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    The stories we read during our childhood about the Maharajas and the Palaces they lived in, can now be lived without being born as a prince of a royal family. India has had a vast history of with several rulers and royalties living luxuriously in their grand palaces.

    The Maharajas really had their way in the most royal fashion, with grand lifestyles and royal places to live in. India is a diverse country with rich cultural heritage.

    [Find out the experiences and places that you can explore in Rajasthan with the tours that we offer!]

    Experiencing India in great luxury is possible by staying in extravagant hotels which have everything to offer. There are several lavish hotels available to cater your needs and and some things beyond that.

    With diverse themes and exuberant packages, hotels have completed revamped their identity today. Palace hotels, fort hotels, mansion hotels and grand hotels are just the kind of luxuries you can enjoy, to name a few.

    As per tradition, Maharajas passed on their wealth and possessions to their heirs. However, their successors re-structured their assets and converted some of their prized possessions like castles into palace hotels.

    Palace Hotels in India offer you the best of Indian cuisines, no matter where you visit. Such royalty and grand lifestyle can be best experienced in these majestic palace hotels. Here is a guide through all castle hotels in India.

    We start our regal journey with Rajasthan holiday, a state that is defined by intricately designed palaces and fort hotels in India. The rulers of Rajasthan adorned the state with the most beautiful palaces in the country.

    Though these palaces have now been converted to heritage or castle hotels, the charm and grandeur continues to remain the same. Besides, Rajasthan, palace/fort hotels are located in other parts of the country like Delhi, Kashmir etc. Read on to catch a glimpse of some of the most famous palace hotels of the country.

    A Guide through various Royal Hotels in India

    1. Raj Palace Hotel, Jaipur

    Named ‘The World’s best heritage hotel’, Raj Palace Hotel has some of best facilities and services apart from offering relaxing spa experiences to even Kalari massage, live barbeques, gym, multimedia and restaurants that offer a large variety of cuisines including some authentic Rajasthani food like dal bati churma, kadi, kachori, etc.

    [Discover various beautiful villages of Rajasthan with on an extended trip of the Golden Triangle]

    The Raj Palace is also called the jewel box for the sheer amount of art on display. Regular guests in the lobby of this grandeur include the Sheikhs from Middle East and celebrities from Hollywood and Bollywood as well.

    2. Jai Mahal Palace, Jaipur

    Photo credit: Teddy Sipaseuth - flickr

    The word ‘palace’ would suffice to fill in the gap there isn’t a necessity to elaborate here. The Jai Mahal is in the middle of the 18 acres of the Mughal Gardens so wherever your neck turns, your eye will only catch the greenery in the scene. Besides offering world class facilities, the Jai Mahal Palace is one of the best places for weddings, get together etc.

    [Explore the beautiful architecture of the Jaipur City Palace on our tours in Jaipur]

    The garden itself can accommodate up to 2000 people and then banquet and conference halls inside for other gatherings. Life size chess board is a popular attraction here along with other amenities like Badminton and Tennis Court, Pool table, Table Tennis etc.

    3. Rambagh Palace, Jaipur

    If you want to know how it feels like to take a stroll in one of the most ancient palaces of India, then Rambagh Palace is your destination. Here, you will catch a glimpse of grand furniture, ornamental gardens and rooms that were once the chambers of kings who ruled the state.

    The legendary peacock suite gives a view of the Mughal terrace and garden where Holi was celebrated with great pomp and splendour. There is a lot this palace hotel offers.

    [Discover the rich heritage of Rajasthan on our Golden Triangle Heritage Tour]

    There are 79 rooms beautifully decorated with satin and silk drapes that make you feel like a king or queen. Guide to palace hotels in India would say that has struck a balance between traditional and modern aesthetics.

    4. Samode Palace, Jaipur

    Photo credit: Ross Burton - flickr

    Another beautiful palace hotel that brightly reflects the likes of the Indo-Saracenic architecture, Samode Palace in Jaipur is a perfect combination of Indian and Mughal architecture. This palace hotel will be your glimpse to the past as it 475 years old and is still going strong.

    The Bougainvillea covered courtyards capture your breath while the narrow staircase by the garden will take you through the lounges that reflect the beauty of the culture with its intricately designed arches, mirror work and decorated walls. The beauty of the place is doubled with the royal suites that go through the courtyard where each of them have their own distinct decor and design.

