[wptab name=’Tourist Places in India’]
“If there is one place on the face of this Earth where all the dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when Man began the dream of existence, it is India.” – RomainRolland.
India is one of the tourism rich countries of the world. India is a land of colour and diverse cultures. There are lots of tourist places in India where tourist can enjoy the scenic beauty of nature and great tourist facilities.
The Republic of India, which lies across the Tropic of Cancer, comprises most of the Indian sub-continent. India is, by area, the seventh largest country in the world with the Indian mainland covering an area of 3,287,782 sq.km. From north to south, the country measures 3,214 km and from east to west 2,933 km. India’s land frontiers are approximately 15,200 km long and its coastline is about 6,100 km.
BEACHES: - India’s coastline is about 6.100 km long. It is surrounded by bay of Bengal from east and by Arabian sea from west. Hence India has great and splendid beaches to visit. Indian beaches are one of the most visited tourist places of India. One can visit Goa, Daman, Diu, Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar Island to enjoy the sea bathing, sun-basking, underwatermarine life and corals and many other dream-views of the rare gifts of nature.
Hill Stations: - Hill stations of India are known for its abundant nature beauty, cool and healthy climate. Kullu Manali, Mussoorie, Gangtok, Kodaikanal, Mahabaleshwar, Ooty, Nanital, Shillong etc are the popular destinations for domestic and foreign tourists.
Historical places: - Among historical places Agra, Jaipur, Delhi, Gwalior fort,Mysore Palace, Golconda fort are the popular tourist places in India.
Wildlife Sanctuaries: - One can visit Corbett National Park, Gir National Park, kanha national park to enjoy the wildlife adventure and nature’s picturesque beauty.
Festivals: - Pongal (Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka in Jan/Feb), Bihu (Assam in Jan), Jagannath Rath Yatra ( Orissa in June/July), Amarnath Yatra (Kashmir in July/August), Ganesh Chaturthi (Pune, Orissa, Bombay, Madras in Aug/Sept), Durga Puja (West Bengal in Sept/Oct), Navratri Fair (Gujarat in Sept/Oct), Pushkar Fair (Pushkar (Ajmer) in Oct/Nov) ore some of the famous and the most popular festivals of India.
Architectural wonders: - India has large numbers of ancient temples, churches, mosques,Budda and Jaina pilgrimage which are incredibly beautiful and explaining the prosperous architectural efficiency of their era. The caves of Ajanta and Ellora, Bodhgaya, Khajuraho, Hampi, Konark, Taj Mahal, Red fort, Gwalior fort etc are the great examples for architectural wonders among tourist places in India.[/wptab]
“If there is one place on the face of this Earth where all the dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when Man began the dream of existence, it is India.” – Romain Rolland
The Republic of India, which lies across the Tropic of Cancer, Comprises most of the Indian sub-continent. India is seventh largest country (by area) in the world and second most populous, after china. India has an area of 3,287,782 sq.km. From north to south, the country measures 3,214 km and from east to west 2,933 km. India’s land frontiers are approximately 15,200 km long and its coastline is about 6,100 km.
China, Nepal and Bhutan are India’s neighbors’ on the north-east and Pakistan and Afghanistan on the north-west. To the east of India lies Myanmar, while surrounded by India’s eastern and north-eastern states is Bangladesh. Eastern India is, as a result, linked to the north-eastern territories by a strip of land that is only about 50 km wide at its narrowest.
Below the broad territorial expanse of northern India is peninsular India, with the Arabian Sea to its west and the Bay of Bengal to the east. Just south of peninsular India is Sri Lanka, separated from the mainland of India by Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal and Lakshadweep and Minicoy Islands in the Arabian Sea are integral parts of the Indian Territory.
The capital of India is New Delhi, and the country’s largest cities are Mumbai (formerly Bombay), Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata (formerly Calcutta).[/wptab]
India with its varied terrain and climatic conditions can be broadly defined as having four climatic seasons: Winter (December to February), summer (March to May), South-West Monsoons (June to September) and Post-monsoon season (October to November). The winter months are pleasant throughout India with bright sunny days, except in the mountainous regions of the North where the temperature can fall steeply associated with heavy snowfalls.
The summer months are hot in most parts of India. The hill resorts of Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir, the Garhwal and Kumaon hills, Sikkim, West Bengal and the Nilgiri hills gain popularity during the summer holiday season when educational institutions are closed. The south-west monsoon usually breaks around the beginning of June on the west coast and reaches elsewhere later. India receives the major share of its rainfall between June and September. The post-monsoon season is generally the most pleasant time of year throughout the country.
