming pool.

While a typical day at Ananda is filled with fitness, there are a number of other activities too that guests can enjoy. For the adventurous souls, there is white water rafting in the challenging waters of River Ganga. Attend evening Ganga Arti, a site to remember. If you are a wildlife enthusiast, wildlife safari at Rajaji National Park should be your pick. Opt for refreshing and soothing nature treks and walks.

Mountain Trail, Mukteshwar- Footloose in the hills

If you are looking for green spaces, stunning vistas, an escape from the city crowed and some much-wanted solace, Mountain Trail in Mukteshwar is just for you. Placed at an altitude of 2300 m, over an area of two and a half acres, this green resort has orchards with over 70 floral varieties and more than 100 trees for fruits.

The property works towards promoting local traditions, preserving biodiversity, creating employment for the locals and working towards cultural tourism. Carrying plastic bags is not allowed in the hotel. The wasted water from the bathrooms is used in the gardens. The cottage-style rooms here do not have televisions and thus bring you close to the nature. The food is healthy too.

The property lies amid dense mountainous forest and offers a number of memorable experiences. There is a wide range of activities in which one can partake in such as bird watching, picnics with the loved ones, and jungle walks. Evenings are made special with bonfires. Let the fresh air brush past your face and refresh you. Do not miss visiting the popular sunset point on the ride, right behind the property.

Banasura Hill Resort, Wayanad – Paradisiacal stay amid jungles

Covering a lush terrain of 35 acres, Banasura hill resort is placed amid the Western Ghats, one of the world’s the richest biodiversity region. The resort lies at an altitude of 3200 feet above the sea level, and is dotted with pepper, coffee, cashew and tea plantations. The largest earth resort in Asia, the property has Earth rooms, Log huts, Family Suites, and Twin Villas that are well-appointed.
One of the most interesting features of the resort the accommodation that are built together with earth technique, have bamboo furnishings, and elephant grass thatched roofs. A rainwater harvesting system fulfills the entire resort water requirements. Go for a relaxing massage or therapy at the hotel’s Ayurvedic spa.

The on-site dining venue not only serves lip-smacking Indian and World delights, but also lets you treat your eyes to the surroundings views. Guests can enjoy a plethora of activities such as bird watching and walking on jungle trails. You can also visit the various nearby streams, and the waterfall. Visit the nearby tribal village and get an insight into the living style.

Orange County Resort, Kabini-  Escape to the wilderness

Just two hours’ drive away from Mysore, Orange County Resort lets you have a comfortable stay, amid green surroundings of Kabini wildlife reserve. Taking cue from the Hadis or tribal villages, the accommodation here is in the form of huts, which come with all the world-class conveniences. The on-site Ayurveda spa offers impeccable services.

To protect the environment, the resort makes several endeavors such as recycling metal cans, unused plastic and paper; installing Sewage treatment plant with stream water; and other kinds of eco-friendly practices. At a given point of time, only a particular number of guests can enter the resort. At the two restaurant, the best of food delights are served.

Visit the nearby village to get an insight into the tribal life. You can also opt for a cycling tour to nearby villages. The activities include boat safari, vehicle safari, coracle ride, night trails, and guided nature walk. Do not miss a visit to the resort elephant. Special activities are also organized in the evenings for the guests.

Related post:
Top 10 Tree House Resorts in India
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Foreign tourists can now explore the enchanting Nubra Valley

One of the most popular attractions of Ladakh, Nubra Valley has been blessed with several man-made and natural wonders. Due to security reasons, the entire valley was not accessible for the foreign nationals. However, the Union Ministry of Home has now modified the ‘Protected Area Permit’ (PAP) for foreigner nationals, visiting Nubra Valley of the Leh district. This has resulted in a more peaceful scene at the line of control (LoC) in cold desert of Ladakh.
An official spokesman informed, “On the intervention of the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has decided to relax the 'Protected Area Permit' for foreigners visiting various parts of Ladakh and as a consequence foreign tourists will be now able to visit various parts of the Nubra Valley. The necessary notification has been issued by MHA in this regard”.

Because of the vulnerability of that area, the foreign nationals were permitted to visit only some areas of Nubra Valley and not the whole of it, in the past. The locals demanded that the PAP must be modified so that more areas of Nubra Valley can come under the sphere of the tourism circuit so that the foreign tourists can explore the entire valley.

Placed at an altitude of 10,000 feet above the sea level, the Valley boasts of cascading rivers, Pashmina goat rearing, stunning natural scenery and splendid Buddhist monasteries.

