INDIA

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MY SOUL INDIA

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Geographical Position Of India The Indian subcontinent is in Asia. It is a peninsula and the three sides are surrounded by Arabian Sea in the south west, Bay Of Bengal in the south east and Indian Ocean in the South. It lies to the north of the equator between 8.4 and 37.6 degrees north latitude and 68.7 and 97.25 degrees east longitude. India measures 3214 kms from north to south and 2933 kms from east to west. It has a land frontier of 15,200 kms and a coastline of 7516.5kms. India shares its political borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan on the west, Bangladesh and Burma in the east, Nepal, China, Tibet and Bhutan in the north. Demographic Profile: Area : It covers an Area of 3,287,263 sq. km Capital : New Delhi Population :India is the second largest populated country in this world after China .

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Places to Visit India has a rich history and the palaces, temples and great cities of its ancient cultures cannot fail to grip the imagination. In the spring particularly, the big cities come alive with concerts, plays, parties and exhibitions. Among the most spectacular hill stations (mountain resorts which make ideal destinations in summer) are Shimla (once the Imperial summer capital), Mussoorie, Ranikhet and Nainital (within reach of Delhi), and West Bengal's magnificent resort, Darjeeling, which offers a breathtaking view of the whole Kanchenjunga range. Along the fabled coasts of Malabar and Coromandel, unspoiled sandy beaches stretch for miles. Skiing is possible in the silent snowbound heights of Gulmarg and Kufri in the Himalayas. From the Kashmir in the North to Kanyakumari in the South , India is full of beautiful places. In India one can find mountains, rivers, forests, desserts, lakes, sea and green plains. Everything that Mother Nature has in her heart she has given to India.

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Ellora Caves The caves of Ellora constitute one of the most beautiful expressions of the art of the Indian Middle Ages, and are designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Situated outside the city of Aurangabad, 400km northeast from Bombay, it was created between AD 350 and 1000 by Buddhists, Hindus and Jains who laboured to sculpt temples from the living rock. These breathtaking caves are remarkable for their sculptures and architecture. The Gateway of India In the days when most visitors came to India by ship and when Bombay was India's principal port, this was indeed the 'gateway' to India. Today it's merely  Bombay's principal landmark. The gateway was conceived  following the visit of King George V in 1911 and officially opened in 1924.

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The Hawa Mahal Built in 1799, the Hawa Mahal, or Palace of the Winds, is one of the major landmarks of Jaipur. This five storey building, which looks out over the main street of the old city, is a stunning example of Rajput artistry, with its pink semi octagonal and delicately honeycombed sandstone windows. It was originally built to enable ladies of the royal household, to watch the everyday life and processions of the city. The palace was built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap   Singh, and is part of the City Palace complex. A temple in Khajuraho Khajuraho, a quiet village in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, is home to one of India's major attractions - the superb temples of Indo-Aryan architecture. These temples were built during the Chandella period, a dynasty which survived for five centuries before falling to the onslaught of Islam. Khajuraho's temples, almost all, date from one century long burst of creative genius from 950-1050 AD.

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The Maharaja's Palace at Mysore The beautiful profile of this walled Indo-Saracenic palace, the seat of the Maharajas of Mysore, graces the city's skyline. It was built in 1907 at a cost of Rs 4.2 million. The palace is spectacularly illuminated on Sunday nights, and during the festive season of Dussehra Qutab Minar, Delhi The emblem of Delhi, the 72.55 meter high Qutab Minar was erected in the 13th century by Qutab-Ud-Din Aibak. The monument tapers from a 15-meter diameter base  to just 2½ metres at the top. Beautiful calligraphy adorns the adjacent edifices. The tower has five distinct stories, each marked by a projecting balcony. The first three stories are made of red sandstone, the fourth and fifth of marble and sandstone.

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The Taj Mahal An extravagant marble monument of love, built by Shahjahan in 1653 as a memorial to his queen Mumtaz Mahal who died giving birth to their 14th child. White marble and red sandstone, silver and gold, carenelian and jasper, moonstone and jade, lapiz lazuli and coral were fashioned by 20, 000 skilled workers to make the emperor's dream a reality. It took 22 years to complete - a poignant symbol of eternal love where Shahjahan too lies buried, reunited at last with his beloved Mumtaz. Victoria Memorial The Victoria Memorial, with its formal gardens and water courses was conceived by Lord Curzon to commemorate the British Empire at its peak.The Memorial consists of numerous hybrid features: it has Italian-style statues over its entrances, Mughal domes in its corners and tall elegant open colonnades along its sides. The building was designed by Sir William Emerson and its construction was completed in 1921. The main attraction at the memorial is the huge sombre statue of the Queen, which is flanked by two ornamental tanks. Made of Makrana marble from Jodhpur, the Memorial is capped by a dome bearing a revolving bronze figurine symbolizing victory.

