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East meets West in this sun-soaked state, where Indian culture intertwines with Portuguese influences left over from a 500-year occupation. The beaches have long served as a magnet for serene hedonists. To the north, the tourist-centric scene is prevalent, with an international flair that is now skewing more hip than hippie. Travel south for stretches of unspoiled sand and an escape from large resorts. Temples, mosques and wildlife sanctuaries provide diversions from the beach.
Candolim is just north of the Mandovi river and is home to Goa's most popular and well known resort and holiday village. As such, it's not a typical backpackers destination. The Candolim beach itself does not have much to offer when compared to its livelier neighbor, Calangute. However, if sunbathing and take the occasional dip is your thing then Candolim will offer you the perfect experience. One of the more interesting sights from Candolim beach is the bulk carrier ""River Princess"" which ran aground 100 metres offshore. While at the Candolim beach do not miss out the Aguada Fort. The fort was built by the Portuguese way back in 1912 for defense against the Dutch and the Maratha invaders. Candolim is aslo a very popular evening destination as it has a number of very good resteraunts and night clubs.
Also known as the ""Queen of Beaches"" , Calangute is is Goa's flagship beach. It is also the most commercialized of all beaches in Goa. Due to its extreme popularity, Calangute beach beckons tourists and backpackers from all over the world and the beach remains choc-a-block with tourists all year around. The beach is dotted with shacks and a lot of the clubs open up onto the beach. There are lots of shows held on the beach including rock, pop beat shows, open air dances, and fetes. Calangute offers all modern amenities like a post office, banks, foreign exchange offices and medical facilities. When in Calangute a must see is the Church of St. Alex, built in 1741.
Counted amongst the most popular and lively beaches in Goa, Baga(Beach) is literally an extension of Calangute. Baga is smaller than the Calangute and Colva beaches lying on either side of it. It is favored by tourist who want to sun bathe in peace during by day and enjoy the Goan nightlife by night. However, Baga can be just as exciting for the more active tourist and offers a wide range of water sports from jet skis to parasailing. Baga is known to have the best range of restaurants and the liveliest nightlife in the area. While you are there don't miss the Saturday Flea market for all kinds of odds and ends, handicrafts, jewellery and snacks
Love garlic? You’ll love the food in Pune. Unlike other cuisines of the subcontinent, Pune cuisine relies heavily on the aromatic bulb. Soothe your palate with sweets like bhakarwadi, a pastry rolled with coriander, tamarind and sesame seeds, or cool off with a thick milkshake made with dried fruit.
Lonavala is one of the twin hill stations located near to each other, the other being Khandala. These hill stations are very popular getaway spots for people from Mumbai and Pune, which are very well-linked with Lonavala by road and rail. Monsoons are the best time to visit Lonavala/Khandala.
Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay), India, is famous for its chaotic streets. For bargains and people-watching, outdoor bazaars top the list of attractions. Popular waterfront destinations are Marine Drive, where visitors go to watch the sun set over the Arabian Sea, and the carnival-like Juhu Beach. More sightseeing options are the Gandhi Museum, in the leader's former home, and the cave temples of Elephanta Island. For tranquillity, Mumbai has many religious sites, lakes and parks.
Known as both the "Garden City" and "The Silicon Valley of India," Bangalore (officially "Bengaluru") is a techie’s paradise, boasting the highest concentration of IT companies in the country. When you’re done geeking out, there are plenty of gardens, museums, natural features, palaces and temples to fill your dance card. Visit Vidhana Soudha, Cubbon Park and the Ulsoor Lake of Bangalore, well known for its beautiful locales and boating facilities. Bangalore is also a major centre of Indian classical music and dance, and of vivid, cutting-edge nightlife.
The people of Tamil Nadu consider providing food to others a service to humanity. Thus the service in the state capital, Chennai, is first-rate. Treat your senses to some of the richest South Indian flavours in traditional dishes like sambar, rasam, fish curry or kootu. And don't forget to have a cup of full-bodied Tamil coffee, enhanced with chicory—no visit is complete without it.
Founded in the 15th century, Ahmedabad is the largest city in the state of Gujrat. The city is a vibrant business district and rising centre of education, information technology and scientific industries. Divided in two - the old city and the new city; The city offers different moods right from the hustle-bustle of C.G. Road in the heart of Ahmedabad to the quite retreat of of the Sabarmati Ashram. Ahmedabad enjoys a thriving cultural tradition, being the centre of Gujarati cultural activities and diverse traditions of different ethnic and religious communities. Popular celebrations and observances include Uttarayan - an annual kite-flying day on 14 January and the nine nights of Navratri - celebrated with people performing Garba - the folk dance of Gujarat - at venues across the city.
Located near the National Capital Region of Delhi, this upcoming district houses numerous multinational companies and as a result, has plenty of tourist-friendly malls, hotels and restaurants. The area's top attraction is the Sheetla Mata temple, a popular pilgrimage site named for the Indian goddess who could dispel small pox; a festival is held there in March and July. For a more rural setting, visit nearby Sohna, which is surrounded by ancient ruins and known for its hot springs.
Laid out by British architect Edwin Lutyens, the Indian capital is a striking modern metropolis. A gracious contrast to Old Delhi's winding streets, the grand avenues and stately buildings of New Delhi are rich with history and culture, from Gandhi's Delhi home (and the site of his assassination) to the tomb of Humayun, a complex of Mughal buildings reminiscent of the Taj Mahal. Chaotic traffic is best left to the locals. Negotiate a good price for taxis or travel on the new Delhi Metro.
This former British colonial stronghold boasts evidence of over two millennia of habitation, with ornate, architecturally diverse buildings, ranging from crumbing ruins to Victorian treasures. Home to lively festivals and a vibrant artistic community, clamorous markets and packed temples, this city is crowded and polluted, but ultimately invigorating.
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