2. life of the city. The buildings of

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2. Ahmadabad:

This city was founded by Ahmed Shah in 1411 AD. It is one of the best cities of western India. It also has many textile mills, which supply a large part of the cotton cloth to the Indian peninsula. Exports are also done from this city and products to be exported are rolls of cloth sheet.

The Hindus and Muslims have lived here for centuries in perfect harmony. However, the city has become infamous for communal riots after the eighties. In 200 Godhra carnage had a bad effect on the commercial and industrial life of the city.

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The buildings of this city have a combined effect of the Hindus and Indo-Saracen architectural styles. The shaking minarets of Rajpur Bibi and Sidi Bashir mosques are worth visiting.

The famous mosque of Muhammed Chishti is located on Kasturba Gandhi Road near Shahpur. The main markets are at Navrangpura, Vastrapur, Relief Road, Ashram Road, etc. A tourist information centres is located at Sardar Patel Road (near Teen Darwaza). Sabarmati River passes through the city.

Further, Chandola Lake and Kankaria Lake are tourist spots that are worth visiting. Tourists should also visit the historical Jagannath Temple, Khan Chishti Mosque, Town Hall, Sabarmati Ashram and Hathi Singh Temple.

The Sabarmati Ashram remained the headquarters of Gandhiji for nearly 16 years during the course of his struggle against the British Raj. Air, train and bus routes link Ahmadabad to all the major cities of India. Good hotels are available near Shahi Bagh, Lai Darwaza, Hanpur, Town Hall and Ashram Road. Ahmedabad is a costly city.

Hotel taxes could be as high as 40 per cent in some parts of this commercial and administrative capital of Gujarat. English is understood. People are more comfortable when they speak Gujarati (and not Hindi).

3. Almora:

It is a beautiful hill station of Uttaranchal. It is located in the middle Himalays, at a distance of 65 km from Nainital. It has a ridge that has a length of 5 m. Its main market area is full of shops, which sell eatables, food, Chinese cuisine, local cuisine of the mountains and various types of snacks.

The area around the main market has dense population levels. The areas away from the main town are thinly populated. As we move away from the town, we find that the population levels are quite sparse. Starting from November up to February, snowfall can be witnessed in this area.

4. Anjuna:

Probably the finest of 30 beaches of Goa, this beach is located in Goa. The Sun, sand and water are pure and ideal for imbibing the beauty of the coastal are of the Arabian Sea. It is an ideal spot for Sunbathing, water skiing, paragliding and boating.

5. Araku Valley:

This valley is located at a distance of 114 km from Vishakhapatanam. It is located at a distance of 7 km form Borra Caves. Some tribal families thrive in the valley. Tourists show keen interest in the culture and lifestyles of these tribal folk.

There are no arrangements for the stay of tourists and they would be required to go back to Vishakhapatanam. The valley is connected to Vishakhapatanam by train. Bus service is rarely available and tourists should depend upon trains to arrive at the spot.

6. Auli:

It is located at a distance of 16 km from Joshimath. It is a popular skiing resort of northern India. Many tourists, who come from various states for the purpose of undertaking religious tours, come to this place. Foreigners are typically inclined to indulge in the activities related to skiing.

The ideal time to carry out such activities is from October to February. However, the authorities may not allow the enthusiasts to take up skiing, if the snowfall is very heavy or, if there is a danger of meeting with an accident of serious nature.

Ice skating at Auli is an enjoyable experience. Tourists can enjoy at the place till the last week of March. A package for the youth costs Rs 4500 per person.

7. Bangalore:

It is the capital of Karnataka. It is connected by rail, road and air to all the major cities of India. It remains under the shadow of clouds throughout the year and the mean temperature of the area remains 29-31° C.

Weather is always pleasant in this city as well as in the areas around it. The popular tourists spots are Lai Bagh (in which thousands of varieties of flowers and botanical plants thrive), fort (where movies are shot) and MG Road (where life is fun and thrill).

