Friday, July 06, 2007

west bengal information

West Bengal

State Capital
Population ('000s in 1991)
Area ('000 sq. km)
Females per 1000 males (1991)
Literacy rate (1991)
Ratio of urban population (1991)
Net Domestic Product
(Rs. million at current prices in 1992-93)

Per Capita Income
(Rs. at current prices in 1992-93)

Principal Languages

West Bengal, the gateway to the exotic east - is a land of sheer passion and poetry, natural beauty and strong people, marked by a humaneness, evident in every facet of their life.

West Bengal covers the bottleneck of India in the east, stretching from the Himalayas in the north to the Bay of Bengal in the south. Countries that share international boundaries with West Bengal include Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal while Sikkim, Assam, Orissa and Bihar frame its domestic borders. The alluvial plain in the south is watered by the legendary River Hooghly and its tributaries - Mayurakshi, Damodar, Kangsabati and the Rupnarayan. The Himalayan north, comprising the districts of Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Bihar are watered by the swift flowing rivers Tista, Torsa, Jaldhaka and Ranjit. Variations in altitude result in great variety in the nature and climate of West Bengal. From the northern highlands at the feet of the Himalayas to the tropical forests of Sunderbans, West Bengal is a land of myriad beauty, each region different from the other.

Bengal has a long history, that dates back before the Aryan invasion of India. Known as 'Gauda' or 'Vanga' in ancient Sanskrit literature, Bengal had a well - settled civilisation and culture, at the time of the Aryan penetration. An integral part of successive empires of the Mauryas and Guptas, Bengal also had its own dynasty of independent rulers, the Palas, who extended the existing boundaries considerably. The Senas and the Muslim Sultanate, who occupied Bengal, shaped the distinct identity of Bengal. After the Mughals, modern Bengal's history began with the advent of European and English trading companies. The end of British imperialism, saw a divided Bengal in 1947, with East Bengal (now the soveriegn state of Bangladesh) becoming a part of Pakistan.

Bengal's artistic genius is reflected in numerous ways in its theatre, folk music, literature, films and paintings. Bengal also boasts of two Nobel prize winners, the inimitable genius poet Rabindra Nath Tagore and Mother Teresa. Jamini Roy, Uday Shankar, Satyajit Ray, Bimal Mitra and Tarashankar Banerjee all belong to this culturally rich land.

Fish, rice and a plethora of sweets are Bengali specialities. Ace Bengali artisans work wonders with terracota horses, conch shells, clay models, leather, batik and wood work. Bengal handloom sarees with exquisitely woven borders also have a universal appeal.

Goddess Durga

Goddess Durga

Durga Puja, coinciding with Dussehra in other parts of the country, rouses the state to a feverish pitch, with its preparations that touch the life of every Bengali. Kali Puja, festival of lights (Diwali), Dol Jatra (Holi), Ganga Sagar Mela at Sagar (January /February), the Muslim festivals of Id and Ramzan, Baisakhi - Bengal's New Year's day, Rabindranath Tagore's birth anniversary, Christmas and New Year are marked by typical abandon and devotion.

Agriculture plays a pivotal role in the state's income, and nearly three out of four persons in the state are directly or indirectly involved in agriculture. The state accounted for 66.5 percent of the country's jute production including mesta in 1993-94, and 22.2 percent of tea production during the same period. Important crops of the state include potatoes, oilseeds, betelvine, tobacco, wheat, barley and maize. The state also occupies a leading position among principal rice growing states of India, by contributing 15.3 percent of the total production of rice in the country.

Victoria Memorial, Calcutta

Victoria Memorial, Calcutta

Major industries of the state include steel, engineering, electronics, automobiles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, aluminium, ceramics, leather, footwear, bonemetal, bicycle, jute, cotton, textiles, tea, paper, glass, timber and wagon building. Coal and china clay are the important minerals found in the state.

This fascinating land of the Hooghly has a lot to offer for tourism enthusiasts. Calcutta, a unique city with its intriguing environs; Digha, the land of sand and sea; Vishnupur, an architectural treasure trove; Shantiniketan, Tagore's abode of peace; the lost empire of Murshidabad; Malda - Gourand Pandua, relics of the Muslim rule; Darjeeling - a magnificent hill resort; the wildlife sanctuary at Doars and the marshy mangrove jungles of>Sunderbans, home to the Royal Bengal Tiger are some of the major attractions of this state.

State Resident Commissioner in Delhi

A/2 State Emporium Building, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, New Delhi.

Tel: +91-11-3747203/3732695

Foreigners Regional Registration Officer in Calcutta

237, Acharya Jagdish Bose Road, Calcutta.

The duties of the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer in other districts of the state are performed by the respective Superintendent of Police

madhya pradesh information

Madhya Pradesh

State Capital
Population ('000s in 1991)
Area ('000 sq. km)
Females per 1000 males (1991)
Literacy rate (1991)
Ratio of urban population (1991)
Recorded Forest Area ('000 sq. km)
Net Domestic Product
(Rs. million at current prices in 1992-93)

Per Capita Income
(Rs. at current prices in 1992-93)

Principal Language

Madhya Pradesh is the land, where Nature's efforts complement those of man, to provide a setting, awe inspiring in its sheer magnificence. It is a land which calls for an open mind, for the essence of Madhya Pradesh is, as you interpret it.

Geographically, the centre of India, Madhya Pradesh is a plateau straddled by the meandering Narmada, Chambal, Betwa and Shipra rivers, surrounded by the mighty Vindhya and Satpura mountain ranges and boasting some of the richest tropical forests anywhere. It is the largest state of the Indian Union.

Madhya Pradesh has a colourful history that can be traced through the ruins of monuments built by emperor Ashoka, the Sungas, Chandragupta Vikramaditya, King Harsha, Raja Bhoj, the Chandela warriors, the Delhi Sultans and the great Mughals. The mingling of diverse religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Islam has also given rise to vibrant art and architectural forms in the state.

Madhya Pradesh has at least four agro-climatic zones, and thus, has the most interesting mix of people and ways of life. It is home to about 40 percent of India's tribal population. There are three distinct tribal groups in the state. The largest chunk is formed by the Gonds, who once ruled a major part of the state and after whom Gondwana, the central portion of the state is known. Western Madhya Pradesh is inhabited by the Bhils, a colourful group of warriors and huntsmen. Eastern Madhya Pradesh is dominated by the Oraons, most of whom have now turned Christians.

Orchha Temples

Orchha TemplesMadhya Pradesh is replete with unique handicrafts. Delicately woven Chanderi and Maheshwari saris, carpets from Vidisha, Mandsaur and Sarguja, intricate gold and silver embroidery, leather toys, stuffed animal miniatures, and bead handbags, dazzling lacquer work, cigarette cases of Jabalpur stone are all proof of the excellent craftsmanship of the people of the state.

Predominantly a Hindu state, Madhya Pradesh holds festivals throughout the year. Dussehra in Bastar (September/October), Diwali (October /November), Ram Navmi in Chitrakoot, Shivaratri and Holi in Khajuraho and Ujjain (February/March) are the main attractions. The Gonds, Bhils and Banjaras have several vibrant tribal dances like Phag (a sword dance), Lota (dance by women balancing pitchers full of water on their heads), and other stilt dances.

