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India honeymoon

Perhaps the world's most diverse honeymoon destination, with incredible beaches, wildlife, culture, landscapes, and a fascinating history.

Where to go

You would need a lifetime of honeymoons to see everything that India has to offer, but here are a few of our selected highlights.

Taj Mahal

An immense mausoleum of white marble, built in Agra between 1631 and 1648 by order of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife, the Taj Mahal is the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage. The Taj Mahal is the ultimate symbol of romance.

Goa

Goa, on the west coast of India is a land of swaying palms, miles of golden sands, lush greenery, an incredible cultural heritage, magnificent churches, temples and monuments and a unique cultural synthesis of the east and west.

Rajasthan

Located on the northwest borders of India, Rajasthan stretches out in to the Thar Desert. Rajasthan, literally translated as the land of kings & princes, is the ultimate confluence of history, chivalry, romance, rugged natural beauty, art & crafts and colour.

The magic of Rajasthan is unequalled in the world for its heritage, culture, safaris, sand dunes and lush green forests with its wildlife. Rajasthan is often expressed as huge open-air museum with relic so well preserved for the travellers and the curious of the day.

It is action-packed with outdoors too; take a safari on horses, camels, elephants or even jeeps with the Aravalis - India's oldest mountain range in the backdrop, or caress your eyes on the sloppy sand dunes, or trail a tiger or just watch birds on wetland. Or you can choose to pamper yourself in the lavish heritage properties.

Take part in the vibrant dances with swords & swirling skirts, with lamps & horses. Buy exclusive craft of mirror work embroidery, metal and leather craft. Exalt the beautiful miniature & pichwai paintings. Taste the distinct cuisine. Rajasthan has something for everyone, just choose your activity. Live like a prince in the land of kings & princes.

West Bengal - wildlife and tigers

West Bengal is rich in flora and fauna and has a diverse ecosystem because of its varying terrain from the high altitudes to the sea level plains. Protected forests cover 4% of the state area. There are 15 Wildlife Sanctuaries, 5 National Parks and 2 Tiger Reserves. The Sunderban, in south Bengal, is home to the famous Tiger Project - a conservatory effort to save the Bengal tigers from extinction. It is an UNESCO world heritage site. Another similar project exists in Buxa in north Bengal. Wildlife includes the Indian one horned rhinoceros, Indian elephants, deer, bison, leopards, gaur, crocodiles and others. The state is also rich in bird life. Migratory birds come to the state during the winter months.

Adventure Sports in India

Blessed with snow-clad peaks, crystal glaciers, rolling meadows and ski slopes, beautiful valleys, meandering and roaring rivers, gushing waterfalls, thick forests rich in wildlife, swampy deltas, long coastlines and magical moonscapes - India has something for everyone looking for adventure.

Beaches of India

Thousands of sun-deprived tourists visit India because it incredibly has the most diverse varieties of beaches anywhere in the world. Placid backwaters and lagoons, bays and rough lava-rocked seas, marine estuaries with fish, crashing surf, powdery golden sand or palm fringed shores - Incredible India has them all.

india honeymoonEco-tourism in India

The West Coast with the Arabian Sea and the East Coast with the Bay of Bengal offer many a verdant vistas to the traveler. The coasts of India have their own seafood cuisine, relaxing spas, diving and water sports and great places to stay for a balmy holiday.

Kovalam undoubtedly is one of India's best sea resorts. The long coastline lined with swaying coconut palm trees dotted with an occasional fishing hamlet is fast developing into one of the world's finest string of beaches. The sea applauds the beach temple in Mahabalipuram, gloriously silhouetted against the spectrum of the seven colors in the sky. Puri, on the East Coast, is surely one of the world's most picturesque beaches. And then there is Digha, a three-hour drive out of Kolkata, a beautiful beach, splendid in its isolation.

The beach holiday to beat them all is in the Isles of Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshwadeep, where you can see the myriad colors of the flashy fish in the coral reefs from above the green waters.

Now fully developed as an international beach resort, Goa offers the best holiday villages on its beaches. Everything about Goa is spellbinding from the landscape dotted with Portuguese architecture, to the way of life that exudes an irresistible Old World charm. Anjuna or Calangute Beach, and Miramar Bay in Panjim are quieter. Beach vendors sell all manner of kitsch in Anjuna and Calangute. You can rent beach mats and mattresses, sunglasses, and the usual tourist paraphernalia. You can even get all sorts of spaghetti, German bread and Italian food. The beach at Calangute is rocky. At Anjuna the waters are gentle and offer opportunities for boat rides, sea scooter rides, spot-the-dolphins rides, and motorboat rides. Colva and Benaulim are quieter and less crowded than Anjuna. The Fort Aguada beach offers gorgeous views that merit a visit. Sinquerim and Candolim are also quiet beaches that afford anonymity.

