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As Marilyn Monroe rightly said, “Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world”. Shoes have become a vital part of outfits across the world – if you don’t wear the right shoes, your ensemble can look completely out of place. And when it comes to shoes, India has a long and interesting heritage, with footwear being mentioned in numerous Jain, Buddhist and Hindu scriptures, including the Ramayana and Mahabharata.

In ancient times, footwear was a necessity but it was also considered to be a luxury.

In ancient times, having footwear was considered a luxury more than a need.

Since India is such a diverse nation, the types of traditional footwear found all over the country are diverse too. Love shoes? Take a look at the history of footwear in India that reflects the country’s cultural and regional diversity.

#1. Paduka

Paduka were the footwear of choice of ascetics in ancient India

The wooden Paduka was the footwear of choice for ascetics in ancient India

Origin – Ancient India

When translated into English, Paduka literally means ‘Footprints of the Gods’. These are the oldest Indian sandals and were traditionally made of wood, with a grip being provided by the stub between the big toe and the other toes. The more elaborate the padukas, the higher the wearer’s status, which is why some were also made of silver and ivory, with intricate decorations. Today, this type of footwear is generally worn by Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain saints.

#2. Punjabi Jutti

The history of Punjabi juttis can be traced back 400 years ago – they were a favourite of the Indian royalty.

Popular with Indian royalty, the history of Punjabi juttis can be traced to 400 years ago

Origin – Punjab

Commonly worn in North India, the jutti originated in Punjab. Made from leather, these elaborately embroidered juttis were initially decorated in actual silver and gold thread, and come in a variety of colours today. Typically, the Punjabi juttis don’t have a right and left foot, because it takes the shape of your foot when you wear it. Designed with a flat sole, juttis can be worn by both women and men (the only difference being the extended tip in men’s juttis). In fact, the popular Punjabi juttis have inspired several other types of footwear, including the Khussa and Mojaris that are sold in other parts of North India.

#3. Santiniketan Footwear

These open sandals are made out of sheepskin and goatskin

These open sandals are made out of sheepskin and goatskin

Origin – Santiniketan, West Bengal

Santiniketan is a small town in West Bengal that is renowned for its leather products, especially footwear. Mainly made of E.I. Leather (East India Leather that comes from goatskin and sheepskin), the products from the famous Santiniketan Leather Goods are sold with the Geographical Indications tag. The most popular kind of the footwear here are the open sandals, available in a wide range of colours, with the typical embroideries and the embossed batik pattern on them.

#4. Kolhapuri Chappal

When in Kolhapur, invest in a few beautiful pairs of Kolhapuri chappals

When in Kolhapur, invest in a beautiful pair of Kolhapuri chappals

Origin – Kolhapur, Maharashtra

Previously called the Kapashi and Bakkalnahi, Kolhapuri chappals were first launched in the 13th century. Generally made of leather, these chappals are designed as open-toed sandals with a T-strap, and are tanned locally by using vegetable dyes. If records are to be believed, it takes up to 6 weeks to handcraft these Kolhapuri chappals. With trimmings like braided straps, gold cord, embroidery, and even pom-poms, this versatile footwear go well with both Indian and western outfits. However, the process of making these chappals is a dying art form, with a fall in the number of artisans who still make Kolhapuris. So when in this quaint city, visit a small workshop to learn more about the process of crafting these chappals and pick up one or more of these beauties.

#5. Pula Chappal

These are colourfully embroidered Pula footwear worn by the locals of Himachal

The colourfully embroidered Pula chappals are worn mostly by the locals of Himachal Pradesh

Origin – Himachal Pradesh

Made from the grass of shale (bhang), Pula chappal is the traditional footwear of the local Pahari people in Himachal Pradesh. The mountain folk came up with this as an innovative alternative to the more traditional leather shoes, which are usually made of cow-hide. These vibrant light-weight chappals are especially used during religious ceremonies. With the sole made up of braided shale stitched together with a cloth-lining, and colourful needlework on the top, the Pula chappals are very popular in states like Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh today.

#6. Osho Chappals

All you need to make these type of footwear is bamboo, natural grass, or jute straw.

