India - 07.09.2011


Tourism in India

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Every year, more than 3 million tourists visit the Taj Mahal in Agra, Uttar Pradesh.

The sixth century Paintings at the Ajanta Caves in Aurangabad, Maharashtra
Tourism in India is the largest service industry, with a contribution of 6.23% to the national GDP and 8.78% of the total employment in India. India witnesses more than 17.9 million annual foreign tourist arrivals and 740 million domestic tourism visits. The tourism industry in India generated about 100 US$ billion in 2008 and that is expected to increase to US$275.5 billion by 2018 at a 9.4% annual growth rate.[1] In the year 2010, 17.9 million foreign tourists visited India. Majority of foreign tourists come from USA and UK. Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan are the top 5 states to receive inbound tourists.[2] Domestic tourism in the same year was massive at 740 million. Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra received the big share of these visitors.[3][4] Ministry of Tourism is the nodal agency to formulate national policies and programmes for the development and promotion of tourism. In the process, the Ministry consults and collaborates with other stakeholders in the sector including various Central Ministries/agencies, the State Governments/ union Territories and the representatives of the private sector. Concerted efforts are being made to promote new forms of tourism such as rural, cruise, medical and eco-tourism.[5] The Ministry of Tourism is the nodal agency for the development and promotion of tourism in India and maintains the Incredible India campaign.
According to World Travel and Tourism Council, India will be a tourism hotspot from 2009–2018,[6] having the highest 10-year growth potential.[7] The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2007 ranked tourism in India 6th in terms of price competitiveness and 39th in terms of safety and security.[8] Despite short- and medium-term setbacks, such as shortage of hotel rooms,[9] tourism revenues are expected to surge by 42% from 2007 to 2017.[10] India's 5,000 years of history, its length, breadth and the variety of geographic features make its tourism basket large and varied. It presents heritage and cultural tourism along with medical, business and sports tourism. India has a growing medical tourism sector. The 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi were expected to significantly boost tourism in India.



[edit] Tourism by state

[edit] Andhra Pradesh

The state of Andhra Pradesh comprises like scenic hills, forests, beaches and temples. Also known as The City of Nizams and The City of Pearls, Hyderabad is today one of the most developed cities in the country and a modern hub of information technology, ITES, and biotechnology. Hyderabad is known for its rich history, culture and architecture representing its unique character as a meeting point for North and South India, and also its multilingual culture,
Andhra Pradesh is the home of many religious pilgrim centres:
  • Tirupati, the abode of Lord Venkateswara, is the richest and most visited religious center (of any faith) in the world. Srisailam, the abode of Sri Mallikarjuna, is one of twelve Jyothirlingalu in India. Amaravathi's Siva temple is one of the Pancharamams, Vemulavada temple, one of the old abodes of Lord Shiva, reputed as Dakshina Kashi - Benaras of South India. Vemulavada temple is built by Chalukya Kings between AD 750 and 975. Yadagirigutta, the abode of an avatara of Vishnu, Sri Lakshmi Narasimha.
The state has numerous Buddhist centres at Amaravathi, Nagarjuna Konda, Bhattiprolu, Mangalagiri, Ghantasala, Nelakondapalli, Dhulikatta, Bavikonda, Thotlakonda, Shalihundam, Pavuralakonda, Sankaram, Phanigiri and Kolanpaka.
The golden beaches at Visakhapatnam, the one-million-year old limestone caves at Borra, picturesque Araku Valley, hill resorts of Horsley Hills, river Godavari racing through a narrow gorge at Papi Kondalu, waterfalls at Ettipotala, Kuntala and rich bio-diversity at Talakona, are some of the natural attractions of the state. Visakhapatnam is home to many tourist attractions such as the INS Karasura Submarine museum, Yarada Beach, Araku Valley, VUDA Park, Indira Gandhi Zoological Gardens. The weather in Andhra Pradesh is mostly tropical and the best time to visit is in November through to January. The monsoon season commences in June and ends in September, so travel would not be advisable during this period.
Golkonda (Telugu: గోల్కొండ, Urdu: گولکوندا), a ruined city of south-central India and capital of ancient Kingdom of Golkonda (c. 1364–1512), is situated 11 km west of Hyderabad.
The most important builder of Golkonda was a Kakatiya King. Ibrahim was following in the spirit of his ancestors, the Qutub Shahi kings, a great family of builders who had ruled the kingdom of Golkonda from 1512. Their first capital, the fortress citadel of Golkonda, was rebuilt for defense from invading Mughals from the north. They laid out Golkonda's splendid monuments, now in ruins, and designed a perfect acoustical system by which a hand clap sounded at the fort's main gates, the grand portico, was heard at the top of the citadel, situated on a 300-foot (91 m)-high granite hill. This is one of the fascinating features of the fort.