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Red Fort, Delhi The largest of Old Delhi's monuments is Lal Quila or Red Fort. The Lal Quila rises above a wide dry moat in the northeast corner of the original city of Shahjahanabad. Mughal Emperor Shahjahan started construction of the massive fort in 1638 and work was completed in 1648.The Fort houses the Diwan-i-Am or the Hall of Public Audiences where the Emperor would sit and hear complaints of the common folks. His alcove in the wall was marble-paneled and was set with precious stones. The Diwan-i-Khas is the hall of private audiences. This hall is made of marble and its centre-piece used to be the Peacock Throne. Agra Fort The high red sandstone ramparts of this great monument stretch for almost 2.5 kilometres, dominating a bend in the river Yamuna, northwest of the Taj Mahal. The foundation of this majestic citadel was laid by the Emperor Akbarand it developed as a stronghold of the Mughal Empire under successive generations. The curved bastions of the huge walls are interrupted by impressive gates of which only the Amar Singh gate is now open to the public. The original and grandest entrance was through the Delhi Gate, which leads to the inner portal called the Hathi Pol or Elephant Gate.

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The Charminar The Charminar in Hyderabad, is a massive arch built by Mohammed Quli Qutab Shah, in 1591 to commemorate the end of the plague in the city. The symbol of the city, the Charminar, is an impressive square monument with four minarets. The arch is illuminated daily in the evening, an unforgettable sight indeed. The city of Hyderabad, with its delightful blend of the ancient and the modern, presents to the onlooker an interesting skyline with modern buildings standing shoulder to shoulder with fascinating 400 year old edifices. It boasts of some fine examples of Qutab Shahi architecture - the Jami Masjid, the Mecca Masjid, Toli Masjid, and of course, the impressive symbol of Hyderabad, the Charminar. Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram The shore temples at Mahabalipuram, a coastal village 50 km south of Madras, were built in the 7th century, during the reign of Rajasimha, and they depict the final flowering of Pallava art. These temples are refreshingly uncluttered, unlike later grandiose Dravidian architecture and they tower over the waves, behind a protective breakwater. The temple with its beautiful polygonal dome enshrines Lord Vishnu and Shiva. These beautiful temples, ravaged by wind and sea, were listed among the World Heritage sites, a few years ago and they are probably the most photographed monuments in India.

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Jantar Mantar,Jaipur An astronomical observatory designed by the astronomer - King Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur, in 1724. It was believed to have been built with masonary instruments for observing the movements of the stars and the planets. The Sun Temple at Konark Unlike the other temples of the Bhubaneswar-Konark-Puri region, the Konark temple had two smaller outer halls, completely separate from the main structure. The assembly-hall and the tower were built on an imposing platform, which were carved into meticulously crafted twelve pairs of decorated wheels, each 10 feet in diameter. The entrance is reached by a broad flight of steps, flanked on either side by prancing horses, the whole representing the chariot, in which the Sun-God rides across the heavens. The court of the temple, was decorated with large free-standing sculptures of great strength and beauty. Now protected under the World Heritage List, the temple's interior was filled - up in 1903 A.D., by the then British Lt. Governor of Bengal, to save it from deterioration. The Sun Temple , Built by Raja Narsimhadeva of the Ganga dynasty, in the 13th century AD, the temple is a tribute to human grandeur, in its perception, and in the execution of even the finest details. It resembles a huge chariot, with 24 wheels, pulled by seven straining horses, and has a three-tiered pyramidal roof topped off by a fine spire. The Sun - God's chariot, also represents the seven days of the week, and the 24 hours of the day, in its concept. The temple is a brilliant story in stone, with impressive sculptures. Every aspect of life is represented here and the erotic imagery, depicts the sublimation of human love manifested in countless forms. Scenes from court, civic life and war are also done with great precision.

