Tag Archives: honeymoon

Switzerland in India?

Dalhousie

Kerala tours

One country nestled within another country? That too, countries in Europe and Asia bearing sharp contrasts? It may seem just impossible… for Switzerland is known worldwide for its snow-capped mountains, panoramic valleys and refreshening old world charm, whereas India is generally considered as a big and hot country with varied landscapes. But after seeing a hill station called ‘Dalhousie’, in the North Indian state Himachal Pradesh, one will actually believe the so called phenomenon of one country in another; that is Switzerland is right here in India itself!

Dalhousie

Dalhousie

Established in the mid-19th century as a summer treat by the erstwhile British Government and named after the then-viceroy of India Lord Dalhousie, this is a quiet secluded hill station compared to its famous counterparts in Himachal like Shimla and Kullu-Manali.

Dalhousie

Dalhousie

Located on five hills, at an altitude of 6000 to 9000 feet above sea level, on the western edge of Himalayan mountain range Dhauladhar, Dalhousie hill station is blessed with panoramic views of snow coated mountain peaks, beautiful valleys & meadows, natural trekking trails, colonial architectural buildings exhibiting old-world charm, … amply justifying its remarkable resemblance to the famous European destination!

Dalhousie

Of the many beauty spots in Dalhousie, few outstanding ones are ‘Upper Bakrota’ – highest spot in Dalhousie beautified with estates, trekking routes and old styled houses, ‘Khajjiar’ – a breathtakingly beautiful greenish valley with a spring in between (making the visitors feel that they are really in Switzerland), ‘Ganji Pahadi Walk’ – a thrilling walkway leading to the summit of a bare hill known as Ganji Pahadi (which is local for Bald Hill), and ‘Kala Tope’ – an ideal location for picnickers and trekkers; especially the long forested walkway from Lakkadmandi to Kala Tope is a well worth try.

Dalhousie

Other notable attraction near Dalhousie is ‘Chamba’ – a timeworn hilly town which was the seat of an ancient Hindu kingdom and a cradle of Hindu culture, temples, arts & handicrafts. With its origins tracing back to 6th century AD, the 1500+ year old royal heritage still thrives!

Chamba Town near Dalhousie

Dalhousie doesn’t disappoint wildlife enthusiasts too. ‘Kalatop Sanctuary’, a major wildlife reserve located close to Dalhousie, is rich in typical Himalayan forests as well as consist some finest trekking routes to explore the wilderness in full.

Kalatop Sancturay, Dalhousie

Kalatop Wildlife Reserve near Dalhousie

Located well away from the city chaos, hectic modern life and the buzzing urbanization, Dalhousie is for those who long to unwind themselves in the unexplored charm of Mother Nature. Not for the fast paced party-addicts but for those who love solitude / sceneries / sky-views, honeymooners seeking the sublime nature, people who prefers picnicking in nature’s lap, adventurers who seek exciting trekking/walking terrains … India’s Switzerland has it all!

Sunset @ Dalhousie

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Kovalam, Poovar – Pair of beach beauties

Kerala tour packages

Kerala the tiny south Indian state is blessed with abundant seashores. Of which the southernmost district Thiruvananthapuram is notable for its own share of beach beauties – particularly Kovalam and its neighbor Poovar.

A tiny fishing hamlet that rose to the ranks of an international beach destination, Kovalam is widely known not only in Kerala but also in the world tourism scenario. Rightly so because of its stunning geographic layout.

This is not just a plain barren seashore but a charming combination of three half-moon shaped beaches each separated by natural rock formations. On the southern end, the portion is known as ‘Lighthouse Beach’ as this shore is towered over by a colonial-style lighthouse. The middle portion is called ‘Howah Beach’ as it was once famous as the first topless-beach in the country (though that feature is now strictly confined to privately-owned shores). The northern portion is known by various names such as Leela Beach / Samudra Beach or Main Beach.

With groves of coconut trees shadowing one side and the gentle seawaters on the other, Kovalam’s seashores offer idyllic beach comforts. Unlike most of the seashores here, due to peculiar rock formations, the sea waters remain gentle & shallow – untroubled by high tides – literally forming a swimmer’s paradise.

With its shores catering to the needs of almost all types of travelers, many of the reputed Ayurveda (India’s ageless & time proven method of healing) treatment centers & saloons made Kovalam their second home, much to the attraction of International tourists.

Located about 30 minutes drive from Kovalam is Poovar, another beach beauty. Though laid-back in terms of fame, Poovar closely matches with its neighbor in natural charm.

Moreover this is one of the very rare locations where one can witness the confluence of Backwaters, River and Sea. It’s said that in olden times the river here was covered with a bed of flowers which regularly fell from both sides… a sight of sublime nature prompting the then-King Marthanda Varma (of Travancore) name this place as ‘Poov Aar’ (poov = flowers & aar = river, in local – ‘the river of flowers’) !

Flowing close-by the Beach, Poovar Backwaters are not that vast compared to Vembanadu and Ashtamudi (major backwaters in Kerala). But calm waters interlaced with mangroves and coconut trees make the backwater cruise here something to cherish.

Kovalam and Poovar together with their natural landscapes and beach-backwater-double-delights make get-away holidays truly memorable.

(Kovalam & Poovar – A pair of heavenly seashores in what’s dubbed as ‘the God’s own Country’…)