[edit] Assam

Indian Rhinoceroses grazing at the Kaziranga National Park.
Assam is the central state in the North-East Region of India and serves as the gateway to the rest of the Seven Sister States. Assam boasts of famous wildlife preserves – the Kaziranga National Park, which is home to the Great Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros and the Manas National Park and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary (These first two parks are UNESCO World Heritage Site), the largest river island Majuli, historic Sivasagar, famous for the ancient monuments of Ahom Kingdom, the city of eternal romance, Tezpur and tea-estates dating back to time of British Raj. The weather is mostly sub-tropical. Assam experiences the Indian monsoon and has one of the highest forest densities in India. The winter months (October end half to first half of April) are the best time to visit.
Assam has a rich cultural heritage going back to the Ahom Kingdom, which governed the region for many centuries before the British occupation. Other notable features include the Brahmaputra River, the mystery of the bird suicides in Jatinga, numerous temples including Kamakhya of Tantric sect. 'Gurdwara Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur also known as Damdama Sahib at Dhubri '- This famous Gurudwara is situated in the heart of the Dhubri Town on the bank of the mighty Brahmaputra river in far north-east India. Guru Teg Bahadur the holy Sikh Guru visited this place in 1505 and met Srimanta Sankardeva (the founder of the Mahapuruxiya Dharma) as the Guru traveled from Dhaka to Assam, ruins of palaces, etc. Guwahati, the capital city of Assam, boasts many bazaars, temples, and wildlife sanctuaries.

[edit] Bihar

Bihar is one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world with history of 3000 years. The rich culture and heritage of Bihar is evident from the innumerable ancient monuments that are dotted all over this state in eastern India. This is the place of Aryabhata, Great Ashoka, Chanakya and many other great historical figures.
  • Patna - The capital of Bihar, famous for its rich history and royal architecture.
  • Gaya - Known for Bodh Gaya the place at which Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment.
  • Muzaffarpur - Famous for its education.
  • Kesariya - Location of the world's largest Buddhist Stupa.
  • Nalanda - Location of one of the world's oldest university.
  • Sasaram - Tomb of Sher Shah Suri, the great Emperor of medieval India.
  • Sonpur - The Sonepur cattle fair or Sonepur Mela, it is the biggest cattle fair of Asia and stretches on from fifteen days to one month.
  • Takht Sri Patna Sahib - One of the famous Sikh pilgrimage known for the birth place of Sikh's Tenth Guru Sri Guru Gobind Singh Sahib.
  • Darbhanga - It is among the oldest cities of Bihar. Famous for the Maharaja forts and Kali Mandir.
  • Munger - Home to the only Yoga University in the world, Bihar School of Yoga. Religious places such as Shakti Peethas.
Bihar is one of the most sacred places of various religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism & Islam. Famous Attraction includes Mahabodhi Temple, a Buddhist shrine and UNESCO World Heritage Site is also situated in Bihar, Barabar Caves the oldest rockcut caves in India, Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Library the oldest library of India.

[edit] Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh is a new state but with an ancient civilization, which can be felt by visiting the historical remains in the state. The state is blessed by nature with magnificent water falls, mountains, forests and wildlife. The Green State of Chhattisgarh has 41.33% of its area under forests and is one of the richest bio-diversity areas in the country. There are many tourist attractions worth seeing.
Main attractions of Chhattisgarh are Chitrakot Waterfalls, Kutumsar Caves, Ramgarh and Sita Bengra, Bhoramdeo temple, Sirpur, Rajim, Ratanpur and Malhar.

[edit] Delhi

Delhi is the capital city of India. A fine blend of old and new, ancient and modern, Delhi is a melting pot of cultures and religions. Delhi has been the capital of numerous empires that ruled India, making it rich in history. The rulers left behind their trademark architectural styles. Delhi currently has many renowned historic monuments and landmarks such as the Tughlaqabad fort, Qutub Minar, Purana Quila, Lodhi Gardens, Jama Masjid, Humayun's tomb, Red Fort, and Safdarjung's Tomb. Modern monuments include Jantar Mantar, India Gate, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Laxminarayan Temple, Lotus temple and Akshardham Temple.
New Delhi is famous for its British colonial architecture, wide roads, and tree-lined boulevards. Delhi is home to numerous political landmarks, national museums, Islamic shrines, Hindu temples, green parks, and trendy malls.

