Simlipal Reserve Forest

Thick and evergreen forests, extensive grassy land and meadows, cloud kissing peaks, precipitous and sparkling waterfalls, meandering rivers, roaring tigers and trumpeting tuskers, fleeing deer and flying squirrels, talking myna and dancing peacocks et al makes Similipal  a dreamland of nature in the wilderness and an irresistible destination.

Covering a vast area of 2750 sq. km out of which 303 sq.km form the core area, this biosphere reserve is a sanctuary and one of the Tiger  Project and National parks of India. With wide range of rain falls and edaphic variations, ranging from dry deciduous to moist green  forests  it is suitable to  different species of flora and fauna.

About 1076 species of plants, 87 varieties of orchids, 42 species of mammals, 29 types of reptiles and 231 species of birds are the proud possession of this plateau.  Average mean elevation of Similipal is 900 metres. Tall and luxuriant Sal Trees in large numbers stand like sentries. The handsome peaks of Khairiburu (1178 meters), Meghasani   (1158 meters) and others welcome like smiling receptionists from the emerald heights. Sweet scented  Champak flowers freshen the air. The richly hued orchids on the green foliage are soothing  to the eyes. In the midst of the dense forests, the summer stands humbled and the sun gets lost.
Several rivers like Budhabalanga, Khairi, Salandi, Palpala, etc. originate from the hills and meander through the forest like veins and arteries in the body. Many of them have formed cascading rapids and foaming falls before leaving for the plains. The panoramic view of the waterfalls at Barehipani  (400 metres) and Joranda (150 metres) are  simply enchanting , Mahaseer, a typical variety of fish, is found in abundance in most of the rivers.

The silence of Similipal is occasionally broken by the chirping of the birds to an avian delight.

The dense forest and riverine system serve as an excellent home to some of the  most beautiful creatures of the World. To stay with them, even for a while, is a thrilling experience. Herds of elephants majestically walking across the roads and rivulets could be a regular sight. While you are moving on the hilly tracts, predators like Tiger and Leopards might be obliviously lulling under the shade with their own thoughts. If lucky, you could spot them there, or else see them around the saltlicks at places like Chahala. Forget the apprehensive fear and devour the sylvan beauty. The nature at Similipal is at its natural best.

The crocodile rearing centre at Ramtirtha  near Jashipur is an additional  attraction.

An epitome of fascinating beauties, Similipal beckons you for a sojourn of its mind boggling interiors. It  will fill your lungs with cool and clean air, your nose with fresh and free fragrance, your  eyes with soothing  sights, your ears with sonorous sounds and your heart with a hypnotic  throb. After a trip, your body is  sure to feel rejuvenated.

Similipal also provides succour to thousands of  tribal people  living  on the fringe. A glimpse of the tribal  culture will therefore be a bonus at no extra cost. >> Read more…

November 1st, 2011 by admin | 2 Comments »

Shantiniketan – Tagore’s Abode of Peace

The picturesque setting where Rabindranath Tagore built his world university Visva Bharati was discovered by his father, Maharshi Debendranath Tagore, when he broke his jouney there on his way to the prosperous village of Raipur. He liked it so much, he set up an Ashrama there and named it Shantiniketan, the Abode of Peace ( from shanti = peace and niketan = abode ).

Starting with an experimental experimental open – air school with just five students in 1901, Rabindranath built up an international university, Visva Bharati, in twenty years. Visva Bharati sought to develop a base on which the cultures of the East and West could meet in common fellow-ship and strengthen the conditions for world peace .

Visva Bharati become a centre for cultural studies for students and scholars from all over the world . The  university is probably most renowned for its facultires of Art and Indian Music and Dance. But its facilities cover a wide range of courses and disciplines in Humanities and Science.

