Wednesday, October 21, 2009

South India Backwaters

Muttukadu is a small village located at a distance of around 36 km from Chennai on the most popular East Coast Road (ECR). It is an ideal backwater location and excellent picnic spot for a lazy weekend for Chennai people. Even travelers from outside Chennai too visit Muttukadu. Muttukadu is the best boating option available in and around Chennai.

The backwaters of Muttukadu have been developed as a picturesque picnic spot and a centre for water sports. Every year a lot of watersports lovers gather at this village in the month of February to watch windsurfing regatta. Some of the attractions that are available here are windsurfing, boating, kayaking, and canoeing. Water scooters are a recent attraction. Speed boats have always been favorite for families.TamilNadu Tourism Development Corporation maintains the site and takes care of boat houses.

Muttukadu is well connected by buses from Chennai. You can otherwise reach the place in taxi/your own transport. There are other attractions such MGM Dizzie World, Kovalam Beach, and Dakshin Chitra, which you can visit along with Muttukadu.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

India Adventure Tours

India with its vastness in area offers a diverse nature of landscape which readily makes some of the most perfect Adventure destinations for the enthusiasts. Right from the mighty Himalayas to the extreme north to the Indian Ocean in extreme south, from the burning heat of the great Thar Desert in the extreme west to the dark, dense tropical rainforests of the extreme east, India is full of adventure destinations.

From rifer-rafting in the roaring Ganges, to scuba diving in soothing Kerala backwaters, to the sliding down the skiing slopes of Auli & Narkanda, to the trekking expeditions of Ladakh, to snow climbing at Manali, to paragliding at Dharamshala, to hang-gliding at Kangra, to hot air ballooning and many more thrilling activities, the options of adventure holidays are just amazing in India.

1. Angling and Fishing Tours
2. Camel Safari Tours
3. Cycling and Motor Biking Tours
4. Para-Gliding Tours
5. Mountaineering Tour
6. River Rafting Tour
7. Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
8. Trekking Tours
9. Wildlife Safari Tours

1. Angling and Fishing Tours
India has many scenic fresh water lakes, which make an excellent destination for fishing and angling activities. An angling and fishing adventure-holiday in India is unique in itself as it brings you very close to nature and frees your from the worries of a hectic city life.Those who are looking for a little bit of solitude and want to enjoy the serene beauty of the gushing waters and spend hours in quiet contemplation, can look forward to these tailor made tours of fishing and angling from Ideal Indian Tours.

Come enjoy a full day of great fishing with the help of the expert Shikaries, who will give you their fine tips and also make your experience a highly memorable one.

Angling & Fishing Destinations in India:

     Dodital Lake in Uttranchal
     Cauvrey Fishing Lodge near Mysore in Karnataka
     Hill stations of Munnar in Kerala
     The Dal Lake in Kashmir
     The Jia Bhoroli River & Kapili in Assam
     Manas and Bhalukpung in Assam
     Yingkiong, Bodak and Siom in Arunachal Pradesh
     Chirgaon, Seema, Mandil in Himachal Pradesh
     Sandasu & Tikri in Himachal Pradesh
     Dhamvari in Himachal Pradesh

2. Camel Safari Tours
The transport of the barren region, the camel, was tamed thousands of years back, mainly for the reason of making tiresome journeys all the way through the merciless Thar Desert. Come for a camel safari tour in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan. Experience the cool desert breeze and wonder about life in the untamed countryside of this fascinating desert underneath the star-studded sky. You may even go for a small expedition passing through a distinctive Rajasthani rural community or a long-distance outing enduring a few numbers of days. The best time for traveling are the cooler parts of the day, the mornings and evenings.

The things to see in the journey will mesmerize you and turn into a part of your most precious recollections. There may well be desolate land for as far as the eyes can see. The ocean of golden glittering sand looks amazing. Nearer to the rural community you can see flocks of livestock and sheep wandering just about purposelessly. Observe the kids walk briskly off to school, whilst their mothers organize their daylight food on a dung-fire. Stop over for a flavor of the genuine Rajasthani cooking. The welcoming men and women will be at your check, keen to execute your each appeal.