“There was some restriction in some parts of Nubra. Foreigners were not allowed to visit Turtuk and Yarma. In fact Tutuk was liberated from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir in 1971. Yerma falls on the way to the Siachen glacier,” said Dr Sonam Dawa Lonpo, chief executive councilor (CEC) of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Leh.

After 35 years, two years back, the government had removed all the inner line permits for Indian tourists and had allowed them an entry into sensitive and restricted areas, close to the border in Ladakh. In the year 1978, the system of inner line permit was initiated so that there is no unwanted access to areas which were vulnerable from the point of view of security.

The officials were concerned about the security breach issues as these areas were on the borderline and they wanted maintenance of security at all levels.  Moreover, a number of these areas were home of some of the ancient tribes of India. The Indian government wanted to safeguards them by controlling the movement of tourists in those areas.

But, after relaxation, there is positivity in the air. Dr Dawa said, “It (relaxing the PAP) will definitely boost the tourist sector in our area. It has been our long pending demand right from the beginning.”
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12 Best Road Trips in India: Every Indian Biker Must Take

India is one of most amazing and uncommon countries blessed with some of the most diverse terrains and incredible landscapes. Crisscrossing on the face of this massive country are some fascinating roads snaking their way through some of the most heavenly locations and sites on Earth. Mentioned below are 12 Best Road Trips in India every Indian biker must take which are equally challenging when it comes to thrill and excitement.

Delhi – Leh

Widely perceived as one of the most adventurous and exciting motorcycles tours in India, the Delhi-Leh stretch is full of most wonderful sights and experiences. The road trip in India, normally taking 14-15 days, is also one of the most difficult one and passes through Chandigarh, eventually making its way through the fabulous valley of Manali.

This exotic bike trip can rightly be categorized as one of the most real adventures that any biker can experience. Coming out from the urban chaos of Delhi, the sights and scenery quickly change from beautiful to exotic, taking you into the mysterious hills of Leh with barren landscapes and heavenly cold deserts, proving to be an ultimate one to one encounter with the nature. This is doubtlessly one of the most cherished road trips in India for anyone who love to go on adventurous expeditions on their motorcycles.

Best time to Visit : May to October

Manali – Leh

The stretch from Manali to Leh is one of the most difficult ones with unpredictable roads and weather, making the bikers face a lot of problems. The sweep ahead of Manali to Leh can take nearly 7-8 days while uncertain weather can cause the duration to increase. The journey from Manali to Leh takes you through the highest motorable road in the world, which is the Khadungla Pass.

Interspersed with beautiful Buddhist Monasteries and snow clad hills in the backdrop, the route appears like a reflection of heaven with some of the most unique and amazing sceneries. In fact the difficulty and challenging nature of this stretch even further enhances its appeal and lure for bikers.  

Best time to Visit: May to October

Shillong- East Khasi Hills

North-East was and still very much the most beautiful place in India. Beginning from Guwahati, the path takes you towards the Meghalaya capital of Shillong and then to some of the wettest regions on Earth with the majestic East Khasi Hills.

The sheer greenery, the cool breezes, the backdrop of amazing mountains and winding roads are too much of a temptation. Find exotic sites, such as the cleanest village in India, the Mawlynnong, the traditional living root bridges of the surrounding areas and soul enchanting waterfalls. If you are considering a sojourn to the regions of North East then rest assured, this bike trip is one of the most adventurous tours in India.

Best time to Visit: October to February

Shimla - Spiti Valley

This ride will make you pass through one of the most scenic routes of India, right up to the heavenly Spiti Valley. Experiencing the paradisiacal sights and sounds of nature, one gets to see wonderful orchards, beautiful shrines, amazing resting places after passing through the route past Baspa, Kalpa, Kinnaur and Kaza.

Spiti valley has the charm similar to Ladakh, in fact, it resembles Tibet in many respects. Hence it furnishes almost an equal adventure of an expedition to Leh-Ladakh region. The best time to visit through this amazing course is from summers to early winters after which the terrain gets progressively difficult due to the onset of harsh winters and snow. Nevertheless, this trip has all that it takes to have one of best bike adventures.  

Best time to Visit: Mid June to Mid October

Delhi –Nainital

Nature has blessed this region with some of the most spectacular views with abundant greenery and round the year nice weather. Starting from the urban and concrete jungle of Delhi, the ride takes you towards the Corbett region as the path becomes adorned with fruit orchards on both the sides of the road, making the ride a fairytale experience. The winding roads then take you to the beautiful lake city of Nainital offering as well the delights of a popular hill station.

