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Experience in India

Cherrapunjee

Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Cherrapunjee, locally and officially known as Sohra, is 56 kms from Shillong, and a "must see" destination for all tourists. Apart from being the record holder for the heaviest rainfall, it was the headquarters of the Khasi/Jaintia province during British rule which was however shifted to Shillong in 1864, due to the inconvenience caused by excessive rain during the monsoon months.The average rainfall is 12,000 mm a year and the record for a single day was 2455 mm recorded in 1974 confirming it as the "Wettest place on Earth".

Place to seen in Cherrapunjee.

Dain-Thlen Falls - Just before reaching Cherrapunjee a road to the right leads one to the falls which is 5 kms. away. Daiñ Thlen means cutting of the Thlen (a serpent monster).

Noh-Kalikai Falls - One of the most striking waterfalls and undoubtedly the highest in Meghalaya.

Noh-Sngithiang Falls - Also known as Mawsmai Falls is actually a number of waterfalls cascading down to a conyon.

Mawsmai Cave - The illuminated cave provide tourist an experience of caving.

Thangkharang Park - It offers a panoramic view of the sleep cliffs and the Kynrem falls.

Khoh Ramhah - The "Giants Basket" also known as "Motrop" is an imposing single formation in a shape of a giant cone.

Lakshadweep

Sunday, December 28, 2008
General Information
Area : 32 sq km
Population : 60,650
Capital : Kavaratti
Principal
Languages : Jeseri (Dweep Bhasha) and Mahal

Fisheries
Fishing is another major activity. The sea around the island is highly productive. The islands stand first in the country in per capita availability of fish. During 2004, 10,300 tonnes of fish have been landed in this U.T.

Agriculture
Coconut is the only major crop with a production of 553 lakh nuts per year. The area under cultivation is about 2,669 hectares. Lakshadweep coconut is branded as an organic product. In India, Lakshadweep stands first in coconut production, and productivity per hector is 19,667 per ha, and average yield per palm per year is 97 nuts. The Lakshadweep coconuts are the highest oil content nuts in the world (82 per cent).

Tourist centers
Tourism in Lakshadweep is developing into an important industry. Important tourist places are Agatti, Bangaram, Kalpeni, Kadmat, Kavaratti and Minicoy, etc

Transport
Ships are the major mode of transport for the islanders. Ships from either be Kochi or Calicut. Ships can be generally operated two at a time, they are like 5 passenger ships.

Spiti

Friday, December 26, 2008
Spiti (locally pronounced 'Piti') or the 'middle country', has its sub divisional headquarters at Kaza. The river Spiti originates at the base of the Kunzam range and flows eastward to join the Sutlej at Khab in Kinnaur. In practical isolation for centuries, Spiti has an intensely introvertive culture centred around its several monasteries- Dhankar, Ki, Tabo, Mud, Gungri, Lidang, Hikim, Sagnam, Mane Gogma and Giu to name a few. Spiti was loosely ruled for many centuries by a hereditary wazir, styled Nono. The majority of the people are Buddhists, followers of the Geluk-pa sect. The repetition of the mantra "Om mani padme hum" (literally, 'Behold, the jewel is in the lotus'), is constant; it is believed to bring good fortune and wash away all sins. For all the seeming bleakness, Spiti possesses a haunting beauty. The wildlife in the region includes the elusive snow leopard and ibex, found in the Pin valley.

Spiti has come to be known as the "fossil park of the world". The three villages Kibber, Kaza & Kye fall on the route faovourite among those looking for fossils. These villages are situated at heights between 13,500 ft. and 14,400 ft. above msl. Langza is famous for fossils of maritime life. These fossils are found on either side of Kang-yur and Paapen-yu nullahs near the village.

Kaza

Thursday, December 25, 2008
Kaza, the sub-divisional headquarters of Spiti, is situated on the left bank of the Spiti river at an altitude of about 12,500 ft. above msl. The village is overlooked by steep ridges. The otherwise soporific place hums with activity of tourists during summer, who converge here for permits, current exchange, information, accommodation, petrol and to witness the annual trade fair which a number of visitors compare with the fairs in some of the gompa towns of Ladakh. Besides, Kaza makes a ideal base camp for all treks and tours within the valley. Guides, porters, pack animals and most importantly permits for treks can be obtained in Kaza.