Stupa at Sanchi

Stupa at Sanchi

The oldest and most famous of Buddhist stupas - the Sanchi Stupa; murals of the Bagh caves; the world famous Khajuraho temples - which breathe the very essence of life; the serene loveliness of the Marble Rocks; the Gwalior fort; the royal legacies of Shivpuri; the prestigious wild game reserve at Kanha; the saga of a love story embossed in stone at Mandu are some of the interesting faces of this multi - faceted state.

The dense forests, covering one-third of the state, produce the country's best teak wood and also have some of the finest game reserves in Asia. Gwalior, Bundelkhand and Baghelkhand in the Malwa region of the state is abundant in rich black soil, Chattisgarh has a lighter sandy soil while the Narmada valley in the state has rich alluvial deposits. Principal crops of the state are rice, wheat, pulses, sugarcane, soyabean and mustard.

The major industries of the state are electronics, telecommunications, petrochemicals, food processing and automobiles. The state has also taken a lead in the production of cement. Madhya Pradesh occupies an important place in the sphere of mineral production. Prominent minerals of the state are coal, limestone, iron-ore, diamond, silica, phosphorite and tin. The state is also famous for its traditional handicrafts and handlooms manufactured at Chanderi and Maheshwar.

State Resident Commissioner in Delhi

B/8, State Emporium Complex, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, New Delhi.

Tel: +91-11-345742

The duties of the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer are performed by the Superintendent of Police of the respective districts in the state.

arunachal pradesh information

Arunachal Pradesh

State Capital
Population ('000s in 1991)
Area ('000 sq. km)
Net Domestic Product
(Rs. million at current prices in 1992-93)

Per Capita Income
(Rs. at current prices in 1992-93)

Principal Languages
Monpa, Miji, Aka, Sherdukpen

Arunachal Pradesh, 'the land of the dawn lit mountains', is one of the most pristine areas in India. The history of Arunachal Pradesh is a virtual treasure trove of myths and fascinating traditions, but the recorded history of this state is available only from the 16th century onwards, when the Ahom kings began to rule Assam. Since 1947, it was a part of the North East Frontier Agency and was later made a Union Territory. Arunachal Pradesh was made a full fledged state on 20th February, 1987.

Tribal dancer

Tribal dancerArunachal Pradesh is skirted by Bhutan on the west, China on the north-east, Myanmar on the east and by the Indian state of Assam on the southern side. It mainly consists of verdant mountainous ranges sloping to the plains of Assam, and has the largest area in the north-east region.

94 percent of the population in the state lives in the rural belt. Agriculture is the main occupation of the people of Arunachal Pradesh. The principal crop of this area is rice, and other important crops include maize, millets, wheat, pulses, potato, sugarcane and oilseeds. The ecological conditions are suitable for horticulture and fruits like pineapple, orange, lemon, papaya, plum, pear, guava, cherries, walnut and peach thrive here.

Arunachal Pradesh is well endowed with an abundant forest cover, mineral, and hydel power resources. Coal reserves of the state comprising of the Namchik-Namphuk coal mine in Tirap district, are estimated at 90 million tonnes and the crude oil reserves are estimated to be 1.5 million tonnes. Deposits of dolomite, limestone, graphite, quartzite, kyanite, mica, iron and copper are also reported to be found here.

The greatest attraction of the state is its dazzling array of flora and fauna, in a habitat that combines glacial terrain, alpine meadows, and sub-tropical rain forests. Places of tourist interest in the state include Bomdila, Tawang and the nearby Buddhist monastery, which happens to be the largest in India. Itanagar is famous for its excavated ruins of the historical Ita Fort, and the attractive Gyaker Sinyi or the Ganga Lake. Malinithan and Bhismaknagar are the two important archaeological sites in the state, and Parashuram Kund is a prominent pilgrimage site. Namdapha Wildlife sanctuary in the Changlang district is home to the rare Hoolock gibbon.

State Resident Commissioner in Delhi

Arunachal Bhavan, Kautilya Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi.

Tel: +91-11-3013956

The duties of the Foreigner's Regional Registration Officer are performed by the Superintendent of Police of the respective districts in the state.

bihar info


State Capital
Population ('000s in 1991)
Area ('000 sq. km)
Females per 1000 males (1991)
Literacy rate (1991)
Ratio of urban population (1991)
Net Domestic Product
(Rs. millions at current prices in 1992-93)

Per Capita Income
(Rs. at current prices in 1992-93)

Principal Languages

Bihar is one of the major states of the Indian Union. Many ancient civilisations in the world have evolved around magnificent rivers, but very few rivers in the world have moulded the culture, economy and personality of the people evolving on their banks as the great river Ganga. Cutting straight across Bihar from west to east, the bounteous Ganga had rendered the region so fertile and plentiful, that its natural prosperity nurtured a great fountainhead of political and cultural civilisations down the millenia.

Ruins of Nalanda University

The ruins of Nalanda UniversityHere, kingdom after kingdom rose and fell, leaving their indelible mark on history. Rival kings fought legendary battles, devastating the land and the people. Yet, by some strange alchemy, the same land also saw the birth of some of the most gentle and progressive religious teachers like Buddha, Mahavira and Guru Gobind Singh.

Bihar is bound on the north by Nepal, on the east by West Bengal, on the west by Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, and on the south by Orissa.

The name 'Bihar' is derived from 'Vihara', meaning monastery. Bihar has been a great religious centre for Hindus, Jains and most importantly, the Buddhists. It was at Bodhgaya in Bihar, that the Buddha sat under the Bodhi tree, and attained enlightenment. A descendant of the same tree, still flourishes in Bodhgaya today. Nalanda, which was a world - renowned Buddhist university in the 5th century AD, is also located in Bihar. Rajgir, a pilgrimage place for Buddhists and Pawapuri, where Lord Mahavira breathed his last, are near Nalanda.

Madhubani artist

A Madhubani artist

Other places of tourist interest in Bihar include Hazaribagh, a wildlife reserve, famous for its national park; Bhimbandh, famous for hot springs; Maner, a sacred Muslim shrine of Sufi Saint Hazrat Makhdoom Shah; Vikramshila, the ruins of a Buddhist university; Deoghar, famous for a Hindu shrine and Sasaram, the site of the tomb of Afghan emperor Sher Shah Suri .

Bihar boasts of an enviable wealth of rural handicrafts comprising of hand - painted wall hangings, wooden stools, miniatures in paper and leaves, stone pottery, bamboo and leather goods, and applique work. But Bihar's most famous and fascinating indigenous art forms, by far, are its Madhubani paintings. This art is a strict monopoly of the women of Mithila. Done in primary colours of natural origin on paper and cloth, they narrate mythological and religious events.

The principal foodgrains of Bihar are paddy, wheat, maize and pulses. Main cash crops include sugarcane, potato, tobacco, oilseeds, onion, chillies, jute and mesta.

The major industries of the state include steel, iron, heavy vehicles, aluminium, oil refining, railway wagons, copper smelting, cement and communication cables. Bihar is also very rich in minerals. The main minerals found in this state are coal, iron, copper, mica, pyrite, limestone, bauxite, and graphite.

State Resident Commissioner in Delhi

Bihar Bhavan, 5 Kautilya Lane, New Delhi.

