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A Travellers Guide To India
India - A Land of Diversity
India isa country of natural beauty and age-old heritage. It is surrounded by countrieslike Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Burma, China and Pakistan. India is famous forits diversity; diversity of climate, people, religion and culture. When thetemperature of the northern region is 00 C it is hot at the southernregion. You can go to the hill stations and enjoy the beauty of the ice-coveredmountain or you can go to a beach to enjoy the thrilling experience of swimmingin the blue sea. You can visit the historical monuments at the cities likeAgra, Delhi, Kolkata etc. or you can travel around to find the culture of thepeople, festivals and religious places.
This isthe country where people from different parts of the world has come and settledand they are now part of this country. This is the country where two majorreligions had born, Hinduism and Buddhism. There are several religion co-existin India like Hindu 80%,Muslim 14%, Christian 2.4%, Sikh 2%, Buddhist 0.7%, Janis 0.5%, other 0.4%. At least 24 different languages whichhave been accepted as official languages for different states and each of whichare spoken by million or more people.
This is only a brief introduction of India, intended to createinterest among people across the globe so that they might explore more of thecountry and plan for a visit to the place of their interest. I would try todraw only the outlines of some important places of India and later on I wouldwrite separate hub on each of the places.
Major attractions – The Architectural masterpieces
Taj Mahal is the major tourist attraction of Agra, built byMughal Emperor Shah Jehan, in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz. One of thewonders of the world Taj Mahal is the symbol of love.
Agra Fort (Agra)
Sikandar Lodi (1487-1517), Sultan of Delhi made it as his second capital,originally it was a brick fort and its existence was mentioned in the historyin 1080 AD. UNESCO has declared itas a World Heritage.
India Gate (Delhi)
It is the national monument and one of the largest war memorials of India located at New Delhi. India Gatewas designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens to commemorate the 90,000 soldiers of theerstwhile British Indian Army who lost their livesfighting for the British Indian Empire in World War I.
Jantar Mantar (Delhi)
Jantar Mantar (English meaning: Instrument and Formula) of NewDelhi is one of the five such astronomical observatories made by Maharaja jayShing II of Jaipur constructed in the year 1724.
Birla Mandir (Delhi)
It was built by the Birla Family, the famous industrialist ofIndia in 1938 and was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi (Father of the IndianNation) on the condition that people irrespective of their castes includinguntouchables would be allowed in.
Lotus Temple (Delhi)
This is actually a Bahai temple but popularly known as the Lotus Temple due to its flowerlike shape. It was completed in 1986 and servesas the Mother Temple of Bahai society in the Indian subcontinent.
Red Fort (Delhi)
The Red Fort or Lal Qila was constructed bythe Mughal emperor Shahjahan in 17th century and was being used as the capital of the Mughals until 1857. Lateron when Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar was exiled by the British Indian government they used it as a military camp until India was madeindependent in 1947.
Qutub Minar (Delhi)
This is a 72.5 meters tall, the world's tallest brick minaret. The construction of the minar was started in 1193by the India's first Muslim ruler Qutb-ud-dinAibak and completed in 1386 by FiruzShah Tughluq. The Qutb Minar is notable for being one of the earliest and mostprominent examples of Indo-Islamicarchitecture.
There are severalother ancient and medieval structures and ruins around the Qutub Minar and collectivelyknown as Qutub complex which hasbeen recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Gwalior Fort (State: MP)
It is an eighth century fort located at Gwalior city of MadhyaPradesh and known as one of the biggest forts of India. This is the place wherethe great rebellion queen of Jhansi Maharani Lakshmi Bai sacrificed her lifeduring a battle with British army in the year 1858.
Khajuraho Temples (State:MP)
The Khajuraho Group of Monuments islocated in Khajuraho, a small town of Madhya Pradesh. Khajuraho has thelargest group of medieval Hindu and Jain temples, famous for their erotic sculpture. It has also beenlisted as a UNESCO World HeritageSite.
Golden Temple (Punjab)
Guru Ram Das, the fourth Guru of Sikhism, excavated a tank in 1577which subsequently became known as Amritsarand the city which was grew around it was also known as Amritsar.Harmandir Sahib (Temple of God), was constructed in the middle of this tank which became thesupreme centre of Sikhism and became famous as golden temple or Swarn Mandir.
