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Alternative Destinations To Explore In India

Once you've arranged your India tourist visa, you can begin with the fun part of organising your trip and planning where in this varied country you'll visit.

While it's great to see the main sights, there is plenty more to discover away from the likes of the Taj Mahal. Financial Express recently offered some suggestions of places to go that are a little off the beaten tourist trail but that still have plenty to offer.

Bharatpur in Rajasthan is just one example. This historic city is just a four-hour drive from New Delhi and has plenty of things to explore. Its main attractions are Bharatpur Palace, which dates from the time of the Jat kingdom, and Keoladeo Ghana National Park.

Another place recommended by the news provider is Chettinad in Tamil Nadu. This city is known for its palatial mansions, as well as being an excellent place to pick up antiques.

Or you could head to Jambughoda in Gujarat, which is a designated wildlife sanctuary. Leopards, hyenas and a variety of birds are among the creatures you may find here.

If wildlife is your passion, you may be interested to learn that tiger numbers in India have risen in recent years, with almost 3,000 of these iconic big cats now living in the wild in the nation.

Nagarhole National Park and Ranthambore National Park were recently named as the top tiger spotting destinations in the country by Good Housekeeping. Both national parks are also home to a variety of other creatures, making them well worth a visit during your holiday.

Why Now Is The Time To Go Tiger Spotting In India

India has always been one of the best places in the world to visit if you want to have the opportunity to see tigers in their natural habitat.

These stunning big cats once inhabited much of Asia, but their numbers have steadily fallen due to the destruction of their habitat and poaching. However, there is some good news for tigers, in India at least - their numbers are climbing.

Good Housekeeping recently named India as one of the top places to visit next year, and among the main reasons is because of the boost to its tiger numbers.

There are almost 3,000 wild tigers in India now, which is an impressive climb from the 2,226 recorded just four years ago. According to the news provider, the best places to go if you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of these elusive creatures is Ranthambore National Park or Nagarhole National Park.

Another article by the publication provided some information about these locations and what makes them such a great choice for a holiday.

Ranthambore National Park is one of the best places in the world for tiger encounters, but the big cats are far from the only thing worth seeing here. As well as a plethora of other wildlife, this protected area also boasts interesting ancient ruins and stunning scenery.

In Nagarhole National Park, meanwhile, you have the backdrop of the Western Ghats Mountains. As well as Bengal tigers, you could spot Indian leopards and hyenas, Asian elephants or langur monkeys.

If you’re planning a trip to search for tigers, make sure you organise your India e visa in plenty of time.

Unusual Experiences To Try In India

There are some experiences that are synonymous with India, like seeing the Taj Mahal or experiencing the vibrancy and chaos of Delhi’s streets. But there are others that you might not expect to find in this fascinating nation.

CNN Travel recently highlighted some unexpected adventures you can have if you jet off to India after arranging your India e visa.

At the top of the list is a walking safari in one of the country’s tiger reserves. You will spend several days hiking in the jungle, camping in among the trees at night, on the search for these endangered big cats in the Satpura Tiger Reserve.

India is home to all manner of fascinating landscapes and, if you time your visit right, you could explore one of the world’s largest salt deserts. When the monsoon season ends in October, water evaporates from the salt marsh in the Rann of Kutch, leaving behind a vast salt desert.

This barren environment is quite a sight to behold and one that’s not frequented by many international tourists.

You can have a truly unique experience if you travel to Kanyakumari. This coastal town on the southern edge of India is where the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea all meet. What’s unique about it is that you can watch the sun rise and set from the same place.

According to Trip Savvy , there’s a lot more to see in the coastal town, including the Vivekananda Rock Memorial and taking a dip at Treveni Sangam. This is the point at which the three oceans meet and the water is believed to be powerful and sacred.

Dharavi Named India’s Top Tourist Experience

If you’ve never visited India, you would probably think of famous sights like the Taj Mahal and Hawa Mahal if you were asked to name the country’s top experiences for travellers.

However, the Taj Mahal was recently beaten into third place when travellers were asked to name their top experiences in India. At number one might be something of a surprise for those who’ve never experienced it - Dharavi.

This is the largest slum in Asia and it was named as the top experience in TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Experiences in India as part of its Travellers’ Choice Awards.

Republic World explained that many travellers who venture here do so on small group tours where they’re able to explore the narrow lanes of the slum with a guide. One of the things that draws people here is the crafts. There are pottery craftsmen and leather shops located here.

