Saturday, July 26, 2008


With its fluorescent painted palm trees and infamous full moon parties, Anjuna, 8-km west of Mapusa, is Goa at its most "alternative". Since the 7o's the one reason that lure the people to visit this beach is the dancing and lying on the beach slurping tropical fruit. While browsing in the area have a day trip to the famous flea market.


If you like a little isolation to watch the sun go down, Baga beach is just the place for you. 10-km west of Mapusa, Baga is basically an extension of Calangute; even the locals are unable to decide where ends and the other begin. Lying in the lee of a rocky, wooded headland, the only difference between this far northern end of the beach with the rest is that this Goa beach is marginally more varied and picturesque.


At the place where two of Goa's famous rivers meet the Arabian Sea is the secluded bay of Dona Paula with a fine view of the Marmagao Harbour. 7-km from Panjim, nestled on the south side of the rocky, hammer-shaped headland that divides the Zuari and Mandovi estuaries, this former fishing village and today's commercialized beach resort makes an idyllic spot to relax and sunbathe.


A mere 45 minute bus ride up the coast from Panjim will take you Calangute, Goa's busiest and most commercialized resort, and the flagship of the state government's bid for a bigger slice of India's package-tourist pie. During the 70's and 80's this peaceful fishing village became the favourite haunt of the hippies.


Named as Benaulim by the Portuguese, lies in the centre of Colva Beach, 7-km west of Margao. As this place is a like a large fishing joint tourists can easily become gourmets and try out various culinary delights of the seafood. Moreover, the sea is safe for swimming, being generally jellyfish-free, while the village area near beach side itself boasts a few serviceable bars and restaurants, serving the most succulent, competitively priced seafood in Goa.

Sleepy Cavelossim, straddling the coast road 11-km south of Colva, is the last major settlement in southwest Salcete: its only claim to fame. When here do plan a visit to Mabor, South Goa largest, and most obtrusive, package tourist enclave. Crammed together on to a narrow spit of dunes between the surf and estuary, the holiday inns and beach resorts combine to create a holiday camp ambience that has as little to do with Goa as their architecture.


Crouched in the shadow of a Portuguese fort on the opposite, northern side of the headland from Vagator, Chapora, 10-km from Mapusa, is a lot busier than most north coast villages. Dependent on fishing and boat building, it has, to a great extent, retained a life of its own independent of tourism. The leisure purpose is very well served by the Main Street, lined with as many regular stores as travellers cafes and restaurants.


Because of good options to stay, many of them tucked away down quiet sandy lanes and offering better value, make this beach site a good first stop if one has just arrived in Goa and are planning to head further north after finding one's feet.


When compared with Calangute Or Colva, Bogmalo still seems a small-scale beach resort, still there's something about seclusion that one finds over here that makes one visit this beach area every time one visit's Goa. Beside this beach site is a reasonably safer site for swimming and have quite good eating joints and shopping options in Goa.

On the way to Dona Paula, 1-km ahead of the confluence of the Arabian Sea and Mandvi River, under the palm shade, is "Gasper Dias" or Miramar Beach and is just 3-km away from the capital city of Panjim.


Palolem pops up, as a favourite beach destination in Goa because its crescent shaped bay lined with a swaying curtain of coconut palms, is irresistibly photogenic. Frem accommodation point of view, there are beautiful beach huts and family room to choose from in Palolem.

Barely a couple of kilometres of cliff tops and parched grassland separate Anjuna from the southern fringes of its nearest neighbour, Vagator. Yet to be disturbed by the hustle and bustle of tourists, life goes on peacefully, in the background, in Vagator and Chapora. It is cool rural area, without offering the tourist any big shopping complexes.


If one is staying in Benaulim, one is bound at some point to visit Varca. Do check out the row of beached wooden fishing boats 2-km south of Benaulim that belong to its community of Christian fisher folk, whose palm thatched long houses line the foot of the grassy dunes.


Maharashtra is another coastal state of India with a good number of seaside resorts and beach resorts. One of the major features of the beaches of Maharashtra is a fact that they live essentially safe waters, making them the perfectly ideal family beach sites. If one has a special interest in forts and their history, check out the costal fort sites of Maharashtra, the perfect place to start on an enlightening heritage tour.


