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PACHMARHI: THE VERDANT JEWEL OF SATPURAS

Pachmarhi, popularly known as ‘Satpura ki Rani’ is a pristine hill station nestled in the Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh. It sits beautifully, bedecked by nature and history, amidst the Satpura Range. The most popular and only hill station of the state, situated at an altitude of 1067 meters,it is a treasure trove with ancient caves of the Buddhist era residing in harmony with serene waterfalls. Also called the ‘Verdant Jewel of the Hills’, its all-pervading beauty strikes every eye- tranquil emerald pools, different hues of green dominating the landscape, and lush green, dense forests that dominate the region.

The name ‘Pachmarhi’ is believed to have been derived from the Hindi words ‘panch’ and ‘marhi’ which mean five and caves respectively. Legend says that five caves were built by the Pandava brothers from the epic Mahabharata during their exile period of 13 years. These caves exist till date and are situated on a hilltop. 

For many years, Pachmarhi was a town, both undiscovered and lowly populated. It was in 1857 that Captain James Forsyth of the British Army spotted the plateau in the region while leading his troops to Jhansi. It was soon developed into a hill station and a sanatorium. It also served as the summer capital for the Central Provinces. 

UNESCO added Pachmarhi to its list of Biosphere Reserves in 2009. Sprawling in an area of around 5000-kilometer squares, it encompasses the Bori and Pachmarhi Sanctuary as the buffer zones and the Satpura National Park as the core zone. The three collectively are home to a profusion of species from the lower Western Ghats and Himalayan peaks. Its forests are dominated by teak, sal, and oak. These forests are known for their medicinal plants and herbs. Its list of endemic species includes creatures like chinkara, nilgai, Indian giant, and flying squirrels and bison. It also hosts more than seventy species of butterflies and many birds, offering lucrative options for bird watching.

Pachmarhi is most known for its waterfalls- water flowing in silvery streaks from rocks surrounded by frondescence. The most popular one is the ‘Bee Falls’. It has been named so because from a distance it sounds like a bee’s buzz. One can take a walk of around one and a half kilometers to view the fall in its entirety or rent a four-wheeler as well. Other popular waterfalls include the Dutchess falls, by far the steepest and remote one in the town; Silver Falls, also called the Rajat Prapat or Big Falls, known for its 2800+ feet of silver splotches running down a gorge, and the Little Falls. Other pacific and prominent water bodies in the place include the Apsara Vihar and Panar Pani. Facilities like boating, paragliding, and adventure camps are available here. 

Pachmarhi is interspersed with places of religious and historical importance. The three cave temples dedicated to Lord Shiva called the Chota or Gupt Mahadev, Bada Mahadev and Jatashankar hold high religious significance. The Gupt Mahadev is a narrow point in the hills, so much that you need to walk sideways at times in order to access the place. Adjacent to it is the Bada Mahadev, a giant rock formation where Lord Vishnu tricked Bhasmasura into killing himself. The sacred Jatashankar shrine is where Lord Shiva supposedly concealed himself. 

Apart from these, Handi Khoh is known for its legend associated with Lord Shiva. It is believed that in the lake that existed earlier in the place, Lord Shiva destroyed an evil serpent. In the process, the water dried up and gave the place a shape that till today looks like a pot or handi. Chauragarh, the third highest peak of Pachmarhi is a pilgrimage site dedicated to Lord Shiva. Around two lakh Trishuls are offered here during the annual festival of Mahashivratri. 

As the highest point of the Satpura Range, Dhoopgarh, true to its name is where the Sun is visible throughout on cloudless days with sunshine dancing off the surrounding peaks. Sangam or the confluence of mountain streams behind Dhupgarh offers a lovely view. Along with this, the Chauragarh Fort also offers spots for sunrise viewing and picture clicking.

Other worth mentioning places to visit in Pachmarhi include the Priyadarshini Point, earlier known as the Forsyth Point is from where Captain Forsyth viewed Pachmarhi for the first time; the Patalkot Valley, a four hour drive from Pachmarhi; the beautiful viewpoint of Rajendragiri, a garden named after our first President and cave paintings that are more than ten thousand years old.

As such the place doesn’t have its own specialties in terms of food but offers umpteen options available to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. Places like the China Bowl and the Jalaram Bhojnalaya are must-visits. Pachmarhi is popular for its ayurvedic products, bamboo items, metal statues, and paintings. It’s Prakrit Silk sarees are especially famous and can be purchased from the Prakrit Silk Emporium. 