    5. Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur

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    Photo Credit:  Ajajr101 - wikimedia

    Another blast from the past, the Umaid Bhawan Palace was built between 1928 and 1943. This is a sandstone monument that is slightly yellow and therefore stands out among the rest of the royal hotels of the country.

    Located in the desert capital of Jodhpur, our guide to palace hotels in India says that this palace is rich in history and tradition. Umaid Bhawan Palace is a huge 347 room palace that took 15 years to complete.

    The palace is a perfect blend of the eastern and the western architectural influences. There is also a 105 foot high cupola which is influenced by Renaissance. There are other towers that follow the Rajput tradition. This is one of the few mansion hotels in the country that offers you an authentic royal Rajasthan experience.

    6. Bal Samand Lake Palace, Jodhpur

    The destination is Jodhpur again. The city that has been the capital of the Marwar dynasty and houses one of the most beautiful castle hotels in the country, the Bal Samand Lake Palace. Needless to say, this palace hotel is situated by the side of the Balsamand lake.

    [Explore best of Jodhpur and the beautiful cities of Rajasthan on our Best of Rajasthan tour]

    The Bal Samand lake palace is built on red sandstone in the authentic Rajput architectural style and it was the summer residence of the Maharajas of Jodhpur. The lake is artificial but it used for the garden landscape of the Palace Hotel. The Bal Samand Lake Palace houses all the modern amenities required to make your stay pleasant and peaceful.

    7. Ajit Bhawan, Jodhpur

    Palace hotels in India - Ajit Bhawan, Jodhpur

    Rajputs have indeed laid the foundation for perfection with respect to architecture in the country. That is what makes us go back to Jodhpur yet again. Ajit Bhawan palace hotel is a true portrayal of the Rajput legacy and is the pride of the country today. The Ajit Bhawan Palace hotel is intricately developed in order to live up to the legacy of the Rajput era.

    [Experience the rich cultural heritage of Rajasthan's villages on our Rajasthan Village Tour]

    The light of the Heritage always keeps burning in the restaurant and every room is decorated with the grandest of amenities. Some of the attractions of the Ajit Bhawan Palace Hotel include the café, Garden restaurant, a food banquet called ‘Dhani’ where food is served the authentic Rajasthani style, the Prince bar, etc. It occupies pride of places amongst guide to palace hotels in India.

    8. Fort Chanwa Luni, Jodhpur

    Fort Chanwa Luni is another luxury and heritage palace hotel located in the streets of Jodhpur. Though the rulers of the place left long back, the fort continues to keep the charm alive and bubbling. This is one of the few fort hotels that continues to live up to its glory and pride as it was owned by Maharaja Dalip Singh and Rani Madhu Devi.

    [Live the desert life of Rajasthanis with our Rajasthan Desert Tour]

    This place is a crowning glory on all the other royal hotels in Jodhpur. Like all other Fort hotels, Chanwa Luni is now a popular destination among tourists for its perfect blend of traditional and modern aesthetics.

    9. Sardar Samand Palace, Pali

    Another lake view awaits you at the Sardar Samand Palace. This was actually a hunting lodge built by the Maharajas of the 1930s. The architectural features of the palace have not been changed since the time it was constructed but the interiors have been carefully constructed. To sum it up, this is one of the best ways to relax and have fun.

    [There is more to Rajasthan than grand palaces and the royalty. Why not go for a Rajasthan Wildlife Tour?]

    The view from the palace is phenomenal. The breathtaking view of the lake has a soothing effect on all senses. The restaurant specialises in continental and Indian cuisines. You can laze around with your dinner plate by the lake or inside.

    10. Devi Garh, Udaipur

    Udaipur, a popular destination for royal hotels in the city, houses another remarkable architectural marvel, the Devi Garh Heritage hotel. A palace built in the 18th century, Devi Garh is located on a stunning hilltop and has been intricately carved into a house of luxury.

    This is an all-suite luxury hotel with the best of facilities and consists of 39 grand suites with each of them being designed intricately. Every suite reflects the perfect blend of traditional aesthetics with contemporary mannerisms.