Juhu is one of the largest and frequently visited tourist beaches of India on the shores of Arabian Sea. Mostly famous as the best hangout zone of Mumbai city this place mainly attracts people to get a taste of the famous Mumbai Bhelpuri and Kulfi.


Chopwpatty beach is situated in the heart of Mumbai and has got rich historical link ups with the freedom movement. Presently this is the spot where Lord Ganesha's images are immersed after the conclusion of the Ganesha Chaturthi festival.


Lying to the north of Mumbai, are three beautiful and serene getaways, for those who are craving to take a break from the hectic and chaotic city life. Marve is a quaint little fishing village, the nearest and the quietest of the three. Gorai and Manori, a little further away, are more popular for their wonderful all night beach parties.

Madh Island is a popular picnic spot, dotted with exquisite bungalows and an urban aura. This place has a reputation of being the spot to check out for the most lavish beach parties held outside Mumbai.


If one prefers a beach with a religious flavour, then Ganapatipulle is the best resort. Set along the western cost of Maharashtra, this place is one of the 'Ashta Ganapati' pilgrimage sites of India.


Alibaug is the headquarter town of the Raigad district and a convenient base for the nearby beaches. A former capital town of the Siddis of Janjira, Murud today is popular for its alluring and spacious beach fringed with palm trees. Situated just a few kilometres away from here are two undiscovered beach sites of Kashid and Nandgaon.

Located 77-km away from Mumbai, during the 17th century Bassein served as an important shipbuilding center. In 1739, this was the site of the Portuguese defeat at the hands of the Marathas. Having a similar backdrop to that of Goa, this beach serves one of the best choices to take some time off from the hectic schedule of city life.
Dahanu-Bordi, with a beautiful seaside are situated in Thane district. A notable vast streach unspoilt beach and the coastline that's 17-km long. The unique feature of Dahanu is the Chickoo (fruit) orchids spread over a large area.


About 20-kms from Alibaug and easily accessible from Mumbai, Mandawa is a beautiful and clean beach. Those searching for quite surroundings, the nearby Kihim beach with its unspoilt and isolated ambience is a lovely place.


Shriwardhan Bay located in Raigad district makes an irresistible beach site as it's blessed with gentle winds, soft sands and inviting waters, which attracts beach lovers in large numbers. It's also a splendid place for seafood lovers where one can relish tempting seafood of numerous varieties.

In the Southern part of the Maharashtra coastline is situated a beach famous for its long stretch of shimmering sand, lined with thick cashew, coconut, jackfruit and mango groves. Near the beach site are the Vengurla rocks, also known as Burnt Islands.


The long coastal belt of Orissa offers some of the finest white sand beaches in the world. The Puri beach is the main venue for countless pilgrims, and makes one of the major religiously sacred beach side spots of India. The seaside beach resort of Chandipur is another favourite seaside holiday hideout among beach lovers. Gopalpur-On-Sea, an ancient seaport, is one of the most beautiful and unspoiled beaches one should definitely visit, when taking touring Orissa's beaches.


This place is considered to be a favourite spot lying on the Bay of Bengal for sea and water sport lovers. Have a nice walk or a jog in early morning hours on this golden beach of Orissa India, which is also an ideal place to swim or laze around.


Chandipur is another famous beach resort of Orissa situated 16-kms away from Balasore, providing a memorable experience to the visitors along its shores. It is a unique sea beach where seawater recedes about 5-kms during low tide and advances to the shoreline again during high tide, each day.


Konark is the world famous site of the most exquisite Sun temple one can ever come across. While visiting this religiously and historically famous site, do check out the lovely bliss and serenity of its beach.


Paradeep is a major seaport of India's trade activities with a fine sea beach that offers evergreen forests, a huge estuary of the Mahanadi with islands and creeks, a good marine drive and beach. Known as 'Tulasi Kshetra' it is also famous for its temple site of Lord Baladeva.