[edit] Goa

Goa is noted for its resorts and beaches.
Goa is one of the most famous tourist destinations in India. A former colony of Portugal, Goa is famous for its excellent beaches, Portuguese churches, Hindu temples, and wildlife sanctuaries. The Basilica of Bom Jesus, Mangueshi Temple, Dudhsagar Falls, and Shantadurga are famous attractions in Goa. Recently a Wax Museum (Wax World) has also opened in Old Goa housing a number of wax personalities of Indian history, culture and heritage.
The Goa Carnival is a world famous event, with colorful masks and floats, drums and reverberating music, and dance performances.

[edit] Himachal Pradesh

The Himalayan landscape of Himachal Pradesh is ideal for out-door activities such as skiing
Himachal Pradesh is famous for its Himalayan landscapes and popular hill-stations. Many outdoor activities such as rock climbing, mountain biking, paragliding, ice-skating, and heli-skiing are popular tourist attractions in Himachal Pradesh.[11]
Shimla, the state capital, is very popular among tourists. The Kalka-Shimla Railway is a Mountain railway which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Shimla is also a famous skiing attraction in India. Other popular hill stations include Manali and Kasauli.
Dharamshala, home of the Dalai Lama, is known for its Tibetan monasteries and Buddhist temples. Many trekking expeditions also begin here.

[edit] Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu & Kashmir is known for its scenic landscape
Jammu and Kashmir is the northernmost state of India. Jammu is noted for its scenic landscape, ancient temples and mosques, Hindu and Muslim shrines, castles, gardens and forts. The Hindu holy shrines of Amarnath in Kashmir Valley attracts about .4 million Hindu devotees every year. Vaishno Devi also attract thousands of Hindu devotees every year. Jammu's historic monuments feature a unique blend of Islamic and Hindu architecture styles.
Tourism forms an integral part of the Kashmiri economy. Often dubbed "Paradise on Earth", Kashmir's mountainous landscape has attracted tourists for centuries. Notable places are Dal Lake, Srinagar Phalagam, Gulmarg, Yeusmarg and Mughal Gardens etc. Kashmir's natural landscape has made it one of the popular destinations for adventure tourism in South Asia.
In recent years, Ladakh has emerged as a major hub for adventure tourism. This part of Greater Himalaya called "moon on earth" consists of naked peaks and deep gorges. Leh, the capital, is also a growing tourist spot.

[edit] Karnataka

Mysore Palace, illuminated for the Dasara festival. This receives 2.7 million tourists, second highest in India
Karnataka has been ranked as fifth most popular destination for tourism among states of India.[2] It has the second highest number of protected monuments in India, at 507.
Kannada dynasties like Kadambas, Western Gangas, Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, Hoysalas, Vijayanagaras anf the Kingdom of Mysore ruled from what is today Karnataka.[12][13] They built great monuments to Buddhism, Jainism, Shaivism. These monuments are preserbed at Badami, Aihole, Pattadakal, Mahakuta, Hampi, Lakshmeshwar, Sudi, Hooli, Mahadeva Temple (Itagi), Dambal, Lakkundi, Gadag, Hangal, Halasi, Galaganatha, Chaudayyadanapura, Banavasi, Belur, Halebidu, Sringeri, Shravanabelagola, Sannati, Nanjangud, Mysore, Nandi Hills, Kolar, Mudabidri, Gokarna, Bagali, Kuruvatti and many more. Notable Islamic monuments are present at Bijapur, Bidar, Gulbarga, Raichur and other part of the state. Gol Gumbaz at Bijapur, has the second largest pre-modern dome in the world after the Byzantine Hagia Sophia. Karnataka has two World heritage sites, at Hampi and Pattadakal.
Karnataka is famous for its waterfalls. Jog falls of Shimoga District is one of the highest waterfalls in Asia. This state has 21 wildlife sanctuaries and five National parks and is home to more than 500 species of birds. Karnataka has many beaches at Karwar, Gokarna, Murdeshwara, Surathkal. Karnataka is a rock climbers paradise. Yana in Uttara Kannada, Fort in Chitradurga, Ramnagara near Bangalore district, Shivagange in Tumkur district and tekal in Kolar district are a rock climbers heaven.[14]

