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24 Sep

A Taste of Victorian Darjeeling and Monasteries

Darjeeling toy train is a must-see Tourist attraction in East IndiaDarjaeeling is a Himalayan hill station and a summer resort for the British Raj elite.  The British introduced tea production in India in the 19th century using seeds imported from China.  By 1870s there were 113 tea gardens (tea gardens and tea plantations are commonly used for tea growing estates). Darjeeling tea planters faced tough and isolated life in the remote tea gardens, their highlight was the weekly gathering at the planter’s club in town.  Take a walk along Chowrasta (the main square) then down the Mall to see the Planters’ Club that was founded in 1868.

 

 

 

 

12 Sep

Explore South India – Tamil Nadu

Temple with colorful stucco images of gods, goddesses and animals

Tamil Nadu is a South Indian state.  It is famed for its Dravidian-style Hindu temples.  At the southern tip of the sub-continent is the city of Kanyakumari (formerly Cape Comorin) right on the intersection of the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean.  These seas brought explorers and traders from Europe and Far East, enriching the rulers of the Cholas, the Cheras and the Pandyas for centuries.

Tamil culture originated from the Dravidian peoples with additions from subsequent Tamil rulers as well as external influences from both Eastern and Western explorers.  In turn, Tamil culture has been exported to Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore and across the globe.  Modern day explorers can savor a wide-range of Tamil culture encompassing music, dance, folk arts, martial arts, painting, sculpture, architecture and more!

28 Aug

Udaipur, ‘Venice of the East’

Sunset view of City Palace, Udaipur on the east bank of Lake Pichola. One of India's famous landmarks.

Udaipur retains the charm of old colonial times in India.  Often referred to as the ‘Venice of the East’, the lake city of Udaipur is known as a centre for performing arts and crafts.  Although its main palace is almost red in color, it is called the white city of Rajasthan (a large state in northwest India on the border with Pakistan).  The blue waters of its four lakes – Pichola, Fateh Sagar, Rang Sagar and Swaroop Sagar – reflect the green of the surrounding hills and the white color of its temples.