All you need to make these comfortable Osho chappals is bamboo, natural grass, or jute straw.

Origin – Pune, Maharashtra

If you think eco-friendly fashion accessories are always expensive, think again. Pune gets the credit for creating eco-friendly Osho chappals, named after the spiritual guru, Osho Rajneesh. Both affordable and a style statement, this extremely comfortable footwear works well with western attires and Indian dresses. Made of bamboo, jute straw and natural grass, these chappals are also known as Chattai chappals.

So, now that you know about the history of footwear in India, tell us in the comments below, which one makes you want to travel to its origin city?

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The upcoming 10th edition of India Art Fair is scheduled to take place from February 9-12, 2018, at the NSIC Exhibition Grounds in New Delhi. Initiated in 2008, this annual modern and contemporary art fair continues to be the leading platform for South Asian Art, establishing its position as a portal into the region’s cultural landscape.

India Art Dair, New Delhi, India!

An intricate piece of art at the famous India Art Fair in New Delhi, India

Presenting a curatorial approach to its programme, the fabulous art fair offers visitors an opportunity to discover the best galleries in the region and beyond. Apart from hosting interesting lectures, projects, and curated events across Delhi, the fair also collaborates with leading private museums, art foundations and patrons across the country to highlight the best of Indian art.

Interested in the India Art Fair?

Write To Us: nissitoursindia@gmail.com

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Uzbekistan’s capital city is a treasure trove for travellers who love to explore unique cultures. Abounding in historic tales and contemporary infrastructure and attractions, Tashkent has much more than you would guess at first glance.

Tashkent’s historic structure includes mosques like this one

Tashkent’s historic structure includes museum like this one

Tashkent is not just for history and culture lovers. This Central Asian city has plenty for avid shoppers as well as foodies. Here’s a look at the what and where of Tashkent’s shopping and cuisine:

To truly explore and learn about the culture of any new land, trying the local food is essential. So while in Tashkent, take some time out to sample traditional Uzbek delights. This cuisine has influences of different cultures and is an important cuisine among Central Asian countries.

6 Dishes To Try In Tashkent

While there are plenty of savoury dishes, pastry and sour milk-based preparations are also common. Meat rules supreme in this cuisine, but delicious vegetarian fare is available too. Listed below are a few must-try dishes during a visit to Tashkent:

#1 Wedding Pilaf (Plov/Palov)

The most important dish, Plov is rice-based and is often the main item in weddings and parties. Prepared with carrots, onions, meat, raisins, and spices, traditionally over an open fire, Plov is found in several varieties. Tuy Palov is the one to try in Tashkent since it is unique to the city.

 The Plov (similar to Pulao) is Tashkent’s signature dish

The Plov (similar to Pulao) is Tashkent’s signature dish

#2 Samsa

Samsa is a mixture of meat, vegetables, cheese, cabbage, chicken and sometimes even pumpkin

Samsa is a mixture of meat, vegetables, cheese, cabbage, chicken and sometimes even pumpkin

What is popular in India as Samosa is called Samsa in Uzbekistan, and is a popular savoury snack preparation. A triangular-shaped pastry prepared from dough, it is filled with a variety of stuffing including pumpkin, lamb, and herbs. It is then baked in a tandoor for a soft yet crunchy exterior.

#3 Manti

The Uzbek Manti is a must-try if you love dumplings

The Uzbek manti is a must-try if you love dumplings

At first look, Manti is very similar to dumplings and momos. The Uzbek version usually has fillings of beef, lamb, pumpkin, potato or a combination of these ingredients. Topped with a dollop of butter and served with a sauce, sour cream, or onion rings, mantis are available steamed, boiled, or fried.

#4 Shurpa

Shurpa is the most common and widely prepared soup or stew made of lamb meat and vegetables!

Shurpa is the most common and widely prepared soup or stew made of lamb meat and vegetables!

Shurpa is a hearty soup, similar to stew. It is usually available in two variants–Kovurma (cooked with fried meat) and Kaytnama (made with fresh meat). The other ingredients include fresh vegetables such as carrots, onions, and tomato while the base is a fatty meat like mutton.