Restaurants and bars abound throughout the city. The state-owned handicraft showroom, called Cauvery, is located on MG Road, which is place worth several visits.

Tourists can purchase perfumes, beauty products, brass handicraft items and other products that are made by the artisans of Karnataka. Prices of brass items vary from Rs 150 to Rs 10,000.

Most popular among these are the statues of Nataraj and Ganesha, brass plates (for decoration purpose), utensils, candle stands, idols made of sandalwood and life-size busts of an amazing variety. Hotel rooms are available in abundance; their price range starts from Rs 350 per night and goes up to Rs 4,500 per night.

8. Betalghat:

It is located in Uttaranchal, at a distance of 60 km from Jim Corbett National Park. From Nainital, it is a 2 hour drive. From Delhi it would take tourists nearly 6 hours arrive at the spot.

It is famous for night safari, repelling, trekking, fishing and a fine view of Kosi river. A Safari lodge, Call of the Wild, accommodates tourists in the lap of comfort can take bath in the shallow waters of Kosi.

9. Calungute:

A famous beach of Goa, it is located in the southern part of the state. It is the glorious combination of the Sun, sand and water.

The nearest hotel is Hotel Star Beach resort, which is located at a distance of only 700 m from the main beach area. Restaurants, hotels and bars abound around the beach area. Tourists can take bath, swim and enjoy motorboat rides at this spot.

10. Chandanwari:

It is located near Pahalgam (J&K) Pilgrims start from Chandanwari to reach Amaranth, one of the most pious Hindu shrines. Chandanwari is the last tip of the Himalays where dense populations thrive.

Beyond this place, the wilderness, dry rocky terrain, mountainous slopes and snow-clad peaks do not allow humans to stay for longer time periods.

The snow-covered slope bridge of Chandanwari is famous and tourists, especially children, enjoy rides on sledges at this slope. Snow can be seen on this bridge even in the months of June and July.

11. Dhanaulti:

It is located in the picturesque mountains ahead of Mussourie. It is located at a distance of 325 km from Delhi and is just 25 km away from Mussourie. The airport nearest to it is that at Dehradun; it is 82 km away from Dhanaulti. The closest railroad is located at Dehradun that is located at a distance of 66 km from Dhanaulti.

Taxis and buses are available from’ Dehradun and Nussourie. The rest house of the GMVN as well as other hotels and lodges is able to provide decent accommodation. The temple of Chamunda Devi is located at a distance of 6 km before Dhanaulti.

The holy Devi Darshan Triangle (of Surkanda Devi, is located at a distance of 10 km from Dhanaulti. Apple orchids are in abundance. Pine trees are majestic and the nature is serene and quite in and around this small hill station.

12. Gangtok:

It is the capital of Sikkim, the beautify north-eastern state of India. It is located at a distance of 114 km from Siliguri (WB). The latter also has the nearest railway station to reach this town. From Siliguri buses and taxies can be hired to arrive at the place. The nearest airport is located at Bagdogra (WB).

Tourists can visit this place from March to late May or from October to mid-December. Twenty-five guest beds are available at Kewzing. The state government and NGOs like the Ecotourism and Conservation Society of Sikkim are training villagers of the nearby areas to promote village tourism in the state.

This state is also the home to 30 per cent of India’s biodiversity. Two monasteries near Kewzing belong to the Kagyupa sect; they are worth visiting. Forests of oak, chestnut, magnolia and rhododendron are in abundance. Temi tea is a delightful drink.

Sociologists would find Bakhim, Kewsa, Dalep and Linjok as interesting places/villages as several ethnic groups live there. In November, 2002, an official of the WTO had visited the area. It is likely to be developed and promoted as an ecotourism destination of India. The Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation is working hard to make this dream a reality.

13. Gulmarg:

It is perhaps the most picturesque spot of kashmir. Located at the height of 1600 m above the MSL, Gulmarg is visited quite frequently by Indian and foreign tourists. The major attraction of this spot is the ice skating activities that are under way during December.

January and February every year. Many ice skating competitions are also organised for those enthusiasts and tourists who are very much keen to pursue this sport. But when snowfall does not take place not in good enough quantities (and for long periods of time), ice- skating cannot be done. The slopes around the Gulmarg valley are not very steep.

Hence, these are ideal for beginners who are keen to learn the techniques of this sport. Professional ice skaters can, however, move to steeper mountains close to Gulmarg. But they must also be accompanied by professional skaters and guides of Jammu and Kshmir Tourism.

Those, who are not interested in ice skating, can ride ponies and horses to explore the beautiful valley of Gulmarg. Four-wheelers and buses ply between Srinagar and Gulmarg on a regular basis. Nights are very cold even during summers. The road distance between Gulmarg and Srinagar is nearly 150 km.

14. Leh:

It was the capital of the Namgyal Empire, which had ruled during the seventeenth century. It was main halt station of the Silk Route, across the Karakoram Mountains. Nowadays, it is the capital of ladakh. The 9-storey palace of Sengge (Lion) Namgyal is a real treat for eyes. A Shanti Stupa was also built by the Japanese in the town.

The major religious attractions are the gompas of Shey, Thiksey, Hemis, Stakna, Matho and Stok Palace. Lee is high and dry. Oxygen is in short supply. Acclimatization of the tourist is the prerequisite for moving around. Leh is a peaceful place frozen in the ambience of time and Buddhist gompas. It is better to travel by air to this place, though road route is also available.

15. Mashobra:

It is located at a distance of 11 km from Shimla (HP). It is spread in an area of 2 sq km. A 50-year old church, dance floor, Shali Peak and Cragnano are the places worth visiting. There is a 5-room guest house at Cragnano. Forest Guest House.

Wildflower Hall (of the Oberoi Group) and Hotel Gables (in the city) are the places where tourists can take rest. Taxis are available from Shimla (Cart Road) tourists to Mashobra at a nominal cost of Rs 250-300 per passenger. The area is full of flowers and trees.

16. Mussourie:

It is an oft-visited hill station of Uttaranchal. Its height is nearly 2,200 m above the MSL. It is located at a distance of 34 km from Dehradun. It is located on a horseshoe- shaped mountain. It was discovered and developed by Captain Young who had got a building constructed here for the first time in 1826.

Gandhi Gate in Central Mussourie is a famous point where buses and cars arrive after these enter the city; so is the Camel Back Road, which is used by tourists and local people to have morning and evening walks in the lap of nature. Snowfall is not a very common features of this place because of rapid urbanisation and the deleterious the trend of global warming.

Kempt fall is also a beautiful place where people are allowed to take bath. The city has a full-fledged roller skater rink. People of all the ages can learn roller skating and other sports of this discipline in this club.

The famous garden of Mussourie, also called Company Gardens, is located on the northern slope of the city. It is at a distance of 3-4 km from Gandhi Gate. It is a dense beautiful garden with a good variety of flora. A mini lake in the garden can be used by children to enjoy boat rides. Food, snacks and cold drinks are available inside as well as outside the garden.

17. Nathu La:

It is located in -Sikkim, located at a height of 14,200 ft above the MSL. The Chinese territory can be seen from this pass.

18. Ooty:

Located at a height of nearly 2, 175 m above the MSL. Ooty is located in the Neelgiri Hills in the state of Tamil Nadu. It was known as Ootacamund during the days of the British Raj. Nilgiris are ideated in all the 3 states of India-Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. However. Ooty is located in Tamil Nadu.

Summers are very pleasant in Ooty whereas, winters are harsh. Raj Bhawan, Stone House, Venlock House, Mukurti Heights, Avalanche Area and Candell Cross are other popular spots of this hill station. If the tourist is keen to undertake mountaineering activities, he can climb the Dodabeta Mountain.