There are two rest houses in Kaza proper. The Electricity Board rest house is at Rangrik just 4 km away. It is the best in the valley. Kaza has one of the two Sa- kya- pa sect monasteries. The other monastery is at Hikkim. Opposite Kaza on the right bank of the Spiti river is Kyuling from where the nono of Spiti ruled over his subjects. Rani Damyanti, a descendent of this ruling, family, now resides in Kaza preserving all the stately charm of the yester years.

Assam Festivals

Sunday, December 21, 2008
Bihu
Bihu is the most important festival of Assam. It is celebrated with joy and abundance by all Assamese people irrespective of caste, creed, religion, faith and belief.Three Bihus are celebrated in a year: Bohag Bihu which augurs the wish for a good harvest because this is the time when farmers start sowing, Kaati Bihu which is observed to mark the cutting and binding of grains and Magh Bihu which marks the season of harvesting of grains.

Me-Dum-Me-Phi
The most important Ahom festival which deserves mention is the Me-Dum-Me-Phi, i.e., the ancestor worship festival which is observed by the whole Ahom community. This is performed annually on the 31st of January and helps to develop social contacts and community feelings among the Ahoms. Colourful processions with devotees in traditional finery are also taken out on the occasion.

Baishagu
Famous for its myriad colours and merriment, 'Baishagu' is generally celebrated by the Bodo Kacharis during mid April. It is the most cherished festival of the Bodo tribe. The Bodos also celebrate it as a springtime festival at the advent of the new year.

Ambubachi Mela
Is the most important festival of Kamakhya temple of Guwahati and is held every year during monsoon (mid-June). It is a ritual of austerities celebrated with "Tantric rites".During Ambubashi the doors of the temple remain closed for three days. It is believed that the earth becomes impure for three days. During this time no farming work is undertaken.Ambubachi mela is held at the Kamakhya temple, after being closed for the afore-mentioned three days. On the fourth day only the devotees are allowed to enter inside the temple for worship. Thousands of devotees from all over the country and abroad visit this mela.

West Bengal

Tuesday, December 16, 2008
The State of West Bengal lies on the eastern bottom neck of India. It stretches from the Himalayas in the north to the Bay of Bengal in the south. Sikkim and Bhutan are its northern boundaries and to its east it has Assam and Bangladesh. On the south it has the Bay of Bengal and in the west it has Bihar, Orissa and Nepal.

Bengal has two natural divisions i.e. the Himalayan north and the alluvial plains. The Darjeeling Himalayan hill region to the extreme north of the state has Sandakfu, the highest peak of the state. The rest of Bengal is essentially a flat, featureless alluvial plain and a large portion is a part of delta of river Ganga, known as the Hooghly River in its lowermost reaches. The narrow Terai region separates the mountainous region from the plains, which in turn moves into the Ganga delta towards the south.

The land is flat; shade and shelter are plentiful. The state comes under high rainfall and receives about 100-200 cm/year. About 65% of the net irrigated area in West Bengal comes under canal irrigation. The Ganges is the main river, which divides West Bengal. One branch enters Bangladesh as the Padma, while the other flows through West Bengal as the Bhagirathi and Hooghly River. The Teesta, Torsa, Jaldhaka and Mahananda rivers are in the northern hilly region. The western plateau region has rivers such as the Damodar, Ajay and Kangsabati. The Ganges delta and the Sundarbans area have numerous rivers and creeks.

Mini Zoo & Lion Safari

Sunday, December 14, 2008
Renukaji Mini Zoo is the oldest Zoo in Himachal Pradesh, Which was initially started during 1957 with rescued, stray and deserted wild animals from the forests. The first animal brought to the Zoo was a male spotted deer named Moti.The visit of Lt. Governor Hon'ble Raja Rajram Bahadur of Bhadari during this time saw the arranging of female chital for Moti.This laid the real foundation of Renuka Zoo.By and by more wild animals like Sambhar, Chinkara, Hogdeer, Black Buck etc. were introduced in the Zoo.

All these animals started breeding and multiplying.To accommodate the increasing number of animals, idea of an open park was conceived and the open park was setup in 1983.Black Buck and Nilgai were brought from Pipli Zoo. A pair of Mithun, gifted in 1985, was brought from Arunachal Pradesh and another was brought from Nagaland during 1986.A pair of Lions was brought to Renuka Zoo from Zunagarh during 1975.The Lion was named Raja and the Lioness named Rani.Simultaneously an aviary was also setup during 1998-99.The area does not have any recorded rights except the right to worship in the Renuka Temple.