Whether it's the isolated horizons of the Konkan Coast or the Arabian Sea; the golden sands or the water drenched seashores, every beach in India makes a picture perfect holiday destination.

Deserts

India offers immense climatic diversity and topographical varieties. Deserts form the backdrop of many a legend in India, and in the present times, are touted as destinations of tourist interest.

The Thar or Great Indian Desert is an arid region (800 km) long and (400 km) wide, in North West of India and East of Pakistan, between the Indus and Sutlej river valleys on the west and the Aravali Range on the east. Largely a desolate region of shifting sand dunes, broken rocks, and scrub vegetation, it receives an annual average rainfall of less than 25 cm. The sparsely populated region has a pastoral economy. Through the extension of canals fed with Sutlej and Beas waters, irrigation has reclaimed some land for agriculture along the northern and western edges.

Nothing can prepare the visitor for the sheer magic and brilliance of the desert cities of Rajasthan. The camel rides on the sand dunes are an unforgettable experience as are the sunsets. These places boast of some very fine reminders of the glorious past - palaces, forts, temples and other elegant monuments of architectural and historical value and unforgettable treat for any visitor.

Explore the enigmatic desert of Rajasthan that will mystify your mind with its beauty and vastness. The gateway to the great Indian Thar desert through Jodhpur will take enchant you with a vast waste dotted with shifting sand dunes and sparse hamlets with cenotaphs called 'Chattris'. At Jaisalmer in the heart of the desert the majestic golden fort is a memorable sight as is the camel ride at nearby Sam. Equally enchanting are the forts at Bikaner and Madwa, which drifts your mind to the medieval times.

india honeymoon

Eco-tourism in India is still at a very nascent stage, but there are for sure conscious efforts to save the fragile Himalayan ecosystem and culture and heritage of the indigenous people, which is probably the largest concentration in the world.

Holiday Camping vis a vis Hotel accommodation is gathering momentum amongst the metropolis traveller. A plethora of holiday camping options are available in the Himalayan belt, where soft adventure tourism is packaged with holiday camping to create an acceptable eco-tourism product. Resorts tucked deep inside jungles of Karnataka, House-boats of Kerala, Tree Houses at Vythiri combine to make India one of the most diverse eco-tourism destinations on the planet. 

Wildlife in India

India is home to a rich diversity of wildlife supplemented by an equally rich variety of flora and fauna. The sight and sounds of a majestic elephant, a peacock’s dance, the stride of a camel, the roar of a tiger are unparalleled experiences in themselves. Watching birds and animals in their natural habitats is an experience in itself.

The country offers immense opportunities for wildlife tourism. The immense heritage of wildlife in India comprises of more than 70 national parks and about 400 wildlife sanctuaries including the bird sanctuaries.

A paradise for the nature lovers, these forest areas are also crucial for the conversation of the endangered species like the Leopard, Lion, Asiatic Elephant, the Bengal tiger and Siberian Crane. Spread across the length and breadth of India, these reserves and forest areas, right from the Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan to the Hazaribagh Wildlife Sanctuary in Bihar, from the foothills of Himalayas, the Jim Corbett National Park to six national parks in Andaman; the Indian Wildlife circuit is an incredible treat, unmatched by any other experience.

Elephant, Deer, Panther, Wild buffalo, Wild ass, the one horned Rhinoceros, Porcupine, Snow leopards, etc. are some of the animals you can spot in the Himalayan region.

India harbors eighty percent of the entire population of one horned rhinoceros in the world. The Kaziranga Game Sanctuary is an ideal habitat for the rhino and a popular destination with naturalists and environmentalists as well as the wildlife traveler.

The Great Indian Bustard and blackbuck of the Karera Sanctuary also attract a lot of tourists. The Madhav National Park originally called the Shivpuri National Park is another rich habitat for the wildlife in close proximity to the historical town of Gwalior and being close to a often visited cultural and heritage destination enjoys its fare share of tourism inflow. The Corbett National Park one of the most popular National Parks in the northern region for the wildlife enthusiast as well as the holiday makers is changing the way wildlife tourism. These National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries are promoters of wildlife tourism in India.

India has its fair share of Tiger Reserves. India’s National Animal, the tiger happens to be a symbol of strength and speed. India boasts of two-dozen Tiger Reserves. The fastest mammal on Earth, the tiger happens to be the joy and pride of India. The Royal Bengal tiger is amongst the most majestic species of the tiger. Sixty percent of the total population of the wild tigers in the world resides in India. Amongst the best-known tiger reserves in India is the Bandhavgarh in Madhya Pradesh. It is often referred to as the crown in the wildlife heritage of India. Tourists at Bandhavgarh can spot Royal Bengal Tigers, cheetahs, leopard, gaur, sambhar, and many more faunal species. The highly successful Project Tiger has shown once again that man can only undo in small ways the loss and destruction of natural habitat due to continuous growth and expansion of the population.