Puri is one of the three major spots of the Orissa Golden Triangle and one of the four major holy places in India. Located on the shores of Bay of Bengal, it has one of the finest beaches in the world.


8 km from Puri, this is a casuarina-fringed beach with a Sea Turtle Research Centre situated nearby. Love the tranquility of the beach side! Then this is the place that can surely turn a casual trip into an unforgettable vacation along the coastline of Orissa.


Kerala beaches may be take a backseat because of the backwaters, but entire 900-km length of the Kerala coast is lined with sandy beaches, rocky promontories and coconut palms that definitely merit a visit in every tourist itinerary. Touring the beach sites of Kovalam can make any beach holiday a delightful one, as Kerala's beaches are renowned for the gentle surf and blue waters. Beach travel has never before been so exciting!


Kovalam village is small village situated on the Malabar Coast along the Kerala shoreline. This sleepy town suddenly caught the attention of tourists from all over the world when its fabulous beaches were discovered. Kovalam beach can be divided into three parts. The most popular among the three beaches is the southern most known as the Lighthouse Beach. Middle one is called Hawah, which acts as a base for the local fisherman every morning. The northern most beach, Samudra, is least affected of all by the changing times and the tourist inflow.


Marari originates from " Mararikulam ", one of the local fishing villages, where life still goes on much as it did a hundred years ago, with the men going out to sea each day to earn a living bringing in the daily catch. Completely new to the holiday maker. Marari offers endless miles of superb sand beaches backed by swaying palms, virgin territory where you can experience the local charm and traditional Kerala.


The village of Kumarakom is a cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake, and this small water world is part of the Kuttanad region. The bird sanctuary here, which is spread across 14 acres is a favorite haunt of migratory birds and an ornithologist's paradise. Egrets, darters, herons, teal, waterfowl, cuckoo, wild duck and migratory birds like the Siberian stork that live There in flocks are a fascination for visitors. The best way to watch the birds of the Kumarakom sanctuary is a boat trip round the islands.


Ofcourse, the main attraction on this beach site is the historic fort, still it's a must for every visitor to take up a leisurely walk through the lanes of the city of Kochi and get familiar with its eventful colonial history and European regimes who ruled it.


Kappad beach came into historic books, when Vasco da Gama landed on its shores on 27th May 1498 with 170 men in three vessels 500 years ago, thus discovering a sea route to India. A pillar with inscription "Vasco Da Gama landed here, Kappakkadavau in the year 1498" stands on the beach. The beach here is very calm with a stretch of rocks projecting into the sea.


A natral fishing harbour situated near the St. Angelo's Fort, Mopila Bay has got quite a modernised fishing harbour look, built with assistance under the Indo-Norwegian pact. The ruined fort and temple sites are still counted among the main attractions of this harbour site.


Muzhappilangad, is considered to be one of the longest beaches in Kerala, located 15-kms south of Kannur. This beach is also the only drive-in beach in India.


Located near the Kannur town is Payyambalam beach, one of the beautiful beach sites in the state of Kerala. If you prefer to surfing in calm and peaceful waters, then this place is just for you.


Among the earliest Portuguese settlements in India, comes a small coastal fishing town of Tanur. It is believed that St. Francis Xavier visited this place in the year 1546 AD.

Located 5-kms from Kollam town is the Thangassery Beach, which is a sea side village of historic importance. The rural settlement has the ruins of an old Portuguese Fort and churches built in the 18th century. The 144 feet high Thangaserry Lighthouse is open to visitors from 1530-1730 hours every day.


Roughly 6km north of Kollam, Thirumullavaram is a beautiful beach that's well linked by road and with good facilities. This beautiful beach filled with coconut palms is ideal for an early morning walk as one can see fishermen gliding into the sea for the days catch. The beach has good bathing facilities.


Andaman & Nicobar is the most unique Island state of India and its because of this geographic location the beaches and coastal areas of these islands are still untouched and unspoilt, making it an ideal beach holiday destination. Even if there aren't many beach resorts present on these tropical islands, still the climate and isolation has given these islands a prominence among the best tropical beach islands and a paradise of exquisite marine life.