The University’s Department of Rural Reconstruction at Sriniketan has also gained wide acclaim for its work on social and economic issues. >> Read more…

November 1st, 2011 by admin | 1 Comment »

Gopalpur on sea

Hardly 16 km from Berhampur, the hub of Southern Orissa, is the tiny town of Gopalpur on the Bay of Bengal. Enjoying the reputation of being a popular Beache Resort of Orissa, the deep and clear blue waters instantly provoke those who are good swimmers. The temptation of bathing here is irresistible. Not- so-good swimmers take the hands of the Nolias (local fishermen who help bathers ) and enjoy a pleasant bath. White surf splashing on the golden sands makes Gopalpur –on-Sea as one of the finest beaches on the eastern coast. A fascinating hunt for avid beaches combers and sea worshippers, it is a splendid retreat.

Watching the life on the beach is also exciting. The fisherman pulling their catch or mending their nets add local colour. Beautiful objects made of seashells available in abundance are worth buying souvenirs for decorating a Drawing Room or giving some one a Present. Sand sculptures here and there made by some local artists are a feast to the eyes. Mouth watering sea food, especially fish from the deep Sea, satisfy the hungry stomach. Green – coconuts quench the thirst.

Intense heat of the summer is temperated by the sea breeze in the fantastic quietness og the beach amidst palm, coconut and casurina trees. >> Read more…

November 1st, 2011 by admin | 1 Comment »

Chandipur – the stretched beach

The vast endless stretch of clear blue water, stunningly silent at times and rising and falling with loud roars the next moment, the setting sun filling the evening sky with a lovely crimson colour , the golden sands along the sea watching the playful children and relaxing couples…….the beauty of the sea beaches of Orissa is simple awesome. With over 480 km long coastline, the State is home to some of the most pristine and exotic sea beaches of the world, which have an enticing appeal.

Chandipur, 20km from Balasore has one such splendid sea-beach but with a unique distinction. Interestingly enough, the sea at Chandipur recedes almost 5 km away from the shore during the ebb and flow of tides. It is often referred to as ‘The Vanishing Sea’. The visitors here can take the pleasure of chasing the sea on feet or vehicle when it recedes back.

The cool breeze blowing over the saline sea caresses the casuarinas which sway rhythmically making a rustling noise, the sea plays hide and seek with the visitors and nature rejoices every moment. Adding to this beauty is the scenic spot at the mouth of river Budhabalanga where it joins the sea. One can sail up to this place in a fisherman’s boat to experience the magnificent beauty. A trip to Chandipur promises to give you lots of treasurable memories. >> Read more…

November 1st, 2011 by admin | No Comments »

Bishnupur – Where every brick tells a story

Bishnupur is a town in the Bankura District of West Bengal about 132 km, from Kolkata. It is famous for its terracotta temples and baluchari saris. The town has a glorious past that is reflected in its rich architecture, music and handicrafts such as pottery and weaving . It prospered in the 17th and early 18th centuries. Ruled by a line of Hindu Rajas of the Malla dynasty, Bishnupur developed a unique form of architecture and has perhaps the most brilliant and detailed terracotta work in Eastern India that has withstood the ravages of time .

The history of Bishnupur can be traced back to 694 A.D, when King Raghunath I founded the Malla dynasty. However, it was much later in 994 A.D that the place was named Bishnupur. The name is derived from the name of the Hindu God ‘Vishnu’. The majority of the people belong to the ‘Varishnava’ sect .The most powerful king of the dynasty was King Raghunath Singh Dev II, who ruled from 1626 AD. At that time the administration of Bengal was in the hands of Shahjahan’s son Suja . He development a close friendship with the king and there followed a period of peace when art and music, already flourishing, reached great heights. It was during this period that the Jorebangla Temple was erected .

Temples and other places of interest   
The ancient capital of Mallabhum, Bishnupur, is a repository of some excellent terracotta temples. The oldest brick temple is a curiously shaped Rasmancha with an elongated pyramidal tower surrounded by hut-shaped turrets. It was built in the late 16th century. Terracotta gained further momentum under King Raghunath Singh, who built the Pancha Ratna Temple of Shyam Rai  and the Jorebangla Temple of Keshta Rai. The temple of Shyam Rai with its superior figurines and floral patterns was the first of its kind in Bengal.