[edit] Kerala

Kerala, nicknamed as "God's own country," is famous for its houseboats.
Kerala is a state on the tropical Malabar Coast of southwestern India. Nicknamed as one of the "10 paradises of the world" by National Geographic, Kerala is famous especially for its eco-tourism initiatives. Its unique culture and traditions, coupled with its varied demography, has made it one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Growing at a rate of 13.31%, the tourism industry significantly contributes to the state's economy. Kerala is known for its tropical backwaters and pristine beaches such as Kovalam.
Popular attractions in the state include the beaches at Kovalam, Cherai and Varkala; the hill stations of Munnar, Nelliampathi, Ponmudi and Wayanad; and national parks and wildlife sanctuaries at Periyar and Eravikulam National Park. The "backwaters" region—an extensive network of interlocking rivers, lakes, and canals that centre on Alleppey, Kumarakom, and Punnamada—also see heavy tourist traffic. Heritage sites, such as the Padmanabhapuram Palace, Hill Palace, Mattancherry Palace are also visited. Cities such as Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram(Trivandrum) are popular centres for shopping and traditional theatrical performances.
The state's tourism agenda promotes ecologically sustained tourism, which focuses on the local culture, wilderness adventures, volunteering and personal growth of the local population. Efforts are taken to minimise the adverse effects of traditional tourism on the natural environment, and enhance the cultural integrity of local people.

[edit] Madhya Pradesh

The temples of Khajuraho are famous for their erotic sculptures. The Khajuraho group of monuments are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Madhya Pradesh is called the "Heart of India" because of its location in the centre of the country. It has been home to the cultural heritage of Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism. Innumerable monuments, exquisitely carved temples, stupas, forts and palaces are dotted all over the state.
The temples of Khajuraho are world-famous for their erotic sculptures, and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Gwalior is famous for its fort, Jai Vilas Palace, the Tomb of Rani Lakshmibai, Md. Ghaus & Tansen.
Madhya Pradesh is also known as Tiger State because of the tiger population. Famous national parks like Kanha, Bandhavgadh, Shivpuri, Sanjay, Pench are located in Madhya Pradesh. Spectacular mountain ranges, meandering rivers and miles and miles of dense forests offering a unique and exciting panorama of wildlife in sylvan surroundings.

[edit] Maharashtra

Mumbai is the most popular cosmopolitan city in India, famous for its architecture, shopping, gastronomy, and Bollywood. Maharashtra accounts for largest foreign tourists arrivals in India.[2]
Maharashtra is the most visited state in India by foreign tourists,[2] with more than 5.1 million foreign tourists arrivals annually. Maharashtra boasts of a large number of popular and revered religious venues that are heavily frequented by locals as well as out-of-state visitors.
Ajanta Caves, Ellora Caves and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus are the three UNESCO World Heritage sites in Maharashtra and are highly responsible for the development of Tourism in the state.
Mumbai is the most popular cosmopolitan city in India, and a great place to experience modern India. Mumbai famous for Bollywood, the world's largest film industry. In addition, Mumbai is famous for its clubs, shopping, and upscale gastronomy. The city is known for its architecture, from the ancient Elephanta Caves, to the Islamic Haji Ali Mosque, to the colonial architecture of Bombay High Court and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.
Maharashtra also has numerous adventure tourism destinations, including paragliding, rock climbing, canoeing, kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving. Maharashtra also has several pristine national parks and reserves, some of the best ones are Tadoba with excellent accommodation and safari experiences besides little known by amazing wildlife destinations like Koyna, Nagzira (very small with incredible sightings), Melghat (disturbed with massive mining truck movement), Dajipur, Radhanagari and of course the only national park within metropolis city limits in the world - Sanjay Gandhi National Park. The Bibi Ka Maqbara at Aurangabad the Mahalakshmi temple at Kolhapur, the cities of Nashik, Trimbak famous for religious importance and the city of Pune the seat of the Maratha Empire and the fantastic Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations together contribute for the Tourism sector of Mahrashtra.

[edit] Manipur

Loktak lake
Manipur as the name suggest is a land of jewels. Its rich culture excels in every aspects as in martial arts, dance, theater and sculpture. The charm of the place is the greenery with the moderate climate making it a tourists' heaven. The beautiful and seasonal Shirui Lily at Ukhrul (district), Sangai (brow antlered deer) and the floating islands at Loktak Lake are few of the rare things found in Manipur. Polo, which can be called a royal game, also originated from Manipur. Some of the main tourist attractions are:

[edit] Meghalaya

Meghalaya has some of the thickest surviving forests in the country. Therefore constitutes one of the most important ecotourism circuits in the country today. The Meghalayan subtropical forests support a vast variety of flora and fauna. Meghalaya has 2 national parks and 3 wildlife sanctuaries.
Meghalaya, also offers many adventure tourism opportunities in the form of mountaineering, rock climbing, trekking and hiking, water sports etc. The state offers several trekking routes some of which also afford and opportunity to encounter some rare animals such as the slow loris, assorted deer and bear. The Umiam Lake has a water sports complex with facilities such as rowboats, paddleboats, sailing boats, cruise-boats, water-scooters and speedboats.
Cherrapunjee is one of the most popular tourist spots in North East of India. It lies to the south of the capital Shillong. The town is very well known and needs little publicity. A rather scenic, 50 kilometer long road, connects Cherrapunjee with Shillong.
The popular waterfalls in the state are the Elephant Falls, Shadthum Falls, Weinia falls, Bishop Falls, Nohkalikai Falls, Langshiang Falls and Sweet Falls. The hot springs at Jakrem near Mawsynram are believed to have curative and medicinal properties.