Nagaland

Friday, December 12, 2008
General Information
Area : 16,579 sq km
Capital : Kohima
Population : 19,88,636

History
Nagaland, the 16th State of the Indian Union, was established on 1st December 1963. It is bounded by Myanmar on the East, Arunachal on the North, Assam on the West and Manipur on the South. The Principal Languages of Nagaland- Angami, Ao, Chang, Konyak, Lotha, Sangtam, Sema and Chakhesang. The State is mostly mountainous except those areas bordering Assam valley. Mount Saramati is the highest peak in Nagaland with a height of 3,840 metres and its range forms a natural barrier between Nagaland and Myanmar.

The Naga people belong to the Indo-Mongoloid group of people living in the contiguous areas of the North Eastern hills of India and the upper portion of Western Myanmar. The major recognized tribes of Nagaland are Angami, Ao, Chakhesang, Chang, Khiamnungan, Kuki, Konyak, Lotha, Phom, Pochury, Rengma, Sengtam, Sumi, Yimchungru and Zeliang. The Naga languages differ from tribe to tribe and sometimes even from one village to another. They are however, under the Tibeto-Burma family.

In the 12th and 13th Centuries, gradual contacts with the Ahoms of present day Assam was established but this did not have any significant impact on the traditional Naga way of life. However, in the19th Century the British appeared on the scene and ultimately the area was brought under the British Administration. After Independence this territory was made a centrally administered area in 1957 administered by the Governor of Assam. It was known as the Naga Hills Tuensang Area. This failed to quell popular aspirations and unrest began. Hence, in 1961, this was renamed as Nagaland and given the status of State of the Indian Union, which was formally inaugurated on 1 December 1963.

Transport
Roads : The total length of roads in Nagaland is 9,860 km which includes national highway, state highways, district and village roads. 996 villages have been linked by roads.

Railways : Dimapur is the only place in the state from where air and train services are available. This is tri-weekly Indian Airlines service connecting Dimapur with Kolkata.

Meghalaya

Tuesday, December 9, 2008
The State of Meghalaya was carved out of Assam as an autonomous State in April 1970 and was declared a full-fledged State in January 1972.Meghalaya, situated in the north eastern region of India is a narrow stretch of land, running between Bangladesh on the South and West and Assam on the North and East, Meghalaya lies between 24° 58' N to 26° 07' N latitudes and 89° 48' E to 92° 51' E longitudes. It covers an area of 22,429 sq. km. The State has most of its land covered by hills interspersed with gorges and small valleys. Endowed with dense forests and rivers cascading down undulating terrain, this region is one of the most scenic of the North Eastern States.

Sikkim

Sunday, December 7, 2008
Sikkim is a land of dramatic contours. Rugged mountains, deep valleys and dense forests consort with raging rivers, lakes and waterfalls to create a visual feast. The state has the steepest rise in altitude over the shortest distance and has within its 7,096 sq. kms the entire climatic range, from tropical to temperate to alpine.

Rivers
Sikkim has two main rivers, the Teesta and the Rangeet, both of which are formed at high altitudes and flow in a generally southern direction till they converge at the confluence near Melli. The source of the Teesta is the pristine Cho Lhamu Lake in North Sikkim. From here the river travels downwards to meet Zemu Chu just above Lachen village and the Lhachung Chu at Chungthang. At Mangan, the river is joined by the Talung Chu as it continues its journey down, finally widening at Singtam to become double its width. Further down at Melli, the Teesta merges with the river Rangeet which is born of the Rathong glacier in West Sikkim before entering the plains of North Bengal and eventually joining Brahmaputra in Bangladesh.

Assam Culture

Friday, December 5, 2008
Assam is the meeting ground of diverse cultures. The people of the enchanting state of Assam is an intermixture of various racial stocks such as Mongoloid, Indo-Burmese, Indo-Iranian and Aryan. The Assamese culture is a rich and exotic tapestry of all these races evolved through a long assimilative process. The natives of the state of Assam are known as Asomiya (Assamese), which is also the state language of Assam.The state has a large number of tribes, each unique in it's tradition, culture, dresse and exotic way of life. Diverse tribes like Bodo, Kachari, Karbi, Miri, Mishimi, Rabha, etc co-exist in Assam, most tribes have their own languages though Assamese is the principal language of the state.