Rainfall is very heavy in the north-eastern region, the western slopes of the Western Ghats and parts of the Himalayas, all of which receive over 2,000 mm annually. The eastern part of the peninsula, extending up to the northern plains, receives rainfall varying from 1,000 to 2,000 mm a year, while the area from Western Deccan up to the Punjab plains gets between 100 mm and 500 mm a year. Rajasthan , Kachchh and Ladakh have hardly any rainfall.[/wptab]
Forests in the western Himalayan region range from conifers and broad-leaved trees in the temperate zone to silver fir, silver birch and junipers at the highest level of the alpine zone. The temperate zone of the eastern Himalayan region has forests of oaks, laurels, maples and rhododendrons, among other species.
Vegetation of the Assam region in the east is luxuriant with evergreen forests, occasional thick clumps of bamboo and tall grasses. The Gangetic plain is largely under cultivation. The Deccan tableland supports vegetation from scrub to mixed deciduous forests. The Malabar region is rich in forest vegetation. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands have evergreen, mangrove, beach and diluvial forests. Much of the country’s flora originated three million years ago and are unique to the sub-continent.[/wptab]
While India’s official language is Hindi in the Devnagri script, English continues to be the official working language. Most Indians living in urban and semi-urban towns are multi-lingual. For many in the metro cities of India, English is virtually their first language, and for many more, it is the second language. Sanskrit, one of the oldest languages of the world, is the language in which the great Indian epics and classical literature have been written.
Hindi is spoken as a mother tongue by about 40 percent of the population, mainly in the area known as the Hindi belt. It is the official language of the Indian Union and of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh., Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.
Assamese is the state language of Assam and is spoken by nearly 60 percent of the State’s population. The origin of this language dates back to the 13th century. Bengali, also developed in the 13th century, is the official state language of West Bengal. It is spoken by nearly 200 million people worldwide, and is used in neighbouring Bangladesh also. Oriya, the state language of Orissa is spoken by nearly 87 percent of its population.
In the south, Kannada is the State language of Karnataka and is spoken by 65 percent of the state’s population. Malayalam, spoken in Kerala, is an ancient Dravidian language with its origin dating thousands of years. Tamil, an ancient Dravidian language at least 2000 years old, is the state language of Tamil Nadu and is spoken by at least 65 million people. Telugu, also a Dravidian language, is spoken by the people of Andhra Pradesh.
Marathi is an Indic language dating back to the 13th century, and is the official language of the western state of Maharashtra. Gujarati, Indic in origin, is the state language of Gujarat and is spoken by 70 percent of the State’s population. Konkani, principally based on classical Sanskrit, belongs to the southwestern branch of Indo-Aryan languages and is spoken in the Konkan region covering Goa and parts of the coastal regions of Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra.
Urdu is the state language of Jammu and Kashmir. It is also the language used by the majority of Muslims in India. Written in the Persio-Arabic script, it contains many words from Persian. Kashmiri is a language written in both Persio-Arabic and Devnagri script and is spoken by 55 percent of the population of Jammu and Kashmir. Sindhi is spoken by many in the North-west frontier of the Indian sub-continent comprising both India and Pakistan. In Pakistan, the language is written in the Persio-Arabic script, while in India the Devnagri script is used. Punjabi is an Indic language spoken in the state of Punjab. Although based on the Devnagri script, it is written in Gurmukhi, a script created by the Sikh Guru, Angad in the 16th century.[/wptab]
India is a land of colour and diverse cultures, so obvious in the varied dresses that adorn its people. Indian dressing styles are marked by many variations, both religious and regional with a wide choice of textures and styles.
Saris , brightly mirrored Cholis, colorful Lehangas , traditional salwar – kameez are all a part of the Indian attire for women. The sari, simple yet supremely elegant is increasingly becoming a fashion statement in urban India. One of the most commonly worn traditional dresses, it is essentially a rectangular cloth measuring about 6 yards, though in Maharashtra, women wear the nine yard sari .The sari comes in a profusion of colours, textures and designs, determined largely by the region. The style and length of the choli varies according to fashion trends and from region to region.
The traditional dress for women in Rajasthan and Gujarat is the lehenga choli or ghagra choli. These cholis are brightly embroidered, waist-length barebacked blouses. Ghagras or lehengas are gathered ankle-length skirts secured around the waist. The attire is completed by a veil-cloth called odhni or dupatta draped across the neck or over the head. The lehenga-choli or ghagra choli is extremely colorful, adding verve and colour to the surrounding landscapes. Tribal women in these areas bedeck themselves from head to toe with chunky silver jewellery.