Camel Safari Destinations in India:
Jaiselmer in Rajasthan
Jodhpur in Rajasthan
Bikaner in Rajasthan

3. Cycling and Motor Biking Tours
Contracted paths intertwining all the way through foggy snow-clad mountains, the chilly hill breeze thumping next to your features, and delightful valley people welcoming you on the way - the lofty Himalayas make a near perfect destination for a biking trip. The packages offered by Lets Travel India take you through striking pathways in the farthest of Himalayas.

Each tour will wrap a distance of about 50-60km a day. Every trip is given a back-up jeep/bus with a cycle repair mechanic, first-aid pack and all essential extras. This jeep/bus will follow the very last biker from the commencement of the trip exactly to the finish. Most significantly, it will also bring warm lunch, which will be served at a suitable spot at some point in the day. The group consists of a chef and camp out aide, who will go in front after lunch to set up campground at predefined spots and wait for your coming with a hot cup of tea/coffee!

Cycling and Motor Biking Destinations in India:

     Manali to Leh in Himachal Pradesh
     Kinnaur to Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh
     Exploring Kerala in Kerala
     Nainital & Other surrounding Tals in Uttranchal
     Bombay to Goa Biking Tour
     Exploring Goa Cycling Tour
     Delhi to Agra Biking Tour in Uttar Pradesh

4. Para-Gliding Tours
According to professionals, India has high-quality thermal soaring special effects throughout the summer months, and that’s why, it presents Para-gliding avenues for a good part of the year.
More than a few sites in India have been recognized by professional hang gliders with those in the lower reaches of the Himalayas rated as/among the most excellent in the globe. Riding the balmy thermal currents of the air is possibly the next man has ever come to sailing the skies as liberated as a bird. Almost at will, you plunge and swing tall over the hills and valleys.

Para-gliding Destinations in India:

     Billing in Kangra, Himachal Pradesh
     Bundla Dhar near Bilaspur, Kullu, Himachal Pradesh
     Intkali in Pabbar valley, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
     Blue Mountains, Ooty in Karnataka
     Munnar, Elavizha Poonchira, near Varkala Beach, Kerala
     Vaggamon in Kerala
     Kodaikanal in Karnataka

5. Mountaineering Tour
If you're passionate about the will of adventure, let the flashes in your compassion take off in India, a terra firma set apart with condescending snow-clad peaks, rock glaciers, undulating meadows, serrated rock faces, lush valleys, winding rivers, dropping cascades, impenetrable jungles, and welcoming populace, set apart with a loaded civilization - a territory ideal for mountain climbing, trekking, and rock climbing.

Mountaineering Destinations in India:

     Nubra Valley Trek
     Indus Valley Trek

6. River Rafting Tour
River rafting in India is an invigorating experience that you can take pleasure in on your Holidays in India with Lets Travel India. One of the most excellent areas for river rafting in India is the stretch up to Rishikesh in Uttranchal. White water rafting on the Alaknanda, Bhagirathi and Ganga rivers is a well-liked adventure sightseeing activity in summer in India. For the more daring explorer, white water rafting tours in India can also be prearranged on the Indus River in Ladakh and Brahmaputra River in Arunachal Pradesh.

White water rafting in India on the Alaknanda River is the most easily accessible white water river rafting stretch from Delhi. We drive from Delhi to Rishikesh and further north to Dev Prayag, where the Alaknanda River and Bhagirathi River combine to form the Ganges, a river considered holy by Hindus in India. Further North is Rudra Prayag, where the Alaknanda and Mandakini Rivers combine. The white water rafting Alaknanda tour consists of an approximately 130 Km long stretch from Rudra Prayag to Shivpuri near Rishikesh in Uttranchal, India.