The temple of Madanmohan, the best known in Bishnupur, in the Sankharipara area was built outside the fort compound by King Durjana Singh Dev, in 1694 A.D. Its rich decorations and designs surpass the Shyam Rai and Keshta Rai temples. There are impressive scenes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata  and the Puranas carved on the temple walls. Apart from temples, Bishnupur has some very attractive large tanks that offer good sightseeing. The Lalbandh, Krishnabandh, and Pokabandh were built by the Malla kings around 17th and 18th centuries. These were made to provide water to the villagers and to protect the town from enemy attack by draining out the water towards them .

Near by places of tourist interest : Mukutmanipur, Simlapal & Joypur.

 ART & CRAFT
The most famous art form of Bishnupur is terracotta work. Apart from the temples, terracotta pottery, artifacts and even jewellery are popular. One of the most exquisite saries in India called the Baluchari saris are created by craftsmen of this place. The silk strands are dyed separately and then put into a loom. One sari have an entire episode from the Mahabharata woven into its border and pallu. Bishnupur is also famous for the metal craft, popularly known as ‘Dokra’.

 Fairs & Festivals
The Bishnupur Mela is held every year around the last week of December, near the Madanmohan Temple. This fair stretches over four days and people from all the nearby villages come together to celebrate the end of the agriculture season. A recent addition is the Bishnupur Utsav, held immediately after the Mela. It is a classical music and dance festival in recognition of the ‘Bishnupur Gharana’ in music .

Getting There
Bishnupur can be reached both by train and by bus. It is only a 5-hour drive ( about 150km ) from Kolkata and regular buses, taxis and trains  from Howrah are available.

November 1st, 2011 by admin | No Comments »

Pattiseema Dindi

Exploring Andhra Pradesh is an exhilarating experience with each new destination offering something unque to the traveller. Pattiseema, a small town on the banks of the River Godavari , located 30 kms from Rajahmundry closer to Kovuru , surprises you as “Dakshina Kashi” considered to be one of the Pancha Kshetras, the other four being Kedarnath, Varanasi , Kalahasti and Srisailam . Aplace of immense religious significance, visiting this holy place, it is said, will absolve you of your sins and purify your soul.

The ancient temple of Lord Veerabhadra here has a legendary history. The temple picturesquely located on a hillock known as Devakuta Parvatha , is situated in the middle of the river Godavari , seeming almost to rise from the river itself . Langend goes that Lord Veerabhadra was born out of a lock of Lord Shiva’s hair during the cosmic dance of the almighty, on witnessing his wife Sati Devi immolating herself, unable to bear rejection by her father Daksha .

This temple is accessible only by boat. The scenic canvas of hillocks in the background, the silvery sands, gently flowing waters, the rushes of tall grass and the bracing cool ancient temple. The temple with its beautiful Nandi and carved images of dancing deites on the walls does not disappoint the pilgrims. An awe – inspiring life – size sculptures of Devi  Bhadrakali bedecked with ornaments and brandishing a sword, is a stunning sight . One can also visit the temple dedicated to Sri Bhavanarayana Swam at this holy destination.

Festival: The main festival of Loard Shiva is Mahashivrathi which is celebrated with religious fever, pomp amd gaiety . On this day nearly one lakh pilgrims visit this temple n. The other important festival are the Kalyanam of the Lord on Bheeshma Ekadashi and Karteeka Masam . >> Read more…

September 14th, 2011 by admin | 1 Comment »

Bhitarkanika

If you are looking for a place off the beatan track for your next holiday ,  Bhitarkanika could well be your destination, for sea, sand, wildlife and adventure . Pristine isolated beaches, exotic birds, tens of thousands of giant turtles, fearsome crocodiles, narrow creeks that meander past deltaic islands, Wildlife and not a soul around, that is what Bhitrakanika is .

Situated at a distance of 130 kms from Bhubaneswar, on the eastern cost of India, Bhitrakanika notified as a sanctuary in 1975 and declared as a National Park in 1998, is spread over 650 sq. kms. With a forest cover of 380 sq. kms ; including the mangrove forest of 115.50 sq. kms.  Surrounded and Dhamara and criss crossed by several creeks Bhitarkanika presents a unique environmental and ecological wonder .