[edit] Orissa

Orissa has been a preferred destination from ancient days for people who have an interest in spirituality, religion, culture, art and natural beauty. Ancient and medieval architecture, pristine sea beaches, the classical and ethnic dance forms and a variety of festivals. Orissa has kept the religion of Buddhism alive. Rock-edicts that have challenged time stand huge and over-powering by the banks of the river Daya. The torch of Buddhism is still ablaze in the sublime triangle at Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves, Lalitagiri as well as Ratnagiri, on the banks of river Birupa. Precious fragments of a glorious past come alive in the shape of stupas, rock-cut caves, rock-edicts, excavated monasteries, viharas, chaityas and sacred relics in caskets and the Rock-edicts of Ashoka. Orissa is also famous for its well-preserved Hindu Temples, especially the Jagnath Temple at Puri, Konark Sun Temple and The Leaning Temple of Huma.[15]
Orissa is the home for various tribal communities who have contributed uniquely to the multicultural and multilingual character of the state. Their handicrafts, different dance forms, jungle products and their unique life style blended with their healing practices have got world wide attention. The Sitalsasthi Carnival is a must see for everyone who wants to see a glimpse of the art and culture of Odisha at one place.

[edit] Puducherry

The Matrimandir, a golden metallic sphere in auroville, Puducherry
The Union Territory of Puducherry comprises four coastal regions viz- Puducherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam. Puducherry is the Capital of this Union Territory and one of the most popular tourist destinations in South India. Puducherry has been described by National Geographic as "a glowing highlight of subcontinental sojourn". The city has many beautiful colonial buildings, churches, temples, and statues, which, combined with the systematic town planning and the well planned French style avenues, still preserve much of the colonial ambience.

[edit] Punjab

Harimandir Sahib or "The Golden Temple"
The state of Punjab is renowned for its cuisine, culture and history. Punjab has a vast public transportation and communication network. Some of the main cities in Punjab are Patiala, Amritsar, Chandigarh, and Ludhiana. Punjab also has a rich religious history incorporating Sikhism and Hinduism. Tourism in Punjab is principally suited for the tourists interested in culture, ancient civilization, spirituality and epic history. Some of the villages in Punjab are also a must see for the person who wants to see the true Punjab, with their beautiful traditional Indian homes, farms and temples, this is a must see for any visitor that goes to Punjab. India-Pakistan border at Wagah is also a popular tourist attraction. Patiala is famous for loads of heritage such as Patiala Peg, Salwar and Jutti.

[edit] Rajasthan

Rajasthan, literally meaning "Land of the Kings", is one of the most attractive tourist destinations in Northern India. The vast sand dunes of the Thar Desert attract millions of tourists from around the globe every year.

[edit] Sikkim

Kangchenjunga is the third highest mountain in the world.
Originally known as Suk-Heem, which in the local language means "peaceful home". Sikkim was an independent kingdom till the year 1974, when it became a part of the Republic of India. The capital of Sikkim is Gangtok, located approximately 105 kilometers from New Jalpaiguri, the nearest railway station to Sikkim. Although, an airport is under construction at Dekiling in East Sikkim, the nearest airport to Sikkim would be Bagdogra.the important places to visit are: 1.Baba Mandir 2.Nathula Pass 3.Rumtek Monastery 4.Handicraft Shops 5.Tsangpo Lake
Sikkim is considered as the land of orchids, mystic cultures and colorful traditions. Sikkim is well known among trekkers and adventure lovers. Places near Sikkim include Darjeeling also known as the "Queen of Hills" and Kalimpong. Darjeeling, other than its world famous "Darjeeling tea" is also famous for its refined "Prep schools" founded during the British Raj. Kalimpong is also famous for its flora cultivation and is home to many internationally known Nurseries.

