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The year 2013 has come to an end. I was thinking if we Indians know of ourselves clearly. With this in mind I wish to portray my thoughts to friends truthfully. Well here goes my yakity yak to you.
I used to wonder about the lackadaisical approach by any government of India to market it as the most spectacular tourist spots in the world. I just did a long search for unique picturesque places and I am stunned by my own ignorance of the beauty of our poor but great country of resources. Tell me dear readers after you have seen these pictures, that aren't you also not stunned ?????? No wonder the world knows us as MYSTERIOUS INDIA.
Here is a brief on the uniqueness of the only country in the world with the best natural and manpower resource in the world, highly overpopulated,with most people in poverty status, but with one of the most vibrant educated large middle-class people of the world, I would also state that it is the most educated nation for its great democracy and judicial systems, but here again the level of corruption is so endemic that most of the elected politicians are draining away the nation's resources for their own personal wealth. Mind you, tell me which nation in the world has 14 official languages with over 300 spoken dialects but remains as a nation together despite it's periodic ethnic and religious mob and processional violences ( mostly in rural India). I believe India has more to offer to the world in terms of living as a society with all people's differences of living and religious habits.This unique freedom enables it's citizens to live "a happy for the day" life.
SYNOPSIS OF INDIA
5,000 year old ancient civilization
325 languages spoken – 1,652 dialects
18 official languages
28 states, 5 union territories
3.28 million sq. kilometers - Area
7,516 kilometers - Coastline
1.3 Billion population.
5600 dailies, 15000 weeklies and 20000 periodicals in 21languages with a combined circulation of 142 million.
GDP $576 Billion. (GDP rate 8%)
Parliamentary form of Government
World's largest democracy
World's 4th largest economy.
World-class recognition in IT, bio-technology and space.
Largest English speaking nation in the world.
3rd largest standing army force, over 1.5Million strong.
2nd largest pool of scientists and engineers in the World.
Imagine, 12 percent of all American scientists are of Indian origin; 38 percent of doctors in America are Indian; 36 percent of NASA scientists are Indians; 34 percent of Microsoft employees are Indians; and 28 percent of IBM employees are Indians.
SPECTACULAR PLACES OF MYSTERIOUS INDIA- by Tony Chacko
The TAJ MAHAL AT AGRA ( One of the 7 wonders of the world)
THE GANGOTHRI GLACIER AND THE BHAGIRATHA PEAKS OF UTTARAKHAND. THESE
ARE THE SOURCE OF WATER FOR THE GANGES RIVER.
Khajjiar, often called as India‘s Switzerland, is a hill station in Chamba District of Himachal Pradesh.
The hill station is picturesquely set in the midst of magnificent ‗Deodar‘ forests. The clump of reeds and
the green meadow add an exquisite charm to this place. A small plateau in its green turf of dense pine
and Deodar forests along its fringes adds to the pastoral scenery. This offbeat place in India has the
rarest combination of three eco systems. The lakes, the pastures and the forests come together to make a
visit to this place a unique experience.
Aerial view of road to Malana Valley in Himachel Pradesh
Malana is a tiny unique village with about 100 houses and is situated to the north-east of Kullu Valley in
Himachal Pradesh. It is believed that one of the finest Charas or ‖ Malana Cream‖ is grown in this region. It
is believed that Malana Cream is the most strongest and top-notch Charas till date. This ancient solitary
village in Malana is isolated from the rest of the world. The majestic peaks of Chandrakhani shadow the
village and it is among the must visit offbeat places in India. They are considered to be one of the first
democracies in the world and do not follow the Constitution of India. They follow an indigenous system and
they believe they are independent and superior. Malana is also called as the ―Little Greece in Himachal
Pradesh‖ as the Malanis believe that they are the descendents of Alexander-The Great!