Few destination in the world have so much to offer at one point . For the admirers of nature, Bhitrakanika remains as a treasure house . Widely acclaimed for its biodiversity, Bhitarkanika stands as one of the few swamps having a compact mangrove eco-system in India, next only to Sundarban in West Bengal . >> Read more…

September 14th, 2011 by admin | 1 Comment »

Murshidabad

At one time the capital of Bengal Suba , Murshidabad formerly known as Makhusabad, is named after Nawab Murshid Kuli Khan, a Diwan of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa under Emperor Aurangzeb . Murshidabad , on the eastern bank of the Bhagirathi ( Ganga ) is intimately related to events that ultimately changed the history of India . Nawab Siraj-ud-daula lost the battle of Plassey against Clive , the architect of the British Empire in India and gradually power passed onto the hands of the British . Murshidabad is only 222 kilometres from Kolkata and is connectd by both train and road .

The district got its present name in the early eighteenth century and its present shape in the latter half of the eighteenth century, the earliest evidences of history in the district date back to the pre-historic days perhaps as early as circa 1500 B.C.

The capital city of Sasanka, the great king of Gouda (comprising the most of Bengal) in the seventh century AD and perhaps that of Mahipala, one of the later Pala kings of Bengal, were in this district too. The Nawab Murshid Quli Khan made Murshidabad the capital city of Sube Bangla, comprising of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. The East India Company reigned from here for many years after the Battle of Plassey; Travellers extolled its glory through ages.

Here thrived the cultures of many races and of religions like Buddhism, Brahmanism, Vaishnavism, Jainism, Islam and Christianity. Here settled the European traders like the Dutch, the British, the French and the Armenians. >> Read more…

September 14th, 2011 by admin | 1 Comment »

Malda-Gour-Pandua

Malda has many medieval historical relics. The nearby Gour which came into prominence as a kingdom during the reign of Sasanka was once the capital of ancient Bengal for several centuries . In the 12th century A.D. and it is during the reign of Senas that Gour became known all over India as a seat of learning art and culture . During the reign of Lakshaman Sen, Gour was invaded by Bhakhtiyar Khilji during early thirteenth centuary A.D. and after the conquest of Bengal by him, the fourtunes of city was plundered by Sher Shah, the last independent Sultan of Bengal . Most of the monuments in Gour today are the remains of the Muslim period , and a number of them are constructed with materials taken from Hindu temple . The city of Gour was once compemently fortified by a high earthen rampart, the top of the wall beign covered with buildings .

PLACE OF INTEREST :

AT GOUR

The Baroduari or the great golden mosque, the largest of the monuments in Gour, was erected by Sultan Nasrat Shah in 1526 A.D. This mosque is a massive rectangular building of brick. The Dakhil Darwajah, the main gateway to the was probably built in early 15th century . Its four corners are topped with 5-storied high towers. The Chika Mosque, a single domed edifice with Hindu idols featured on the stonework of doors and lintels is in an obliterated condition. Firuz Minar, an impressive monument stands 26 metre tall . The Tamaltola at Ramkeli – shri Chaitanya , the great religious reformer of Bengal , arrived here on his way to Vrindavan during the reign of Sultan Hussain Shah . The Lattan Mosque was constructed by Sultan Yusuf Shah in 1475 A.D.

 

>> Read more…

September 14th, 2011 by admin | No Comments »

Darjeeling – What next?

DarjeelingSo, we witnessed a historical treaty today and everyone is hoping for the best. This writeup is not meant to discuss the if’s and but’s, neither we are going to go into the Tarai – Dooars controversy. The most important thing is everyone is hoping for the best. Here stands and lies the basic question, why everyone? I don’t think there would have been this much of interest, if this kind of understandings were reached in respect to any other places. We all are watching and interested because the place is Darjeeling. Somewhere, we all feel, its our Darjeeling too and we want to revisit this enigmatic queen of hills again and again and again. Darjeeling along with Puri has always been part of Bengali’s travel facet, its major share in Bengali’s travel nostalgic thoughts had always driven us to keep thinking, worrying, wondering about the place and may be we have seen a light of hope.  We are happy, exited that we can go to this place again.