[edit] Tamil Nadu

The Nilgiri Mountain Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site provides a scenic view of hills throughout its 41 km journey between Mettupalayam and Ooty (7500 FT above ground level).
Tamil Nadu is the top state in attracting the maximum number of foreign tourists in India.[16] Archaeological sites with civilization dating back to 3800 years[17] are found in Tamil Nadu. The state also holds the credit of having maximum number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites (5) in India which includes Great Living Chola Temples and Mahabalipuram.
With more than 34000 temples,[16] Tamil Nadu has some great temples like Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple, Brihadeeswarar Temple, Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple.[18]
This state is also known for Medical tourism and houses some of Asia's largest hospital.[19][20]
Kanyakumari is the southernmost tip of India provides scenic view of sunset and sunshine over the Indian ocean. Hill stations like Yercaud, Kodaikanal, Ooty, Valparai, Yelagiri are widely visited. Water Falls and Wildlife sanctuaries are located across the state. Pichavaram the world's second largest mangrove forest are located in the state.[21]

[edit] Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand, the 27th state of the Republic of India, is called "the abode of the Gods". It contains glaciers, snow-clad mountains, valley of flowers, skiing slopes and dense forests, and many shrines and places of pilgrimage. Char-dhams, the four most sacred and revered Hindu temples: Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri are nestled in the Himalayas. Haridwar which means Gateway to God is the only place on the plains.
It holds the watershed for Gangetic River System spanning 300 km from Satluj in the west to Kali river in the east. Nanda Devi (25640 Ft) is the second highest peak in India after Kanchenjunga (28160 Ft). Dunagiri, Neelkanth, Chaukhamba, Panchachuli, Trisul are other peaks above 23000 Ft. It is considered the abode of Devtas, Yakashyas, Kinners, Fairies and Sages.[22] It boasts of some old hill-stations developed during British era like Mussoorie, Almora and Nainital.
Pindari Glacier, Milam Glacier, Gangotri Glacier, Bunder Punch Glacier, Khatling Glacier, Doonagiri Glacier, Dokrani Glacier, Kaphini Glacier, Ralam Glacier
Wildlife Reserves
Corbett National Park, Rajaji National Park, Asan Conservation Reserve, Nanda Devi National Park, Govind Wildlife Sanctuary, Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary (Askot), Valley of Flowers
Adventure Sports
Skiing at Mundali, Auli, Dayara Bagyal and Munsiyari. Paragliding at Yelagiri. Trekking at Mussoorie, Uttarkashi, Joshimath, Munsiyari, Chaukori, Pauri, Almora, Nainital

[edit] Uttar Pradesh

A panoramic view of the Fatehpur Sikri Palace, Uttar Pradesh
Situated in the northern part of India,border with the capital of India New Delhi.Uttar Pradesh is the most popular tourist destination in India. Uttar Pradesh is important with its wealth of historical monuments and religious fervour. Geographically, Uttar Pradesh is very diverse, with Himalayan foothills in the extreme north and the Gangetic Plain in the centre. It is also home of India's most visited site, the Taj Mahal, and Hinduism's holiest city, Varanasi. The most populous state of the Indian Union also has a rich cultural heritage. Kathak one of the eight forms of Indian classical dances, originated from Uttar Pradesh. Uttar Pradesh is at the heart of India,so popular with another name The Heartland of India. Cuisine of Uttar Pradesh like Awadhi cuisine, Mughlai cuisine, Kumauni cuisine are very famous in entire India and abroad.
Uttar Pradesh has much to offer.Places of interest in include:
  • Varanasi-The origin of Hinduism and world's one of the oldest city,City of temples,Most popular holy place of lord Shiva devotees,One of the finest Textiles Industry in the world.
A view of the Ghat of Varanasi from the River Ganges
Kumbh Mela
Kumbh Mela
Kumbh Mela at Allahabad

Kusuma Sarovar bathing ghat, in the Goverdhan area, Vrindavan
Uttar Pradesh is the historical heart land of India.Where each part of the state is attached with ancient history,civilization,religions and culture.

