A Common Entry Ticket for Indian WHS to Save Travelers’ Time

Now travelers can visit all Indian World Heritage Sites (WHS) except Taj Mahal with one common entry ticket sold at 250 outlets of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), offices of Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), travel agents, tour operators and Department of tourism.

The common entry ticket for all WHS (except Taj Mahal) costs INR 10.00 per person for domestic tourists and visitors from South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries, and INR 250.00 per person for all foreign nationals.

Weekend in Araku & Tyda: Karst Landforms, Luxuriant Forest, Tribal Village

Weekend in Araku & Tyda: Karst Landforms, Luxuriant Forest, Tribal Village

Tyda, nestled  in Anantagiri Hills of the Eastern Ghats in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India, is an eco-tourism destination at an altitude of 1,520 feet. Tyda, 70 km from Viskhapatnam, commands view of the Eastern Ghats and offers an opportunity to trek, rock climb and practice archery. You can take a bus, car or train to visit the hill station located on the 112-km long Viskhapatnam-Araku route.

Jungle Bells, an Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) managed camp inspired by local tribal architecture and design, is a good base to explore Tyda, and Borra Caves. Reasonably priced camp offers cottages and log huts.

Borra Caves, located between Araku and Tyda, features illuminated stalagmites and stalactites. Well-marked pathways make walking easier within these limestone caves, situated 90 km from Viskhapatnam.

Visit Botanical Garden, coffee plantations, mulberry gardens, Silk Farm, Tribal Museum and join folk dance performances at Araku, a hill station at an altitude of about 3200 feet.

Weekend with Tigers at Pench National Park

Weekend with Tigers at Pench National Park

A touch of the monsoon rains adds new life to both forests and its inhabitants. Sweet smell of wet earth fills the forest air. I think, this is one of the ideal seasons to enjoy the vegetation at its best and look for Bengal tigers and other wildlife in the Pench National Park, a tiger reserve named after the Pench River that meanders through the park featuring both tropical moist deciduous and dry deciduous type forests. The park, situated in Satpura Hills, Madhya Pradesh, is about a 3-hour drive from Nagpur, Maharastra, India.

You can relax at plush Taj Hotel Baghvan (http://www.tajhotels.com/Leisure/Baghvan,Pench%20National%20Park/default.htm)  after roughing it in jungle during daytime.  The hotel is offering two special packages (valid up toJune 30, 2010): Limited Jungle Plan  and Full Jungle Plan.  The Limited Plan worth INR 11,000 per person per night includes all meals, accommodation, one safari per day, laundry and non-alcoholic beverages.

Check the packages at http://www.tajhotels.com/Leisure/Baghvan,Pench%20National%20Park/offers.htm.

Chill out in Yercaud

Chill out in Yercaud

Yercuad, nestled on the Servarayan Range in the Eastern Ghats, is cleaner and quieter than other popular hill stations in Tamil Nadu, India. The hill station, boasting salubrious climate throughout the year, is about 1,500 meters above sea level. Daily a number of trains connect Chennai, state capital, andSalem such as Yercaud Express, Nilagiri Express, Coimbatore Express, Kovai Express and Cheran Express. It takes from 4.30 hours to about 7 hours depending on the train; and buses for Yercaud, about 35 km from Salem, starts from Salem Municipal Bus Stand.

Do not miss orange groves, coffee plantations and Botanical Survey of India’s orchidarium.

Boat inYercuadLakeamid forest.

Visit Killiyur waterfall if you love water and various view points for panoramic vistas.

People with religious mindset may pay obeisance at theShervaoyanTemple.

An Art Weekend in Kolkata


This weekend Kolkata art galleries are hosting solo and group art exhibitions with diverse themes. Pick one depending on your taste or visit all if time is not a constraint.