    [Visit the famous palaces of  Udaipur on our Golden Triangle Tour with Udaipur]

    The whole palace hotel has a neat carpet of marble flooring with a 12-feet tall tower made blocks of uncut marble. The Devi Garh palace hotel is spread across a massive 1200 sq ft, with an enchanting swimming pool that has black marble flooring.

    11. Fateh Prakash Palace, Udaipur

    Revisiting the glorious past of ancient India with Fateh Prakash Palace in Udaipur. The place sheltered the Maharanas of Mewar who ruled the place from 1884 to 1930. The Fateh Prakash Palace shares it grounds with the banks of the Lake Pichola and it looks like the Palace has been constructed for a fairytale.

    Everything here is regal, from interiors to beautiful display of armors and weapons. The Durbar Hall Sabah Nagar and Crystal Gallery reflects the wealthy state of the dynasty.

    12. Lake Palace, Udaipur

    Photo credit: Puneet Sharma - wikimedia

    The thought of living in an island is quite exciting, isn’t it? Think of a palace rising nestled in an island. You will need to take a boat ride to the Lake Palace hotel that is surrounded by Aravalli hills while other palaces of the city serve as the backdrop. The palace has suites built in the Chandra Prakash style which literally means the ‘gleam of the moon’.

    [Discover the captivating past of Rajasthan on our Rajasthan Tour with Golden Triangle]

    There are gilt moldings, marble columns with neat sculpted inscriptions and the softest of drapes that run through the Lake Palace hotel. There are 17 suites and 66 rooms all of which offer stunning and impeccable view and then all around you is a décor that engulfs you with a feeling of being royalty.

    13. Shikarbadi, Udaipur

    A visit to the dynasty of Mewar will treat your eyes to the view of Aravalli hills and animals from the wild like the spotted deer, the Nilgai, the wild boar and peacocks. The lake that surrounds the Shikarbadi Palace hotels brings birds here from their natural habitat.

    [Explore the beauty of desert in Jaisalmer with our Royal Desert Safari in Jaisalmer tour]

    All the suites in Shikarbadi Palace face the deer park and you can see most of the sanctuaries and hills that surround the place. You will find yourself transported to a completely different era when the royalty and grandeur engulf you in this palace hotel in India

    The attractions of the Shikarbadi Palace Hotel include a private airstrip, a farm that breeds the best of the Marwari horses and a cricket field. Doesn’t that include everything that is reminiscent of an ancient and modern era? Every moment becomes a memory at the Shikarbadi Palace.

    14. Shiv Niwas Palace, Udaipur

    The Shiv Niwas Palace that once housed the court meeting of the victorious king Maharana Fateh Singh can now be your holiday destination.  This crescent shaped palace is a stricture from the 20th century which was once reserved only for visiting dignitaries and is now considered among the best heritage/royal hotels in the country.

    [Rajasthan's culture is as rich as its heritage, experience it with our Rajasthan Cultural Tour]

    The palace has some of the best suites to offer and each one is different from the other. The view from the suites offers a panoramic view of the beauty of Udaipur. The Shiv Niwas Palace is a popular venue for some of the biggest events of the country.

    15. Gajner Palace, Bikaner

    Gajner Palace hotel located in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan is beauty personified. The palace is filled with suites and rooms decorated with royalty and extravagance. The distinctive feature of the Gajner Palace are its terrace and balconies.

    [Experience the royalty of Rajasthan on our Royal Rajasthan Tour] 

    The view from here will treat your eyes to the beauty of Thar Desert. Besides, the Gajner Palace offers some really special deals like nature walks, boat rides, sanctuary dinners and desert safaris.

    16. Laxmi Niwas Palace, Bikaner

    Bikaner houses one of the most palace hotels in the India, the Laxmi Niwas Palace. With its intricately sculpted walls, mesmerising marble flooring and domed rooftops; all you have to do is enjoy lavish experiences while your hosts cater to your needs round the clock. Apart from a spa, bookshop, two restaurants and a reading room, a beautiful swimming pool and a billiards room are also provided as a part of the services.

    17. Bikaner House "The Palace Hotel", New Delhi

    The heat of the deserts of Rajasthan could be balanced only with the chills of Mt. Abu. After all, that is where most of the rulers of the Rajasthan went for a holiday. The Bikaner House at Mt. Abu could be your ideal holiday destination. The Palace Hotel as it is was called earlier has now been classified as a Heritage Hotel.

