Why Rural Tourism

What exactly pulls tourists to our villages ? – The clean air & pollution free environ thats hard to find in cities – The “poor, hungry people” as highlighted by Circuit in MunnaBhai MBBS – The slow pace of life & the simplicity of living – Gandhiji’s words that India lives in her villages – Low cost way to see the natural beauty of India (I had home stayed with farmers during my Sikkim visit) I have been watching this industry grow considerably, but am still not sure whats the puller?

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Mukhteswar- an ideal hill station

December was almost gone & I had not done any serious trips in the whole of 2009. The guilt was really high & I was asking some friends if they were keen on a road trip – anywhere from the hills to the deserts. After a lot of SMS, I realised by the evening of 26th that this was again going to be a solo trip- probably the best way to see a new place. I spoke to my bro , who is a self-proclaimed authority on Himachal & Uttaranchal- and asked him for some recommendations & his top one

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Sikkim- Gods own garden

Nestled between China, Nepal, Bhutan and West Bengal is the small and beautiful state of Sikkim… With a population of barely 6 lakhs residing in 7000 sq Kms, its indeed one of those few places (in India) where man has not yet tarnished the natural beauty. Infact in Sikkim , it seems we have found the right way to co-exist. The state has been completely organic in its agricultural activities since a long time and the level of vegetation & afforestation shows the awareness in the local population. My trip was like most others, quite an unplanned one. A friend

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Sadhus- Most Photogenic Indian Models ?

If you have travelled extensively in India and you love to capture those moments on your Canon/Nikon…… I am sure you would agree with me- that some of the best potraits are those of Sadhus. These men of god have long been the ambasadors of our country(the land of mysticism) & they surely havent disappointed. So what is it with these sadhus- that makes em so photogenic – their bright colored clothes – the “Blessing Buddha” pose – the wrikled faces – the rockstar kinda hairstyle – Salman khan inspired shirt collection- here now, gone tomm What do u think?

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Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

North india’s famous bird sanctuary is having a tough year. With lower than normal rain, most of the Bharatpur’s lakes etc have dried, which in turn has resulted in a steep fall in the visitor count. Informed people at the park say that it has been one of the worst seasons they have seen….but we didnt know any of this when the sudden weekend trip was planned 🙂 All we knew was Bharatpur needs to be ticked off & its close by…so off we went on a Friday evening knowing that this place is close to Agra/Mathura. Luckily for us-

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Jim Corbett National Park

JCNP is the most celebrated of the Tiger Reserves in India but we failed to see the celebrity cat… all we managed were a few pugmarks and the warning calls of the barking deer- rubbing it in, that we missed yet another close encounter. But the beauty of the jungle & the numerous other species (birds,deers,elephants,reptiles etc) more than makes up for the elusive Tiger. If you ever go there make sure to have your reservation at Dhikala camp. Dhikala is situated on the banks of RamGanga river. The other side is an open ground about 1 km wide which

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Jallianwala bagh

Situated right next to the holy Sikh shrine of Darbar Sahib – Golden Temple is the Jallianwala bagh.The board within the complex says it all…. But what was really depressing was that the insensitive visitors to this place- have left graffiti on the walls which are still riddled with the bulltes that were fired by Gen Dyer’s troops ! At least show some respect to the martyrs!

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The Victory Tower

Finally !!! got to see the tower @ Chittorgarh… this was one of the few images etched in my mind about Rajasthan. This 8 storeyed construction is as amazing from inside as from outside. My apologies for not having any snap of inside as I gave my camera to a frnd who stayed down, while I climbed up…hoping that I would step into one of the balconies & wave to her to get a pic that would say “I was there !”… but no such luck…. all balconies and wannabe-balconies (windows etc etc) are completely offlimits 🙁 Thrice the residents

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Udaipur- Venice of the East

  Having a good breakfast on a roof-top restaurant with a lake view….. one of the finest way to start ur winter mornings in Udaipur… Make sure to – catch the sun-set at Sajjangarh….just picture perfect ! – see the introduction to Rajasthani dances at Bagore ki Haveli @1900 hrs – Walk around the various ghats… will get a glimpse of real India..

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