Tel: +91-11-3014945

The duties of the Foreigner's Regional Registration Officer are performed by the Superintendent of Police of the respective districts in the state.

visit mizoram,mizoram info


State Capital
Population ('000s in 1991)
Area ('000 sq. km)
Principal Languages
Mizo and English

Perched like a lone sentinel on the tip of the north eastern border of India, idyllic Mizoram is an amalgam of the former north and south Lushai hill districts. Mizoram is a land of great natural beauty, an endless variety of landscape with rich flora and fauna, clusters of whispering pines, and quaint villages with houses on stilts.

Mizoram, or the land of Mizos (highlanders), has international boundaries with Myanmar and Bangladesh while it shares its domestic borders with the states of Assam, Manipur and Tripura. The Tropic of Cancer runs through the heart of Mizoram, and hence, it has a pleasantly temperate climate throughout the year. A land of steep hills and deep gorges, Mizoram's highest peak 'The Blue Mountain' rises to a height of 2165 metres. Important rivers that flow through this hilly state are Tlawang, Sonai, Tuivawl, Kolodine and Kamaphuli.
(A view of Aizawl city)

A view of Aizawl cityThe Mizos belonging to the Mongoloid race, are original settlers of the Shan State of Burma. Two of the tribes, the Lushai and Himar, migrated to India and occupied the Lushai hills. Mizoram was annexed in 1891 by the British as Lushai Hill district, and made a part of Assam. With Independence, Mizoram became a district of Assam. Mizoram was made a State of the Indian Union on 20th February 1987, following the historic Mizoram Peace Accord, signed between the Central Government and the Mizo National Front in June 1986.

The Mizos are divided into several tribes - the Lushais, Pawis, Paithes, Raltes, Pang, Himars, Kukis etc. Previously believers of the good spirit called Pathan, the Mizo community today is greatly influenced by Christianity. Mizos have accepted English as their medium of instruction, but the Mizo language is still widely spoken.

Though mostly Christians, the hill people have kept alive their rich cultural heritage, colourful customs and lively traditions. Festivals and dances of the Mizos have a unique tribal flavour. Other than Christmas and New Year's Day which are the most popular festivals, Chapchar Kut (after clearing of jungles for cultivation of the jhum crop in February-March), Pawl Kut (after the harvests when the granary is full in December) and Mim Kut (dedicated to departed souls after the maize harvest in September), are the other occasions celebrated with much gusto. The most popular dances of Mizoram are Cheraw (Bamboo dance), Khuallam (dance for visitors or guests), Chheih Lam (at the end of a day's work) and Solakar or Sarlamkai (prevalent among the Mara and Pawl tribes).

Aizwal, the scenic capital of Mizoram, its surrounding areas and the rest of the state have been developed to meet the influx of domestic and foreign tourists. Aizawl, located at nearly 4,000 feet above sea -level, is a religious and cultural centre of the Mizos. Champai, Tamdil, Vantawng fall and Thenzawl are some of the other important tourist centres in this state.

Agriculture is the main profession of the Mizos. The main pattern of agriculture followed in Mizoram, is jhum or shifting cultivation. The government is now taking steps to do away with this pattern of agriculture, which is very harmful. They have now introduced a new system of contour farming, with trenches and hedging, with the intention of switching over to permanent cultivation on hill slopes. Mizoram is famous for the fibreless ginger grown in this area. Paddy, maize, mustard, sugarcane, sesame and potatoes are the other prominent crops grown in this area.

Concerted efforts have been made to accelerate the growth of industries in Mizoram. The new industrial policy of Mizoram was framed in 1989, under which some priority industries were identified. These include agro and forest based industries, handloom and handicrafts, electronics and consumer industries.

State Resident Commissioner in Delhi

Mizoram House, Circular Road, Chanakya Puri, New Delhi.

Tel: +91-11-3016408

The duties of the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer are performed by the Superintendent of Police of the respective districts in the state.

visit lakshadweep


Population ('000s in 1991)
Area ('000 sq. km)
Principal Languages
Malayalam and Mahl

Imagine yourself lazing on a divine beach, soaking the sun, with the crashing waves in the background...

Scuba diving, deep sea fishing, kayaking, para sailing...

Feasting your senses on the awesome marine flora and fauna that surrounds you...

Welcome to Lakshadweep !!!

Scattered some 200-400 kilometres west off the Kerala coast, lie the islands of the Union Territory of Lakshadweep, an archipelago of 27 coral islands and open reefs. Out of these islands, only ten are inhabited and they are Andrott, Amini, Agatti, Bitra, Chetlat, Kadmath, Kalpeni, Kavaratti, Kiltan and Minicoy. These islands form the smallest of the Union Territories of India, and are the country's only coral islands. The main islands are Kavaratti, Minicoy, and Amini. Kavaratti is the headquarters of these islands, while Bitra is the smallest of all, with a nominal population. About 93 percent of the people in Lakshadweep are Shafi school Muslims of the Sunni sect,and they speak Malayalam.

Not much is known of the early history of Lakshadweep. It is generally believed that the first settlement on these islands was made by Cheraman Perumal, the last king of Kerala, as a result of shipwreck on the stormy Arabian seas. But the historical record shows that, around the 7th century, a Muslim saint was shipwrecked on the island of Amini. He converted the inhabitants here to Islam, despite initial opposition. Although the sovereignty remained in the hands of the Hindu Raja of Chirakkal, it eventually passed to the Ali Raja of Cannanore (Kannur) in the 16th century, the only Muslim royal family of Kerala, and later, in 1783 to Tipu Sultan. Following the defeat of Tipu Sultan by the British, at Srirangapattanam in 1799, the islands were annexed by the East India Company. It remained with the British until Independence, when it was made a Union territory of the Indian Union in 1956.

Agriculture is the mainstay of the Lakshadweep economy, the major products being coconut and coir. Coconut is the only major crop grown here, with a production of around 26.5 million nuts in 1994-95. Coconut fibre extraction and conversion of its fibre products is the main industry in the islands.The other major activity here, is fishing. Immense potential for development in fisheries has resulted in the setting up of boat-building yards, canning and processing factories and adoption of mechanised fishing boats.The islands stand first in the country in per capita availability of fish.

Ethnically , the people of the islands are very similiar to the people of Kerala - even their language is the same, except in Minicoy, where Mahl is spoken. The people of Lakshadweep are often commended for their honesty, and the absence of crime in the islands is laudable.
(Lighthouse, Minicoy) Lighthouse, MinicoyLakshadweep is spreading its wings in the way of tourism, by providing various facilities for the tourists. Tourist facilities in Lakshadweep have been developed by way of luxury cruises around the islands. All tourists need permission to visit Lakshadweep, except those booked on a cruise, in which case permission is automatic. Four of the inhabited islands (Kavaratti, Kalpeni, Minicoy and Kadmath) are open to Indian tourists and Bangaram, an uninhabited island, is open to both domestic and foreign tourists. Bangaram has facilities for water sports.Swimming, fishing, sailing in glass - bottomed boats which give enchanting views of the coral below, and yachting are the main attractions. Wood - carving in the Ujra Mosque at Kavaratti, the tomb of Hazrat Ubaidullah at Andrott, the Buddhist archaeological remains at Andrott, and the famous light house at Minicoy, are some of the places worth visiting.
Lakshadweep has a tropical climate, with summer temperatures ranging from 35 degrees centigrade to 22 degrees centigrade, and winter temperature between 32 degres to 20 degrees centigrade.