The climate in Pachmarhi is generally mild, balmy, and temperate. As compared to the winters, summers experience more rainfall. The winter season is the optimum time to visit Pachmarhi and the peak season as well. The slightly chilly breeze and the cold weather offer a great time to relish sightseeing. Tourists mostly pour in due to the confluence of Christmas, New Year, and the Pachmarhi Utsava organized by the state tourism from December 25 to 31.

All major cities of Madhya Pradesh like Bhopal, Indore, and Jabalpur are connected to Pachmarhi via roads. The nearest railway station available is Pipariya and Bhopal and Jabalpur serve as the nearest airports. The last leg of the journey to reach Pachmarhi needs to be undertaken by roads only. 

Every inch of Pachmarhi is a treat to the human eye. A visit to Pachmarhi is sure to make you feel calm; instill tranquillity into every iota of your body. It returns the feeling of putting your bare feet on grass for the very first time as a child to your heart and mind.

WELCOME TO ROME

A combination of gorgeous sights, inspiring art and exciting street life, Italy’s capital is among the most romantic and charming cities in the world. With a population of about 28 lakhs, Rome is the most populous city in the country!

After 3000 years of Rome’s urban development, it has become a city of animating sights. Ancient ruins of Rome, The Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hills, represent the golden tale of this city. Everyone can’t help but be thrilled by the landmarks, wealth of history and culture the city has. Moreover, yards and showy fountains add an extravagant flourish to the city’s captivating streets. Its historic center is recorded by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

Having a mild Mediterranean climate and extreme urban energy, Rome’s society is known for its style, craze for football and the world-famous restaurants and cafes on every street! The pace rises in the evening when fashionable drinkers descend to the city’s bars and cafes for a sociable drink with delectable snacks. 

When in Rome, one should explore the great Italian food to be found in the city. Carbonara is a specific dish one should try when in Rome. This pasta dish consisting of egg yolk, grated cheese, bacon and black pepper coated over spaghetti noodles, is a simple yet creamy and delicious dish. Carciofi Alla or Roman-Jewish artichokes is another dish one should put his hands on, while  here- after all, it’s essential to ‘do what the Romans do, when in Rome’!

HEAVEN IN GOD’S OWN COUNTRY

Munnar, nestled in the mighty Western Ghats, is a tropical hill station in God’s own country, Kerala. This pristine place is home to rolling hills, winding trails and meandering roads, evergreen tea and
spice gardens, that are bound to leave you spell-bound.

Munnar falls in the Idukki district of Kerala. The name ‘Munnar’ is believed to mean ‘three rivers’. The name has been given because Munnar is situated at the confluence of the rivers Kundala, Mudhirapuhza and Nallathanni and is often referred to as the ‘Kashmir of South India’. The town is interspersed with hills and mountains, rivers and waterfalls, plantations and wildlife protected areas, offering a wholesome diversity in terms of topography.


The earliest known inhabitants of Munnar have been from the Muthuvan tribal community. The town remained largely undiscovered for many centuries, prior to which, the Poonjar Royal family oversaw its protection and acted as its custodians. It was in the early 19th century that Europeans started plantations here. Then in 1870, the then British resident of Travancore, Sir J. Munro visited this hidden beauty and instantly felt an ethereal connection to the place and also started tea cultivation in
its vast lands. It was soon developed as a holiday destination for the British Elite. The development of Munnar as a tourist spot was started in the early 20th century.
Munnar is surrounded by around eight wildlife sanctuaries and national parks with a variety of species of flora and fauna. The most popular ones include the Eranikulam National park and the Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary. These protected areas also are hosts to endemic species like the Nilgiri thar and langur, sambar, wood pigeons and grizzled squirrels.
Munnar boasts of a number of bewitching lakes and waterfalls. The Devikulam Lake, set amidst hills and trees, also referred to as the Sita Devi Lake, gets the name because Devi Sita once bathed here. The lake is highly revered by the locals and has the Devikulam tree estate on one of its ends. The Attukad waterfalls, housed in between towering hills, is another mesmerizing natural beauty accessible after a walk from the forests and a pass on a wooden bridge.
Munnar also offers its own version of the Shikara houseboats, akin to the versions of Kashmir, at the Kundala river, 27 kilometres from here. The river also holds Asia’s largest and the world’s second largest arch dam. Other prominent water bodies and structures here include the Elephant Lake, the
Mattupetty Dam and the Lakkoma waterfalls.