A bike tour of Old Delhi was named in second place in the list, with the private day tour to the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort by superfast train in at third.

Dharavi is located in the heart of Mumbai. It’s home to an estimated 700,000 people in a space of 0.8 square miles, City Lab recently explained. The neighbourhood was featured in the film Slumdog Millionaire, which is when it gained international notoriety.

If you’re planning a trip to India you may want to consider adding a tour of Dharavi to your itinerary. Make sure you organise your India Tourist Visa in good time before you travel.

Top Destinations For Wildlife Watching In India

If you want to explore some of the wild and natural parts of India you’re in for a treat. The country is home to some beautiful natural areas and these in turn are where you can spot some pretty incredible wildlife.

Good Housekeeping recently highlighted some of the best places to visit if wildlife watching is high on your wishlist for a holiday in India.

The first spot it suggests is Sundarbans National Park in West Bengal. This protected area is located on the Ganges delta and is a tiger reserve. While the big cats and the crocodiles that can be spotted along the tributaries are some of the most impressive creatures you can spot here they’re far from the only things worth looking out for.

Irrawaddy and Ganges River dolphins also live in the region, UNESCO notes, along with primitive horseshoe crabs and the king cobra, which is a threatened reptile species.

The Gir National Park in Gujarat, meanwhile, provides the only place outside of Africa where lions can be seen in the wild. The Asiatic lions found here are endangered and only remain in this small protected area.

Nagarhole National Park is another place to consider exploring, especially if you love bird watching. Some 270 species of bird inhabit the area, including painted stork, ospreys, blue-bearded bee-eaters and pied kingfishers.

Other animals found in the national park in Karnataka are barking deer, elephants, wild boars, leopards and hyenas.

Whichever destination you’re looking at for wildlife watching in India, make sure you arrange your India tourist visa in good time before you travel.

Where To See India’s Most Stunning Waterfalls

India is a country that has so much to offer visitors. As well as its famous heritage sites there are plenty of natural attractions worth exploring too.

If you’ve got your India tourist visa in your passport and are planning the finer details of your trip, you might want to see if you can include one of these locations on your itinerary. If you do, you’ll be treated to views of some of the country’s most stunning waterfalls.

CNN recently picked out some of the best places to go if you’re keen to see this particular feature, and recommended what time of year to travel there too.

At the top of the list is Nohkalikai Falls, which is India’s highest waterfall. You’ll find it in Meghalaya, in the east of the country, where it spills out of the forest and over the cliff, tumbling over 1,000 ft.

If you’re travelling to this part of India, you should also include Nohsngithiang (also known as the Seven Sisters) on your route. At this waterfall, the river splits into seven distinct streams (now you can see where the name comes from). These all plunge around 1,000 ft over a vertical limestone cliff.

Another place to consider exploring is Chitrakot Falls in Chhattisgarh, which is India’s widest waterfall. At its fullest point it spans 980 ft. It’s also a spiritual site that attracts pilgrims who pay their respects to the Hindu gods Lord Ram and Lord Shiva.

Meghalaya could be a good choice if you’re looking for a range of outdoor adventures during your trip. Fodor’s Travel recently described the state as having "otherworldly scenery" and noted that some of the adventures that await here include walking across a double-decker living root bridge and exploring the world’s longest sandstone cave.

Why Experience Goa In May?

May isn’t the busiest time of year in Goa, which is known for being one of India’s most stunning beach resorts, as well as something of a hub for those who like to party. recently revealed that visiting this part of the country in May gives you a sense of what it was like before it became so well known by travellers looking for pristine golden beaches and fun late-night parties.

If you’ve got your India tourist visa sorted and are ready to jet off in the next couple of weeks, check out these recommendations from the news provider.

There are some great opportunities to get up close with the region’s nature and wildlife, such as by joining a dolphin watching trip, going on a bird watching tour or even joining a tour on an Otter Trail.

You’ll find plenty of stretches of nearly empty sand at this time of year too, as it’s outside the main tourist season so many of Goa’s most popular beaches are practically deserted.

There are also some great festivals taking place in Goa in May, including the Goa Food & Cultural Festival, where you can see cooking demonstrations, sample local delicacies and listen to live rock music from bands who travel from all over India to perform.

Corjuem Fort also hosts an event that focuses on the local culture and heritage. Called Heritage Zatra, it’s a great way to spend a day.