    The palace hotel is a treat to your eyes for the yellow pillars and sleek sculptures instill a sense of royalty. The Palace hotel consists of 33 rooms each one decorated with fervour and vibrancy. Traditional meals are served throughout the day.

    18. Neemrana Fort Palace, Alwar

    According our guide to palace hotels in India, Neemrana Palace is one of the most unique. Since aesthetics and beauty continue to remain a primary factor, Neemrana offers some of the most magical weekend gateways, celebrations, feasts, festivals and conferences.

    [Explore the cultural state of India and its royalty on our Majestic Rajasthan Holiday tour]

    The Neemrana is a seven wings palace which is built over 12 layers stretching across a vast 2.5 hectares of lush green gardens. To make the experience better, there are hanging gardens, two swimming pools, an ayurvedic massage and India’s first zip line.

    19. Udai Bilas Palace, Udaipur

    Photo credit: Didi - flickr

    Udai Bilas Palace is nestled in the blue waters of the Gain Sagar lake on one side and on the other is a cove of the private forest reserve. This is a living paradise that has tinges of royal charm in it.

    The melodious chirping of birds, verdant surroundings and exquisite architecture make this place one of the most sought after places in India. This palace has nothing but beauty entwined in rich culture and tradition.

    There are many other Royal Palace hotels in India like Fernhills Palace, Kasmanda Palace, Wildflower Hall, Deogarh Mahal, Chandra Mahal Haveli, Lalitha Mahal Palace, Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mansion Hotels like the one in Kashmir and the Ajit Mansion, Jodhpur to name a few.


Attractions

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Corbett National Park

Expanded over an area of 308 sq km, Jim Corbett National Park was established in the year 1936 and is one of the oldest national parks in the country. Situated at the base of the magnificent Himalayas, it is the first Tiger Reserve in the country and stands to be one of the most popular weekend getaways from Delhi. Though visitors are allowed to certain parts of the reserve, the park makes for a fun and exciting wildlife tour.

The national park is the perfect place for those wildlife species that seek refuge in its wonderfully green thickets. As the first national park to introduce and execute the ‘Project tiger’ campaign, Corbett national Park has been repeatedly termed as one of the best national parks in the country! So get your cameras and binoculars ready to go wildlife exploring soon!

Distance from Delhi: 254km

Best time to visit: November to June

Attractions: Bengal Tigers, Indian Elephant, Wild Buffaloes, Leopards, Crocodiles and Gharials

Activities: Jeep Safari, Elephant Safari, Wildlife Tours and nature photography

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Lal Tibba

In the local language, Lal Tibba means the Red Hill. This is said to be the oldest and the most populated place in Mussoorie. The place is known for its scenic beauty courtesy the pleasant sunrise and sunset that leave the visitors spell bound. Do carry woolens irrespective of the month of the visit.

Location: It is situated in the Landour area and lies at an altitude of 8000 metre above the sea level.

Highlights: Lal Tibba is even famous as the Depot Hill because of the presence of a depot here. Besides this there is camp of the Indian Military services, All India Radio and Doordarshan. Hills of the Lal Tibba are also popular amongst the shoppers as there are a number of markets in the nearby areas.


Best Time: The best and the most ideal time to visit Lal Tibba is the summer months of March and June. Avoid travel during the monsoon months as there maybe leeches here.
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Haridwar

Known as one of the most ancient and sacred cities in India, Haridwar is situated on the banks of the Holy Ganga River and is one of the few places near Delhi to visit at any time during the year, and if you are an ardent devotee, then there are specific times during the year that you can visit this place.

Revered by Hindus all over the country, Haridwar is one of the seven holiest cities of India and widely known as home to the Panch Tirth (five pilgrimage destinations) and three Siddha Peetha (a place where desires get fulfilled). A pious and holy place, Haridwar is a haven for photographers who can capture the deep beauty of the place and raw Indian culture.

Distance from Delhi: 208km

Best time to visit: February to March and August to October

Attractions: Har Ki Pauri, Holy Ganges, Shantikunj, Chandi Devi and Mansa Devi Temple

Activities: Rafting, Temple Visits, Cable Car Ride, Boat Rides and Ghat Visits 

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Valley of Flowers Trek

Amongst all the exhilarating trekking in Uttaranchal or Uttarakhand, the trek to the Valley of Flowers is known to be the most enchanting and mesmeric. Discovered in 1931 by Frank Smith, a vivid botanist, explorer and mountaineer, the locals still believes the valley to be the abode of the angels and fairies.