#5 Chak-chak

Chak-chak is a sweet dish in Tashkent that can be prepared in many ways!

Chak-chak is a popular sweet dish prepared in various ways, depending on the where you are being served

This is almost the national dessert. A soft dough-based crispy sweet preparation, chak-chaks are fried in different shapes and then doused in honey. It is a popular tea time snack, and you are likely to be served this dessert if you happen to visit locals in Tashkent.

#6 Sumalak

You are likely to taste this dessert if you visit Tashkent during Navruz, the spring festival. This pudding is made from sprouting wheat grains and is a holiday food shared with friends, neighbours, and family.

Shopping In Tashkent

If you’re among those travellers who believe in shopping local, you are in luck here. Tashkent is home to traditional markets that are full of colour and flavour.

6 Places To Shop At In Tashkent

When in Tashkent, buy handmade ceramic figurine on wooden table

When in Tashkent, buy handmade ceramic figurines like these

When in Tashkent, shop for local produce, arts and crafts, and do check out the shopping malls and luxury boutiques as well. Here’s what to buy and where to go when you want to shop in Tashkent:

#1 Chorsu Bazaar
What To buy: Fresh Produce & Edibles

 The bustling Chorsu Bazaar is where you can get a truly local vibe

Chorsu meaning ‘crossroads’ or ‘four streams’ is a centrally located bazaar for all your daily necessaties

A vibrant farmers’ market in the Old Town area, Chorsu, is centrally located and derives it name from ‘crossroads’ or ‘four streams’. Featuring both an indoor section and open-air areas, this place offers the authentic Taskhkent shopping experience. Walk through the market to buy dry fruits, spices, as well as carpets and other local souvenirs. Locals come here for all their daily necessities.

#2 Human Wear Gallery
What To Buy: Textiles, Clothes, Accessories

Whether you are looking for exclusive clothes collections, hand-made products, or traditional Uzbek skull caps and carpets, this unique place has it all. Indulge in silk clothes made by leading designers of the region.

#3 Chilanzar Clothes Market (Hippodrome)
What To Buy: Clothing, Household Goods

The Chilanzar Clothes Market sells fashion wear at reasonable rates, footwear, household items, carpets, and even childrens toys. The bazaar is divided into three zones to make shopping easier, and is popular for its prices. If fashion wear is what you are interested in, visit both the Korean and Uzbek markets at Chilanzar.

#4 Tashkent Shopping Centre
What To Buy: Clothing For All, Furniture, Footwear, Textiles

For travellers who love the mall experience while shopping, Tashkent Shopping Centre offers just that. A major shopping centre in the city, it is brimming with a variety of stores as well as entertainment options–a good choice for shopping when you are travelling with children.

#5 Abulkasim Madrasah
What To Buy: Ceramics, Lacquer Work, Paintings

Housed in a stunning Renaissance East style building, this former madrassa (school) has been converted into something of an artisans’ workshop. Visit artists and craftsmen in their workshops for some of the best souvenirs for tourists

If you wish to pick up locally-made souvenirs in Tashkent, this is the place to be

Pick up some of the best locally-made souvenirs in Tashkent, this is the place to be

#6 Saligokh Street (Broadway)
What To Buy: Paintings, Clothes, Jewellery, Crafts

Saligokh Street is a typical shopping area with everything from street artists selling their paintings to upscale boutiques, restaurants, and shopping centres. Take a stroll through the place, popularly known as Broadway and pick up souvenirs and local handicrafts.

Tashkent Fact File

Location: In Uzbekistan, Central Asia; on the plains west of Altai Mountains near the Chirchik River, and on the road between Shymkent and Samarkand.
Connectivity: Tashkent International Airport is the main airport in Uzbekistan, with flights to Asia, Europe and North America; Tashkent-Samarkand High Speed Rail connects the two main Uzbek cities. The country also has a well-developed regular rail system, with domestic lines as well as connections to Central Asian nations as well as Russia; local transport is affordable with metro, buses and taxis available.
Climate: Continental Mediterranean
Languages: Uzbek and Russian are the official languages. English is not spoken widely.
Time Zone: UZT – Uzbekistan Time (UTC +5:00)

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Everyone wants to come back from a vacation with incredible photographs; images that showcase the feelings, smells, tastes and everything nice about the places we visit. However, more often than not we end up with our cameras and phones filled with half-okay photographs that don’t do justice to the entire experience. So we’re here to tell you how you can up your game and capture some frame-worthy photographs while on holiday.