One of the most picturesque sea-beaches, it is ideal for sea bathing and sun-basking. The Waves Restaurant, the Peerless Resort nearby and the Hornbill Nest Guest House at a stone's throw, provide a kaleidoscopic view of the blue waterfront.


Radhanagar and Vijaynagar Beach in Havelock are real exposures of unpolluted nature of Andman & Nicobar Islands for an environment lover. Vijaynagar beach is just infront of Dolphin Yatri Niwas and Radhanagar beach is 7-km away from Dolphin Yatri Niwas.


These beautiful beaches are situated at Hut Bay Island at a distance of 100-km from the city of Port Blair and are connected by Inter Islands shipping services.


Karmatang beach, at turtle nesting ground is being developed as tourist complex in Andaman Islands. Situated at Mayabunder, northern part of Middle Andaman, 240-km by road and 136-km by boat from Port Blair.


A sandy beach of Andaman situated at Diglipur Island. It is connected by two daily boat services from Mayabunder and from Port Blair twice a week.


The state of Andhra Pradesh is home to some of the most scenic beaches in India. Boasting with a long stretch of nearly 1000-kms of naturally enriched coastline, out of the twenty-three districts of Andhra Pradesh, eight are having direct access to the sea with breathtaking beauty of blue waters. The beaches of Andhra's coast here are pure and unspoiled an ideal for a beach holiday. The sands soaked with golden sunshine are ideal if you are seeking a healthy tan in the most natural surroundings..


The most attractive feature of Bheemunipatnam is its beach, which is perhaps matchless for its beauty all along the east coast. Considered to be one of the safest beach sites in Andhra Pradesh state, this beach site has got one of the finest sea resorts of India, known as Bheemli.


The combination of both Ramakrishna Beach And Lawson's Bay present a very picturesque site. It presents quite a contrast with its long and calm water stretches from the busy city life of Vishakhaptnam.

Manginapudi deserve to be a must visit place because its blessed with some of the most mesmerizing scenic sites and partly from being a historic port city. It's also a popular health resort as well as an ideal picnic spot in Andhra Pradesh.


The brilliant coastline of the Nellore district makes its beach sites one of the most luring sites for beach lovers. Mypad is one such beach, whose lush green environment and sun kissed sands will really make you think that why they call the long strolls on the beaches are the most memorable ones.


Rishikonda is a golden, unspoilt beach, washed by the sun-warmed sea, 8 km from Vizag and an ideal for water sports lovers, especially swimmers, water skiers, and wind surfers.


Vodarevu makes quite a nice weekend hideout and has got quite a good share of tourist inflow, mainly because of its tranquil setting.

Thursday, July 24, 2008



The valley of Gulmarg, a large meadow about 3-sq-kms in area, stands at 2,730 meters, 56-km south west of Srinagar. The name means 'Meadow Of Flowers' and in the spring it's just that, a rolling meadow dotted with countless colourful Bluebells, Daisies, Forget Me Nots and Buttercups. The valley itself is about 3-km long and up to a km wide. All around are snow-capped mountains, and on a clear day one can see all the way to Nanga Parbat is one direction and Srinagar is another. It's a popular day trip from Srinagar to Gulmarg, although many people extend their stay or use it as a base for trekking. The road from Srinagar rises gently towards the lower slopes of the range, passing through rice and maize fields.
Best Time To Visit: In Summer - May to September
In Winter - Nov to February


The capital of Jammu and Kashmir and the largest city in the state, Srinagar (1,730m) is famous for its canals, houseboats and Mughal gardens. The city itself is quite unlike most other large Indian cities for here you are much more in Central Asia than on the sub continent. It's a city full of intriguing alleyways and curious buildings. A place where it's very easy to spend a few hours simply wandering - particularly along the old city streets near the Jhelum river.
Best Time To Visit:In Summer - June To Early Nov
In Winter - Dec To Feb