The mystical and heavenly appearance, mesmeric beauty and the splendid outlook of the valley make it such.
Originating from Ghangria; on the foothills of the Western Himalayas, this fascinating trek comprises of rugged terrains, narrow passages, enticing views of the nearby peaks and steep climbs.

 Ascending the strenuous terrains, it takes around a few hours to reach the main valley and upon reaching the flat land, one should spend enough time exploring and witnessing the wonders of the nature.

Best season:
 Mid July to Mid August
Duration: 6 Days
Altitude: 3,600 m
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Nainital

If lush green plains and misty clouds allure you to nestle in a hammock and read a good book, far away from the city life then you need to head to Nainital, a stellar getaway place near Delhi for trekkers and nature lovers alike! Situated in the Kumaon foothills of the Himalayan ranges, Nainital is also known as the 'Lake District' of India.

 It has also been termed as a pious place for Hindus and is one of the most popular hill stations near Delhi due to its fascinating hills, picturesque plains, enjoyable climate and stunning lakes.  Adventurers engage in trekking activities and hike to the top of the beautiful hills just to witness the beautiful view and the wispy sky.

Distance from Delhi: 278km

Best time to visit: March to June and October to February.

Attractions: Nainital Lake, Governor's House, Eco Cave Gardens, Naini Peak and Snow View Point

Activities: Lake Visits, Village and Wildlife tours, Cable Car Rides, Rock Climbing and Trekking

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Chopta-Tungnath Trek

Chopta Tungnath trek is a relatively unexplored trekking destination, which is known for its mesmerizing scenic beauty. The trek towards Tungnath, the 3 from Tungnath takes you to Chandrashila, which is situated at an altitude of 4,000 meters above sea level.

Chopta is blessed with rich flora and fauna as it is located in the midst of dense forests, with a beautiful floor of rhododendrons, interspersed by deodar and pine trees. During the first one and half kilometers, you will pass through a sea of brightly coloured rhododendrons and silver oak forests. Following this the vista opens to green alpine meadows which take you to the Tungnath temple.

According to folklore, the arms of Lord Shiva are believed to have emerged here. On trekking a kilometer further ahead, you will reach the Chandrashila peak from where you get spectacular views of the snow capped peaks of the Himalayas glistening in the sun rays. The grassy meadows of the region make it an ideal spot for camping too.

Chopta is well-connected by roadways connecting Guptakashi and Gopeshwar. The weather is lovely and the views are simply breathtaking.

Best season: May to June and August to September

Duration: 3 Days

Altitude: 3680 m

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Mussoorie

Known as the ‘Queen of the Hill Stations’, Mussoorie is situated in the foothills of the Himalayas and was discovered by Captain Young in the 18th century. It serves as a perfect getaway to escape from the heat of Delhi summers and is located at an altitude of 2000m above sea level. Mussoorie has its emerald hills enveloped in thick, rich greenery and attracts tourists from all over the country!  You can explore the quaint marketplaces in Mussoorie and sightsee some of the popular landmarks in the area such as Landour Bazaar, Lal Tibba, Chaar Dukkan, Gun Hill, the Mussoorie Library and the Savoy Hotel.

Mussoorie is undoubtedly one of the best hill stations in the country. Home to some of the most stunning waterfalls in Uttarakhand, Mussoorie offers the most enchanting panoramic view of the Shivalik Ranges and the Doon Valley.

Distance from Delhi: 270km

Best time to visit: March to June and September to November

Attractions: Gun Hill, Waterfalls, Lakes, Benog Wildlife sanctuary, Tibetan Buddhist temple,  Sir George Everest's House and Nag Devta Temple

Activities: Trekking, Nature Walks, Bird Watching, Boating, Ropeway Rides and Temple Visits

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Nag tibba

One of the most well-known treks near Delhi, the Nag Tibba peak stands in the Tehri Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. This trek over the weekend is witnessing growing footfalls, and offers splendid views of the Bandarpoonch, Swargarohini, Gangotri and Kedarnath mountain peaks en route.