Top Point, the highest local point on the Munnar-Kodaikanal road offers a spell- binding view of the Western Ghats and its bountiful ranges, rivers and fields. Top Point is known for the Nilakurinji orchid blossoms which bloom only once in about twelve years and turn the place and the adjacent
valleys into a delightful shade of purple. The last time the orchids bloomed was in the year 2018. Adjacent to the same is the Echo Point, known for its breathtaking view of vast stretches of tea and coffee plantations and a beautiful river flowing through the grassy green valley. Both of these spots
are considered ideal for photography.
Considered to be a haven for adventure junkies, Munnar offers a diverse range of activities from mountain biking, trekking, hiking and rock climbing to wildlife spotting and trout fishing. Munnar houses the tallest peak of South India called the Anamudi Peak that tapers to 2695 meters, making it
an ideal spot for trekking. The months from December to February characterized by pleasant weather with a whiff of cold breeze are considered ideal for these activities and the best time to visit Munnar.

The summer and monsoon seasons, on the contrary, are more suited to sight-seeing and are marked by moderate temperatures. Embarking on nature trails that include plantation walks, guided walking tours and waterfall tours are the most sought after activities. One can also indulge with the locals who are mostly Tamilians and Malayalees and very welcoming at heart.
The Blossoms International Park, yet another tourist spot, is where flowers weave their magic over tourists. It also offers nature walks and boating and bird watching facilities. Alongside this, the Tata Tea Museum takes you on a trip through the course and history of tea cultivation and the intricacies of
tea processing.
Munnar is known for its bounty of medicinal plants, herbs and fruits. Apart from the authentic taste of South Indian food that it offers, Munnar also has a thriving street food culture that comes alive after sunset. From Puttu and Kadala Curry, Appams with Stew to Kerala Prawn Curry and Stir Fried
Chicken, this place is suitable for both vegetarians and non- vegetarians. Walking along the Post Office Road only reveals the many hues and colours of their food culture.
The hill station is easily accessible through different modes of transportation. Road connectivity is offered through almost all major cities and towns of Kerala. Due to the absence of a proper railway station, Munnar can be reached after taking a road transport system from the two nearest stations, Aluva and Ernakulam. Additionally, the nearest airports include Cochin and Madurai (Tamil Nadu).
Munnar is a must visit for those who want to experience unadulterated beauty and spend time in tranquillity away from the chaos of everyday city life. The many scenic and serene places in Munnar offer you the perfect get away from our normal lives characterized by hustle and bustle.
Munnar is indeed a treasure trove worthy of all the attention it grabs. It is a heaven in God’s own
Country!

Goa: India’s most popular tourist destination

Goa is a coastal region located in the western part of India famous as
most popular tourist destination. It is surrounded by Arabian Sea on
one side and land on the other sides, this region comprises of more
than thirty beaches. It is the smallest region of the country and fourth
smallest regions in term of population. As in the past it was ruled by
Portuguese, this region is famous for fusion of Indian and European
culture and beauty. The western Ghats makes this region looks lush for
not only wildlife but also for flora.
Goa is one of the most important and beautiful tourist spots in the
country because of its beauty and culture. If you love beaches and
adventure activities, this is the best place to visit and enjoy.
The main activities to enjoy in Goa are the water sports. The top
beaches to visit in this exotic place are: Arambol, where you can enjoy
paragliding, yoga classes and parties. Agonda beach, here you can enjoy
fishing, boating, picnicking, spa and bike ride on beach. Jet skiing, sun
bathing and shopping can be enjoyed at Candolim beach. Water
scooter, motor boat, water skiing, parasailing, snorkeling, sport fishing,
yachting, kayaking and other water sports can be enjoyed at Dona
Paula. Other famous beaches to visit are Anjuna, Calangute, Palolem
and Colva. If you are looking for pilgrimage activities, you can find
numerous churches in the old Goa region like Bom Jesus Basilica,
Immaculate Conception and Mater Dei Church.

For architectural beauty of yesteryear in Goa, The Velhas Conquistas is
famous. You can also find many amazing forts like Tiracol, Corjuem,
Aguada, Mormugao and others in this region. There are a few museums
in the city like Goa state museum, Naval Aviation museum, Goa science
center and others. If you really like enjoying wildlife, then the best
sanctuaries to visit in this place are Cotigao Wildlife sanctuary,
Dudhsagar waterfall and others.
Goa is also known as Las Vegas for India with casino, water sports and
extensive nightlife. Goa is a prime center for art and culture. The
cuisine of the land is noteworthy as they have a combination of style of
Portuguese and spice palate of India. There are a lot of theatres to
catch a show if you like to enjoy dance and music of this region.
The region is at prime beauty throughout the year. Summer starts in
March and ends in June. At this time you can enjoy all the beach
activities. Winter starts in October and ends in March, this is also the
time of many carnivals and festivals. Goa receives moderate rain.
Goa can be reached by air, by road and even by train.