With all its beauty at a hill station, it is a charming plateau at 2, 024m. The meadow is surrounded by dense woods and lush greenery of Pines. Tracks lead to pockets where time stands still and calm prevails. Picturesquely situated at a high altitude, there are good bridle paths passing through wooded lanes and fascinating scenery link Patnitop with Kud and Batote. There are three, gushing, ice-cold freshwater springs in the area, which are said to have medicinal properties. The complete tourist circuit covers Jammu-Katra-Vaishno Deviji, Kud-Sanasar, Patnitop-Gourikund, Sudmahadev, Mantali, extending upto Latti-Dhuna.
Best Time To Visit:Summer- May To June
Autumn-September To October
Winter - December To March



Located in Himachal Pradesh at an altitude of 1220m. Kullu was once known as Kulanthpitha, which means the end of the habitable world. Beyond rose the forbidding heights of the Greater Himalayas, and by the banks of the shining river Beas, lay the fabled 'Silver Valley'. The mountain-scapes remain spectacular whether in brilliant sunshine or in the haze of the mist. The 'Silver Valley' has nature's treasures that lie carelessly scattered as flowers on the high meadows. The town of Kullu has long been a centre of faith. In the 17th century, Raja Jagat Singh installed here an idol of Lord Raghunathji, which he brought from Ayodhya. As a mark of his penance, he placed the idol on his throne and it became the presiding deity of the valley.
Best Time To Visit: Mid-May To Mid-October.


Situated at an altitude of 2,050m. The Kullu valley has an ancient town in its lap called Manali. Surrounded by towering peaks at an arm length, Manali's major asset is its proximity to the snowline. It is a flourishing orchard industry, a popular honeymoon destination and trailhead for numerous treks as well as a great countryside ideal for adventure sport lovers.
Best Time To Visit: May To October.


Lahaul and Spiti, situated at an altitude of 6,500 mtrs are two remote Himalayan valleys of Himachal Pradesh lying on the Indo-Tibet border. Strange, exciting, primitive, these valleys are incomparable in mountain scape, in the rugged beauty of their rocky escapements and the splendour of their snow covered peaks. Best Time To Visit: Lahaul- Mid June To Late October / Spiti- August To October.


Shimla is situated at an altitude of 2,159m. Shimla has been blessed with all the natural bounties, one can think of. Dwelling on a panoramic location, the hilly town is surrounded by green pastures and snow-capped peaks. The spectacular cool hills accompanied by the structures made during the colonial era create an aura, which is very different from other hill stations. Best Time To Visit: April To August & December To January.

This hill station spreads over five low-level hills at the western edge of the Dhauladhar range, just east of the Ravi River. The picturesque town is interspersed with the colonial-era buildings, low roofed stalls and hotels. The pine-covered slopes around it are intersected with paths and treks, which are ideal for short undemanding walks.


Set against the backdrop of the dramatic Dhauladhar mountains, Dharamsala is perched on the high slopes in the upper reaches of Kangra Valley. Dharamsala over looks the plains and is surrounded by dense pine trees and Deodar forests. A nearby snowline with numerous streams and cool healthy atmosphere makes the surroundings very attractive. Dharamsala is a busy bazaar town and has established itself as the travellers base camp, who come to explore the nearby mountains.
Best Time To Visit: Mid-May To Mid-October


Chail is situated at 43 km higher then Shimla it was created by Maharaja of Patiala who was banned from Shimla on account of a mild romantic flutter at scandal point on Shimla's Mall. He created his own 75 acres Himalayan resort, which has now become a prominent tourist spot. Chail is set amidst tall cedars & stately oaks. When trekking through forest you are sure to meet barking deer & the highly endangered kaleej pheasant. And when tired, sit down & be refreshed by dazzling views of the Choor Chandani Peak


Situated at 8,602 ft 17 km away from Shimla guarded by the vast expense of ancient cedar forests, bring back memories of day long picnics, horse riding & languorous walk during lazy hazy summer hols. Mahasu peak the highest point in Kufri ,makes a challenging hike.When the sky's a cloudless blue , watch the views of snowy clad peaks of Badrinath & Kedarnath The hills come alive with shouts of young voices throwing snow balls on each other during winter season .Kufri also provide finest ski slopes thus attracting ski expertise from all over the country.