If you decide you want to explore a bit more of the state, join the hop-on, hop-off bus to help you get to some of Goa’s most fascinating historical sites, including Panaji and Old Goa.

Sophie Wessex To Visit India For Diamond Jubilee Trust

The Countess of Wessex will need a fast track Indian visa for her trip to Asia next week to celebrate the work of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust before it closes down.

Sophie Wessex will include Mumbai, New Delhi and Hyderabad in her trip, which will enable the Vice Patron of the Trust to learn how the charity has helped premature babies avoid blindness in these areas.

Prince Edward’s wife will visit three hospitals in Hyderabad, taking a look at screening and treatment services used there to help newborns receive appropriate care if they are at risk of sight problems.

This cause is particularly close to the 54-year-old’s heart, as her daughter, Lady Louise Windsor was born with a severe squint, affecting her eyesight.

Sophie, who also has a son, James, Viscount Severn, will then travel to Mumbai to meet Queen’s Young Leader Deane de Menezes. She set up the ‘Red is the new Green’ initiative to help young girls access menstrual hygiene and reduce the number of females absent from school.

The royal will also learn about the Care Mother antenatal app when meeting with Aditya Kulkarni, another Queen’s Young Leader. She set up the app to improve maternal and neonatal health and reduce mortality rates among these groups in India. So far, the app has been pivotal in improving perinatal healthcare, and has helped 30,000 women from disadvantaged communities reach antenatal services.

In New Delhi, the Royal Highness will host a reception together with the British High Commissioner to celebrate the progress achieved by the Trust to advance eye health in India. Her trip will also see the Countess support Women, Peace and Security Agenda (WPS), and encourage girls to learn how to drive as part of the Women on Wheels project.

The Vice Patron’s tour – taking place between Monday April 29th and Friday May 3rd – will mark her final duty for the Trust, which is planning to shut down in January 2020.

New Tours For Visually Impaired Launched In India

India is known as a country that is a feast for the senses. All too often we focus on what you can see, but there's just as much to smell, taste and experience in this vibrant nation.

And now one tour operator has developed some trips designed for those with visual impairment. The Jakarta Post reported on the launch of a Sight-Feeling Trip, run by Rising Star Tours and Travels, which is based in Delhi.

The trip departs from Delhi and takes visitors to the city of Jaipur. It begins with an experiential bus trip between the two cities, making multiple stops to allow people to try activities like horse riding, camel riding and shopping.

One of the most important elements of this trip is that travellers are able to touch and feel everything. The Jaipur journey is one of three offered by the travel company, which also runs similar tours to Pangot (Nainital) and Rishikesh (Shivpuri).

Amit Jain, the company's founder, said that the firm's focus is to provide assistive travel for those with visual impairments. "We aim to help them discover a whole new world and become part of it. It is not about charity, it is about spreading happiness," he asserted.

So far, 70 visually impaired people as well as volunteers have been on these trips. The travel agency also revealed that it plans to continue expanding its offerings in this area.

At the end of last year, Heathrow Airport launched a free app to support blind and visually impaired travellers. The app connects the person using it to personalised assistance to help them navigate the airport.

If you're planning a trip to India, make sure you don't forget to arrange your India tourist visa in good time.

New Bullet Trains Set For India's Railways

When you think of travelling by train in India, your first thought is probably the old-fashioned carriages with people and baggage riding on the roof as well as inside.

But the country's railways are undergoing a modernisation, with India Railways planning to add the high-speed transport across a number of routes.

The first bullet train route to be announced was that from Mumbai to Ahmedabad, Times of India revealed. However, the news provider revealed that National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited is set to explore the viability of ten more routes.

In total, these new train lines will cover 6,000 km. The news provider revealed that some of the routes under consideration include Delhi to Varanasi, Delhi to Lucknow via Kanpur and New Delhi to Kolkata.

There is still some way to go until India is crisscrossed by a network of bullet train lines, however. The route from Mumbai to Ahmedabad is expected to be completed by 2022 or 2023. When it's opened, this railway will slash the current train journey between the two cities from seven hours to two hours.

If you're organising a trip to India and have already applied for yourIndia e-visa, you'll therefore be taking the current rail network if you choose to travel by train, although this is an experience in itself.

Last month, India launched its semi-high-speed train the Vande Bharat Express, which runs between Delhi and Varanasi. However, the locomotive broke down on its return journey to Delhi, with all those onboard forced to take a different train back to the city.

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