Tourism in India
India is the land of innumerable Gods and Goddesses, languages, religions and traditions but still in this diversity one can find a unity. India is a country with a diverse topography-from the great Himalayan mountains in the north, the Thar desert in the west, the rain-fed Delta (the Sunder bans) in east and the coastal areas in the south. India has a panorama of scenes, which reflects the spectrum of Indian colours.
According to Ministry of Tourism, the first ten months (January-October) of the calendar year 2006 witnessed a total tourist inflow of 34,102,72 as against 30,153,62 in the same period of the last year. The total foreign exchange earnings earned in the first ten months (January-October) of the calendar year 2006 stood at US$ 5035.25 million against US$ 4466.03 million for the same period in 2005. Further, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council, India's travel and tourism (T&T) industry is expected to contribute 2.1 percent to Gross Domestic Product in 2006(INR 713.8 billion or US$ 16.3 billion)
The "Rural Tourism Project" is a joint effort by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India in association with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The rural tourism in India mainly focuses on the interactive experiences between the tourists and the villagers. The main attraction lies with the hand made work of the villagers (artisans) and the skilled diversity of these villagers are covered through this project. The project also recognises the role of women in civil society and dominance of human development. Further, It also makes a successful effort to preserve Indian heritage.
For further information on rural tourism, visit the official portal of the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.
Medical Tourism in India
Indian surgical history is well known and is not hidden to the world. Off late Medical tourism is getting very popular worldwide.
Ayurveda: this traditional form of Indian medicine is over 5000 years old, which uses natural herbs for the treatment of ailments. It is primarily based on physical exercises and breathing techniques.
Yoga: this is another very popular exercise of India, which was developed about 5 thousand years ago. Yoga involves series of poses of deep breathing and meditations for the relaxation of human body and soul. It even has its origins in the Vedas, one of the oldest records of Indian culture.
Wellness Centers: India has some well-known wellness centres, which are rapidly becoming hub for Indian as well as foreign tourists. Some popular wellness centres are:Kairali Ayurvedic centre, Soukya healing centre and Rajah healthy acres, Kerala
India has a vast and beautiful coastline and hence the potential to develop cruise tourism.
International convention Centres of the global standard is considered to be one of the important segments for promoting India as an attractive tourist destination in the global market. Ministry of finance has already identified New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Goa and Jaipur for opening of world-class convention centres. Several initiatives have been taken up by way of public-private partnership to develop small convention centres of high standard.
India is undoubtedly a unique Conference Destination as it offers cultural and heritage sites, the exotic and mystical, excellent facilities of beach and adventure holidays which can be combined as pre and post conference tours.
Hill Stations in India- a Cool Retreat
India has some of the most beautiful hill stations in the world. The snow -capped peaks, the gushing river waters, the greenery are simply remarkable.
Indian hill stations are fastly emerging popular tourist destination across the world. These Hill stations are becoming extremely popular with both Indian and foreign tourists as one can find a relaxing and wholesome break from the day to day stressful and exhausting lifestyles of the city.
Here one can walk across the fields of wild flowers and see the blooming apple orchards, witness the rushing streams gush down the mountainside, and watch the serenity of the snow-capped Himalayas in the distance. Some of the popular hill-stations in India are Gangtok, Darjeeling, Dharamshala, Dehradun, Auli, Kasauli, Kashmir, Khandala, Mahabaleshwar, Mount Abu, Munnar, Kodaikanal, Dalhousie, Kullu, Lonavala, Manali, Coorg, Coonoor, Khajjiar, Mussoorie, Nainital, Ooty, Shimla and Srinagar.
Thar Desert- The Great Indian Mirage
The beauty of Indian topography is its diverse nature and the great Thar desert is one which supports its diversity. The Thar desert is vast with 800 km long and 400 km wide spreading between India and Pakistan, between Indus and Sutlej rivers in the west and Aravali Hills in the east. The famous cities of the desert are:
Beaches of India
India as the biggest peninsula has one of the largest coastline; with twelve of its states having some of the most fascinating beaches in the world.
One can bathe in the sun, surf and sand beckon. Thousands of sun-deprived tourists are approaching India as it has the most mind-boggling varieties of beaches than anywhere in the world.