River rafting Destinations in India
1. Rudra Prayag in Uttranchal
2. Indus River in Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh
3. Brahmaputra River in Arunachal Pradesh

7. Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
Come! Experience the excitement and exquisiteness of India's eye-catching submerged innate world with Lets Travel India. Scuba Dive or snorkel Bay of Bengal at Andaman and Nicobar islands or Arabian Sea at Lakshwadeep group of islands. The crystal clear waters Indian coasts and shores promise charming scuba diving and snorkeling destinations that will leave you completely mesmerized.

The loaded marine life in India offers an assortment of chances for scuba diving and snorkeling. Apart from the previously renowned scuba destinations, there are plentiful places, which are in the offing to be explored. If you want to make your holiday an event of lifetime, these exceptional adventure activities on the seashores, mangroves, cliff promontories, backwater, beautiful groups of island along the Indian coastline, constantly kissed by the waters of the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea on the islands of Lakshwadeep have the great potential of being the Mecca of scuba diving.

Lets Travel India offers holidays at outstanding places that are stunningly virgin, still intact in their innate beauty and retaining their primal fascination. Unharmed by contamination, the azure, emerald and turquoise waters of its seas and oceans present the arresting sight of the Coral Sea beds. India has imprinted an exceptional place for itself in the adventure sightseeing chart of the globe.

In order to get the best pleasure from Scuba diving and snorkeling in India, the Andaman and Nicobar islands are the most suitable places to head towards. There you can easily discover the under water for ravishing reefs and the incredible collection of sea animals.

Scuba diving & Snorkeling Destinations in India:

 Andaman and Nicobar islands
 Islands of Lakshwadeep
 Brahmaputra River in Arunachal Pradesh

8. Trekking Tours
Trekking in India is one of the most prominent exciting activity sports, attracting trekking buffs from all regions of the globe. In approximately each part of India plentiful trekking options are accessible. It is definitely the most excellent way to walk around the uneven attractiveness of the hilly regions of India. Indian mountains present fabulous and action-packed trekking routes.

Trekking Destinations in India:

     Darjeeling in West Bengal
     Gangtok in Sikkim
     Garhwal & Kumaon in Uttranchal Pradesh
     4. Rishikesh in Uttranchal Pradesh

9. Wildlife Safari Tours
A jeep safari is almost certainly the best way to travel around the wonders of Rajasthan. Furthermore, it is feasible to have the benefit of a more complete trip on the jeep and it is a smoother and more relaxed journey. An open jeep is considered perfect, as it can make one feel with nature in the spectacular landscape of Rajasthan.

Safaris can be made in Jaiselmer, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Shekhavati areas. Jeep Safari can also be made in Wildlife Parks and Bird Sanctuaries. This escapade will present you reminiscences to last a life span. Jeep Safaris can be integrated with Camel and Horse Safaris.

Safari Destinations in India:

     Jaiselmer, Bikaner, Jodhpur in Rajasthan
     Shekhavati region in Rajasthan
     Jim Corbett National Park in Uttranchal Pradesh
     Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in Rajasthan

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Top Ten Airports of World

The Incheon International Airport in Seoul, S Korea has been voted as the world's best airport in 2009 according to the latest passenger satisfaction rankings conducted by Skytrax.The World Airport Awards are based on the responses from 8.6 million airline passengers in 2008-09, covering more than 190 airports worldwide. The survey evaluates travellers' experiences across 39 different airport service and product factors.

1. Incheon International Airport
The Incheon International Airport has also been ranked as Asia's best airport. It is the world's No.1 in terms of security processing and terminal cleanliness.One of the busiest airports in the world, the Incheon Airport has plans to build an 'air city', with apartments, shops, recreational facilities and businesses. The 'air city' and the airport terminal will be connected by a new magnetic levitation train system. The air city project is likely to be completed in 2020.
Built with an investment of $5 billion, the airport became operational in March 2001.