Jaisalmer city lies in the heart of the Thar Desert and has a populationof about 78,000. It is called the golden city of India. The town stands on a creaseof yellowish sandstone, crowned by a fort, which containsthe palace and several ornate Jain temples. Most of the houses and temples arefinely sculptured. The massive sandstone walls of Jaisalmer fort are having a tawny lion color during theday and turn to a magical honey-gold as the sun sets. The famous Indian filmdirector Satyajit Ray wrote a detective novel and later turned it into a film – Sonar Kella (The Golden Fortress)which was based on this fort.
Meenakshmi Temple (Tamilnadu)
Meenakshi SundareswararTemple or Meenakshi Amman Temple commonly knownas Meenakshi Temple is an historic Hindu temple located in the city ofMadurai, Tamil Nadu. The temple complex houses 14 magnificent towers including twogolden towers for the main deities that are ornately sculptured and painted.The temple is a momentous symbol for the Tamil people, and has been mentionedsince ancient times in Tamil literature, though the present structure is believedto have been built in 1600. The tallest temple tower is 51.9 meters(170 ft) high.
Vivekanada Rock (Tamilnadu)
Vivekananda Rock is a sacred shrine aswell as a popular tourist attraction in Kanyakumari of TamilNadu. The memorial stands on one of two rocks located about 500 meters offmainland India's southernmost tip. It was built in 1970 by the Vivekananda RockMemorial Committee in honor of the visit of the great spiritual teacher Swami Vivekananda to Shripada Parai in the month ofDecember 1892 for deep meditation and enlightenment. He swam to this rock andmeditated about the past, present and future of India. It is said that heattained enlightenment on the rock, and henceforth became a reformer andphilosopher.
Howrah Bridge (WestBengal)
The Howrah Bridge, a cantilever truss bridge of a single 450 m span, constructed entirely by riveting without nutsor bolt was built between 1937 and 1943. It is the connection between the twincity Kolkata (previously known as Calcutta) and Howrah. Currently it is used asa road bridge, but previously had a tram route as well.
Victoria Memorial (WestBengal)
The Victoria Memorial, located at Kolkata of West Bengal is a memorial of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. Itcurrently serves as a museum and a tourist attraction.
Cellular Jail (Andaman)
The Cellular Jail is situated in the Andaman and NicobarIslands and was built in 1906. The prison was known to house many notableIndian activists during the struggle for India's independence. Presently it is a hottourist spot and people from all corners of the globe visit it regularly.
Hill Stations and Beaches
Other than the above locations there are numerous hill stations and beaches in India. To cover all those places in a single hub is not possible. I am just mentioning some of the names of those places with a hope that I would write individual hubs for each of them in future.
Haridwar, Rishikesh, Dehradun, Mussoorie, Nainital, Almora, Ranikhet, Shimla, Kullu, Manali, Jammu, Srinagar, Leh/ Ladakh, Darjeeling, Gangtok, kalimpong etc.
Goa, Kanyakumari, Alleppey, Kovalam, Puri, Gopalpur, Digha
Wildlife and migratory birds
Chilika (ORISSA) – Details given in a separate hub.
Bandipur National Park (Karnataka)
It is famous for the elephant which may be encounteredregularly. The main attractions of Bandipur National Park include AsianElephants and Gaurs. Other animals that can be seen include hyenas, tigers,leopards, chital, porcupines, wild boars, wild dogs, crocodiles, otters, fourhorned antelopes and bears.
Bharatpur bird Sanctuary
It is one of the finest bird parks in the world. In the parkthere are around 365 different species of birds to be seen. The most awaitedout of them are the endangered Siberian Cranes.
Kaziranga National park (Assam)
It is the place where one of the last creatures of thepre-historic age , the Rhinoceros , lives. Kaziranga Park also attracts largenumbers of migratory as well as resident birds
Sunderban (West Bengal)
The vast swampy delta of the two great Indianrivers, the Brahmaputra and the Ganga, extends over a vast area. Mangroveforests, swamps and forested islands are interwoven with a network of smallrivers and rivulets. The Sundarban covering about 1330.10 sq. km., forms the coreof this area. This mostly estuarine mangrove forest is the habitat of nearly200 Royal Bengal tigers. Bangladesh lies to the east of the Park and it isestimated that the combined population of tigers in the region could well beabout 400 in number.
These are only the snapshots of the places which might be theattraction of the travelers. I would give details of each of the places inseparate hubs.
If you like this hub please rate it up and leave a comment to encourage me. If you have any suggestion for the improvement of this hub please feel free to email me or leave a comment in the comment section.
Recommended books on India - you can buy online
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