Hone your travel photography skills with our helpful video, filled with excellent tips on how to click the perfect shots. We’re sure this will reduce the number of unseen travel pics in your hard drive and increase your popularity as a fabulous photographer on social media. So take a look at these handy tips before you set out to explore a new place with us!

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Malvani cuisine is the local fare available across the Konkan region of Maharashtra and Goa. Although dominated by mouth-watering non-vegetarian dishes, especially seafood, the vegetarian food that you find here is no less delectable!

With the liberal use of coconut, loads of spices, and a dash of kokum, this rich and flavourful cuisine has a huge fan following. Some of the most popular dishes in the Malvani cuisine include kombdi vade, mori masala, bombil fry, mutton curry, malvani malpua, and the sol kadi drink.

Have we got you drooling? Watch this video for a sneak peek into everything that goes into making the authentic Malvani meal.

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It’s our 260th birthday next year and we can’t stop celebrating! And to get you in party mode, we are stringing together some fabulous deals on Europe 2018 packages, just for you.

Book a fabulous Europe holiday in our 260 Years SALEbration and we’ll cover your 5% GST, with up to Rs 10,000* discount on March departures. And that’s not all! These tours come with zero cancellation charges, fixed exchange rates, easy EMI options, a chance to win FREE domestic holidays and a whole lot more.

With so much on offer, your dream Europe holiday seems more achievable. Still worried about planning your finances? Check out these exciting Europe packages, curated to suit your budget and style!

Europe Under Rs 1,00,000* Per Person

What better place to bring in 2018, other than the beautiful France & Switzerland?

What better place to bring in 2018, other than the beautiful France & Switzerland?

When you think of Europe, you’ll probably have France, Switzerland and Austria on your must-visit list. With our tours, you can ski down sparkling Alpine snow-slopes, shop at Paris’ high fashion boutiques, and explore the natural wonders of Austria. You’ll also get to savour delicious cuisines, visit the iconic sites, explore the unique art & architectural legacy and enjoy a charming blend of landscapes and styles in this value-for-money tour.

Interested? Book This Package Here
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Europe Under Rs 1,50,000* Per Person

Unearth the secret gems of the Balkans!

Unearth the secret gems of the Balkans!

Adventure junkies, take note; there are still quite a few places to conquer in Europe. Journey to the Balkans on the ‘other side’ of the continent for stunning landscapes, exotic cultures and countless adventure activities. Unveil the natural beauty of Croatia with a visit to Plitvice Lakes National Park, walk along the Adriatic coast in Montenegro, explore ancient mosques and cultural heritage in Sarajevo. Come, discover a new side of Europe on this affordable holiday.

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Want more to explore? See all our Europe tours under Rs 1,50,000*
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Europe Under Rs 2,00,000* Per Person

Enrich your mind-body-soul with the fascinating and cultural extravaganza of Spain & Portugal

Enrich your mind-body-soul with the fascinating and cultural extravaganza of Spain & Portugal

More of a culture person? This Europe tour will introduce you to the contrasting cultural traditions of Spain and Portugal and have you coming back for more! Soak in a colourful pageantry of art, history and culture, topped off with some fabulous food and warm locals in these two destinations. Come, explore the Mediterranean shores, mighty mountains and exotic Moorish architecture in Spain and witness Portugal’s stunning avenues, ancient states and scenic wonders on this spectacular tour!

Interested? Book This Package Here
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Try something new. View other Europe tours under Rs 2,00,000*
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Europe Under Rs. 3,00,000* Per Person

Live your fairytale dreams as you go on this delightful tour

Live your fairytale dreams as you go on this delightful tour

Scandinavia, the word itself conjures up pictures of majestic mountains, magnificent waterfalls, and scenic fjords. Here, old-fashioned charm and natural beauty blend with the cosmopolitan cities and fast-paced modern life to create an unforgettable experience. Add to this Russia’s celebrated art and cultural legacy and you’re in for an absolute treat. See fairytales come alive in this picture-perfect destination that will take your breath away!