This tiny Raj-era retreat is at height of 7,047 ft, 10 km north of Shimla. Mashobra was the first choice of British officials and their families who wanted proximity to as well as privacy from Shimla. Decades after they left, their indulgence still marks Mashobra's stylish properties Two of the village's most prominent structures, The Wildflower Hall and The Retreat are delight to stay having world class facility.


Perched at an altitude of 1,496 m, this lesser known hill station is also called the "Scotland of the east". The charms of Shillong begin to work gradually but effectively. The road snakes up through lush green forests, seeping into the senses like heady wine. Even before the effect of Umiam Lake wears off, Shillong spreads out with its lush green undulating hills, cottages tucked in its folds with a sprinkling of old world cathedrals and churches and localities with quaint names like 'Laitumkrah', 'Sunnyhill', 'Lachumiere', 'Mawalai', 'Nongthymiah' and 'Pokseh'. The legends might have vague roots but there is no disputing that nature has been more than partial where Shillong is concerned. Towering pines and gurgling mountain streams, awesome waterfalls that go by the name of Elephant, Crinoline, sweet falls, and the twin Bishop and Beadon. Then there are lakes and gorges and caverns that all combine to make Shillong a tourist's delight.


At an altitude of 3,555 feet, surrounded by Satpura hills is located the summer capital of Madhya Pradesh- Pachmarhi. As a hill station this place has been untouched and unexplored. The natural beauty of Pachmarhi has remained unexploited and is lesser known to the foreign tourists. Geographically Pachmarhi is a group of waterfalls. Apart from the ancient temples and buildings, this place is known for its naturalbeauty. Though Pachmarhi has no comparison with the hill stations of the Himalayas still it carries a charm of its own which is unique to this place.


The only hill station in Rajasthan, Mount Abu huddles among the rocks on a 1,220-m granite table mountain at the far southwestern end of the Aravalli hills. It is built around a lake and is surrounded by forested hills. According to a legend, the place derives its name from Arbuda, a serpent who descended to the spot to rescue Shivas bull, Nandi. Besides having all the features of a pleasant hill resort, Mount Abu is also well known for the famous Dilwara temples and many more archaeological remains. There are interesting treks and picnic spots, romantic royal retreats of the various erstwhile families of bygone Rajputana and some relics of the Raj period. The scenic landscapes include gigantic blocks of rocks in weird shapes, an array of coniferous trees, flowering shrubs, lovely lakes and the cool climate much in contrast to the arid environs of the state.



Almora is one of the most beautiful places in Kumaon region in Uttaranchal. Almora is very virgin hill-station and is full of scenic beauty. It appears that Mother Nature has spread and blessed this place with her pure love. Nestled in the lap of nature this region has small houses built on the slopes and splendour of this place are added colourful attire of the natives. Just besides city flows the Koshi (Kaushaki) and Suyal (Salmali) rivers.


It is located at a height of 2,500 meters in the green Himalayan range. Due to its location and beauty Mussoorie is considered as the best hill station in the northern region. In 1820 Captain Young from the British army was influenced by the beauty of this place and made this place as his residence. The name, Mussoorie, is derived from plants of 'Mussoorie' which were found in abundance here. The modern bungalows, malls and well-laid gardens, which are located on the small hills around the area, are enough to attract any tourist.


A small town in the hills of Kumaon, Nainital is a lovely hill station surrounded by mountains on three sides. Once this area had many lakes and it was called the City of 60 lakes or 'Chakta'. Most of the lakes in the region have disappeared and whatever remains is just a glimpse of what they might have been in the past. Today the life of Nainital revolves around the lake of Naini. But there are few other lakes around Nainital, which are equally beautiful and attractive as the Naini Lake.



It is located 84 km away from North of Silchar, Assam. In the lush hilly terrain lies this lovely lakeside resort, which is Assam's only hill station. It is the name of variety of orchids, one of them being the rare Blue Vanda. Haflong Lake is situated in the heart of the hill station is a picturesque area. The Jatinga village unravel the mystery of the flocks of little migratory birds crashing to death on still dark nights.
Best Time To Visit: Aug - Nov


It is located at the borders of Assam and Meghalaya, 112-km away from Haflong. This hill station is blessed with the natural backdrop of North Cacher Hills region. For the sake of enjoying this alluring journey, one should travel from Haflong Hill to Umrangshu and from their via Jowai to Shillong hill. Near Umrangsu, there is a hot water spring (Garampani), which is believed to possess medicinal properties.