Savor the raw beauty of Uttarakhand on this favorable and popular stretch with your bike and capture wonderful memories in your mind forever.

Best time to Visit: October – April

Western Arunachal Pradesh

With is its amazing landscape providing the quintessential visual treat, the bike trip in Western Arunachal Pradesh can be called as one of the best road trips in the country. Replete with natural beauty, there are waterfalls, terraced paddy fields, beautiful mountain streams, alpine forests on the way, which really takes the heart away.

Although one may find unpaved roads and landslides on the stretch, the beauty of this route far more compensates these shortcomings. Other attractions such as the Bomdila, Tawang, Gorshem Chorten, Lake District, Ziro Valley and Namdapha National Park etc. enhances the beauty of this course manifold.

Best time to Visit: March to May and October to November

Kolli Hills, Tamil Nadu

Located within Eastern Ghats in Tamil Nadu, the scenes of this exotic destination will literally take your heart away. The place is known for its continuous hairpin bends which are over 70 in number. The Kolli Hills are, hands down, one of the most beautiful places in the region.

The site is adorned with the fascinating waterfall, Agaya Gangai, along with an ancient Shiva Temple and beautiful Pineapple farms. Most of the bikers take the sojourn to Kolli Hills as a weekend trip from Bangalore. Due the wonderful weather which remains present here all the time, this bike trip is a year round expedition.

Best time to Visit: All Year round

Mumbai - Goa

This one of the best road trips in India, taking you south from the maximum city of Mumbai to the exotic beach destination of Goa. Widely known as the NH17 highway, the course takes you through the western coastline of the country, replete with some of the most mesmerizing views.

The NH 17 highways also connects Mumbai with Kerala, so if your heart suddenly decides to enjoy the nature with its exotic views, you can always make a stopover in Kerala. Dispersed with exquisite landscapes all around, this is one most cherishing bike trips you will ever have.

Best time to Visit: October to February


One of the beautiful and romantic stretches is the one leading from Darjeeling to Sikkim. There can be no two thoughts about the beauty of India’s North Eastern region and this route is another such heavenly course. However the roads are pretty winding and rains can make the roads slippery and hence dangerous.

But nevertheless, if one is careful enough with speed and grip, this can be one of your most memorable rides. The Darjeeling-Sikkim route begins from Siliguri and passes through Kalimpong, Gangtok, Pelling and Yuksom. It is an all year round route which you can take.

Best time to Visit: All year round

Royal ride from Delhi- Ranthambore

The route for this one most exciting trips in India starts from Delhi and passes through Agra, letting the bikers experience the majesty of Taj Mahal en-route. Post this the road take the route towards the Pink City Jaipur, passing through the Rajput Strongholds of Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Ranthambore and then finally moving back towards Delhi. One can cover this stretch either in 14 or 22 days depending upon the time constrains.

Since the route passes through dry and hot regions, the best time to undertake this trip is from November to March. Full of many scenic views, the cultural cauldron of Rajasthan and Agra is absolutely enthralling. This is a bike trip that one must undertake.

Best time to Visit: November to March


If you are planning a vacation to Kannur, then, one of the best way to access it is through a bike trip from Bangalore. The Bangalore-Kannur road trip is said to be one of the best road trips in South India. The route passes through Nagarhole and Tholpatty and go on Kuthuparamba from Manandvady. Then going all the way to Kuthuparamba, the route ends at Kannur.

One of the most beautiful places in Kerala, Kannur is a holiday destination in itself and the trail has many lakes too which are a great sight and where you can take a stop to enjoy the scenes.

With great restaurants offering sumptuous meals on the way and great scenic sights already adorning, this is one of the most sought after bike trip for adventure lovers.

Best time to Visit: All year round

Jaipur – Jaisalmer

Hardcore bikers will find this trail not only challenging but also the one with many cultural delights on the way. The trip passes through some of the best destinations for road travel in India. The wonderful paved roads lets you enjoy the amazing green and brown hues of the state along with the heart melting hospitality of its people whenever you make a stopover.

The course, while passing through the rural landscapes and villages makes one come across the lifestyles, cuisines, culture, customs and mannerisms of local people, not to forget the exotic buildings that dot the every corner of this superb region. If heat and dust is something you can manage then this is the bike trail that you should not miss.

Best time to Visit: October to February

[Read more about Jaisalmer and tour packages]

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