For more informationt Please Visit: http: //www.incredibleindia.org/newsite/cms_page.asp?pageid=785
India is known for its heritage sites, which depicts its cultural diversity. India has some of the finest architecture in the whole world. An exhaustive list of the cultural heritage sites is highlighted herein:
- Agra Fort
- Ajanta Caves (1983)
- Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi (1989)
- Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park (2004)
- Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) (2004)
- Churches and Convents of Goa (1986)
- Elephanta Caves (1987)
- Ellora Caves (1983)
- Fatehpur Sikri (1986)
- Great Living Chola Temples (1987)
- Group of Monuments at Hampi (1986)
- Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram (1984)
- Group of Monuments at Pattadakal (1987)
- Humayun's Tomb, Delhi (1993)
- Khajuraho Group of Monuments (1986)
- Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya (2002)
- Mountain Railways of India (1999)
- Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi (1993)
- Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka (2003)
- Sun Temple, Konârak (1984)
- Taj Mahal (1983)
- Kaziranga National Park (1985)
- Keoladeo National Park (1985)
- Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (1985)
- Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks (1988)
- Sundarbans National Park (1987)
For more information, visit: http://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/in
Palaces of India
India is a land of forts and palaces. The word palace itself carries several connotations. It immediately conjures up vision of luxury and lavishness along with treason, plot and connivance. The most overwhelming feeling is that of nostalgia, for an era gone by and never to return again.
Festivals Of India
India is a land of Festivals. There are numerous festivals and each one is celebrated with great pomp and show. These stated festivals are a major source for tourist attraction:
- Ambaji Badra Purnima
- Buddha Purnima
- Chhath Puja
- Desert Festival Jaisalmer
- Durga Puja
- Elephant Festival
- Ganesh Chaturthi
- Gangaur Festival
- International Kite Festival Ahmedabad
- International Kite Festival Jodhpur
- Konark Dance Festival
- Mahavir Jayanti
- Naag Panchami
- Phoolwalon Ki Sair
- Raksha Bandhan
- Rath Yatra
- Rongali Bihu
- Saraswati Puja
Fairs of India
Some of the famous and very colourful fairs are organised in India:
- Ambubasi Mela
- Chandrabhaga Fair
- Kumbh Mela
- Nauchandi Mela
- Sonepur Cattle Fair
- Surajkund Mela
Trains of India
India possesses some of the most talked about trains in the world. The toy trains are mainly found on the hill stations and some of the worlds' most luxurious and expensive (built for the affluent) trains are operational in the plain areas of Rajasthan.
Some famous Trains of India
The Toy Train - Shimla - The journey begins from Kalka to Shimla entertaining with 107 tunnels and lofty arched bridges and in between stops at the pleasing and eye-catching stations like Dharmpore, Taksal, Gamma and Solan .
The Nilgiri Express - Ooty - The Nilgiri Express connects Mettupalayam with Chennai everyday. The Nilgiri Express is easily accessible from Coimbatore (only 90kms away) as buses and trains are easily available from here.
Darjeeling Hill Railway - The Darjeeling hill railway is one of the most famous little trains, which connects the town of New Jalpaiguri (the plains) to the exquisite hill station of Darjeeling. It has a 2 ft gauge
Toy Train - Matheran The toy train commences from Neral (Mumbai- Pune line) to Matheran connected from Mumbai by local train. The toy train runs between sunrise and sunset.
The Deccan Odyssey - The Deccan Odyssey is a joint venture between the Indian Railways and the Government of Maharashtra represented by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC). The train showcases the tourism assets of Maharashtra, the magnificence of Konkan coast, the art, culture, the heritage of Maharashtra as well as local arts, crafts and cuisine of the state during the journey. It stops at Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Goa, Pune, Aurangabad (for Ajanta and Ellora) and Nashik.
The Fairy Queen: This is a small train that travels on a short route from Delhi to Alwar. The Fairy Queen has also been mentioned in the "Guinness Book of World Records". It is the oldest running steam locomotive in the world. Another main attraction is that the guests arriving in Alwar will be taken to Sariska Tiger Reserve for an overnight stay.
Palace on wheels: The Palace on Wheels trip was inaugurated on 26th January 1982 and undertook 13 weekly and 13 short trips. It is one of the most popular trains among tourists as it offers a luxurious journey worth of the affluent Indian maharajas It offers a first-hand experience of a royal journey and lavish lifestyles like that of the Indian kings.
The Royal Orient: The Royal Orient is one of the world's most exotic trains. It offers an enchanting experience that will take one back in time to the age of the Maharajas. The train travels through states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. It makes the journey an expedition back in time and mesmerizes one with its picturesque beauty of serene lakes, ancient temples, a beautiful sea resort and also its exotic wildlife.
Adventurous sports in India
Some of the most adventurous sports that can be enjoyed in India are:
- Bungee Jumping
- Hot Air Ballooning
- Mountain Biking
- Rock Climbing
- Scuba Diving and Snorkelling
- White Water Rafting
Useful Web Links