Adventure Tourism is very popular in Haryana. Adventure Sports like Rock Climbing, Trekking, River Rafting, and Parasailing are such events held in different places in the state. The enthralling ride in the air under Parasailing and Para Gliding may stop your breathe before you land. Pinjore Aviation Club is a famous name for Parasailing rides for years. The rock climbing at “Damdama” is an unforgettable experience for any one going for the same. Canoeing or kayaking in the river Yamuna from Panota Sahib to Hathnikund is really enthralling.

On the opposite hillside of the Pinjore valley, 45 kms from Chandigarh lie the Morni Hills, past the township of Panchkula. Past sleepy hamlets and cultivated terraces, one witnesses the calm altitudes of the Morni Hills, on chugging up a hill climb of above 3900 ft. with wilderness all around. Situated in the lower reaches of the Shivalik range, Morni is ideal for a holiday with its cool climate, beautiful natural vistas and myriad opportunities for trekking, rock-climbing and other adventure sports.
Best time to visit: September to March.


Gangtok, the "Lofty Hill" or the "Hill made flat to build the Gangtok monastery in 1716". Gangtok is a city, which, till one sees it, one would believe exists only in picture-story books. In the mystery-laden mists prayer flags whip in the breeze; wheels spin in the hands of Lamas mumbling invocations to God, in the distance are the snows, on the streets amidst brightly painted pagoda roofed houses, lined with friendly smiling people are silver, silk and spice and jewellery to gladden an maiden's heart, from across the seven seas are gadget and goods to delight the collector of "imported goods', while directly overlooking the city is the hill Lukshyma, the 'Mother of Pearl' citadel of the magic mountain, Khang-Chen-Dzod-Nga. An air of enchantment hangs over the city, indeed the whole valley; the mysticism, the stupas, the monasteries reach out as soon as one has crossed the border. While across the hills and valleys comes the sounding of the long trumpets by robed lamas.



It is the dreamland of the East; it has been a popular hill station since the British period. Darjeeling is surrounded by lofty mountains. Except for the monsoon months and if weather is clear then the Kanchenjunga peak can be seen. Down below in the valley flow the rivers swollen by rain water or melting snow. Darjeeling is a fascinating place rich in natural beauty and surrounded by the Buddhist monasteries. Its beauty surpasses any other hill station. The toy train coming from Siliguri is some thing, which is liked by the elders and the children equally. The real fun in coming to Darjeeling is on the toy train. It takes six to seven hours to cover a distance of 82 kms and the slow speed gives you enough time to watch and appreciate the beauty which nature has provided it. This train passes through the Forests, waterfalls, over deep valleys and through the mountains and tunnels.


A small but bustling town in the Himalaya foothills of West Bengal- Kalimpong is at an altitude of 1250 meters. This bazaar town was originally a part of Bhutan but later it was taken over by the British and finally it became a part of West Bengal. Kalimpong is famous for its monasteries, Churches and a private library for the study of Tibetan and Himalayan languages, culture etc. This place also has the Sericulture centre and the orchid nurseries and of course the place provides some beautiful sights of the Himalayan range. Though not all travellers visit this place, which demands some attention. The journey from Darjeeling along the Teesta River is very interesting.


It is 52 kms from Siliguri and 55 kms from the nearest Airfield of Bagdogra. Mirik is being developed as a new hill station in the mountains. Mirik is surrounded by tea estates, orange orchards and cardamom plantations. Mirik has all the facilities to fulfil the needs of a tourist, it is surrounded by forests, flowers and is a very peaceful place which attracts the tourists automatically. This fast developing as a tourist paradise. This place is 5,800 feet above the sea level and has very thin population of 10,000 people. Mirik has not yet acquired the hustle and bustle of the regular hill station and is from pollution. Thus the little time spend here is enough to refresh you.