2. Hong Kong International Airport
Hong Kong's reign as the world's best airport has come to an end. Ranked second, it is voted for being the world's easiest international transit and offers the best airport dining experience. In 2008, more than 48.6 million passengers used the airport.Opened in July 1998, 85 airlines operate flights to around 150 destinations worldwide. HKIA also operates one of the world's largest passenger terminal buildings. The airport designed to offer maximum convenience to passengers. Moving walkways and the automated people mover allow easy movement throughout the building.The airport has a people mover system to ferry people from the check-in area to the gates. The service is free for all passengers and crew. Besides this, airport offers great facilities for entertainment, dining and shopping.

3. Changi International Airport, Singapore
Changi International Airport has been ranked as the world's third best airport. It also has the world's best leisure amenities. With 80 airlines serving more than 180 cities in over 50 countries, Changi Airport has established itself as a major aviation hub in the Asia Pacific region.Changi Airport now has an annual handling capacity of more than 70 million passengers. The airport boasts of themed gardens ranging from tranquil indoor ponds to outdoor sunny gardens.
Besides, this it offers avenues for relaxation, entertainment shopping and automated people mover system. It started operations in July 1981.

4. Zurich International Airport
Voted as the best airport in Europe, Zurich Airport ranks 4th worldwide. The airport has an automated underground train to move passengers between the existing terminal complex and the new terminal.The airport has banks, a post office and wireless Internet hotspots at several locations throughout the terminal. The airport also has restaurants, coffee shops, and duty-free shopping. Zurich Airport has the second biggest shopping centre in Switzerland.It also has a medical and dental centre, pharmacies, prayer rooms and nurseries. Zurich Airport handled 22.1 million passengers in 2008.

5. Munich International Airport
Munich has maintained the 5th rank this year. It was named the 2nd best airport in Europe.Munich Airport is the second busiest airport in Germany in terms of passenger traffic (34.73 million in 2008) after Frankfurt International Airport. The airport started operations on 17 May 1992.Investment: $92 million

6. Kansai International Airport, Japan
Kansai International Airport was ranked at the 6th position last year as well. Kansai has the world's cleanest airport washrooms.Kansai is Japan's second most important international airport. Located on a man made island about 50 km south of Osaka, Kansai Airport was opened in 1994.Estimated investment: $13 billion

7. Kuala Lumpur International Airport
Kuala Lumpur International Airport has slipped from from 4th to 7th in 2009. It offers the world's best immigration service. KLIA now has more than 50 airlines, offering connectivity to more than 90 destinations worldwide. The airport celebrated its 11th anniversary on June 30It handled a total of 27.5 million passengers in 2008, an increase of 4.1 per cent from the year 2007. The airport was built at a cost of about $3.5 billion.

8. Amsterdam International Airport
Also known as Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam International airport is ranked as the world's 8th best airport. The airport opened on 16 September 1916 as a small military airbase.Over the years it expanded its facilities. It now ranks as the world's 3rd largest in terms of international passenger traffic and world's 14th busiest by overall passenger volume.The airport has a large rooftop viewing area. Huge shopping areas are another attraction. The See Buy Fly shopping centre has been named the world's best airport shopping centre by 'The Business Traveller'.Investment: Euro 340 million

9. Centrair Nagoya Airport, Japan
Central Japan International Airport is Japan's third international airport after Tokyo's Narita Airport and Osaka's Kansai Airport.It is also known as Chubu Airport. Constructed on a man made island in the Bay of Ise, the airport was opened in February 2005.Investment: $7 billion

10. Auckland Airport, New Zealand
Auckland International Airport Limited (Auckland Airport) was established in 1988. Today, over 70 per cent of visitors enter or leave New Zealand via Auckland Airport, which handles over 13 million passengers a year.More than 30 international airlines fly to Auckland Airport. The airport hopes to see 24 million passengers a year by 2025.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What is Ailing Our Tourism?