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Places to visit in India If you are inerested in trekking, Fishing or other outdoor adventures, Travel Connection can promise you a high quality, memorable experience in India's Himalayan States of Jammu & Kashmir, Himanchal Pradesh , Rajasthan, Utter Pradesh and throughout Nepal . We have an experienced staff and excellent contacts in all these areas. Rajasthan Nepal Ladhak Goa Agra Haridwar

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Rajasthan Rajasthan Abattle scarred region. The abode of rulers. The Land of princes and heroic warriors who lived passionately and preferred to die by their unrelenting code rather than submit and live.Rajasthan covers an area of about 342239 sq.km. the greater part of which is a rocky and sandy desert inter-spersed with forest and fertile tracts. It is divided by the Aravali range into two regions, eastern and western. Until recently it was known as Rajputana, and comprised, among others, the princely States of Udaipur, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner and Jaisalmer The historical highlights of Udaipur, The Maharaja's palace in Jodhpur, and the walled city of Jaisalmer. Rajasthan has much more to offer Travel Connection  takes you there Add to it the annual Camel Fair at Pushkar where some 200,000 people and 50,000 camels set the mood. A four day camel trek across flat desert sands in the company of the region's garishly garbed villagers and the full moon. Accomodations range from the spartan to the regal. Our Rajasthan Camel safaris resurrect the traditional way of travelling through this exotic desert and allow us to explore very remote villages inhabited by nomadic and pastoral tribes, many of whom never see "outsiders" and still retain the old desert way of life, tending livestock and riding camels with colourful tasseled saddles and handwoven blankets. On our camel safari we'll camp in the desert at night and spend days either walking or riding the camels from village to village.

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Nepal    A Picturesque Valley And A Friendly People Places to visit - Kathmandu / Patan / Bhaktapur / Terai / Gorkha / Lumbini / Tansen Kathmandu - Emerald Buddha stupas, tranquil pagoda temples, ornate grand palaces and royal mansions, Kathmandu is a city of endless sight-seeing pportunities. The beauty of its natural landscape and traditional architecture, skillfully built temples and shrines are a testimony to its rich heritage. Around the capital, stretch a fertile agricultural landscape and a variety of excursion getaways.Pashupatinath Temple - On the banks of the Bagmati River, is Pashupatinath, the country's pre-eminent Hindu temple and one of the most significant Shiva temples on the subcontinent. As the Bagmati is a holy river, Pashupatinath is very popular with tourists; the ghats (river steps) immediately in front of the temple are reserved for the cremation of royalty.Pokhara - This lake city is renowned for its setting rather than it's historical or cultural endowments. It’s location by the lake and proximity to the mountains make it an ideal place for recovery, trek, go walking or curl up with a book. There's a batch of Tibetan settlements, a hilltop monastery, magnificent views of Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Machhapuchchhre, and the pretty Devi Falls nearby. Day walks can be taken to Sarangkot (1592m), the limestone caves at Mahendra Gufa or Rupa and Begnas Tals lakes. Another option is the three to four-day Annapurna Skyline Trek.

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Royal Chitwan National Park - This magnificent park, was once the hunting ground for British and Nepalese aristocrats. Today, the animals - elephant, rhinoceros, tiger, leopard and deer - are protected, not shot. Probably the greatest thrill here is to scout for wildlife on the back of an elephant. If that's too uncomfortable, one can do the same thing in a jeep or canoe or go jungle walking with experienced guides.Sagarmatha - Mount Everest on the right -- along with several other famous peaks. This park features extremely high mountains, deep gorges, and amazing bird and animal life. A World Heritage Site.Bodhnath - The huge stupa of Bodhnath, which is the largest in the country and among the largest in the world. It's also the centre for Nepal's considerable population of Tibetans. Late afternoon is a good time to visit. This is when prayer services are held and the locals turn out to walk around the stupa (if you want to join in, do walk in a clockwise direction). Surrounding Bodhnath are a number of monasteries, but be discreet and respectful if you intend visiting them. Trekking - Nepal is a rewarding trekking holiday. During a trek, the Himalaya disappears behind Nepal's continual hills, but dominates the northern skyline at each pass. Annapurna, Manaslu, Langtang, Gauri Shankar and Everest will become familiar names. Your conception of the Himalaya alters as you turn from peaks famed only for their height to gaze on far more picturesque summits that you may never have heard of - Kantega, Ama Dablam, Machhapuchhare and Kumbhakarna. Everest, Annapurna, Central, Western and Eastern regions offer exciting trekking opportunities.

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Ladakh LehWalk to the Shankar Gompa which has innumerable statues of pure gold and a number of interesting paintings. Later walk to the Leh Palace and on the way back visit the cottage industries emporium. Drive to the Spituk Monastery (5 miles) which contains a large collection of Tankhas and old masks & later visit the Shankar Gompa. Proceed to visit the Phyiang Monastery before returning to the hotel. Leh - Alchi Gompa70 Km from Leh on banks of the Indus, is Alchi Gompa dating a thousand years back. One of its walls feature thousands of miniature-sized pictures of the Buddha. Three large sized images made of clay and painted brightly are its focal attraction. Leh - SheySHEY :The once residence of the royal family is famous for its 7.5 meter high gilded statue of Buddha. Leh - StokStok was the Palace of the banished royal family. It houses a museum which displays fabulous period costumes and Jewelry of the royalty along-with exquisite tankhyas representing the life of the Sakya Muni Buddha. Interesting historical objects like coins, seals, armour, weapons, precious jade and porcelain can also be seen here. .Leh - Hhemis40 kms from Leh, Hemis is one of the richest, biggest & most famous gompa in Ladakh. Its popularity stems from the major annual festival held during summer in honour of their Guru Padma Sambhava's birth anniversary. Built during 1630, it has numerous tankhyas, silver chortens studded with precious/semi precious stones and various images of Buddha. Of its many frescoes, the most famous is the Wheel of Life.