What makes this an ideal first trek are the relatively easy routes etched along the mountain. Thick Deodar forests blanket the hill, and the best seasons to visit are between February and June, and September to December. The Nag Tibba trek route is circular in nature, and the differing starting and ending points ensure that there is no overlap at any point. The lush meadows hide patches behind them that act as serene camping sites.

Distance from Delhi: 347.4 Kilometers approximately
Nearest Railhead: Dehradun Railway Station
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Pangong Lake

Rather, the most sought after tourist destination is Pangong Tso in Ladakh region. It is the highest among the high altitude lakes in India which is filled with saline water but provides some awe-struck moments to the visitors with the unbelievable phenomenon of changing colours quite a number of times a day.

The reflections of the towering Himalayan peaks in the water add more charm to the lake. Currently, Pangong Tso is the favorite location for tourists as the banks of the lake give soothing bed to relax and the nearby places are enhanced by the beauty of this particular lake. The quiet lake is 134 km in length and 5 km in width is situated at an altitude of 14270 meters. But the major share of the lake lies in the area of China. Now, its recognition is spread everywhere in the world because it is termed as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.

The highly saline water does not accommodate any water species not even micro-organisms. But the banks of the lake give space for several birds and animals very rarely seen in the other parts of India. It is an important breeding ground for many migratory birds as well.

Height: The lake is located at an altitude of 4250 meters above the sea level.

Location: Pangong Tso is easily accessible as it can be reached after a five hour drive from Leh and the travel would be on a rough and dramatic mountain road. You will cross the villages of Shey and Gya during the tour and go through Chang La as well.

Best time to visit: The months from May to September are the ideal time to visit the lake as the other seasons may cause challenges due to the heavy snowfall.

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Nubra Valley

Something divine makes Nubra Valley close to heart and it is not an exaggeration but a fact that experienced and shared by the countless tourists visited the paradisiacal location in Jammu and Kashmir. Without touching the spectacular roads of Nubra Valley, a Ladakh tour will not be complete. The tri-armed valley has Diskit Village as its capital. Ldumra, a magnificent name is the original name of the valley as the local scholars insist. Ldumra means Valley of Flowers. The large valley is formed after the merging of Shyok River with Nubra or Siachen River causing the separation of the Ladakh and the Karakoram Ranges. The valley is located 10000 feet that is 3048 meters above mean sea level and those who cross the Khardung La Pass can easily come to Nubra Valley from Leh.

Except for the river beds, every other place in the valley shows scant vegetation and low precipitation levels. Most of the villages in the valley are occupied by Nubra skat speakers and in the villages, one can find lush greenery and farming which happen through the regular irrigation. Diskit is the place where native people are seen in abundance and Diskit Monastery is the centre of attraction as well. The Shyok River flowing on one side of Diskit has a captivating effect on the visitors. Nubra Valley unwinds a lot of surprising sights when you visit it and an unbelievable fact is that the valley was open to the public till Hunder until 2010. Beyond Hunder, it was the greener region in the lower altitude where the Turtuk village exists. Till 2010, the Government did not allow tourists to mesmerize themselves in the magnificent beauty of Turtuk where numerous apricot trees and other vegetation along with the tribal community were preserved as a virgin.

Height: 3048 meters above the sea level

Location: The paradisiacal Nubra Valley is located at a distance of 140 km from Leh and the main road access to the valley is through Khardung La pass where you have to show the photocopies of your travel permit to the soldiers camping.

Best time to visit: The months from June to September is the perfect period to visit Nubra Valley

To see the pure, rugged face of nature, One must visit Ladakh once in their lifetime.

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Khardung La

Controversies regarding the proclamation that Khardung La is the highest motorable pass in the world is not yet diminished but Ladakh travelers still believe that it is the highest and most adventurous pass in the world. Despite the controversies, Khardung La keeps on attracting hundreds of adventure seekers every year, be it bikers, trekkers or visitors. Nestled amidst the most reverberating surrounding, the ‘Pass of Lower Castle’ is located at an altitude of 17582 feet. Near to the pass, the collection of awesome valleys will lure you and along with the natural extravaganzas, the Tibetan prayer flags are an additional charm.

