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Archive for india

Tigers in Karnataka

By Linda Tancs

Established as a tiger reserve in the 1970s, Bandipur National Park in the southern state of Karnataka lies in the shadow of the Western Ghats, a mountain range running along the entire west coast of India. It was once a private hunting ground for the Maharaja of the Kingdom of Mysore. Although perhaps best known for its small tiger population, it’s also a safe haven for elephants, spotted deer, bison, antelopes and numerous other native species as well as for much-desired sandalwood. A number of hotels are within close proximity to the park. Go now before the rainy season.

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Vegetable Bowl of the Andamans

By Linda Tancs

India’s Neil Island is known as the “vegetable bowl of the Andamans” because it supplies vegetables to nearby islands in the Andamans. Just a short hop from better-known Havelock, the tiny island’s charm lies in its relaxed vibe and picturesque little villages. Some highlights are the underwater life at Bharatpur beach, snorkeling at isolated Lakshmanpur and the photo-ready natural bridge (Howrah Bridge), an arch of rocks and earth.

 

Oxford of the East

By Linda Tancs

Voted India’s most livable city in 2018, Pune mixes contemporary metropolitan flair with striking, historical landmarks. Known as the cultural capital of Maharashtra, it’s also been dubbed “Oxford of the East” owing to the renowned educational institutions there. An iconic attraction is Aga Khan Palace, built by Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan in 1892 to house famine-ravaged people in the area. Later it would serve as the centerpiece of the Indian freedom movement when Mahatma Gandhi, his wife, secretary and others were incarcerated there.

Rock Architecture in India

By Linda Tancs

Some of the most magnificent achievement in the history of rock architecture in western India is found in Elephanta Island off the coast of Mumbai. Located about 50 minutes away from the city by ferry, the island is known for its cave temples and sculptures from the mid-fifth to sixth centuries. The 15 large reliefs in the main cave not only constitute one of the greatest examples of Indian art but also one of the most important collections dedicated to Shiva. An added bonus is the journey to the island itself, offering spectacular views in clear weather of the iconic Gateway to India, a massive archway fronting Mumbai’s natural harbor dedicated to a visit by England’s King George V and Queen Mary.

The Toy Train

By Linda Tancs

Affectionately known as “the toy train,” India’s Darjeeling Himalayan Railway consists of 54 miles of two-foot gauge track that connects New Jalpaiguri with Darjeeling, passing through Ghum at an altitude over 7,000 feet (the highest railway station in India). Opened in 1881, it remains one of the best examples of a hill passenger railway and has been a World Heritage Site since 1999. Catch a photo of the world famous B-Class steam locomotives at work, particularly from the adjacent public roads at Kurseong and Darjeeling.

Land of the Blackbuck

By Linda Tancs

The blackbuck is an antelope indigenous to the plains of India, epitomized by the twisted, ridged horns of adult males. Thriving in grassland, their dwindling population has found a haven at Velavadar Blackbuck National Park. Located in the Bhavnagar district of the state of Gujarat, this sanctuary for blackbucks features grassland habitat, shrub lands, saline plains and mud flats. The park also embraces over 140 species of birds, 14 species of mammals, 95 species of flowering plants and many reptiles.

Sun City

By Linda Tancs

Bright—and blue. That’s the way to describe Jodhpur, one of the largest cities in Rajasthan, a northwestern state of India. Bright for the sun-kissed weather year round, earning it the moniker “Sun City.” Blue is the color of choice adorning dozens of buildings in the old part of the city. It’s a sight best viewed from Mehrangarh Fort, the seat of the Rathore rulers from the House of Marwar, located at a height of 400 feet above the city. The fort houses a museum highlighting the golden age of the Rathores and boasting a gallery that houses one of the finest collections of Mughal miniature paintings. The fort is also the venue for the Rajasthan International Folk Festival and World Sufi Spirit Festival.

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