With the in-numerous mails we are receiving on Darjeeling, we are sure, in no time, its going to retain it crown. Just let it happen and please do not destroy this place.

July 18th, 2011 by admin | No Comments »

Govt. of India Tourist offices in India

AGRA

191, The Mall,

Agra-282001 Uttar Pradesh

Tel: 363377/363959

AURANGABAD

Krishna Vilas, Station Road

Aurangabad-431005 Maharashtra

Tel:31217

BANGALORE

KFC Building, 48 Church Street

Bangalore-560001 Karnataka

Tel: 5585417

BHUBANESWAR

B-21 BJB Nagar,

Bhubaneswar-751014 Orissa

Tel: 432203

CHENNAI

154, Anna Salai

Cheenai-600002 Tamil Nadu

Tel: 8269685

GUWAHATI

B.K.Kakati Road, Ulubari

Guwahati-781007 Assam

Tel: 547407

GOA

Communidate Building Church Square

Panaji-403001 Goa

Tel: 43412

HYDERABAD

3-6-369/A-30, Sandozi Building,

2nd Floor, 26 Himayat Nagar

Hyderabad-500029 Andhra Pradesh

Tel: 660037

JAIPUR

State Hotel Khasa Kothi

Jaipur- 302001 Rajasthan

Tel: 372200

KHAJURAHO

Near Western Group of Temples

Khajuraho-471606 Madhya Pradesh

Tel: 2047, 2048

KOCHI

Wllingdon Island

Kochi-682009 Kerala

Tel: 6683521

KOLKATA

‘Embassy’ 4 Shakespeare Sarani

Calcutta-700071 West Bengal

Tel: 2421402, 2421475

MUMBAI

123 M Karve Road Opp. Churchgate

Mumbai-400020 Maharashtra

Tel: 2032932, 2033144

NEW DELHI

88 Janpath New Delhi-110001

Tel: 23320005, 23320008

PATNA

Sudama Palace Kakarbagh Road

Patna-800020 Bihar

Tel: 345776

PORT BLAIR

VIP Road Junglighat Port Blair-744103

Andaman & Nicobar Islands

Tel: 21006

SHILLONG

Tirot Singh Sylem Road Police Bazar

Shillong-793001 Meghalaya

Tel: 225632

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

Airport, Thiruvananthapuram

Kerala

Tel: 451498

VARANASI

15B The Mall

Varanasi-221002 Uttar Pradesh

Tel: 43744

July 7th, 2011 by admin | No Comments »

Accommodation at Kanha

A) Govt. Lodging

1. At Kisli – MP Tourisms Baghira Log Hut
Rates – Two bedded A/C Rooms – 4290/-
Two bedded Deluxe ( including food-lodging & Tax) -5290/-
In tourist Hostel 24 bedded Dormitory is also available @ Rs.890/- per head with food.
2. At Mukki – MP Tourisms Kanha Safari Lodge
Rates – Two bedded Air cool Rooms – 2990/-
Two bedded A/C Rooms – 3890/-
Room Rent increases @20% during peak season from 23rd October to 31st October & 17th December to 2nd January.

B) Private Hotels at Kisli –

1. Mogli Resort –
Rates – Two bedded Non A/C Rooms – 1500/-
Two beddedA/C Rooms – 2500/-
2. Bison Resort –
Rates –
Economy – Air Cooler -650-/
Deluxe  – Air Cooler= 850-/
Super Deluxe – Air Cooler-1200-/
VIP Suite – Air Conditioned-2200-/
3. Kanha Resort –
Rates – Non A/C Rooms – 1500/-
A/C Rooms – 2000/-
4. Panther Resort –
Rates – Non A/C Super Deluxe Rooms – 1250/- & 4 bedded rooms -1450/-
5. Motel Chandan –
Rates – Non A/C Rooms – 950/- to 1100/-
A/C Rooms – 1500/-
6. Vanvihar Resort –
Rates – 700/- to 800/-
7. Krishna Resort –
Rates – Two beddedNon A/C Rooms – 2400/-
Two beddedA/C Rooms – 2900/-
Also A/C Rooms @ Rs.3600/- are availableinclusive of food for 2 Persons.
8. Forest Resort Continental –
Rates – 2200/- to 4400/- ( Both at Kisli & Mukki )

For booking this Hotels Contact at 9830788403

May 27th, 2011 by admin | 3 Comments »

Corbett peace disturbed.