When to Visit

Though the resort is open round the year, May to September is the ideal time to be on the islands. Not only is the weather pleasant, you can also have the islands almost to yourself. The rush of tourists is mainly concentrated from November to March, and August. (All visitors to the Lakshwadeep Islands will require an entry permit.)

How to Get There

There is a regular ship service between Cochin and the islands, according to a scheduled programme.

Liaison Officer in Delhi

F-306, Kasturba Gandhi Marg Hostel, New Delhi

Tel: +91-11-3386807

Fax: +91-11-3782246

visit pondicherry


Population ('000s in 1991)
Area ('000 sq. km)
Principal Languages
Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, English and French
Per Capita Income
(Rs. at current prices)


Situated on the Coromandel coast, about 160 kms south of Chennai, lies the Union Territory of Pondicherry. The French ruled this territory for 300 years, and today, it stands as a living monument of the French culture in India. It is bound on the east, by the Bay of Bengal and, on the other three sides by the South Arcot district of Tamil Nadu. About 150 kilometres south of Pondicherry, on the east coast, lies Karaikal, while Mahe is situated on the Malabar coast. Yanam is situated in the adjoining east Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.

Pondicherry traces its origin to Saint Agasthya, the revered sage of the south. The excavations near Pondicherry reveal, that a Roman settlement existed here, 2000 years ago. It was also the site of many a battle between the British and the French, and was the capital of French India, before it attained its independence.

MonumentThis restored, attractive, former French colony exudes a Mediterranean aura, with its chic streets, elegant houses, ornamental gardens and the Hotel de Ville. Being a small and quiet enclave of Tamil Nadu, it has imbibed the Tamilian culture. Apart from the charming atmosphere, excellent restaurants and cheap beer, what attracts most travellers to Pondicherry is the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and its offshoot, Auroville, 10 km outside town. The ashram, founded by Sri Aurobindo in the year 1926, has brought international reputation to this coastal town. The ashram, the spiritual tenets of which, combine yoga and modern science, is quite popular within India, and abroad.

Festivals of Pondicherry differ from the rest of India, for the French influence still persists prominently here. Masquerade, held in March -April, is a popular mask festival, during which brilliantly costumed and masked people of Pondicherry, dance down the streets to the music of trumpets and accordions. During the Eve of the Bastille Day, retired soldiers parade the streets in war finery, singing the French and Indian National Anthem. French is still widely spoken, and the seaside villas and the cobbled streets are more reminiscent of the south of France than the south of India!!

Sama Koil Church

Sama Koil ChurchPondicherry is oval-shaped, with streets aligned at right angles. The skilfully planned township is distinguished by a 3 km long espalanade which skirts the town and encloses the tourist attractions. Raj Niwas, where Dupleix once lived, (now,the residence of an Indian Lt. Governor) has a garden with a sculpture of Lord Vishnu as the 'varaha avatar' (boar incarnation) together with the earth goddess Lakshmi. The Government Park is well-planned with flower beds and fountains, one of them dating back to the period of Napoleon III (1852-1870). The Botanical Gardens, conceived in 1826, boast a variety of rare and exotic plants from India and abroad, and the Sama Koil church, once a temple of Shiva is impressive with a grotto of Mother Mary. The beautiful unspoilt beach, the aquarium, Poet Bharathi and Bharatidasan memorial museums, First World War Memorial, Ousteri lake and Joan of Arc Square are the other spots of tourist interest.

Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception

Church of Our Lady of Immaculate ConceptionThe Pondicherry Museum has whole suites furnished in the French style, in vogue, at the time of occupation. Marble sculptures include the Cupid and Psyche, Venus and Spring pieces. The Art Gallery contains invaluable archaelogical finds pertaining to Roman, French and Hindu cultures.The Arms Gallery is yet another fascinating feature of this museum. The Romain Rolland Library has over 60,000 volumes, including rare French books. The Manakula Vinaynagar Temple on Rue d'Orleans, the 12th century Sri Tirukameswarar Temple at Vilayanur and the 7th century Thiruvandar Temple are shrines built in the Chola period, in the 10th-12th centuries.The Sacred Heart Church, the Eglise de Notre Dame de Anges and the Eglise de Notre Dame de Lourdes are the other interesting historical sites.

How to Get There

Some important routes from Pondicherry are: Chidambaram (64kms), Madras (160kms), Thanjavur (177 kms), Tiruvannamalai (107 kms), Tiruchirapalli (209 kms). The nearest airport is Madras.

Resident Commissioner in Delhi

3, Sardar Patel Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi

Tel: +91-11-3011703

Fax: +91-11-3792331

visit delhi


Delhi, the capital of India, is an amalgam of the old and the new. The ancient and the modern times are in juxtaposition here, not only in the remains of a succession of empires, but equally in present social structure and lifestyles. The name Delhi, Dehali, or Dilli is derived from Dhillika, the name of the first medieval township of Delhi, located on the southwestern border of the present Delhi, in Mehrauli. This was the first in the series of seven medieval cities. It is also known as Yoginipura, that is, the fortress of the yoginis (female divinities).

Jantar Mantar

Jantar MantarThere was, however, an ancient urban settlement in Delhi known as Indraprastha on the banks of the Yamuna which is traditionally believed to have been founded by the Pandava brothers, the mythical heroes of Mahabharata, the national epic of India. Excavations at the site of the township inside Purana Kila or the Old Fort show that the date of the oldest habitation in Delhi is around the 3rd or 4th century B.C.

Delhi is divided into two parts. The old Delhi or Delhi was one of the capitals of Muslim India between the 12th and 19th centuries. Old forts, mosques and monuments related to India's Muslim history are located here. New Delhi is the imperial city which was created as the capital by the British. It is spread over a wide area and is lined with imposing boulevards.

Delhi is a major travel gateway into India. It is one of India's busiest entry points for overseas airlines and is on the overland route access across Asia.

What to See

Bahai Temple

Bahai TempleAmong the places of special interest to tourists in Delhi are the Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Coronation Durbar Site, Raj Ghat, Jantar Mantar, Lakshmi Narayan Temple, Qutab Minar, India Gate, Secretariat Building, Rashtrapati Bhawan, Parliament House, National Museum, National Gallery of Modern Art, Nehru Museum, Rail Transport Museum, International Dolls Museum, Crafts Museum, Gandhi Darshan, Purana Qila, the Zoo, Safdarjung's Tomb, and Bahai House of Worship.

When to Visit

The best season to visit Delhi is between October to March. Summers in Delhi are very hot and it is not recommended to visit it during May, June or July.

Where to Stay

Some of the five star hotels located in Delhi are Ashok Hotel (Tel: +91-11-600121, Fax: 6873216), Hilton (Tel: 3320101, Fax: 3325335), Hotel Le Meridien (Tel: +91-11-3710101, Fax: 3714545), Hotel Oberoi (Tel: 4363030, Fax: 4360484), Maurya Sheraton (Tel: 3010101, Fax: 3010908) and Taj Mahal Hotel (Tel: 3016162, Fax: 3017299).