Interested? Book This Package Here
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Want to go all out? Browse through our Europe tours under Rs 3,00,000*
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Explore The World With Our Winter Holidays

Can’t wait till 2018 to travel? Take a look at our exclusive winter holidays to the world’s best destinations, specially curated for you. Choose from Bali, Singapore, Malaysia, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and more and get ready for some holiday fun.

Take A Look At Our Exclusive Winter Holidays
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Are you tired of the mundane and boring lifestyle you’re living? Looking for a vacation, that refreshes your mind, body & soul? Read on to know where you can head to on your next vacation!

#1. Australia & New Zealand
Lakes & Glaciers

Tourists indulging in activities in New Zealand

Tourists indulging in activities in New Zealand

Outlandish scenery, fascinating festivals, mouthwatering food and crystal clear wine that you just cannot get enough of; New Zealand & Australia are that duo that spell exotic and off-beat through and through. If you are looking to break free from the mundane this holiday season, this tops the list!

Want to holiday in Australia-New Zealand?

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#2. South Africa
Mountains, Wildlife & Forests

When in South Africa, go on a safari and spot the untamed!

When in South Africa, go on a safari and spot the untamed!

We all know South Africa’s scenic wonders are legendary. From Table Mountain to God’s Window, the mountains, forests, wildlife, coasts and deserts are stunning to say the least. For a thrilling experience, pick South Africa as your destination to getaway from the regular, monotonous daily life!

Take off on an exotic holiday to South Africa!

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#3. Spain
Beaches, Churches & Heritage

Explore the clear beaches and islands, when in Spain

Explore the clear beaches and islands, when in Spain

Experience the diverse cultural heritage of Spain, as you walk through the scenic architecture of this country. Explore the castles, beaches, and palaces when you are here and experience a holiday worth remembering for years to come. We are sure, this exotic destination will ease all your worries!

Have an off-beat holiday in Spain!

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#4. United States Of America
Cityscapes, Nature & Adventure

Live the fast paced city life of New York and experience magic!

Live the fast paced city life of New York and experience magic!

Make your luxury, off-beat holiday this season worth every penny. Want to spend a memorable holiday in the West? There’s no better pick than the might United States Of America! From New York, Washington, Las Vegas, to Los Angeles & San Francisco, this country suits every kind of traveller. Party freak, nature lover or adventure junkie, the States has it all covered!

Enjoy an exotic holiday in the USA

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#5. Croatia
Islands & Alps

What's better than the beaches in Croatia? The stunning architecture!

What’s better than the beaches in Croatia? The stunning architecture!

Feed your mediterranean fantasies with the shimmering waters of Croatia. Find your perfect beach and laze around with a pair of sunglasses and a book. What’s better than day long beaching around and sipping on some yummy martini? That’s right, some more beach hopping!

Take off on a holiday to Croatia

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#6. Australia
Rain-forests & Tropical Reefs

Think Australia, think Sydney Opera House!

Think Australia, think Sydney Opera House!

The wild lands are calling and you must go! Australia is the perfect destination to choose if you are in need of some rejuvenation and time off your daily humdrum. With an extensive marine life to boast of, and iconic cityscapes to marvel at; this continent has a lot to offer a nomadic soul!

Have a blast on a holiday in Australia!

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#7. Bali
Beaches & Nightlife!

Go temple-hopping when in bali to ignite your spirituality!

Go temple-hopping when in bali to ignite your spirituality!

Active volcanoes, dense jungles, stunning beaches and ancient culture; Bali lures travellers and tourists alike! Escape to this wondrous island nation and ignite your inner spirituality. Choose to go for a refreshing spa, or wake up with the sun as you salute the sun with a yoga retreat in the rain forests!

Explore the exotic destination of Bali on a holiday!