The irresponsible attitude of some tourists visiting Corbett National Park created chaos when a group of them thrashed a jeep driver and a guide who protested when they were flouting park regulations.

Police had to resort to firing bullets in the air to disperse a crowd of guides and locals who roughed up the tourists in retaliation when they came out of the park. The tourists, who hail from Delhi, have been fined a sum of `10,000 by the national park authorities.

A group of young men and women from a college in the Capital entered Bijrani tourist zone of Corbett National Park in a hired jeep on Sunday. When they were in a sensitive forest area, two male tourists got down from the jeep and climbed on the bonnet of the vehicle, apparently to click photographs.

When the driver of the jeep told them that they were breaking the rules and directed them to get back inside the vehicle, the men started misbehaving with the driver. When the guide, Shailendra Rawat, tried to help him, both were beaten up by the tourists.

When the locals and guides learnt about the incident they gathered at the Amdanda gate of the park. Fearing trouble, local police also reached the spot. When the tourists came out of the park, they were manhandled by the group which even resisted the police. Seeing the situation snowballing out of control, police fired three rounds of bullets in the air to control the situation.

National park director Ranjan Kumar Mishra and Kotwal RK Farswan reached the site. Mishra found the tourists guilty of flouting park regulations and fined them `10,000. All brochures and signboards inside the park direct visitors not to leave their vehicles inside the national park area. Observers say the incident has exposed the irresponsible attitude of tourists many of whom often consume alcohol inside the park which is strictly banned.

In our last visit last February, we halted a day at Gairal and have witnessed liquor being consumed to some young lads from Delhi and around. Upon enquiring, we learned that “Sab milta hai, Sahib, Chahiye kya?” We fail to understand in which ways does someone’s pride gets heightened by breaking restrictions. Do they feel smart by saying – “I have not followed such and such guidelines”. Typical Ego maintenance crisis.

February 28th, 2011 by admin | No Comments »

Minister helps saving tigers

TOI reported that the Rajasthan State Tourism Minister Beena Kak on Thursday spotted a Tigress and two cubs with the help of a powerful camera, when she noticed a would in the hind portion of the mother which was life-threatening. “The tigress was restless inside a pond. I zoomed in and saw a red mark on its back,” said the minister.
It turned out to be a deep, life-threatening wound that had invited hundreds of maggots. At stake was not only the animal’s life but also that of its two cubs. What followed was an hour-long operation on Thursday before the tigress was back with her cubs again. “I felt disturbed when I
saw what I had clicked. I went back to where I had seen the tigress first. I took some more
close-ups and realized that blood was oozing out of the deep wound. I called up the
divisional forest officer,” explained the minister.
Once confirmed that this was a fresh wound, instructions were issued to tranquilize the animal. “It was a 4-inch-deep wound and thousands of maggots had collected there. If left unattended, the tigress would have died in two days,” said Kak.
Doctors from the Jaipur zoo and Sawai Madhopur cleaned the wound and carried out a minor surgery. “On Friday came the news that the tigress had killed the bait and reunited with her cubs,” the minister said.
Forest officials and wildlife activists have praised the efforts of the concerned minister. “It was a great effort. The minister has, in fact, managed to save three tigers,” said Rajpal Singh, member state wildlife board. Holidayhomeindia too expresses its gratitude to Ms. Kak.

February 6th, 2011 by admin | No Comments »

HP govt to make tourism key revenue earning sector by 2015

According to a PTI report, Himachal Pradesh which received a record number of 1.33 crore tourists during 2010 is planning to make tourism a key revenue earning sector by 2015.

“The growth of tourism sector has been phenomenal during past three years and if the same tempo is kept up, this sector is set to add Rs 300 crore annually to the GDP,” said Arun Sharma, Tourism Director, Himachal Pradesh, adding that, the state government is planning to make tourism key revenue earning sector by 2015.

January 10th, 2011 by admin | 1 Comment »