We have taj, we have tiger, we are not once ancient and modern, we taught the world religion, maths and peace.
We are the world’s largest democracy and the second most populous country. Yet in tourism we rank only fifth in the world. Countries like Australia, New Zealand and Brazil are more preferred destination. Why? What is ailing our tourism? Why do we have peaks and valleys in tourist influx and income, one tourism season after the other?
Well, we don’t have to go far to seek them. Look at the stink our country is. We are perhaps the stechiest nation. More than stench, the tourists are put off by red-tapism, corruption and insecurity. If foreign tourists are to be raped or assaulted, fleeced or looted or even murdered, who would risk coming to India? Beggars, transport troubles, drugs, under-developed tourist facilities knock the life out of tourism paradise our country is, according to the tourist pundits. Who would like to travel to India to taste its crime and grime along with its curry and spices, who would like to return home with mementos of shame and disappointment?
If India is to regain its place in world tourism, we will have to make a reality check and immediately purge the industry of all its ills. It is true we need to foreign exchange, but we need international tourist smiles and satisfaction too to sustain ourselves as a world’s tourist destination. We haveto improve tourist infrastructure and facilities too. Monuments must be saved from denigration through graffiti, garbage and inscriptions. Our holy places need o be spruced up. And most importantly we must tap the vast potential of domestic tourism, too.

Travel Blog

Monday, August 24, 2009

Manipur The Switzerland of India

This beautiful Indian provincial State has to offer tourists unforgettable experience of fun and festivities.

Situated in the far north-eastern region of India, Manipur is a tiny hilly provincial State. In India the State is best loved for its vibrant, colourful culture and festivities. For its stable temperature and exotic natural scenery, Manipur is also referred to as “Switzerland of India”.

There is a market called “Ima Keithel” in Manipur where only women are the sellers and men are the buyers !! The market is one of its kind in the whole world. I don’t know such unique market exists anywhere in the world. It is said to be more than 100 years old. “Ima Keithel” literally means Mothers’ Market ~ Ima meaning in Manipuri “mother”. Here businesses are totally run, managed and controlled by the women. Due to this, atmosphere in the market is homely and very social. For something to buy, you yell out “Ima”(mother), “Ine” ( aunt) or “Iche” ( sister)!! From fish to handicrafts, shawls to vegetables, they sell all. All local products. Manipuri women are very hard-workers. From sunrise to sunset they work hard for their families. Most importantly, while doing their business, they always wear a smile and seem to enjoying their profession.

Rafting down the Kolad
Travel Blog

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Visit Vilnius in Eastern Europe

Today, Vilnius is one of the most visited cities in Eastern Europe, pulling the attention not only because of its architectural identity, and cultural events, entertainment. Here are the various business, political and cultural meetings. Capital of Lithuania actively presents at international tourism exhibitions in collaboration with many European capitals. 2009, Vilnius, the first of the new EU countries, cities, has become the European Capital of Culture. This honor is shared with the Austrian city of Linz.

Vilnius is the most important city in Lithuania. Vilnius - the capital of the Republic of Lithuania, the administrative, cultural, political and business center. Here, the President, the Seimas, the Government, the Supreme Court, located in the diplomatic service, education, culture, education, medical institutions and banks.

Vilnius is also the largest city in the country. It lives on septintadalis the population of Lithuania. The year 2006, the Vilnius live 553 553 people is 57.8% Lithuanian, 18.7% - Polish, 14% - Russian, 4% - Belarusian, 0.5% - the Jews. The remaining 5% are of other nationalities.

Urban area - about 400 square kilometers. 20.2% is built, and the remaining part of the plantations (43.9%) and water (2.1%). The historical center of Vilnius, Old Town, is one of the largest in Eastern Europe (360 ha). Because of its uniqueness in 1994 he was included in UNESCO’s most important objects of the world’s protected list. Old Town is located in a picturesque two rivers - Vilnius and Neris - the valley, the crossroads of trade, to Brastos, which kept the ancient castles of Vilnius.

City has always been hospitable, open and tolerant. He is creating a consolidation of three currents of religion: paganism, Eastern and Western Christianity. This is already the fourteenth century observed Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas. The last pagan ruler the state wrote letters to the parties that all Vilniuje worshiped one god, but each according to his custom, the city is already built, and the Catholic Church and the Orthodox churches. Later, here in the city and the house of prayer pasistate Muslims, Tatars, Karaites and Jews.