Valley of Flowers, Uttaranchal ( A UNESCO heritage site). The great Himalayan range is the
house of most exotic fauna and flora with endemic alpine flowers and dazzling natural beauty. The
Himalayan ranges of Garhwal hills of Uttaranchal dwell the most charming Valley of Flowers National park
which features the rugged Rocky Mountain wilds of Nanda Devi National Park. The park covers an area of
87.50 sq. km.and is home to the rarest flowers ever found on Earth. Flowers such as orchids, poppies,
primulas, marigold, daisies and anemones look exuberant and vivid. Medical plants such as Dactylorhiza
hatagirea, Picrorhiza kurrooa, Aconitum violaceum, Polygonatum multiflorum, Fritillaria roylei and
Podophyllum hexandrum are also found in abundance. It is one of the best travel places in India and most
startling experiences Mother Earth can offer everyone who visits this place.
Gravity Defying Palace at Lucknow. A man made wonder and a complete offbeat destination, the
Gravity Defying Palace at Lucknow, capital of the eastern region of Uttar Pradesh, is known for its
mystifying palace complex. This marvelous creation of 18th-century by the monarch Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula,
is a blend of European and Arabic architecture. Bara Imambara‘s superlative central arched hall is almost
50 meters long and about three stories high without any pillars or beams. The main hall was constructed
exclusively with interlocking brick-work and is famous for its mysterious architecture of ―Bhulbhulaiya- a
dense maze‖. This labyrinth is made of more than 1,000 narrow staircase passages meant to prevent any
possible intruders. One can roam around the clandestine maze; preferably with an official guide. And
alongside one can also explore the adjacent mosque and stunning gardens.
This is the 50metre long central arched hall of the palace – a wonder.
The Phuktal Monastery (Ladakh) is a massive cave Monastery held high-up in the steep mountains. It
is this demeanour which makes this Monastery unique amongst all others in the Zanskar Valley. The
foundation of this monastery is primarily made of twigs and mud. It was found way back in the 12th century
and is home to around 70 monks. The frescoes and ceiling decorations of the monastery connects to the same
era of Alchi Monastery and Tabo Monastery – one of the oldest monasteries. The most attractive aspect is
the hollow in the rock in the cave over the monastery. The level of the water in this hollow never spills
regardless of any amount of water being drawn from it and is believed to have healing powers!
Amidst the naturally green settings of the Tea Plantations of Munnar in Kerala. Indeed a
Khardungla Pass of Ladakh Region in Kashmir is the highest Motorable Road In the world at a
height of 17800ft .
Serene Jullay Town of Ladakh at the base of the Himalayan Peaks.
Ladakh ("land of high passes") is a region of India in the state of Jammu and Kashmir that lies between
the Kunlun mountain range in the north and the main Great Himalayas to the south. It is one of the most
sparsely populated regions in Jammu and Kashmir."Ladakh, the Persian translation of the Tibetan Ladvags, is warranted by the pronunciation of the word in several Tibetan districts."Historically, the region
included the Baltistan (Baltiyul) valleys, the Indus Valley, the remote Zangskar, Lahaul and Spiti to the
south, Aksai Chin and Ngari, including the Rudok region and Guge, in the east, and the Nubra valleys to the
north.Contemporary Ladakh borders Tibet to the east, the Lahaul and Spiti to the south, the Vale of
Kashmir, Jammu and Baltiyul regions to the west, and the trans–Kunlun territory of Xinjiang to the far
north. It is renowned for its mountain beauty and culture. It is sometimes called "Little Tibet" as it has been
strongly influenced by Tibetan culture.
Thikse Monastery, Ladakh
The lure of the Mountains, a mountaineer’s paradise at Roopchand Skeletal Lake at
Uttaranachal. You have to be here to experience the natural Himalayan snowy mountains –
much better than the Alpian experience.
Cherrapunji, is a town in the Indian state of Meghalaya. It is the second wettest place on Earth.