A majority of the Assamese is the Vaishnavas (a sect of Hinduism). The Vaishnavas do not believe in idol worshiping and perform Namkirtana where the glory ofLord Vishnu is recited. The two important cultural and religious institutions that influence the cultural fabric of Assam: the Satras, the site of religious and cultural practice which have been in existence for over 400 years and and the Naamghar, the house of prayers.

Villagers generally associate on the basis of membership of a local center of devotional worship called Naamghar. Villages are usually made up of families from a number of distinct castes. In Assam, the caste system, although it exists, is not as prominent as in other parts of India.Other religions such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam etc. are also practiced in Assam. The national festival of Assam is the Bihu which is celebrated in three parts during a year with great pomp and grandeur by all Assamese, irrespective of caste, creed or religion.Bengali-speaking Hindus and Muslims represent the largest minorities, followed by Nepalis and populations from neighboring regions of India.

The most important social and cultural celebrations are the three Bihu festivals observed with great enthusiasm irrespective of caste, creed and religious affinity.From time immemorial, the people of Assam have traditionally been craftsmen. Artists, sculptors, masons, weavers, spinners, potters, goldsmiths, artisans of ivory, wood, bamboo, cane and hide have flourished in Assam from ancient times.Weaving is one traditional craft that every Assamese woman takes pride in. The Assamese women produce silk and cotton clothes of exquisite designs in their looms. Assam is renowned for its exquisite silks namely Eri, Pat and the world famous Muga silk. Gandhiji complimented the Assamese weavers as artists who could weave dreams in their looms.

Assam

Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Popularly called as the land of the red river and blue hills, Assam is the gateway to the northeastern part of India.

Situated between 90-96 degree East Longitute and 24-28 degree North Latitude, Assam is bordered in the North and East by the Kingdom of Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh. Along the south lies Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram. Meghalaya lies to her South-West, Bengal and Bangladesh to her West.

Festivals

Assam is a land of fairs and festivals. Most of the festivals celebrated in Assam characterize the spirit of accommodation and togetherness in the diverse faith and belief of her inhabitants. This perfect fusion of heritage of her numerous races has made Assam the home of the most colorful festivals reflecting the true spirit, tradition and lifestlye of the people of Assam.

The major festivals celebrated in Assam are Bihu, Baishagu, Ali-Ai-Ligang, Baikho, Rongker, Rajini Gabra Harni Gabra, Bohaggiyo Bishu, Ambubashi Mela and Jonbill Mela and so on. The people of Assam also celebrate Holi, Durga Puja, Diwali, Swaraswati Puja, Lakshmi Puja, Kali Puja, Idd, Muharram, Me-Dam-Me-Phi, the birth and death anniversaries of Vaishnava Saints Srimanta Sankardev and Madhabdev.

The tribals of Assam have their own colourful festivals like the Kherai Puja of the Bodos, the Baikhu and Pharkantis of the Rabhas, Ali-ai-ligang and Parag of the Mishing tribe, the Sagra-misawa wansawa and laghun of the Tiwas.

North Tripura-Fairs and Festivals

Monday, December 1, 2008
Ashokastami Mela
An important festival of the State followed by a big fair popularly known as "Ashokastami Fair" is held at Unakoti Tirtha at Kailashahar every year in the month of March/April.Mela and the rite of bathing appear to be the special characteristic of Unakoti. Shibaratri, Makar Sankranti and Ashokastami Mela are the famous festivale of Unakoti. Thousands of religious people gather on that occassion to perform rituals and take a holi dip in the water of Astami kunda. Bathing rite is a special function at Unakoti which is actually the main object of gathering of pilgrims at Shivaratri, Makar Sankranti and Ashokastami Mela.

Orange & Tourism Festival
Orange & Tourism FestivalOrange & Tourism Festival is organised every year in Jampui Hill in the month of November during orange season. Jampui Hill is the only Hill Station in Tripura where large number of oranges are grown.

Maghi Purnima Mela at Khowrabill
Fairs are held at the time of Maghi Purnima ( in the month of February /March) at Chaturdas Devata Mandir of Khowrabill under Kailashahar subdivision. Thousands of devotees visit the site during the mela.



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