Multinational, daugiatikybis, multicultural city in the city has always attracted visitors for vacation packages and Zavejo architectural diversity. Castle ruins, a network of narrow streets, smailiabokstes red-brick church, the residential cellars … All this testifies that the Vilnius - Gothic city. But already in the XVI century Gothic overlap with the Renaissance, and the XVII - XVIII century emerging baroque buildings.

That you had and what you are - a businessman, came to Vilnius to sign the contract, a tourist on holiday, or a seasoned traveler looking for new experiences - enough for a few days stay in Vilnius, the pamiltumete this city. Vilniuje worth a longer stay, but if you stay only for one weekend, you will of bright impressions. The theater or opera fans, rapidly parties or street carnival lovers, besidomintieji architecture or mėgstantieji time to allow the wild - all in this city will find what their heart.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Upcomming Fair Festivals in March

Khajuraho Dance Festival

When: 25 Feb - 2 Mar 2009 (annual)
Where: Khajuraho
The annual Khajuraho Dance Festival fills the amazing temples of Khajuraho with India's finest classical dancers, who present styles including Kathak, Bharat Natyam, Odissi, Kuchipudi and Manipuri.The western group of temples acts as the exquisite backdrop for the Khajuraho Dance Festival's performers - usually the Chitragupta Temple dedicated to Surya (the Sun God) and the Vishwanatha Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.

International Yoga Festival

When: 1 - 7 Mar 2009 (annual)
Where: Parmarth Niketan
Get your asanas sorted during Rishikesh's International Yoga Festival at the Parmath Niketan Ashram. The "yoga capital of the world" is an appropriate setting for a whirlwind tour of the major types of yoga and an awesome place to visit.This annual festival always attracts great yogic masters from all over the world, who arrive by the banks of the Ganges to demonstrate and explore the major traditions of yoga (hatha, raja, karma, bhakti, mantra, laya and jnana). The town boasts numerous yoga schools to view (of varying standards of ethics and expense), as well as plenty of places to visit when your chakras are fully aligned.Apart from the yoga schools, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the many ashrams in Rishikesh that offer courses on meditation, yoga and Hindu philosophy. The hatha yoga and pranayama meditation classes at Sri Ved Niketan Ashram are well known. The Shivananda Ashram, opposite the Shivananda Jhula, is also a favourite - but needs booking well in advance. Other well-known ashrams include the Yoga Niketan Ashram, the Omkarananda Ashram, the Vanmali Gita Yogashram and the Dayananda Vedanta Ashram. We don't recommend these above any others - they are just pointers for research.

Elephant Festival

When: 10 Mar 2009 (annual)
Where: Jaipur
Elephants. India Tourism Office
Held each year in Jaipur, the Elephant Festival is a celebration of these large animals, royal mounts from time immemorial and a symbol of strength and wealth.Groomed to perfection, glittering in gold, you'll stumble across numerous elegant elephants during this very noisy day. The annual bash also proves that they can move surprisingly gracefully in procession, run races and even play polo. A lot of tourists are attracted, but it's also a great occasion for all elephant lovers.


When: 11 Mar 2009 (annual)
Where: India
Holi Festival. Destination India
During Holi, Holika Dahan, or the festival of colour, Hindu India celebrates good harvests and the Earth's fertility. It is a joyful festival when all is forgiven and everyone lets themselves go.
Huge bonfires are made on the eve of the festival (one explanation being that they drive out Dhunda, a female demon, from participating villages), while the actual day is marked by loud processions, singing, dancing, traditional songs - and a whole lot more.The celebrations pay tribute to Hindu god Krishna, and are associated with his love for Radha. The young Krishna would moan to his mother about why Radha was so fair and he was so dark. His mother advised him to apply colour on Radha's face and see how her complexion would change. The celebrations still explore this idea.If you're a visitor to the Holi celebrations, it's probably a good idea to take some old clothes with you - no-one is exempt from the festivities. You'll find people running on the streets and smearing each other with brightly coloured powders (gulal) and coloured water - an interesting development on the theme of smearing gulal on friends' foreheads.While the aim of Holi is apparently to develop an increased appreciation of beauty and cultivate good taste, people get away with almost anything on this day - including squirting coloured water on passers-by...