A popular, comfortable and convenient dress is the salwar kameez or churidar kurta. This was traditonally the dress worn in Punjab, but is now worn almost everywhere, particularly among the younger generations. A dupatta generally completes the ensemble.
In India, as elsewhere, accessories are an integral part of the ritual of dressing. The world over, Indian women are associated with the ‘dot’ in the middle of their forehead, called Kum Kum or bindi. Traditionally round, the bindi is now available in various colours, shapes and sizes.
A traditional Indian woman is rarely seen without jewellery. A mangal-sutra, a necklace made with black and gold beads is considered sacred, and in many areas is always worn by a married woman. Many women, particularly in the rural areas of Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat wear ornately crafted nose-rings. Gold, silver or colourful glass bangles are another favourite, dating from the tradition of never having your hands bare. Women in Rajasthan wear bangles that go all the way to their shoulders. Indian women generally have their ears pierced, and commonly sport ear-rings.
Men are considerably less traditional when it comes to dressing. In urban areas, they have adapted to a western style of dressing. In villages men generally wear kurtas, a knee length shirt-styled tunic, with lungis, dhotis or pyjamas. The lungi originated in the south but is now worn all over india. It is a piece of cloth wrapped around the waist. A dhoti is longer than a lungi, has sari style pleats and is draped through the legs. In states like Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab and Maharashtra men wear a safa or turban on their heads. Elsewhere too, various kinds of topis are used.It is a long scarf which is wound round the head in different ways. The Pathani suit is very similar to the salwar-kameez and is generally worn by men in north India. The Achkan is a long collarless jacket worn over a churidar for formal occasions by men.[/wptab]
The food available in India is as diverse as its culture, its racial structure, its geography and its climate. The essence of good Indian cooking revolves around the appropriate use of aromatic spices. The skill lies in the subtle blending of a variety of spices to enhance rather than overwhelm the basic flavor of a particular dish. These spices are also used as appetizers and digestive.
Besides spices, the other main ingredients of Indian cooking and Indian meals are milk products like ghee (used as a cooking medium) and curd or dahi. Lentils or dals are also common across the country and regional preferences and availability determine the actual use in a particular area. Vegetables naturally differ across regions and with seasons. The style of cooking vegetables is dependent upon the main dish or cereal with which they are served. Whereas the Sarson ka saag (made with mustard leaves) is a perfect complement for the Makke ki Roti (maize bread) eaten in Punjab, the sambhar (lentil) and rice of Tamil Nadu taste best eaten with deep-fried vegetables.
Although a number of religions exist in India, the two cultures that have influenced Indian cooking and food habits are the Hindu and the Muslim traditions. Each new wave of settlers brought with them their own culinary practices. However, over time they adopted a lot of specialties and cooking methods from the Indian cuisine and blended the two to perfection. The Portuguese, the Persians and the British made important contributions to the Indian culinary scene. It was the British who started the commercial cultivation of tea in India.
The Hindu vegetarian tradition is widespread in India. The Muslim tradition is most evident in the cooking of meats. Mughlai food, kababs, rich Kormas (curries) and nargisi koftas (meat-balls), the Biriyani (a layered rice and meat preparation), roganjosh, and preparations from the clay oven or tandoor like tandoori rotis and tandoori chicken are all important contributions made by the Muslim settlers in India.
A typical North-Indian meal would consist of chapatis or rotis (unleavened bread baked on a griddle) or parathas ,rice and an assortment of accessories like dals, fried vegetables, curries, curd, chutney, and pickles. For dessert one could choose from the wide array of sweetmeats from Bengal like rasagulla, sandesh, rasamalai and gulab-jamuns. North Indian desserts are very similar in taste as they are derived from a milk pudding or rice base and are usually soaked in syrup. Kheer a form of rice pudding, shahi tukra or bread pudding and kulfi, a nutty ice cream are other common northern desserts.
South Indian food is largely non-greasy, roasted and steamed. Rice is the staple diet and forms the basis of every meal. It is usually served with sambhar, rasam (a thin soup), dry and curried vegetables and a curd preparation called pachadi. Coconut is an important ingredient in all South Indian food. The South Indian dosa (rice pancakes), idli (steamed rice cakes) and vada, which is made of fermented rice and dal, are now popular throughout the country. The popular dishes from Kerala are appams (a rice pancake) and thick stews. Desserts from the south include the Mysore pak and the creamy payasum. A meal is rounded off with the after-dinner paan or betel leaf, which holds an assortment of digestive spices like aniseed, cloves, arecanut, and cardamom.[/wptab]
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