Mysterious Places

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Visit an Indian home :

Indians are hospitable people and respect religious and social customs. Chances are that if you show an inclination, you will get invited to their homes. Indians have always believed that 'the guest is God.'



Visit an artist's village :

Cholamandalam in Chennai, Shilpgram in Udaipur, Pinjore in Haryana and Chowkidani in Jaipur are some of the artist villages worth a visit. Here one can see artists at work - be it pottery, embroideiy, painting or various other art forms.



Live in an ashram :

Resting serenely on the banks of the holy Ganga (Ganges), nestled in the lap of the Himalayas in Rishikesh, are ashrams (charity homes) in an atmosphere of true spiritual humility.
It is no surprise that pilgrims are drawn here from all over the wolld. The awe-inspiring beauty of the ashrams, the clear, flowing Ganges, the majestic mountains, and the lush green forests will embrace and rejuvenate your entire being. Major ashrams have residential rooms that retain the simplicity of ashram living and yet are equipped with the necessary modern amenities.
Each morning, ashram residents join together for universal prayer and meditation as the sun begins its ascent over the Himalayas and the first light of dawn dances on the waters of the Ganges.



A palace in the hills :

Situated on a 15-acre forested estate surrounded by tea gardens of the Kangra valley, one of the most scenic and unexplored areas of Himachal Pradesh, is Taragarh Palace. It has comfortable furnished rooms with attached baths, teak paneled dining hall, old colonial furniture, swimming pool, tennis and badminton courts. While at Taragarh, visit the Tashijong Monastery which has a commanding view of the Kangra valley.



Have lunch in a Punjabi dhaba :

Expect to receive hospitality that is overwhelming. Punjabi food is centered around bread, corn bread, greens and buttermilk (lassi). Buttermilk is whipped yogurt, and can be had sweetened or with salt and is usually very thick. Wheat is the staple food here. Shredded vegetables mixed with spices and stuffed into the dough, are rolled and roasted to make delicious stuffed parathas. 'Tandoori' food, a favourite with many foreigners, is a gift from the Punjab. After eating this meal, you can safely miss the next two meals!



Visit the oldest restaurant in India :

In Old Delhi, close to the Red Fort, is India's oldest restaurant, Karim’s. Founded by a family of chefs who fed the Mughal emperors exotic dishes, the tradition of great cuisine lives on. Try their Kofta, peppery ground lamb tenderly embracing a boiled egg; and succulent chicken yougurt laced with spices that burst upon the palate like star shells.



Visit Delhi Haat :

Situated in the heart of the capital city, Dilli Haat is the first ever permanent crafts market showcasing crafts from all over India. The word Haat implies a weekly market in rural and semi-urban India. The Dilli Haat offers a delightful amalgam of craft, food and cultural activities.
The 62 stalls selling handicrafts are allotted on a rotational basis to craftsmen who come from all corners of India for a maximum period of 15 days. This ensures visitors buy authentic wares at prices that have not been inflated by high maintenance costs. Savour the inimitable flavours of the delightful local foods from the 25 food stalls, be it the momos from Sikkim or the bamboo hot chicken from Nagaland.



In the footsteps of the Maharajas :

These days one would find golfers on the ground where royals once moved on their chargers. The Rambagh Palace Polo & Golf Club in Jaipur is an eighteen-hole course with nine greens and nine browns. It overlooks the picturesque Moti Doongri Palace and the historical Nahargarh Fort. The fairway passes through the Rambagh Polo Grounds, which have seen some of the finest polo matches in the tune of the late Sawai Man Singh.



Meet a real-life Maharaja :

 Visit a heritage hotel where members of the royal family, having turned their palaces into hotels, hobnob with their guests. They are inclined to talk of the past and many revealing tales will make your experience an interesting one.



Sunset on the dunes :

 Take a camel safari out into the desert to watch the sunset over miles upon miles of sand. Camp on a solitary oasis, experience the dark starry nights and dance to musicians playing haunting music.



A palace shimmers in the lake :

The Lake Palace, Udaipur is one of the most beautiful palaces in the world, arising out of the turquoise waters of the Pichola Lake, an elegant fantasy in white marble. The palace was built in the 17th century on a natural foundation of 4 acres of rock. Run by the Taj Group, the rooms are decorated with cusped arches, inland stones of pink, green lotus leaves and painted mirrors.



A modern ashram :

The Osho Ashram, Pune, better known as the ashram of Bhagwan Rajneesh, attracts thousands of western visitors every year. It boasts of modern facilities and offers numerous courses. Walk around this beautiful edifice and take a course in meditation.



Live in a tree-house :

About 65 km from Kozhikode on the road to Udhagamandalam, one reaches the base camp of the resort by jeep. The virgin track from the camp to the tree-houses has been retained in its primitive condition. The dwellings, 400 sq. ft. each, took nearly five months of collective effort by an engineer, carpenters and Paniya tribals to complete. Living in a tree-house brings stories of Robinson Crusoe to life.




Live corals :

Experience the beauty of the fields of coral. Visit Cinque Islands, one of the most beautiful islands of the Andamans. It is surrounded by pristine coral reefs. Prior permission is required from the forest department to visit the island and only day trips are allowed



Let your hair fly :

Windsurfing is now so popular that most good sea-side resorts offer it. Winter months are best for amateurs as the wind remains gentle. The lagoons at Lakshadweep Islands are excellent for windsurfing.

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