Travelrific® Travel Journal

Picture postcards in prose.™ Check out the blogroll on the front page for official merchandise and other resources!

Archive for india

Land of the Gonds

By Linda Tancs

The area occupying India’s Kanha National Park was once the domain of one of Central India’s indigenous tribes, the Gonds. Now it’s a popular tiger reserve, one of the finest in the country. But don’t overlook its other jewels, like the endangered swamp deer. Conservation efforts have boosted the population so significantly that the species is now regarded as “the jewel of Kanha National Park.” Get ready for a visit during peak season, October to March. The park is accessible from popular destinations like Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Goa’s Favorite Market

By Linda Tancs

The Indian state of Goa is famous for its beaches. Many of them are easily accessible from Mapusa, which hosts a Friday market that’s a favorite among both tourists and locals. Pottery is a star attraction, along with other handiworks. But don’t miss the fresh bread, aromatic spices and fish. It may be monsoon season, but don’t let that stop you. You’ll experience lots of greenery—both in the landscape and in your wallet thanks to the monsoon discounts from hotels and resorts.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Where Rhinos Roam in India

By Linda Tancs

The greater one-horned rhino (or “Indian rhino”) is the largest of the rhino species. Once gravely endangered due to poaching, it now enjoys a dense population in Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary in Assam, India. Although the rhinos are a key attraction, the reserve is also noted for its migratory bird population in winter and an array of other wildlife like leopards, buffalo, wild boar and barking deer. The weather this time of year is hot and humid but you’ll beat the winter rush that just ended.

Acoustics in Hyderabad

By Linda Tancs

Hyderabad, the capital of southern India’s Telangana state, has fast become known as a major center for the technology industry, but its historical and cultural roots span over 400 years. Among other attractions, it’s home to one of India’s famous forts, Golconda. Originally a mud fort from the 1100s, it was refortified between the 14th and 17th centuries, boasting palaces, mosques and a hilltop pavilion. Its outermost enclosure is called Fateh Darwaza (Victory Gate), where acoustical effects like hand clapping can be heard at the hilltop pavilion over one-half mile away. Stick around for the sound and light show in the evening.

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.

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.

%d bloggers like this: