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Monday, 15 December 2014

10 Must to do Things in India

India is a vast and fascinating country with a rich heritage and culture, however, most people only see a small part of this fabulous destination.  If you want a unique experience and want to get away from the more traditional tourist experiences, why not tr something a bit different for your trip.  Below is a guide to some of the different experiences that await you on your trip to India.

1. Celebrate Holi in Vrindavan

Vrindavan Holi
Photo Source: http://mashable.com/

Holi is one of the biggest festivals in India; it is the festival of colours and love and is celebrated across India in many different forms. Although you can see Holi celebrations in most parts of the country, it is Holi in Vrindavan which is particularly popular. As Holi is a festival of colour, you will see a lot of Gulaal – an organic coloured powder which the participants throw at each other creating a wonerful array of colours. At Vrindavan Holi is celebrated for a week, starting with Barsana, one week before the actual festival date. Barsana is famous for its Lathmaar where the women hit men with a stick. Banke Bihari temple is the best place to celebrate Holi in Vrindavan. So stand back and enjoy the wonderful colours and sounds of Holi in Vrindavan with a cup of Bhang.

2. Kumbh Mela

Kumbh Mela
Image Source:http://www.stateofkerala.in/

Kumbh Mela is a Hindu Pilgrimage and represents the world's largest gathering of people in any one place. In February 2014 about 80 million people visited the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad. Kumbha is held at four places in India: 1. Allahabad, 2. Ujjain, 3. Haridwar and 4.Nasik on a rotational basis. Mauni Amavsya, which is the second day of Kumbha Mela happens after every 12 year at Allahabad and the day of Shahi Snan (Royal Bath) is by far the most crowded day. So for something different, why not visit the awe inspiring Kumbha Mela and take a royal bath with millions of people and saints including Naga Baba – the experience of a lifetime.

3. Attend a Royal Wedding in Rajasthan

Royal Wedding in Rajasthan
Image Source:http://indianwedding.rajpalace.in/

Rajasthan is well known for its royalty and their weddings are one of the main attractions. From the fabulous, opulent and intricate clothing to the lavish food and feasting, a royal Rajasthan wedding is an event not to be missed – that is if you are lucky enough to get the chance of course.

4. Garba Dance in Vadodara (Baroda):

Garba Dance
Image Source:http://www.rediff.com/

The Garba is a folk dance from the state of Gujarat which usually takes place during the nights of Navratra (Nine Nights: nine sacred days of fasting for Hindus). Many hotels and clubs organise the Garba Dance for locals and guests alike where girls and boys dance with small sticks to the beat of the drum.

5. Watch a Snake Boat Race in Kerala

Snake Boat Race in Kerala

Known as Chundan Vallam in Kerala organized in Festive season of Onam in Indian State of Kerala. In This race long bots (about 100 to 138 feets) participate, each bot represent a village, in each bot there are 64 (sometime 128) oarsmen in tow rows. Front portion of bot is raised as a snake hood so when many such bots run in different lane it looks like snakes are swimming. Believe me this bot race make your trip.

6. Try the Ayurvedic Massage in Kerala

Kerala Ayurvedic Massage
Image Source:http://www.kairali.com/

Ayurveda is widely regarded as the most ancient healing therapy in the world. Its popularity rests on the fact that it will not only cure your body but also your mind and soul. Kerala, which is known as God's own country is a pioneer of Ayurveda. Take a full body massage such as Abhyangam or Potly performed using special oils made of extracts of Ayurvedic herbs and natural oils, It will leave your body feeling refreshed and relaxed and will clear your mind!

7. Try the food at Chandni Chowk

Food of Chandni Chowk

Chandni Chowk is like a pilgrimage for food lovers. At Chandni Chowk your taste buds will get a real treat with delicious sweets such as Namkken (which is both spicy and salty), a myriad of snacks and many different dried fruits amongst many other delicacies. If you are lucky enough to make it to Chandni Chwok then you should consider visiting the Chawri Bazar and Paranthe Wali Gali for some spicy foods, At Paranthe Wali Gali you can taste different varieties of Parantha (bread made wiith stuffed vegetables). Some of the most popular destinations for food lovers are the Karim Hotel, Babu Ram Devi Dayal Paranthe Wale, Old Famous Jalebi Wala, Kake Di Hatti, Jung Bahadur Kachori Wala and many others.

8. Take a Camel Safari in the Thar Desert

Camel Safari in the Thar Desert
Image Source:http://www.indiamarks.com/

Travel like Lawrence of Arabia and take a camel ride in the desert of Thar. In the evening, experience the cold sand on your bare feet and soak up the desert atmosphere with music, dance, food and an unforgettable experience

9. Watch the Republic Day Celebration: On 26th January:

Republic Day Celebration

Republic Day is celebrated throughout India and on the day the main ceremony is celebrated on Janpath, a road linking the President's House to the India Gate. Here you can get a snapshot of all of Indian culture, history and arts performed by Indian soldiers along with a stunning air show and many other celebrations and activities.

10. Rafting in Rishikesh

Rafting in Rishikesh

If you are a lover of adventure, you should consider a trip to Rishikesh for rafting and camping. These days it is one of the most popular places in India for adventure travellers. At Rishikesh you can enjoy a wide range of high-octane adventure activities including bungee jumping, rock climbing, x-paint ball with white water rafting and camping.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

6 Tips to Find the Best Website to Book Flight Tickets Online

Book Flights Online

We all know that the internet and technology in general makes our lives easier and brings the world closer – into our homes, on our laptops, tablets and even into the palm of our hand on our smart phones. It makes our working lives much easier, enable us to check the weather, football scores and pay bills but probably the biggest single change in recent years is how we shop online – whether it is our groceries, mobile phones or our holidays and travel requirements. There is no need to visit shops or travel agents, no waiting in long queues, now that everything is available with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Buying flight tickets online is no exception and can save you significant time and money as well as enabling you at a glance to compare the best fares on different websites. But with such ease and choice it is all the more important to make sure that the website from which you are buying tickets is genuine and that your money is safe. Here we bring you a few tips that help you to identify trusted and reliable websites where you can book your flights with confidence.
  1. Check the company and website’s history: With so much choice, it is important to know how long the company has been operating, the longevity of a company gives a good indication of the likely reliability given that companies that last tends to be ones that are trustworthy and provide good customer service. Always check the “about us” page on their website or do a search on the company on the internet. One good resource for this is to visit whois.com and check their registration date which is the date when their domain (site) name was registered. If the company has a long enough history, it is a good indication that it is safe to buy from them.
  2. Check for customer service and support:After sale services is of course very important because as with any purchase sometimes you might have a problem online and require the assistance of their customer care team. Companies that do not have a telephone number may be one man operations and will not offer the support you need. In addition to this, sometimes a well trained customer representative may be able to find a better fare for you. Check whether the company provides after sales support and if they have 24X7 support. If not, makes sure that it is available in the day time in your time zone.
  3. Check for an ATOL No.: ATOL (Air Travel Organizers License) is the scheme run by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) which is in place to protect the traveller when buying tickets from travel agents in case of airline failure. If a company holds an ATOL license it can sell flights tickets and hotels legally in the United Kingdom. If you buy your flights tickets from a company that has an ATOL license, you are safe in the knowledge that if the agency fails to provide your tickets, the full amount would be refunded. It also allows for repatriation if you are stuck abroad in case the airline goes bust. It is very important to check that the company or website is ATOL protected and has an ATOL number. For example www.ticketstoindia.co.uk has an ATOL no 5092, so you can book your flights and hotels confidently with them. To check if a company is ATOL protected or not visit www.caa.co.uk and search for a specific ATOL number or company name.
  4. Check Customer Reviews: There are a number of review websites available these days that will give you a good idea about consumer experiences and the good and bad points of any given company. For example, websites like https://www.trustpilot.co.uk and http://www.reviewcentre.com allow customers to write about their specific experience of a particular company/website from where they have purchased. Reading reviews will give you a good idea about the company’s behavior and service quality and help you to decide if it is a good idea to buy tickets from a particular website.
  5. Compare the Fares: As with any product, different flight booking websites have different fares so it is always worth comparing fares to ensure that the website you have chosen is giving you the cheapest fare. To compare fares, you can visit various fare comparison websites like skyscanner.co.uk, or cheapflights.co.uk etc. A brief guide to finding the cheapest online fares is available here
  6. Check that your money will be safe when you pay: These days online financial security is a major concern. When taking payments, websites should provide information on the security measures that they employ so that you can be secure with your purchase. Most sites will use the website protocol “https” rather than just “http” which indicates that the site uses encryption to protect your data and money. In addition, many sites will ask for further verification from the card merchant which provides an additional layer of security. Remember that as inconvenient as it seems, these measures are there to protect your money and your online security.
By following the above tips, you can book you next flights confidently and avoid post booking stress and worries.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Top 10 Most Luxurious Hotels in Delhi

Delhi is not surprisingly one of the most popular cities in India in terms of annual tourist numbers and as you might expect, there are a good choice of hotel options ranging from backpacker hostels through to luxury hotels and recognized international brands. Although in general Delhi is not considered an expensive city, this is certainly not the case where its five star hotels are concerned. The centrally located hotel chains such as Taj and Oberoi located in central and southern Delhi certainly command a high price.

Below is a short guide of our top ten luxury hotels in Delhi:

1. The Imperial Hotel, Janpath:

Imperial Hotel Delhi
Photo Courtesy: www.theimperialindia.com
This ranks as the top hotel in Delhi having been awarded Travel + Leisure World's Best Hotel award and it was also the winner of the Tripadvisor excellence award in 2014. The Imperial Hotel is without doubt one of the best five star hotels in Delhi and provides a perfect combination of colonial charm and modern facilities with 43 ultra luxurious suites and 190 rooms.

The Imperial Hotel is a landmark in Delhi and is known by all. It is located at Janpath and very near to Jantar Mantar and the handicraft emporium, just steps away from Connaught Place and a 30 minute drive fro IGI International Airport

Janpath Lane, Connaught Place
From IGI airport
13.9 KM, About 44 Minutes Drive
No. of rooms & Suites
190 + 43
Starts from 12750/Night INR



2. The Taj Mahal, Hotel:

Taj Mahal Hotel Delhi
Photo Courtesy: www.tajhotels.com
Without question, the Taj Mahal Hotel is one of the finest hotels in Delhi. Located at number one Man Singh Road, the Taj Mahal Hotel is part of the Taj Group of luxury hotels.

The Taj Mahal Hotel is a perfect example of Mughal Architect, made of red stone. It is a 12 floor building with about 294 suites and rooms offering luxurious services including a five star restaurant, bars, banquet halls, a beauty centre, fitness centre and a luxury shopping zone. The list doesn’t finish here though as there is a lot to experience at the Taj that we couldn’t describe in words!

Number One Mansingh Road
From IGI airport
13.4 KM, 35 Minutes Drive
No. of rooms & Suites
Starts from 17500/Night INR


3. The Oberoi Hotel:

Oberai Hotel delhi
Photo Courtesy: oberoihotels.com

One of the Oberoi Hotel Group's five star properties, this was one of the first luxury hotels in Delhi. The Oberoi Hotel is situated in a lush green area with palm trees. It offers a breathtaking views of Delhi's golf course one side and the historic monument of Humayu’s Tomb on the other side.

Oberoi has some very popular restaurants, dining options and bars, banquet halls, a business centre, swimming pools, a fitness centre, a beauty centre and you can even rejuvenate yourself with one of its Spa Services

Dr. Zakir Hussain Marg, New Delhi
From IGI airport
15.2 km (approx 45 Minutes Drive)
Starts from 12000/Night INR


4. The Shangri La Hotel:

Shangri La Hotel delhi
Photo Courtesy: shangri-la.com

Run by the Hong Kong based Shangri-La hotel chain, this is yet another hotel renowned for its super luxury services. The Shangri La Hotel Eros is situated at Connaught Place near to Government offices and the commercial and shopping hub of Delhi.

In terms of facilities and services, Shangri La offers 24 hours free broadband internet, bequest hall, four restaurants, bars, meeting rooms, a health club, a spa, a fitness centre, a beauty centre, a shopping zone and much more besides.

19 Ashoka Road, Connaught Place
From IGI airport
14.4 km around 22 minutes drive
No. of rooms & Suites
Starts from 6375/Night INR


5. The Taj Palace:

Hotel Taj Palace Delhi
Photo Courtesy: tajhotels.com

Another hotel from the Taj group successfully makes it onto our list for its amazing five star services and facilities. Sprawling over in six acres in Delhi’s diplomatic enclave Chankyapuri, it is just 10 minutes away fro IGI airport. The Taj Palace is a favorite of tourists from around the world. It has more than 400 rooms and suites including a Garden Presidential Suite, Presidential Suite and Tata Suite.

Services and facilities: The Taj Palace has luxury and super luxury suites with 7 restaurants and bars, banquet hall and conference centre, onsite catering, a gift shop, a business centre, outdoor pools, a health club, video conferencing and many more top class services and facilities to meet the needs of the most discerning of guests..

Sardar Patel Marg, Diplomatic Enclave
From IGI airport
19km, about a 10 Minute drive
No. of rooms & Suites
Starts from 12000 INR/Night


6. The Lodhi Hotel AKA Aman Hotel:

The Aman (Lodhi Hotel)
Photo Courtesy: thelodhi.com
Also known as The Aman, the Lodhi Hotel is located on the lush green Lodhi Road and near the historic Humayun's Tomb. It is close located quite close to the golf course. In terms of facilities, the Aman Hotel has two restaurants, a bar, lounge, swimming pool, tennis courts, squash courts, a spa and treatment rooms, a beauty salon, a pool, cafe and much more besides. In terms of rooms, the Aman Hotel has 68 rooms and 8 suits all with state of the art modern facilities.

Sardar Patel Marg, Diplomatic Enclave
From IGI airport
18.8 kms, 35 minutes derive
No. of rooms & Suites
Starts from 21500/Night INR



7. The Leela Palace

Hotel Leela Palace
Photo Courtesy: theleela.com

One of the hotels of the Leela Group, located close to the diplomatic enclave at Chanakyapuri and the offices of the Indian Prime Minister as well as a number of embassies. This hotel is built in the shape of a butterfly; its architecture inspired by Lutyens and embellished by Mrs. Madhu Nair.

Leela palace has about 260 rooms and Royal clubs and suites including a presidential suite. The main features of this hotel include banquet and meeting halls, a business centre, a fitness centre, fast internet access, a pool, spa, shops, a theatre and even a museum.
Location: Chanakyapuri, Diplomatic Enclave,

Chanakyapuri, Diplomatic Enclave,
From IGI airport
8.8 km, about 20 minutes drive
9,350 INR/ night


8. Hyatt Regency

Hyatt Regency
Photo Courtesy:hyatt.com

One of the largest of Delhi's hotels with 500+ rooms and suites, all equipped with modern amenities including 24 hour dining options, fast and free internet access etc.

The Hyatt regency is located in Delhi’s commercial hub at Bhikaji Kama place, about 25 minutes away from IGI airport and about 20 minutes from the city centre. The Hyatt Regency is equipped with a cafĂ©, polo lounge, a fitness centre and spa, a swimming pool, yoga class, restaurants, transport assistance, a money exchange facility and much more.

Bhikaiji Cama Place, Ring Road
From IGI airport
18.2 km about 25 minutes drive.
No. of rooms & Suites
Starts from 7500INR/ night


9. The Lalit Hotel

Lalit Hotel DELHI
Photo Courtesy: thelalit.com

The Lalit Hotel is located in the centre of Delhi in the commercial and shopping hub at Connaught Place and close to two of Delhi’s historical monuments – the Red Fort and Jama Masjid. The Lalit Hotel is an 18 story building with more than 450 rooms and suites with modern amenities.

The Lalit Hotel is equipped with all modern facilities including a concierge desk, business centre, spa and fitness centre, a foreign exchange, shopping arcade and much more.

Barakhamba Avenue, Connaught Place
From IGI airport
About 8.2 km, 15 minutes drive
No. of rooms & Suites
Starts from 7500 INR/ nigh


10. ITC Maurya Hotel:

ITC Maurya Hotel
Photo Courtesy: itchotels.in

Part of the ITC group of hotels, the Maurya is another hotel located in the diplomatic enclave at Chanakyapuri. The ITC Maurya is named after the Maurya dynasty. The ITC Maurya has 463 rooms and suites that include a presidential and grand presidential suites, equipped with facilities like electronic safe, daily newspapers, bottled drinking water, tea and coffee making facilities, personal amenities etc. The Hotel ITC maurya has a concierge desk, business centre, a spa, beauty salon, health club, swimming pool etc.

Diplomatic Enclave, Sardar Patel Marg,
From IGI airport
8.6 km, about 30 minutes drive
No. of rooms & Suites
Starts from 13500 INR/ Night