Other good hotels to stay in Delhi are Ambassador Hotel (Tel: +91-11-4632600, Fax: 4632252), Connaught Place Hotel (Tel: 3344225, Fax: 3310757), Hotel Hans Plaza (Tel: 3316868, Fax: 3314830), and Hotel Kanishka (Tel: 3324422).

How to Get There

Air: Delhi has a extensive network of international and domestic flights. All the major airlines in the world fly through Delhi and it is easily accessible from anywhere in the world. Domestic air links cover Delhi from all the major cities in the country.

Train: Trains run from all the parts of the country to Delhi. For nearby places like Chandigarh, Dehradun, Gwalior, Bhopal, Lucknow and Kanpur, the Shatabdi Express is recommended.

Bus: Buses from all the major places in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are available for getting to Delhi. During summer months air-conditioned coaches are recommended.

visit chandigarh


Population ('000s in 1991)
Area ('000 sq. km)
Principal Languages
Hindi, Punjabi and English

Chandigarh, designed by the French architect Le Corbusier, is the capital of the Indian states of Punjab and Haryana. Though Simla was chosen as temporary headquarters, the need for a permanent capital, resulted in the birth of a new city at the foothills of the Shivalik hills. Chandigarh, then became the new capital of Punjab and Haryana. But the administration of the capital itself was neglected, which was solved, by making it a Union Territory under the Central Government on 1 November 1966.

Covering an area of 56 square kilometres, Chandigarh is the first `planned' city of India. The city has neatly laid out roads and parks, buildings ranging against mountain peaks, boulevards and streets lined by endless rows of trees and shrubs. The city is named after the Goddess Chandi Devi, whose white - domed temple stands on the slope of a hill in the north east of Chandigarh, on the edge of the Shivalik hills. Spread over an area of 114 sq. kms, it is a modern city, built in 47 sectors (excluding the unlucky number 13). Each sector consists of market places and shopping centers. All the sectors are interconnected by State Transport buses, auto-rickshaws and taxis. This city has its population drawn from every community and region in India,and ranks second in literacy among the country's states and union territories.

Chandigarh has about 15 medium and large scale industrial units. These include soft drinks, electric meters, antibiotics, electronic components and equipment, bio-medical equipment, tractor parts, cement pipes and tiles, and washing machines.

What to see

Chandigarh, with all its charms, is literally a treasure - trove for the travel - buff. The Rock garden, a famous tourist spot, is an architectural wonder, covering an area of 6 acres. It was built by Nekchand Saini, with multicoloured pieces of stones and other discarded objects. The Sukhna Lake is an artificial lake, spread over an area of 3 sq. kms. Boating facilities are available here, and walking around the perimeter of the lake is a very refreshing experience. The Museum-cum-Art Gallery is another marvellous place to see. It houses an extensive range of paintings and sculptures by contemporary Indian artists, as well as a collection of old Indian miniatures of the Mughal, Kangra and Rajasthani school.

In sector 16, is Asia's largest rose garden, Zakir Gulab Bagh, spread out over 30 acres of land, boasting of 50,000 rose-trees of 1600 different species!! The Secretariat and High Court buildings, located at sector 1, are veritable proofs of the architectural expertise of Le Corbusier. One can enjoy an excellent view of the city from the roof of the Secretariat. The High Court has a double roof, which provides protection from the sun. What is peculiar is its shape, which resembles the shell of an enormous tortoise!! The Super Market or shopping centre is at sector 17 . Other places of interest include the State Library, Shanti Kunj, Moonlight Garden, Bougainvillea Garden, Bidhan Sabha and University - each a fine specimen of modern art.

How to get there

Chandigarh is 248 kilometres from Delhi and can be reached by bus or train.

While visiting Chandigarh, one is reminded of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's words, delivered in 1952, "Let this be a new town, symbolic of the freedom of India, unfettered by the traditions of the past - an expression of the nation's faith in the future."

visit kolkata

Kolkota (Calcutta)

Victoria MemorialThe largest metropolis in India, Kolkota is a vibrant city on the move, volatile and unpredictable. The Gateway to India, till 1912, and the capital of the Raj in India, it still bears the Victorian imprint on its streets and structures. A city just about ready to burst at the seams, Kolkota is home to more than 10 million people. It is the commercial nerve-centre of the East, with major industrial plants, textile mills and corporate units. Regal edifices, grubby alleys, bustling bazaars, elegant hotels, people from all walks of life - Kolkota has it all.

The city is a hub of fervent activity in the realms of music, theatre, arts, and sports. Kolkota has always prided itself on the many luminaries it has sent forth, be it Tagore, Satyajit Ray, or Mrinal Sen. The intense dedication to the arts manifests itself in a plethora of festivals, dance, music performances and other cultural events. The Kolkotans are also famous for their all-consuming passion for sports, especially, football and cricket.

Kolkota is a city of baffling paradoxes, a city that leaves its stamp on one's mind ... forever.

What to See

As one enters the city of Kolkota, the impressive Howrah Bridge across the Hooghly river, a huge cantilever structure, supported by two 270 feet high piers, greets the eye. Forming the green heart of the city is the great stretch of lawns called the Maidan, fringed on one side by the river, and on the other by an elegant boulevard, the Chowringhee. The Maidan is the venue for an assortment of events, ranging from football matches to political rallies. The grounds are also aptly, referred to as the 'lungs of the city.'

Surrounding the lawns are a number of famous landmarks. At the southern end is the Victoria Memorial, an imposing white marble edifice, a museum housing the relics of the British Empire . The Memorial which took 15 years to build, also has an Art Gallery within. At the northern end is the Ochterlony Monument, a 48 metre high column , now known as the Shahid Minar. Just adjacent to it, are the Eden Gardens, with a picturesque lake and a quaint Burmese pagoda. The world - renown Eden Gardens Stadium is also located in this area. The Birla Planetarium, one of the largest in the world, is placed at the southern end of the vast Maidan, alongwith the Zoological Gardens.

The many museums in the city, pay testimony to the cultural richness of India's heritage. The Indian Museum, one of the largest of its kind in India, housing relics of ancient civilizations,and an art gallery is located in Chowringhee.The Academy of Fine Arts, Nehru Childrens Museum, Netaji Museum, Birla Academy of Art and Culture, Birla Industrial and Technological Museum, Rabindra Bharati Museum and the Ashutosh Museum of Indian Art are some of the museums that contain invaluable and rare objects d' art.

Kolkota also has shrines and sites of worship belonging to all faiths. The Armenian Church (1650), at Brabourne Road, is one of the oldest churches in the city. The massive Nakhoda Mosque or Rabindra Sarani, modelled after Akbar's mausoleum in Sikandra, is said to accomodate 10,000 people at a time. 10 kms from the city is Belur Math, the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Mission which propagates the neo-Vedantic movement. It has been built to resemble a temple, a church and mosque.

Around Kolkota

Located 8 kms from Kolkota on the west bank of Ganga are the famous Botanical Gardens.The highlight of the Gardens is the 200 year old banyan tree, said to be the largest in the world.The tree is 26 metres high with a circumference of approximately 900 feet. The world's largest estuarine forest in the world, the Sunderbans, the habitat of the Royal Bengal Tiger, which also houses the estuarine crocodile, wild boar and several varieties of birds and snakes, is within easy reach of Kolkota. This famous Project Tiger Reserve can be approached only via the waterways.