However, nearby Mawsynram currently holds that record. Though, it still holds the world record for the
most rainfall in a calendar month and in a year. It received 9,300 mm (366 in) in July 1861 and
26,461 mm (1,041.75 in) between 1 August 1860 and 31 July 1861. It is the traditional capital of a hima
(Khasi tribal chieftainship constituting a petty state) known as Sohra or Churra.
CHERRAPUNJI WATERFALLS, MEGHALAYA
This is Leh in Ladakh with its clear glacial lake.
Village of Nimo, Markha Valley, Ladakh of India.
The Royal Palms Golf Course at Srinagar, Kashmir .
The Panoramic Dal Lake of Kashmir ( Not Norway, Finland or Switzerland ). Dal Lake is in
Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. This urban lake is the second largest in the state, is integral to
tourism and recreation in Kashmir and is named the "Jewel in the crown of Kashmir". The lake is also an important
source for commercial operations in fishing and water plant harvesting. The shore line of the lake, is about 15.5
kilometres (9.6 mi), is encompassed by a boulevard lined with Mughal era gardens, parks, houseboats and hotels.
Scenic views of the lake can be witnessed from the Shalimar Bagh and Nishat Bagh built during the reign of Mughal
Emperor Jahangir ] and from houseboats cruising along the lake in the colourful shikaras. During the winter season,
the temperature sometimes reaches −11 °C (12 °F), freezing the lake
SNOWY GULMARG OF KASHMIR.
THE SPECTACULAR COMMERCIAL TULIP GARDENS OF SRINAGAR, KASHMIR
Apple trees of an orchard in Himachel Pradesh
Cole Park in Tezpur Assam.
Even terraced crop cultivation in Assam.
Double Decker Root Bridges of Cherrapunji in Meghalaya.
Living root Bridges (unique only
in India) are built in the deep valleys of East Khasi hills in central Meghalaya, Northeast India. The people of
these villages Nongriat, Laitkynshew and others) are isolated from rest of the world as they are in deep
valleys which can only be reached by an arduous trek. Now the situation is better as there are steps built to
visit the valley. One has to descend and climb more than 2100 steps at a time. Since these valleys were
inaccessible for a long time people develop this ingenious solution to cross rivers which were overflowing due
to tremendous rainfall during monsoons. They plant the strangler fig trees on both sides and once they grow
they use guides like bamboo poles or string for the roots to grow around them. Then in 10-15 years or so a
bridge is grown. This is multi-generational effort. these bridges are extremely durable and last 5 to 6
Resort at Jim Corbett National Park. It is a famous national park of India world renowned for the
tiger conservation. It is the oldest national park of India. Initially the park was established in
1936 as Hailey National Park located in Nainital district of Uttarakhand state.
Elephant ride at the Corbett National park.
White Bengal Tigers. The Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) is the most numerous tiger subspecies. Its
populations have been estimated at 1,706–1,909 in India, 440 in Bangladesh, 163–253 in Nepal and 67–81 in
Bhutan. Since 2010, it has been classified as an endangered species by the IUCN. The total population
is estimated at fewer than 2,500 individuals with a decreasing trend, and none of the Tiger Conservation
Landscapes within the Bengal tiger's range is large enough to support an effective population size of 250 adult
individuals. Bengal is traditionally fixed as the typical locality for the binomial Panthera tigris, to which the
British taxonomist Pocock subordinated the Bengal tiger in 1929 under the trinomial Panthera tigris tigris. It
is the national animal of both India and Bangladesh.
Rhinoceros of Kaziraganga park, Assam, india.
The Golden Fort of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. Made out of sandstone this is known as Sonar Quila.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Munnar, Kerala
Eravikulam Forest Lake of Munnar, Kerala.
Enchanting Tea Plantations alongside Munnar Lake, Munnar in Kerala. A real heavenly sight.
Echo Valley, Munnar, Kerala
The scenic beauty of the backwaters of Alleppey District in Kerala, India.