[edit] West Bengal

Kolkata, one of the many cities in the state of West Bengal has been nicknamed the City of Palaces. This comes from the numerous palatial mansions built all over the city. Unlike many north Indian cities, whose construction stresses minimalism, the layout of much of the architectural variety in Kolkata owes its origins to European styles and tastes imported by the British and, to a much lesser extent, the Portuguese and French. The buildings were designed and inspired by the tastes of the English gentleman around and the aspiring Bengali Babu (literally, a nouveau riche Bengali who aspired to cultivation of English etiquette, manners and custom, as such practices were favourable to monetary gains from the British). Today, many of these structures are in various stages of decay. Some of the major buildings of this period are well maintained and several buildings have been declared as heritage structures.
From historical point of view, the story of West Bengal begins from Gour and Pandua situated close to the present district town of Malda. The twin medieval cities had been sacked at least once by changing powers in the 15th century. However, ruins from the period still remain, and several architectural specimens still retain the glory and shin of those times. The Hindu architecture of Bishnupur in terracotta and laterite sandstone are renowned world over. Towards the British colonial period came the architecture of Murshidabad and Coochbehar.
Notable site of West Bengal
Cooch Behar · Cooch Behar · Darjeeling · Kalimpong · Kurseong · Dooars · Digha · Bishnupur · Malda · Mukutmanipur · Ayodhya Hills · Murshidabad · Kolkata.
Places of Worship
Dakshineswar Kali Temple · Kalighat Temple · Birla temple · Belur Math · Bhoothnath · Tipu Sultan Mosque · Nakhoda Mosque · St. Paul's Cathedral · St. John's Church · Parsi Fire Temples · Japanese Buddhist Temple · Pareshnath Jain Temple

[edit] Historic monuments

  • The Taj Mahal is one of India's best-known sites and one of the best architectural achievements in India,located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh . It was built between 1631 and 1653 by Emperor Shah Jahan in honor of his wife, Arjumand Banu, more popularly known as Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal serves as her tomb.
  • The Nalanda is located in the Indian State of Bihar, was a Buddhist center of learning from 427 C.E to 1197 C.E partly under the Pala Empire.[23][24] It has been called "one of the first great universities in recorded history."[24]
According to historical studies the University of Nalanda was established 450 C.E under the patronage of the Gupta emperors, notably Kumaragupta.[23]
  • The Golden Temple is one of the most respected temples in India and the most sacred place for Sikhs. The Golden Temple is located in Amritsar, Punjab, India.
  • The Bahá'í temple in Delhi, was completed in 1986 and serves as the Mother Temple of the Indian Subcontinent. It has won numerous architectural awards and been featured in hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles. (It is also known as the Lotus Temple.)

The Victoria Terminus in Mumbai is a train station built in Gothic architecture in honor of Queen Victoria.

[edit] Nature Tourism

India has geographical diversity, which resulted in varieties of nature tourism.

[edit] Wildlife in India

India is home to several well known large mammals including the Asian Elephant, Bengal Tiger, Asiatic Lion, Leopard and Indian Rhinoceros, often engrained culturally and religiously often being associated with deities. Other well known large Indian mammals include ungulates such as the domestic Asian Water buffalo, wild Asian Water buffalo, Nilgai, Gaur and several species of deer and antelope. Some members of the dog family such as the Indian Wolf, Bengal Fox, Golden Jackal and the Dhole or Wild Dogs are also widely distributed. It is also home to the Striped Hyaena, Macaques, Langurs and Mongoose species.
India also has a large variety of protected wildlife. The country's protected forest consists of 75 National parks of India and 421 sanctuaries, of which 19 fall under the purview of Project Tiger. Its climatic and geographic diversity makes it the home of over 350 mammals and 1200 bird species, many of which are unique to the subcontinent.
Some well known national wildlife sanctuaries include Bharatpur, Corbett, Kanha, Kaziranga, Periyar, Ranthambore, Manas and Sariska.
The world's largest mangrove forest Sundarbans is located in southern West Bengal. The Kaziranga National Park, Manas National Park, Sundarbans and Keoladeo National Park are UNESCO World Heritage Site.

[edit] Hill stations

Vindhya Range (विन्‍ध्य)

A summer view of Khajjiar, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh.

A panaromic view of Ooty, one of the finest hill-stations in India
Several hill stations served as summer capitals of Indian provinces, princely states, or, in the case of Shimla, of British India itself. Since Indian Independence, the role of these hill stations as summer capitals has largely ended, but many hill stations remain popular summer resorts. Most famous hill stations are:
In addition to the bustling hill stations and summer capitals of yore, there are several serene and peaceful nature retreats and places of interest to visit for a nature lover. These range from the stunning moonscapes of Leh and Ladhak, to small, exclusive nature retreats such as Dunagiri, Binsar, Mukteshwar in the Himalayas, to rolling vistas of Western Ghats to numerous private retreats in the rolling hills of Kerala.