185 km south east of Kolkota is Digha, a popular beach resort with a 6 km long beach, said to be one of the widest in the world. The other popular beach resort of West Bengal, Bakkhali, lies 132 km from the city. 48 km south of Kolkota is the beautiful Diamond Harbour, at the mouth of the Hooghly, an ideal picnic spot. 12 km from the city centre, on the banks of the Ganga, is the magnificent Dakshineswar Temple, dedicated to Goddess Kali . 136 km from the city is the one - of - its - kind university of Shantiniketan, the brainchild of the revered Rabindranath Tagore. Started as an experimental open air classroom, this university has emerged as a universal centre of knowledge and academic excellence, for students and scholars alike.


The one event that all of Kolkota anticipates, with a great deal of zest, is the Durga Puja (in the month of October) - when the city seems to don a brilliant garb of vitality and festivity, an atmosphere of bonhomie, that carries on through Christmas and the New Year. During the 10 day Pooja, the Goddess Durga is worshipped, her statuesque images are created, and millions of pandals all over the city come alive to the thunderous and rousing beat of drums. Basant Utsav, Saraswati Pooja and Holi are the other festivals that are celebrated with fervour.

How to Get There

Kolkota is a major railhead and is well - connected to the rest of the country.

An international airport, Kolkota is connected to most parts of the world by several major airlines as well as Air India. Within India, the Indian Airlines and other domestic airlines link the city with other major cities in the country.

Where to Stay

Kolkota has elegant hotels in the five star deluxe, four star, three star ranges and also in the economy range. Udyachal, a tourist hotel run by West Bengal Tourism, offers satisfactory accomodation.


Government of India Tourist Office, 'Embassy', 4 Shakespeare Sarani, Kolkota 700071.

Tel: 242-1402, 242-5813

visit bangalore

Located 1000m above sea level, the capital of the state of Karnataka, Bangalore, is a vibrant cosmopolitan city, a major industrial and commercial centre of the country.The city was founded by Kempe Gowda in the early 16th century. Two centuries later, it became an important fortress city under Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. The ruins of those periods can still be seen on the Bellary Road, at Lal Bagh, Ulsoor and Gavi Gangadhareswar Temple.

Bangalore is known as the Silicon Valley of the country, the nerve - centre of India's software industry. Its other major industries include aircraft, electronics and machine tools. Despite being one of Asia's fastest growing cities, Bangalore remains one of the most elegant metropolises in India. A well - planned city, with tree - lined avenues, a large number of parks, gardens and lakes, Bangalore is aptly called India's garden city. The city attracts people in large numbers, from all over the country, and abroad, who come to look for better job opportunities, and higher education. Surprisingly, all this frantic industrial expansion and increase in the population, has not robbed Bangalore of its essential old-world appeal. It is, in the true sense, a very 'happening' city.

What to See

The Vidhana Soudha is one of the most splendid architectural creations, India can boast of. Located at the north - west end of Cubbon Park, it is a granite structure built in the neo - Dravidian style of architecture. Conceived and executed by Kengak Hanumanthaiya, the then Chief Minister, it houses both the State Legislature and Secretariat.

Bangalore is also famous for its fine sprawling gardens, the notable amongst them being the Lal Bagh and Cubbon Park.The Lal Bagh, was laid out in the 18th century by Hyder Ali and his son, Tipu Sultan. Spread over an area of 240 acres, the park contains a variety of plants and trees, a deer park, and one of the largest collections of rare tropical and sub - tropical plants, in the country. The Glass House, a huge conservatory, a later addition, is the venue of the annual flower, vegetable and fruit shows.

The Cubbon Park, laid out in 1864, a brainchild of the British, covers an area of 300 acres. Within its premises are the Public Library, the High Court, the Government Museum and the Visveswaraiah Technological & Industrial Museum. The Attara Kacheri, as the High Court building is known in these parts, was built in 1864. The Government Museum, one of the oldest in India, came into being in 1886, and houses collections of coins, art, relics from the Mohenjodaro and also, some pieces from Halebid and Vijayanagar. Located near the City Market, are the remains of a fort dating back to the days of Hyder Ali, and also, Tipu Sultan's summer palace. The palace, an elaborately decorated structure, has ornate arches and minarets. A museum within, has on display, the life and times of Tipu Sultan and Hyder Ali.

Bangalore boasts of some of the oldest, and most beautiful temples in the country. Adjoining Tipu's summer palace is the Venkataramanaswamy Temple, a 300 year old temple built by the Wodeyars, which is still in very good condition. South of Bangalore, in Basavangudi, is the Bull Temple, built by Kempe Gowda. The deity is a massive 15 foot Basava or bull, which has been carved from a single boulder. Another impressive temple is the Gavi Gangadhareswara temple, an unusual cave temple. It has been designed in such a manner so that, on the festival of Sankranti, the rays of the sun pass between the horns of a Nandi Bull placed outside the temple, and thereby, illuminate the image of Lord Shiva. Another temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is the Someshwara Temple, built by Kempe Gowda, in Ulsoor.

The city also has its share of pleasant lakes, the principal amongst them being, the Ulsoor Lake, which also has boating facilities. The other lakes around Bangalore are the Sankey Tank, the Yediyur Tank and the Lal Bagh Lake.

Around Bangalore

35 km from Bangalore, at Hesaraghatta, is the famous Nritya Gram, a centre for dance that imparts extensive training in seven dance disciplines and two martial art forms, to residential students. The village is rustic in design, and blends with the bucolic surroundings. The Hesaraghatta Lake, a man - made lake, near the village is also a popular tourist spot. Just 21 km from the city, and easily accessible by road is the Bannerghatta National Park. A part of the Bannerghatta forest, the Park houses a mini zoo, a crocodile farm, lion and tiger safari parks.

Situated 60 km from Bangalore, at a height of 1478 m above sea level, is the Nandi Hills resort. What used to be the favourite summer getaway of Tipu Sultan, is now a popular picnic spot with its awesome fort, sprawling lawns and two ancient temples. A little away from the city is Ramohali, a picturesque picnic spot, that boasts of a 400 year old banyan tree, that spreads for over 4 acres. It is believed to be the site of sage Muneshwara's penance.

The region around Bangalore is dotted with gigantic rock formations, the two notable amongst them being Shivaganga (4599 ft.high) and Savandurga. The latter used to be a fortress and the hideout of Kempe Gowda.

Mysore is just 139 km by road from the city. It was the capital city of Hyder Ali, Tipu Sultan and the entire Wodeyar clan. Mysore's prime attractions are the Mysore Palace, the Chamundi Hills, the famous Brindavan Gardens, the Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery which is located in the Jaganmohan Palace, the Mysore Zoo and St. Philomena's Church. 15 km from Mysore is the old capital of Tipu Sultan, Srirangapatna . Its fort bears witness to the Tiger of Mysore's last battle against the British. His mausoleum, the Gumbaz, which sports ivory inlaid doors and the famous tiger - striped emblem is also nearby. Near Srirangapatna is the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary. 40 km away from Mysore is the Somnathpur Temple, a star - shaped structure built in 1260 A.D, an outstanding example of Hoysala architecture.