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Leh – Lamayuru The oldest holy site in Ladakh, Lamayuru was once a lake. It was blessed by a lama after which, as legend goes, the water of the lake receded upto the mountains leaving place for the monastery to be built. It is also the -free zone- of Ladakh since not even a criminal can be apprehended in this place. Now mostly in ruins, only the main hall exists today and houses numerous tankhyas. Leh - LikirFounded in the 11th century AD and re-dedicated to another monastic order in the 15th century AD, the earlier gompa was destroyed in a fire. The present gompa dates back to the 18th century. Skilled craftsman producing excellent tankhyas, earthen pots, carved folding wooden stools etc. live in the village. Majestically situated, it commands a spectacular view. Leh - Spituk8 kms from Leh, it stands majestically on top of a hillock overlooking the Indus valley for miles. Many icons and fine - tankhyas- are to be found in this 15th century monastery. It also houses a collection of ancient masks, antique arms, and and an awe inspiring image of Mahakala. The face of the Kali image is kept covered and revealed only at the annual function in January every two years. Leh – Thiksey 19 kms from Leh, spectacularly sited and one of the finest example of Ladakhi architecture. Thiksey is one of the largest and most impressive gompas. There are several temples in this gompa containing images, stupas and exquisite wall paintings. It also houses a two- storeyed statue of Buddha which has the main prayer hall around its shoulder.

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Goa - The Land of beaches The former Portuguese enclave of Goa, one of India's gems, has enjoyed a prominent place in the travellers` lexicon for many years. The main reason for this is its magnificent palm-fringed beaches and renowned 'travellers' scene'. GENERAL INFORMATION   AREA :3659 Sq. km. POPULATION : 1.3 MILLION PEOPLE PER Sq. Km. : 336 CAPITAL : PANJIMAIN LANGUAGE :KONKINI,ENGLISHLITERACY RATE :77% BEST TIME TO VISIT :OCTOBER TO MAY GOA-CALANGUTE BEACH Visit Calangute Beach extending along the Arabian Sea in an inward arch of about 7 kms. It can be well called the -Queen of Goa Beaches- for its popularity with the visitors. Also visit the Mapuca City.

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GOA Visit Old Goa - the Basilica of Bom Jesus built in the 16th century, wherein is enshrined in an ornate silver casket the body of St.Francis Xavier, the most popular and famous of all churches in Goa. Also visit St Cathedral, the biggest in Goa, Church of St Francis of Assisi, St Cajetan Church, built in the style of St Peter's Basilica in Rome, Church of Lady of Rosary and Nunnery of St. Monica. GOAVisit Pilar, Murgao, Colva Beach, Vasco-de-Gama, Marmagao Harbour and back to Panjim via Cortalim and Agacaim. TEMPLESVisit the Temple of Shri Mangesh, a beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, located on a hillock at Proil - in Ponda Taluka. Though small, the temple has an air of distinct elegance and its lofty white tower is a landmark of the countryside. Also visit the Shantadurga Temple and Shri Ramnath Temple

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Haridwar Haridwar stands as the gateway to the four pilgrimages of Uttrakhand. Geographically and geological, Haridwar, lying at the feet of Shiva's hills, i.e., Shivaliks, in the Haridwar district of Uttar Pradesh, is a doorway. It is at Haridwar that Kumbh fairs are held when millions of devote hindus take the holy dip in the holiest of India's rivers. Mythological, drops of the nectar churned out from the world ocean fell at four places- Haridwar, Prayag (Allahabad), Ujjain and Nasik- the four sites of Kumbh fair. Haridwar mentioned as Mayapuri, Gangadwar, Mokshadwar in the ancient scriptures and epics, Haridwar has always remained as a major ShaktiPeeth for the devotees. Of such significance is Haridwar in the thought of India's traditional Hindus that is has earned its sobriquet of honor, 'The Gateway to the Gods'.

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THANK U Project By M. Saravanan S. Karthik Chandramohan Naresh Senthil SCHOOL GENERAL CARIAPPA SALIGRAMAM CHENNAI