Exotic stepped tea gardens of Darjeeling, Meghalaya.
BIRLA MANDIR (WHITE MARBLE TEMPLE), JAIPUR
Natural rocks of the beaches of Goa
The Sripuram Golden Temple was built in a short span of 7 years. It was inaugurated on August
24, 2007. The entire temple was designed by Amma, as conceived through the divine vision. Sri Narayani
Peetam headed by a 31-year-old god man who calls himself Narayani Amma. Devotees hail the temple as 'one
of the wonders of the world' and say that it is the only temple covered fully with gold.
The view of the temple lit up by night.
Underwater Marine Life – Lakshadweep Islands
Lakshadweep island – Local Sailboat ( What a sight!!!)
ARE YOU STUNNED BY THESE SEA RESORTS OF LAKSHADWEEP??? I AM STONED BY THIS
SIGHT OF OVER THE SEA BUNGALOWS.
Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple,Nandagiri, Andhra Pradesh
Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple in Andhra Pradesh . As both Vishnu and Siva temples co-exist in Narsimhulapalle, the
place is known as "Hari-Hara Kshethram". The region where Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple located might have been
ruled by the rulers of Nanda Dynasty (424 BC), and consequently the place is known as Nandagiri.
DEEPEST STEP-WELL TEMPLE –“CHAND BAORI” at AMRITSAR, PUNJAB
The Golden Sikh Temple of Amritsar, Punjab
Konark Sun Temple also Konârak) is a 13th century Sun Temple (also known as the Black Pagoda), at Konark,
in Odisha, India. It was supposedly built by king Narasimhadeva I of Eastern Ganga Dynasty around 1250. It has
been built in the shape of a gigantic chariot with elaborately carved stone wheels, pillars and walls. A major part
of the structure is now in ruins. The temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Mayfair Resort Lagoon at Bhubaneshwar, Odisha
Kye Buddhist Monastery is situated 12 kms. north of Kaza in Lahaul and Spiti district and serves the
western population of Spiti. in Himachel Pradesh.
The Lotus Temple in Delhi. It is a Bahá'í House of Worship completed in 1986. Notable for its
flowerlike shape, it serves as the Mother Temple of the Indian subcontinent and has become a prominent
attraction in the city. The Lotus Temple has won numerous architectural awards and been featured in
hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles.
The Kankaria Lakefront Development Project initiated by the Government of Gujarat under the
leadership of Shri Narendra Modi, stands complete while restoring the lake and attracting tourists in large
Mājuli or Majoli is a large river island in the Brahmaputra river, in Assam, India ( considered the largest
river island in the world). Mājuli had a total area of 1,250 square kilometres (483 sq mi), but having lost
significantly to erosion it has an area of only 421.65 square kilometres (163 sq mi) in 2001. Majuli has shrunk
as the river surrounding it has grown. The island is formed by the Brahmaputra river in the south and the
Kherkutia Xuti, an anabranch of the Brahmaputra, joined by the Subansiri River in the north. Mājuli island is
accessible by ferries from the City of Jorhat. The island is about 200 kilometres east from the state's largest
city —Guwahati. The island was formed due to course changes by the river Brahmaputra and its tributaries,
mainly the Lohit. Mājuli is also the abode of the Assamese neo-Vaisnavite culture.
Lake Gurodongmar (17000ft above sea level) in scenic Sikkim, India
Silk Route, a new holiday destination of East Sikkim. What a winding road curving upto the mountain
villages. Nathu La (Old Silk Route) is one of the three open trading border posts between China and India; the
other two are Shipkila in Himachal Pradesh and Lipulekh (or Lipulech) in Uttarakhand. Sealed by India after
the 1962 Sino-Indian War, Nathu La was re-opened in 2006 following numerous bilateral trade agreements.
Kempty Waterfalls of Mussoorie, Uttaranachal
Nainital, Dehradun District of Uttarakhand. – Not Switzerland, but your own beautiful India.