The Karaga Festival that comes around in March/April, is celebrated with great pomp and show, at the Dharmaraya Temple. The Karaga, an earthen pot that stands for the goddess Shakti, is taken out in a procession at night. The pot is immersed in the Sampangi Tank, which is 20 km from the city.

How to Get There

Bangalore is well connected to all the major cities of the country, by air, rail and road.

Where to Stay

Some of the hotels available for accomodation in the city are: Taj Residency, The Oberoi, West End Hotel, Hotel Ashok and Hotel New Victoria.


Government of India Tourist Information Counter, 48, Church Street, M.G.Road, Bangalore - 560001

Tel: 5585417, Telex : 0846 - 8446

Department of Tourism, Government of Karnataka, 1st Floor, 'F' Block, Cauvery Bhavan, K.G.Road, Bangalore - 560009.

Tel: 2215489

Tourism Information Counter, Bangalore Airport : Tel: 5268012

Railway Station: Tel: 2870068

visit ahmedabad

Ahmedabad, the largest city and former capital of Gujarat, nurtures a striking blend of the glorious past and a vibrant present. Named after a Sultan who founded it in 1411, the city is associated with Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the Nation, whose simple ashram on the banks of river Sabarmati is now a site of national pilgrimage. Ahmedabad is a great textile and commercial centre and known as the "Manchester of India". The city is today the second largest prosperous city in Western India and a place where tradition and modernity coexist in perfect harmony.


What to see

Gandhi Ashram - On a quiet stretch of the Sabarmati river lies the Gandhi Ashram, established in 1920. During the lifetime of Mahatma Gandhi it was known as Satyagraha Ashram and was the centre of the struggle for Independence. It was from here, in 1930, that the Mahatma started on his famous "Dandi March" to the sea to protest against the Salt Tax imposed by the British. 'Hridaya Kunj', the simple cottage where he lived, is preserved as a National Monument. A Gandhi Memorial Centre, a Library and a Sound-and-Light show offer indepth insight into the Mahatma's life and work.

Hussain-Doshi's Gufa - It is a gallery housing the collaborative efforts of artist M. F. Hussain and the architect B. V. Doshi. Here, art and architecture fuse to become a unique experience, both complementing each other magnificently. Located in the campus of the Centre for Environment Planning and Technology, the Gufa is a configuration of cave-like structures buried under the ground. This marvel of contemporary architecture was constructed using computer aided design and tribal initiative.

Calico Museum - The Calico Museum of Textiles, widely regarded as one of the finest textile museums in the world was constructed in 1949. The Museum houses no less than five centuries of the finest fabrics spun, woven, printed and painted in different parts of India. It also has a collection of marble, sandstone and bronze icons and busts split in two thematic sections-gallery for religious textiles and historical textiles.

Jama Masjid - Built by Ahmad Shah in 1423, Jama Masjid is the principal mosque of the Islamic era, situated at the heart of the city. The mosque was built in the Indo- Saracenic architectural era and is said to be the most beautiful mosque in the East. The mosque has 260 pillars supporting 15 domes arranged symmetrically. A special feature of the mosque is the Muluk-Khana, or the Royal Gallery, which is a platform standing on pillars and enclosed upto the roof with beautiful stone work.

Siddi Bashir Mosque - Known as Shaking Minaret or Jhulta Minar. When one minaret is shaken the other one begins to vibrate. The mosque was obviously built by master craftsmen and the crucial mechanism that causes the vibration is still a mystery.

Rani Rupmati's Mosque - Named after the Hindu wife of Sultan Mohammed Beghara, this mosque was built between 1430 to 1440 A. D. It has three domes supported by pillars with the central dome slightly elevated so as to allow natural light into the mosque. The mosque has richly carved minarets, balcony windows and perforated stone lattices. Its three domes are linked together by a flat roof. However, the mosque and tomb of Rani Sipri at Astodia surpasses it for its planning and structural arrangement. Popularly known as Masjid-e-Nagina, this mosque is the most exquisite gem of Ahmedabad.

Hatheesing Jain Temples - Built outside Delhi Gate in 1850 by Sheth Hatheesing, a rich Jain Merchant, this is the best known of Ahmedabad's many ornate Jain Temples. Built of pure white marble, it has a paved courtyard surrounded by an imposing row of cloisters containing 52 shrines, each with an image of a tirthankara, profusely decorated with rich carvings, one containing the marble image of the 15th tirthankar. The temple is a two storied structure with elaborate porches on three sides and front porch crowned by a large dome. It was designed by Premchand Salat and is dedicated to Dharmanath, the fifteenth Jina or Jain apostle.

Kankaria Lake - A circular lake constructed in 1451 by Sultan Qutubub-Din. At the centre of the lake is an island garden with a summer palace, known as Nagina Wadi. The lake is a popular recreation centre surrounded by parks, 'Bal Vatika', an aquarium, a boat club, a natural history museum and a zoo.

Sidi Sayed Jhali - The Mosque of Sidi Sayed, near Lal Darwaja is world-renowned for its magnificent stone tracery, in particular, the splendid Jali screen, framed, in ten semi-circular windows. It is a fine example of Indo-Saracenic architecture and its models in miniature are best known souvenirs of the city.

Around Ahmedabad


Gandhinagar, named after the Father of the Nation, is the capital city of Gujarat. Built on the river Sabarmati it is just 32 kms away from Ahmedabad. In 1960 when the old Bombay state was partitioned into Maharashtra and Gujarat, the city of Bombay went to Maharashtra. It was then decided to construct a new capital for Gujarat. Thus came into being Gandhinagar, the second planned city in India after Chandigarh. It presents a spacious, well designed look of an architecturally integrated city. It has 30 sectors with each sector having its own shopping, health, community center and housing colonies. Extensive planting of trees and large recreational areas along the river gives the city a fresh, green garden city atmosphere. The famous temple of Swaminarayan is also built in Gandhinagar.


Akshardham is a unique cultural complex built in Gandhinagar in memory of Lord Swaminarayan. Inspired by H. D. Pramukh Swami Maharaj, Akshardham is a miracle worked by the service and devotion of thousands of volunteers. It is an intricately carved, majestic monument of 6000 tons of pink sand stone. The entire monument was built without the use of steel. Besides a 7 feet gold leafed idol of Lord Swaminarayan and his holy relics, there are three exhibitions on Indian Culture with light and sound shows, a multimedia show and an animatronic show. Games, rides and food refreshments are other attractions of Akshardham.


Baroda is known as the garden city of Gujarat. Once the capital of the princely Gaekwad Family, Vadodara is a graceful city of palaces, parks, temples, and museums. Places to visit are : Nazarbaug Palace - Built in old classical style, the palace was used on ceremonial occasions by the Gaekwads. The royal family heirlooms are on display. Lakshmi Vilas Palace - The Royal Family's residence is an extravagant building in Indo- Saracenic style. Pratap Vilas Palace - Built as the residence of the royal family, the Pratap Vilas is a magnificent building in the Indo - Sarcenic style. The Palace houses a collection of old armory and sculptures in bronze, marble & terra-cotta. The Baroda museum and art gallery and the Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum - The museums boast of an excellent art collection of works by Indian artists and European Masters, of Mughal miniatures and valuable palm leaf manuscripts of Buddhist and Jain origin.