Indian wildlife has its share of native birds along with the migratory birds. Several hundred species of birds can be spotted across India. The Himalayan region is well known to be the natural habitat for the Pheasant, griffon vulture and ravens. The Keoladeo Ghana National Park popularly known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in the Indian state of Rajasthan, in close proximity of Delhi, is home to indigenous water birds, waterside birds, migratory water birds, land migratory birds, and domestic land species. Tourists from far and wide are attracted to the Bird Sanctuary. At the Dudhwa wildlife reserve migratory birds like egrets, herons, storks and cormorants share space with the ducks, geese and teals. The region of Andaman is home for the rare species of birds like the Narcondum hornbill, Nicobar pigeon and the Megapode.

The history of India

Nearly five thousand years back flourished India's first major civilization along the Indus River valley. The twin cities of Mohenjodaro and Harappa now in Pakistan were ruled by priests and held the rudiments of Hinduism. These civilizations are known to possess a sophisticated lifestyle, a highly developed sense of aesthetics, an astonishing knowledge of town planning and an undecipherable script language. The Indus civilization at one point of time extended nearly a million square kilometers across the Indus river valley. It existed at the same time as the ancient civilizations of Egypt and Sumer but far outlasted them. Surviving for nearly a thousand years the Indus valley civilization fell to tectonic upheavals in about 1700 BC, which caused a series of floods.

The coming of the Aryans around 1500 BC, gave the final blow to the collapsing Indus Valley civilization. At the dawn of Vedic ages the Aryans came in from the North and spread through large parts of India bringing with them their culture and religious beliefs. The Four Vedas or the important books of Hinduism were compiled in this period.

In 567 B.C. the founder of the Buddhist Religion Gautama Buddha was born. During this time lived Mahavira, who founded the Jain Religion. The Indian subcontinent is full of caves and monuments devoted to these religions and are worth a visit.

Two hundred years later, in the 4th century B.C., Emperor Ashoka, one of the greatest Kings of Indian history, led the Mauryan Empire to take over almost all of what is now modern India. This great leader embraced Buddhism and built the group of monuments at Sanchi (a UNESCO world heritage site). The Ashoka pillar at Sarnath has been adopted by India as its national emblem and the Dharma Chakra on the Ashoka Pillar adorns the National Flag.

They were followed by the Guptas in the north, while in the south part of India several different Hindu empires, the Cholas, the Pandyas and the Cheras spread and grew, trading with Europe and other parts of Asia till the end of the 1100s.

Christianity entered India at about the same time from Europe. Legend has it that St. Thomas the Apostle arrived in India in 52 A.D. Even earlier than that people of the Jewish religion arrived on India's shores.

In approximately the 7th century A.D. a group of Zoroastrians, or Parsees, landed in Gujarat and became a part of the large mix of religions in India today, each of which adds its important and distinctive flavor.

In the 15th century Guru Nanak laid the foundation of the Sikh religion in Punjab.

In 1192, Mohammed of Ghori, a ruler from Afghanistan, came into India and captured several places in the north including Delhi. When he went home he left one of his generals in charge who became the first Sultan of Delhi. During this time Islam, was introduced into a major part of Northern India. It may be mentioned that even before that, just after the period of the prophet, Islam was brought to the western coast of India by Arab traders and flourished in what is now Kerala.

The Dehli Sultanate gradually took control of more and more of North India over the next 200 years, till Timur, who was called "Timur the Lame" or "Tamberlane" came from Turkey in 1398 to attack India. He and his army stole all the valuables that they could carry and left again, and after that the Delhi Sultanate was never so strong again. Soon the Mughals, who were from Iran, came in and took control of the north.

In the meantime south, in 1336, the Hindu Vijayanagar empire was set up and became very strong.

The Europeans - Portuguese, French, Dutch, Danish and British - started arriving in the early 1600s. All of them held territories in India and made friends and enemies among India's rulers as they got more and more involved with Indian politics, but it was the British who eventually controlled most of India and finally made it one of their colonies.

India got its independence from Britain in 1947 after a long struggle led mostly by Mahatma Gandhi. In the process of becoming independent, India became two countries instead of one. In the years since independence India has made huge progress and coped with great problems, and has developed its industry and its agriculture, and has maintained a system of government which makes it the largest democracy in the world.

Source: www.incredibleindia.org

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