AMSTERDAM: VENICE OF THE NORTH

Amsterdam is the world-famous 17th century capital of the Netherlands. It is the most populous city of the Netherlands with a population of about 872,680. Amsterdam is one of the greatest small cities. Its canals and famous museums make it one of the most romantic and beautiful cities in Europe.

Leh Ladakh-India’s Own Moonland

Ladakh is heaven on Earth with plenty of attractions to go to, fabulous landscapes, amazing people, and culture. It is one beautiful beauty that is on every traveler’s bucket list. Ladakh is exquisite in all the fields it covers whether it is nature, geography, sceneries, or the cultures that it raises. It is surrounded by the world’s greatest mountain ranges, the Great Himalaya and the Karakoram. Leh has a cold desert climate having long, cold winters from late November to early March. The city gets occasional snowfall during winter. 

Pocket-Friendly Trips in India

There can be many cheap places in India that are on a low budget and have affordable accommodation options. If you are a college student or want to cover several destinations in little money, there are many places in India to head to from hill stations to beaches, deserts and happening cities.

JAISALMER: THE GOLDEN CITY

We have often heard people talking about visiting places out of India i.e. visiting other countries but in India itself there are a lot many places which are too beautiful and peaceful to visit. And one of those places is; Jaisalmer.

Jaisalmer is  popularly known as the “Golden City.” It is one of the most famous destinations in the state of Rajasthan. The city is known for its ethical beauty and tradition. The town is also known for its location  which is right in the middle of the Thar Desert.

CROATIA – FULL OF LIFE

One of the most desired tourist destinations of the world, Croatia might not just fanaticize one, about the historical medieval cities and ruins but also has something to offer to everyone who visits it. Located in the Balkans, Croatia is not just heaven with natural beauty but also has a lot more to offer to all those who might be quite interested in the medieval history of Europe. 

ARAKU VALLEY: ANDHRA’S OOTY

Surrounded by lush green forests and high mountains, Araku Valley in Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh, is a stunner. This comparatively unexplored hill station is synonymous to serenity and tranquility. Mostly known as Andhra’s Ooty, Araku never fails to amaze tourists who come to visit this valley from different parts of the world.

PHUKET: THE LAND OF ANGELS

Phuket is amidst the world’s finest beach destination. With its soothing white sand, nodding palm trees, glittering seas and lively towns, Phuket is a fascinating mix of culture, heritage and modernity. It is called the Land of Angels as far as its startling natural splendor is concerned.

5 PLACES THAT YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO VISIT IN INDIA

Hereby is a list of top 5 deadliest places in India that are spellbindingly beautiful and cannot be visited. As a country which is home to numerous sights that never cease to amaze a nature lover or a traveller however, there are also some places that, despite actually being a part of India, remain beyond our reach. These areas are restricted to the citizens of India due to varying reasons, and as a result, lie so close to us and yet so far away.

KOLKATA- THE CITY MAKES YOU FEEL ALIVE

Have you been to Kolkata? It’s known as the city of joy. It rightfully is. Being a metropolitan city, it is surprisingly calm and has a delightful yet soothing sense attached to it. It goes way back to being the capital of British India until 1912 and it’s residents still claim a strong relationship to its colonial past.

KANPUR-THE MANCHESTER OF THE EAST

Situated on the southern bank of the river Ganga, Kanpur is a satellite city located in the south-western part of Uttar Pradesh. Tracing back its roots, formerly known as Cawnpore- the city was a major textile and leather hub during the British Raj and home to the first woolen mill of India, commonly known as ‘Lal Imli’. Textile and leather products produced in the city were famous worldwide, leading to the renowned titles like ‘Leather City of the World’ and ‘Manchester of the East’.

THE PINK CITY: JAIPUR

The best example of ancient as well as modern culture; the historical city of Jaipur is the capital of the royal state of Rajasthan. The city is situated on the eastern border of the Thar Desert; but surrounded by the elevated Aravallis on three sides; it is protected from the harsh desert.

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