[edit] Beaches

Elephants and camel rides are common on Indian beaches. Shown here is Havelock Island, part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands
India offers a wide range of tropical beaches with silver/golden sand to coral beaches of Lakshadweep. States like Kerala and Goa have exploited the potential of beaches to the fullest. However, there are a lot many unexploited beaches in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharastra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. These states have very high potential to be develop them as future destinations for prospective tourists. Some of the famous tourist beaches are:

[edit] Adventure Tourism

[edit] See also

[edit] References

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  2. ^ a b c d "Andhra Pradesh top tourist destination: Tourism Ministry". Financialexpress.com. 2011-07-18. http://www.financialexpress.com/news/andhra-pradesh-top-tourist-destination-tourism-ministry/819071/0. Retrieved 2011-07-23. 
  3. ^ Tourism Statistics at a Glance, 2010. Ministry of Tourism Government of India
  4. ^ "Tourism Stastics ENGLISH" (PDF). http://www.rediff.com/business/slide-show/slide-show-1-indias-top-10-tourist-destinations/20110719.htm. Retrieved 2010-01-19. 
  5. ^ Annual Report 2009-2010, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India
  6. ^ "Commonwealth Games to boost tourism in India: Deloitte - Economy and Politics". livemint.com. 2009-05-13. http://www.livemint.com/2009/05/13140705/Commonwealth-Games-to-boost-to.html?h=B. Retrieved 2010-01-19. 
  7. ^ Hospitality Begins at Home in the Family Palace
  8. ^ "Tourism in India has little to cheer". 2007. http://www.rediff.com/money/2007/apr/05tour.htm. 
  9. ^ "The Trouble With India: Crumbling roads, jammed airports, and power blackouts could hobble growth". BusinessWeek. 19 March 2007. http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_12/b4026001.htm. 
  10. ^ "Tourism set to boom in India: Deloitte". Livemint.com. 2009-03-25. http://www.livemint.com/2009/03/25233316/Tourism-set-to-boom-in-India.html?h=B. Retrieved 2010-01-19. 
  11. ^ "Activities". Himachal Tourism. http://himachaltourism.gov.in/page/Activities.aspx. Retrieved 2010-01-19. 
  12. ^ "History". http://karunadu.gov.in/informationdepartment/Pages/Aboutkarnataka.aspx. Retrieved 2009-02-16. 
  13. ^ "Handbook of Karnataka, History". http://www.gazetteer.kar.nic.in/get_chap.asp. Retrieved 2009-02-16. 
  14. ^ "Karnataka Tourism, Official Website, Department of Tourism". Karnatakatourism.org. http://www.karnatakatourism.org/. Retrieved 2011-07-23. 
  15. ^ "Temple | Konark India | Konark City | Konark Orissa | Sun temple Konark | Konark temple Orissa | Sun temple at Konark | Temple of Konark |Konark temple in Orissa | Sun temple konarak". Konark. http://www.konark.org/. Retrieved 2011-07-23. 
  16. ^ a b TNN (2010-08-10). "Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh build temple ties to boost tourism - The Times of India". Timesofindia.indiatimes.com. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/Tamil-Nadu-Andhra-Pradesh-build-temple-ties-to-boost-tourism/articleshow/6284409.cms. Retrieved 2011-07-23. 
  17. ^ "Skeletons dating back 3,800 years throw light on evolution - Times Of India". Timesofindia.indiatimes.com. 2006-01-01. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-1354201,prtpage-1.cms. Retrieved 2011-07-23. 
  18. ^ "Tiruchy Tourism - A land of tradition". Tn.gov.in. http://www.tn.gov.in/trichytourism/srirangam.htm. Retrieved 2011-07-23. 
  19. ^ "Tamil Nadu- A Healthcare Paradise - Express Healthcare". Expresshealthcare.in. http://www.expresshealthcare.in/201007/healthcareintamilnadu01.shtml. Retrieved 2011-07-23. 
  20. ^ "All News - The Network: Cisco's Technology News Site". Newsroom.cisco.com. http://newsroom.cisco.com/dlls/2010/prod_050710b.html. Retrieved 2011-07-23. 
  21. ^ "pitchavaram". Cuddalore.nic.in. http://cuddalore.nic.in/pitc.htm. Retrieved 2011-07-23. 
  22. ^ "Uttaranchal Tourism,Uttarakhand India Tourism,Uttaranchal Travel,Tourism In Uttaranchal,Adventure Trekking Tour Uttaranchal India,Trekking Wildlife Hill Station Tour Packages Uttaranchal India". Uttaranchaltourism.in. http://www.uttaranchaltourism.in/. Retrieved 2011-07-23. 
  23. ^ a b Altekar, Anant Sadashiv (1965). Education in Ancient India, Sixth, Varanasi: Nand Kishore & Bros.
  24. ^ a b "Really Old School," Garten, Jeffrey E. New York Times, December 9, 2006.

[edit] Further reading

[edit] External links


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