  • Aakriti Art Gallery,Hungerford Street: Symbolism in Modern Art, Image and Symbol
  • Ahuja Museum for Arts,Lee Road: Ancient Love
  • Cima Gallery Pvt Ltd, Sunny Towers: Music from an Unknown Source
  • Gallery Sanskriti,Alipore Road: Nature Revisited
  • Ganges Art Gallery atJatin Das Road: Within The Grid, Merchandise
  • G C Laha Centenary Fine Art Gallery, Dharamtalla: Group Exhibition
  • Idiyas Gallery,Dover Road: Voices of Canvas
  • Studio 21,DoverTerrace: Post Production

If you still have stamina and time, visit Minerva Theatre at6:30 pmon April 25th to enjoy Madhabi, a drama by Nandikar.


Commune with Nature, Join Vintage Car Rally, Shop at Bizzarre Buzzaar

Commune with Nature, Join Vintage Car Rally, Shop at Bizzarre Buzzaar

rp_LalbaghBlog.pngSaturday:April 17, 2010

After breakfast, you can proceed to Lalbagh Botanical Garden to commune with nature and for a picnic. To enjoy the sights of the garden, hire Harini Express, a green vehicle. The garden attractions include a lake fringed with big trees, tiny lush island in the center of the lake, floral clock, glass house, nursery, temple,JapaneseGarden and rare plants fromAfghanistan,France andPersia. The temple on a low hill of smooth rocks lends itself to views of the city.

Sunday:April 18, 2010

The Whitefield Club, Whitefield,Bangalore,Indiawill host a Vintage Car Rally at9:30 am. Vintage cars and motorbikes will be on display from12:00 pm to2:00 pm.

The Sunday Bizzarre Buzzaar (http://www.oshow.biz/),  an all day flea market that is a joint venture of Four Seasons, Nimboo Design & Style and Opus, will showcase Indian designer merchandise such as accessories, artifacts, bags, clothes, curios, furniture jewelry and shoes at Opus Restaurant (http://www.myopus.in/opusbangalore/), Palace Cross Road, Bangalore, India. PINKNOISE, an experimental music band fromIndia, will perform from2:00 pm onwards. A Barcardi KROAKNIGHT with Carlton Braganza is also planned.

Happy Weekend!

Delhi: Art and Food

Delhi: Art and Food

If you are in Delhi(India) on this weekend,

browse through works of the Russian masters at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture (RCSC) and Nicholas Roerich’s works at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA),

enjoy performances of traditional Indian music gharanas at the Front Lawn of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) and / or

sample a variety of food at Aahar, the International Food Fair, at Pragati Maidan.

Russian Winter Exhibition at RCSC:March 13, 2010 (10.00 A.M. to 6 P.M.)

Nicholas Roerich: An Eternal Quest exhibition at NGMA:March 13-14, 2010(10.00 A.M. to 5 P.M.)

The Gharana Festival at IGNCA: March 13, 2010(6.30 P.M.)
March 14, 2010 (10.00 A.M. &6.30 P.M.)

Aahar at Pragati Maidan:March 13-14, 2010(10.00 A.M. to 6 P.M.)


7 Hours in Surajkund Crafts Mela 2010

I spent about 7 hours in annual Surajkund Crafts Mela, hosted by Haryana Tourism at Surajkund in Faridabad, Haryana, India, on Feb 6-7 and loved every bit of it though I could visit only a few stalls and attend just five dance performances. If you want to see everything, stay…

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Taj Mahotsav: 18-27 February 2010

Taj Mahotsav: 18-27 February 2010

Taj Mahotsav, an annual 10-day craft mela, was inaugurated on February 18, 2010 at Shilpgram near  Eastern Gate of Taj Mahal, Agra, India. Theme of the mela is Ek Utsav Prem Ka (A Festival of Love).  Hundreds of artisans from various parts ofIndia are displaying their crafts at the mela. However, it is not just about shopping. Every day cultural programs, including Gujarati, Punjabi and Rajasthani folk dances, Indian classical dances (Odissi, Bharatnatyam), instrumental music and ghazals, will complement the shopping experience.