The pass was constructed in the year of 1976 and later in 1988, it was opened to public and from then on, the pass was inviting uncountable bikers, trekkers and tourists. It is maintained by the Border roads Organization as the pass is highly significant and important to India because it was once used to carry supplies to the Siachen Glacier. Recently, Khardung La became the hot potato of the town with a happy news that a ten member team of visually impaired people is going to conquer the pass through cycling in 2017.

Height: Khardung La is located at an altitude of 5359 meters. But there is an incorrect proclamation on the signboards appear here saying that the height of the pass is 18379 feet.

Location: The highest motorable pass in Ladakh is lying about 39 kms away from Leh. By road, one can reach the pass. The first 24 kms of the road are paved and from there to the North Pullu check post, the 15 kms of the road are filled with loose rock, dirt and occasional rivulets formed after the melting of snow.

Best time to visit: The season between May to October is the best time to visit Khardung La.

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Tso Moriri Lake

It won’t be exceeding at all how much you describe the beauty of Tso Moriri in Ladakh, a highly protected lake in Changthang Region and a significant portion of Tso Moriri Wetland Conservation Reserve.  It is the largest of all high altitude lakes in India especially in Ladakh and is located at an altitude of 4522 meters above the sea level. The length comes to 26 km north to south and 3 to 5 km is the width and the water is wholly brackish. 

The water to feed the lake comes from the springs and melted snow from the nearby mountains. There are two major stream systems to lead the water to the lake. One in the north part of the lake and the other comes in the southwest part. Huge, extensive marshes are seen at both the entrances of the lake. Rupshu Valley, a breathtaking area is the guardian of Tso Moriri along with an array of the lofty Himalayan Mountains in the surrounding.

The number of people come to witness the beauty of this splendid lake is lesser when compared to that of Pangong Lake. It is because of the secluded location of the lake. Hence, it is a favorite home town for many migratory birds. They come to breed here especially birds like great- crested grebe, the brown-headed gull and the Brahmin duck. The rare Himalayan hares are also abundantly seen near the lake. Thus, the declaration of the lake as a reserved area is a right option to protect these species from extinction. Less human interference would keep their lives strong.

Height: The lake is situated at an altitude of 4522 meters.

Location: You can reach Tso Moriri via road from Leh. It is 150 kms away from Leh Airport. Kalka Railway station is the nearest one to the lake. You will get buses and taxis from the station as well.

Best time to visit: May, June, July and August are the peak season when tourists come to Tso Moriri in large numbers and other months will be filled with snow and have extreme cold conditions.

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Shanti Stupa

The white dome of Shanti Stupa is clearly visible from a far distance when you are on a tour of Leh. Peace Pagoda got its name like that because of many reasons mainly the silence persists in and around the pagoda always. This Buddhist prayer center is the most beloved attraction in Jammu and Kashmir. At a height of 4267 meters, the two storied stupa stands holding its head high and overlooks the bustling Leh town. The uneven mountain terrains in the surrounding gives the pagoda a remarkable shining. It is at a location which is 5 km away from Leh town and one who visits the stupa has to climb five hundred steps. The exotic view of the Himalayan peaks turns the beauty of the stupa also, a peace lover would dedicate his life to have such overjoying moments.

History

The stupa was constructed by both Japanese and Ladakh Buddhists. The construction was started in 1983, many Buddhists and Indian Government officials have supervised the procedures throughout.

Structure of the stupa

Among the two structures of the pagoda, the first level depicts the central relief of Dharmachakra which has deer on each side and the turning wheel of Dharma also has a golden image of Buddha at the center. The second level displays images which show the birth of Budhha and the death as well. In addition, both the level have smaller images of Buddha meditating. The stupa came into existence in order to spread the word of peace and harmony among people and it came into establishment as a commemoration of the valuable 2500 years of Buddhism.

Location: Any one can reach the stupa via road from Leh, only 5 kms from the town, a walk of fifteen minutes would require.

Timings: 05:00 am to 09:00 pm

Highlights: The sunset and sunrise views from the stupa are inevitably beautiful


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Magnetic Hill

Magnetic Hill is still a mystery yet a famed attraction that pulls the adventure lovers on a large scale toward it. A mystifying phenomenon which stunts the science and fiction together and exists as a magic to the normal people visiting here. Magnetic Hill is a trump card of every Ladakh tour because of the awe-struck moments it would promise the travelers. There is a sign board placed which says that the hill defies gravity completely and inviting everyone to experience the magical phenomenon.