Situated on the banks of river Tapi, Surat was a great port city during the Mughal era. Today, it is a major industrial center with many textile mills. It is also famous for its zari and brocades and is also an important diamond cutting centre. Surat was one of the most prosperous cities of India in the 17th and 18th century. The East India Company established its first warehouse in Surat in 1612. During the Mughal period, Surat was the main port from which pilgrims sailed to Mecca. One can also make short trips to Dumas, Hajira, Ubharat, Tithal, Bardoli and Ukai, all resorts a few kilometres away from Surat.


Rajkot was once the capital of the princely state of Saurashtra. It was also the headquarters of the British Government. Rajkot is famous for its jewellery market. Mahatma Gandhi did his schooling from Alfred High School, now known as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi High School. Places of interest are Kaba Gandhi No Delo, Royal Watson Museum and Library, Lal Pari Lake, Aji Dam, Rajkumar College, Rashtriya Shala, Ram Krishna Paramhansa Temple and Race Course. Rajkot is about 220 kms from Ahmedabad.


Porbander is Saurashtra's end - a picturesque sea port on the Arabian Sea. It is situated 395 Kms from Ahmedabad. It is also known as "White City" because of its white stone construction. It is the birth place of Mahatma Gandhi. Porbander has a pleasant beach with beach villas. Other places of interests are Gandhiji's Kirti Mandir, Sudama Mandir, Bharat Mandir, Planetarium, Chowpati etc. Its ancient maritime activities - trade with Arabia, Africa and Persia have given way to a thriving industry of cement and chemical units.


This is one of the most picturesque places of pilgrimage in India, located on Shatrunjaya hills. There are 863 temples, exquisitely carved in marble, built over a span of 900 years. Amongst all the Jain temples, Palitana temples are considered to be the most sacred. The most important temple is that of the first Tirthankara. The earliest temple was built by Kuwarpal Solanki, a great Jain patron. It has a fabulous collection of jewels, which can be seen with special permission. Pilgrims and even priests are not allowed to stay overnight because the temple city has been built as an abode for the Gods. Tourists cannot carry any leather item.


An ancient fortified city rich in myth and legend, Junagadh lies at the foot of Girnar Hill and takes its name from the 'Old Fort' which encircles the medieval town. Founded in 1540, it was the capital of Jamthe Jadeja, the Rajput ruler of Nawanagar. It was built around Rammol Lake. At the centre of the lake is a small palace reached by a causeway. It is famous for pearl fisheries, tie & dye fabrics and bandhini work. Places of interest are Lakhota Fort which is a museum with collections of sculptures from 9th to 18th century; an old well in Kotha Bastion where the water can be drawn by blowing into a small hole in the floor; Solarium, Jansahed's Palace and Rozi and Bedi Ports. Jamnagar is 310 kms from Ahmedabad via Rajkot.

Chorwad Beach

Chorwad is a delightful resort on the sunny coast of Gujarat. The only beach in India where you can live in the timeless splendour of a palace built amidst soft golden sand facing the beach. It was built by the former Nawabs of Junagadh. It is 400 kms south west of Ahmedabad and 66 kms from Junagadh. The nearest Airport is Keshod.


Kandla is a major sea port 380 kms from Ahmedabad. It has single point mooring facilities with a free trade zone. The places of interest are a monument of Mahatma Gandhi and Nirva Siteshwar Mahadev Temple.

Gujarat's picturesque hill station is perched on a plateau in the Dang forest area of the Sahyadri Range. It has a cool bracing climate, the highest temperature even in the summer months not exceeding 28 Degree celcius. The abode of serpents, at a height of 1000 metres, Saputara is a cool, pleasant hill resort. Saputara is in south eastern part of the state, and is surrounded by the Adivasi villages. People visiting Saputara can enjoy the local adivasi folk music and dance. An artificial lake and shady walks make Saputara an ideal get-away. At the distance of 60 Kms is the Bardipara Wildlife Sanctuary which is worth a visit. Gira waterfalls are at distance of 52 kms.


The second largest district in India and sparsely populated, Kachchh is a dry belt with Great Rann to the north and Little Rann to the east. Kachchh produces exquisite handicrafts like embroidery, tie-dye fabrics, enameled silverware and other handicrafts. Kachchh is well known for its wild ass sanctuary. The great Rann of Kachchh is also a breeding ground for the flamingo, pelican and avocet species of birds.

Gir Forest & Sanctuary

380 kms south-west of Ahmedabad and 50 kms from Junagadh is the Gir Forest, sprawling on 1412 sq kms. It has dry deciduous forest and a luxuriantly rich eco system endowed with fauna aplenty. Gir is the last home of the Asiatic lion. In this sanctuary one can see lions roaming freely. This rare sight can be enjoyed on a guided jeep tour. While driving one can see animals like chital, nilgai, sambar, black buck, chinkara, wild pig, jackal etc. Guides and vehicles are available for hire. Tulsishyam, a temple dedicated to Bhim and his mother Kunti is located in the heart of Gir, which is a scenic spot because of its hot water springs.


The temple of Somnath is one of the twelve sacred Shiva shrines in India. According to legend, Somnath was built by Some, the moon God. Constantly washed by the Arabian sea, the temples of Somnath were destroyed seven times but were rebuilt each time. The majestic monument as it stands today is a replica of the earlier construction. The present temple Maha Meru Prasad was recently rebuilt on the exact location of the original shrine in accordance with the ancient plants. Somnath is 5 kms from Veraval.


The Sun Temple of Modhera is one of the finest examples of Indian temple architecture of its period. Built in 1026 A.D the temple is dedicated to the Sun God, Surya and stands high on a plinth overlooking a deep stone-steeped tank. Every inch of the edifice, both inside and outside is magnificently carved with Gods and Goddesses, birds, beasts and flowers.

How to get there

Air - Nearest airport is Ahmedabad.
Rail - Nearest railway station is Mehsana.
Road - State transport buses and private luxury coaches connects various centres of Gujarat. It is situated 119 Kms. from Ahmedabad via Mehsana.


This small village near Kalol 78 kms from Ahmedabad is famous for Jinalaya of Ghantakarna Mahavir and Kotyark temple. Besides Jains devotees, there are thousands of people from different religions offering prayers. The shrine is unique in that the temple's prasad-Sukhadi is not allowed to be taken outside the temple.


Dakor is a temple town dedicated to Lord Krishna. The famous temple with a striking image of Lord Krishna is the temple of Ranchodare, and belongs to the golden period of Dwarks. On Sharad Purnima night every year a fair is held in the temple compound which attracts thousands of people.


The temple of Lord Krishna Dwarkadesh dates back 2500 years. The present day Dwarka is the 6th city on the same site. According to archaeological findings, the earlier five have been submerged in the sea.


198 km. from Ahmedabad on Arasur mountain is the famous temple of goddess Ambaji. Folk artists, farmers and the rural tribes have immense faith in Ambaji.


It is about 190 kms from Ahmedabad. It is situated in the Halol on Panchmahal district, historically linked with the Chavda and Chauhan King's era. The hills of Pavagadh rise in three stages from Champaner. The plateau at an altitude of 1471 ft is known as machi Haveli. The two points on the hill are named after goddess Bhadrakali and Mahakali. Considering the natural beauty and fresh atmosphere. the Gujarat government has developed Pavagadh as a hill resort. It is also the birthplace of a famous musician Baiju.

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