The Indian state of Rajasthan is famous for historic havelis,
forts and palaces. ( There are over 40 of them to be visited)
Umaid Bhawan Palace, Rajasthan. Seat of the Maharaja of Jodhpur. Part of the palace has been
converted into a hotel.
Jai Mahal Lake Palace , Jaipur, Rajasthan. ( It was the former royal residence, but today it is a
The Inner lake courtyard of Taj Lake Palace Hotel, Jaipur, Rajasthan
City Palace, Jaipur. Seat of the Maharaja of Jaipur. Now a museum.
Tree House Adventure Guest Houses in Rajasthan
Brindavan Public Gardens, Mysore, Karnataka.
Antilla, World's Most Expensive Home at Mumbai, India
Antilia is a 27-floor personal home in South Mumbai belonging to businessman Mukesh Ambani,
chairman of Reliance Industries. A full-time staff of 600 maintains the residence, reportedly the most
expensive home in the world.
Construction started : 2006
Floors : 27
Height : 173 m
Address : Altamount Rd, Mumbai, MH, India
A ballroom lit with chandeliers of solid gold. A 50-seat theater and nine cocktail lounges. Three
helicopter pads and six underground floors of parking.
These are just a handful of the amenities one can reportedly find at Antilla, the newly-completed
Mumbai home of Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani. Valued at a staggering $1 billion, the
27-story, 400,000-square-foot home -- which employs a housekeeping staff of 600 -- is being billed as the
world's most expensive home. According to MSNBC, a glitzy housewarming party is planned for the end
of the month and promises to be a much-sought-after invite among India's elite.
One less-than-savory aspect of the home which designers have yet to tout -- Antilla, named after a
mythical island, also provides a bird's eye view of Mumbai's slums, home to 60 percent of the city's
population. Named by Forbes as India's richest man and the world's fourth richest, Ambani has been
slammed for building a "soaring monument" to the divide between the country's rich and poor.
Natural Beaches of Goa
The Maha Kumbh Mela : Kumbh Mela is a mass Hindu pilgrimage of faith in
which Hindus gather to bathe in a sacred river. It is considered to be largest peaceful gathering
in the world with over 100 million people visiting during the Maha Kumbh Mela in 2013. It is
held every third year at one of the four places by rotation: Haridwar, Allahabad (Prayaga),
Nashik and Ujjain. Thus the Kumbh Mela is held at each of these four places every twelfth year.
Ardha ("Half") Kumbh Mela is held at only two places, Haridwar and Allahabad, every sixth
year. The rivers at these four places are: the Ganges (Ganga) at Haridwar, the confluence
(Sangam) of the Ganges and the Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati at Allahabad, the
Godawari at Nashik, and the Shipra at Ujjain. The name Kumbh Mela comes from Hindi, and in
the original Sanskrit and other Indian languages it is more often known as Kumbha Mela.
Kumbha means a pitcher and Mela means fair in Sanskrit. The pilgrimage is held for about one
and a half months at each of these four places where it is believed in Hinduism that drops of
nectar fell from the kumbha carried by gods after the sea was churned. The festival is billed as
the "world’s largest congregation of religious pilgrims".There is no scientific method of
ascertaining the number of pilgrims, and the estimates of the number of pilgrims bathing on
the most auspicious day may vary; approximately 80 million people attended on 14 February
2013. Mauni Amavasya traditionally attracted the largest crowds at the mela, held here every
12 years. The current Kumbh Mela was held on 14 January 2013 at Allahabad. The day marked
the second and the biggest Shahi Snanam (royal bath) of this event, with 13 akharas taking to
the Sangam. 10 Feb 2013 was the biggest bathing day at the ongoing Maha Kumbh Mela and
probably the largest human gathering on a single day. Over 30 million devotees and ascetics
took holy dip on the occasion of Mauni Amavasya.