He must take adequate equipment and an experienced guide along with him while, he tried to challenge the limits of this mountain. Tea gardens of Ooty, Viewpoint and locales for movie shooting are the other popular places that must be visited.

Many South Indian and Hindi movies (including Mani Ratnam’s Roja) were shot here. Hotels, restaurants and bars are in abundance. The per night of stay can vary from Rs 300 to Rs 1,500. The art gallery and government museum are also worth a visit.

19. Pahalgam:

It is a picturesque valley in the lap of Upper Himalayas in Kashmir. It is located at a distance of nearly 120 km from Srinagar. The river Lidder flows through the valley. It is a shallow river with lots of small and large stones on its bed.

The valley remains very cool during May- September and almost freezing during October-March. The ideal time to go to this heavenly place is the month of June. Hotels are available. Graded hotels are not available.

Tourists can take buses, coaches and taxis from Gulmarg to arrive at this place. The main market will remind them of any beautiful hill station of Switzerland. Tourists must take woolen clothes in sufficient numbers to stay in this area for longer time periods, Lai Kothi is a famous hotel of the spot.

20. Patna:

One of the most ancient cities of India. Patna was known as Patliputra during the Mauryan times. It was also known as Pushpuri or Kusumpur. The Haryaka Kind. Udayan had founded this city. Chandragupt Mauraya had laid the foundations of the Mauryan Empire in this city. Magasthanese, the traveller-cum-author from Macedonia, has described the city.

He has also described the areas places in the immediate vicinity of the city like Agamkuan, Bulandibagh, Bhikhna Paharai, Kumharar, etc. Guru Gobind Singh, the last guru of the Sikhs (Tenth Succession) was also born here.

A Gurdwara Sahib as been constructed at the place of his birth. Patna is the largest city of Bihar. It is also the seat of Bihar government. Tourists can have glimpses of the typical Bihari Culture in this city. Winters are very cold (October to February). Summers are very hot (March to June).

The city is well connected to other parts of India by rail, road and air routes. Taxis are available to move around the city. Two-star and three-star hotels abound. Four-star hotels are rare. There is no five-star hotel in Patna.

This city is a prominent example of “poverty among plenty.” Nearly 43 per cent of Biharis live below the poverty line and tourists would be able to realise this fact. However, the old glory of the city can be seen in its various monuments.

21. Patni Top:

Located quite close to the holy shrine of Vaishno Devi, this picturesque spot is a well known skiing resort. Snow clad slopes invite skaters of all ages and backgrounds to this spot. Jammu and Kashmir Tourism has made special arrangements to teach skiing to student and enthusiasts. Fees are reasonable.

Tourists must go during the December to February season, lest they should be disappointed. Temperatures are low during the winter season. Further, hang gliding can also be learned and enjoyed at this spot. Support of a tour guide or an expert is necessary.

22. Shivpuri:

It is located at a distance of 112 km from Gwalior. It was the former summer residence of the Scindias, one of the four Maratha clans of the eighteenth century AD. There is a national park around a lake in Shivpuri. It is a man-made lake and is visited by tourists throughout the year. There are also two cenotaphs (Chhatris) near the lake.

23. Solang Valley:

It is located at a distance of 22 km from Manali. It is an ideal place for skiing. For a package of 6 nights and 7 days the tourist has to shell out Rs 18,000 (per person). There is also a small park near the skiing resort. Sky jumping is organised at this park.

24. Yercaud:

It is a hill spot, which is nearly 4 hour drive from Salem (TN). It has a Rose Garden, Lake, Gents Seat, Kiliyur Waterfall, Cauvery Peak and Ladies Seat as the major tourist spots.

Rooms of the Tamil Nadu Housing Board are available; so are many hotels and lodges that offer rooms (off-season rates are Rs 300 for a double-bed room and Rs 500 for a deluxe double-bed room). Taxis and buses ply from Salem to Yercaud.

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