 If you keep your vehicle in neutral at a position marked on the road and wait, you will be surprised to see the vehicle starts moving uphill at 10-20 km per hour. And this is the unexplainable feature of Magnetic Hill that confuses the world of science. It is located on Leh-Kargil-Baltic Highway and on the east, the beautiful Sindhu River is flowing calmly. Near the hill there is a Sikh Gurudwara maintained by the Indian Army. Due to the natural attraction as well as the human architectural brilliance, the hill has gained popularity in a short term. 

Not just the vehicles hitting the road but the aircrafts and helicopters crossing the radius which Magnetic Hill comes in would feel the same magnetic effect. If the aircrafts are going on a slow pace, then it starts jerking while they are in the circumference of the hill. So the only solution to escape from the clutches of this phenomenon is that the crafts should move at a greater speed.

Height: Magnetic Hill is located at an elevation of 14000 feet above the sea level.

Location: To reach the hill, you can hit the Leh-Kargil-Baltic National Highway and it is situated at a distance of just 30 kms from Leh town.

Best time to visit: The best time to visit the Magnetic Hill is from June to October.

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Havelock Island

Being one of the topnotch attractions in Andaman is the sublime Havelock Island brimming with silky beaches and exuberant greenery. A lot of tourist locations, resorts, hotels, attractions and much more are creating the perfect background to Havelock Island to host as many tourists as possible. This is the largest of all the islands in Andaman and comprises of a lot of small islands. The administration in Havelock promotes eco-tourism on a large scale.

The lighthouse established in 2005 at the northern part of the island gives additional recognition for the island. The accommodation options on Havelock will let you be surprised. Ranging from high-end, luxurious resorts to camps with basic amenities, the stay arrangements done by the administrative people here are unbelievable.

Highlights: The long stretches of different types of beaches are the main highlight to be pointed out. Declared the best beaches in the world, almost all of them are blissfully located on Havelock Island, connected to closely to the main boat jetty on the island.  

Elephant Beach, Radhanagar Beach, Vijaynagar Beach, Kalapathar Beach which are known in numbers also are proclaimed to have the highest number of tourists every year as there are many beautiful hotels in Andaman, to provide the ultimate relaxation in holidays. The green fringed shorelines, the clear sea water, the colourful marine animals, the long coral reefs, the wild fauna and flora bring forth the astounding picture of Havelock incomparably beautiful.

Activities: Snorkeling and diving are the favourite activities done on the islands though other major water based activities like boating and kayaking are frequently done.

Distance from Port Blair: Havelock Island is lying 42 kms northeast of the capital city, Port Blair. There are regular boat services by the Directorate of Shipping Services which connect Phoenix Bay jetty in Port Blair to Havelock daily.

 

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Chidiya Tapu

As the name suggests, Chidiya Tapu is the perfect haven for unseen migratory birds and common native birds found in the Andaman Islands. Recognized as the most enchanting beach in Andaman and tourists arrive here on a large scale as the beach extends the best ever sights for them including the eye catching sunrise and sunset views. This is a silent yet crowded beach encircled by evergreen forests on one side and the short hills on the other side. 

As it is considered to be the presenter of the most finishing touch of sunset and sunrise views, it is the main hub in Andaman Islands. The beach is filled with 46 varieties of endangered species of birds, and white spotted deer. There are a lot of seasonal orchids and other varieties of plants.

Highlights: The major attractions of Chidiya Tapu are the Chidiya Tapu Biological Park, the Sylvan Sands, the Munda Pahar Beaches etc. You will be able to stay at a forest guesthouse located nearby atop a hillock and from there, the panoramic view of Chidiya Tapu in detail.

Activities: Apart from sunset and sunrise views, plenty of people come for an Andaman and Nicobar trip to see this beach, to identify the rare species appear in multiple colours and size. Even though many of the birds are commonly found on the beach, you would find it as a unique and unnatural scene to find the colourful gathering of them. Boating is an attractive activity done here as well as snorkeling and swimming are also a part of the adventure activities usually experienced by those who visit here.

Distance from Port Blair: It is located about 25 kms from Port Blair.


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