Holla Mohalla

When: 12 Mar 2009 (annual)
Where: Punjab
Cost: Free
Opening Hours: All day
The ancient Sikh festival of Holla Mohalla is celebrated in the month of Phalguna, the day after Holi, and is a time for Sikhs to reaffirm their commitment to the brotherhood of man and their dedication to the Khalsa Pantha.Back in 1757, when the tenth Guru Govind Singh was around, it was felt that Holi - the festival of colour and happiness - had lost its original meaning amidst growing decadence and mayhem. Not one to tolerate such behaviour, the reformist Guru decided to re-establish the essence of Holi while restoring the Khalsa traditions. The result was the Holla Mohalla.Many colourful processions mark this festival, and they are particularly spectacular in Anandpur, Sahib and Muktsar. Sikhs dress up in traditional martial costumes (especially the Nihangs or the "Order of the Blue-Clad Farmer-Warriors") and celebrate the day with competitions in archery, fencing, horse riding and shooting. In some areas, battles are re-enacted and cannons fired as a salutary reminder of the traditional warring trait of the Sikh religion. Although clearly a spectacular performance, watching is a risky affair... these men battle hard, even in jest!

Dangs Darbar

When: Mar 2009 (annual)
Where: Ahwa
Originally revolving around tax payment, the Dangs Darbar in Ahwa dates back to the age of the Raj and features five days of lively celebration by local tribespeople, with not a fiscal fee in sight.
The Dangi tribals, or adivasis, live high up in the Saputara hills in a beautiful area known as the Dangs. Every year, just before Holi, they flock in thousands to the local capital of Ahwa for a joyful fair filled with dancing and singing.The tradition of the "darbar" dates back to the time of the British, when the political agent used to pay an annual subsidy to the local rulers, the Rajas and Naiks, for the right to their lands in a placatory gesture to these fierce native tribes. To this day the District Collector still officiates here.In modern times the festival has become one long celebration of local folk culture, with spellbinding dances symbolic of birds or animals as well as a garba programme and lots of songs and dramas. Merchants come from all over the state to sell their wares and people take a lot of trouble over their appearance, wearing traditional and colourful dress, the women laden down with heavy silver jewellery.


When: 29 - 30 Mar 2009 (annual)
Where: Jaipur
Rajasthan folk dance
Gangaur is one of the most important festivals in Rajasthan, held each spring in honour of Gauri, the goddess of purity and patron of unmarried girls. Expect colourful processions and noisy celebrations - especially from the women.Although celebrated throughout Rajasthan with great enthusiasm, the celebrations in Jaipur and Udaipur, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Nathdwara and Jaisalmer are especially festive. Colourful decorated images of Gauri are taken out in processions with huge fanfare. Traditionally, the youth grabbed this opportunity of meeting each other freely, and some would select partners and marry by eloping!

In Hindu mythology, Gauri is generally the unmarried goddess Parvati, before she married Lord Shiva. She underwent extreme penances and purifications in order to attain the glory of marrying the ascetic and emotionally invulnerable god.

Mewar Spring Festival

When: 29 - 31 Mar 2009 (annual)
Where: Udaipur
Sunset at Udaipur, India
The Mewar Spring Festival coincides with the Gangaur festival and is celebrated all over Rajasthan. In Udaipur, the women dress in their finest clothes and process to Gangaur Ghat at Lake Pichola carrying images of the Goddess Gauri (Parvathi).Celebrations include singing, dancing and devotional music. Mewar Spring Festival culminates with an impressive fireworks display and a procession of boats on the lake.