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#8. Vietnam
Culture, Food & Thrills

The most popular tourist destination in Vietnam, Halong Bay is a must visit

The most popular tourist destination in Vietnam, Halong Bay is a must visit

Escape to the country, where colours are more vivid, landscapes bolder, coastlines dramatic and history more compelling! Vietnam, is an underrated destination that not everyone knows about. So if you are looking to seek some well deserved peace and refreshing moment with friends and family, this is the place to be!

Take in the food and culture on a Vietnam holiday

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#9. Thailand
Islands, Beaches & Adventure!

With a scenery like that, it's no wonder why Thailand is on this list

With a scenery like that, it’s no wonder why Thailand is on this list

Spectacular scenery, stunning tropical sunsets and warm blue sea; Thailand is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Asia and rightly so. If you are an adventure junkie, there is no better place than Thailand! Enjoy an unbeatable combination of perfect silky soft white palm-lined beaches, mouth-watering food and forests to explore!

Have an adventurous holiday in Thailand

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#10. Greece
Mountains & Stunning Scenery

The white and blue landscape in Greece, is truly breathtaking!

The white and blue landscape in Greece, is truly breathtaking!

Greece, one of the most exotic countries, offers a myriad of experiences, landscapes and activities. A country with beautiful contradictions, exploring Greece is a timeless journey in time from the present to the past and back again. Soak in the ancient history, walk through the places that was once walked at by philosophers and gods. Revel in the magic that Greece really is!

Holiday on the islands of Greece

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We’ve all heard the saying, “Getting there is half the fun”. But where exactly is “there”? Our Explore series tells you where to go, how to get there, and what to do when you arrive. Happy travelling!

 

Explore The Alhambra, Spain 

 

The Alhambra looks something straight out of a Disney movie

The Alhambra looks something straight out of a Disney movie

Ramparts of red stone guarding the quaint Moorish beauty define the grand Alhambra in Granada, Spain. Earlier known as Calat Alhamra, which means Red Castle, it was a mere fortress first erected in 889. It served military purposes, as it offered a complete view of the city. However, the Alhambra rose to fame in the 13th century, when it was adopted by the Emirs of Nasrid Dynasty, and transformed into a magnificent palace complex. After the decline of Nasrid Empire, the Alhambra was in the hands of the Catholic Monarchs. They made modifications and alterations to this entire property, and used it as their home. It was abandoned by them in 18th century, but in the 19th century, it was rediscovered and restored. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the finest specimens of Islamic art.

The Alhambra has been an inspiration to many celebrated poets and musicians. Its architecture and fine detailing are admirable and thought-provoking. Also, the use of mathematics while designing the interiors depicts the knowledge that Moors had about symmetry.

 

What To See

The Alcazaba: This citadel is the most ancient structure here, and offers spectacular views of the city. It used to be the residence of the royal guards, and represents the typical military district with barracks, homes and public facilities, including steam baths, common kitchens and cisterns.

 

The ruins of Alcazaba offer some amazing views

The ruins of Alcazaba offers some amazing views

Generalife: One of the highlights of the Alhambra, Generalife was the spring palace of the Nasrid Kings. Built in 14thcentury, it continues to preserve the splendour of Moorish designs. This estate also consists of gorgeous gardens and water features of the olden era.

 

We surely wouldn't mind staying here

We surely wouldn’t mind staying in this Moorish masterpiece

Court Of Myrtles: Originally known as Patio de los Arrayanes, it consists of many myrtle bushes, marvelous chambers, porticos, and a large central pond.  The birka (or the pool) was considered as the symbol of power.

 

The central pond

This central pond was once considered a symbol of power

Royal Complex: Featuring three major parts, Mexuar, Serallo and the Harem, the Royal Complex is a cluster of palaces. Mexuar has less elaborate interiors, and was used for business and administration. Serallo on the other hand, flaunts vibrant colours and ornamental architecture. And Harem, too, features baroque designs; it was occupied by the wives and mistresses of the monarchs.

 

Looks familiar? That's Game of Thrones was shot here

Looks familiar? That’s because Game of Thrones Season 5 was shot here

Though these are most popular structures of the Alhambra, there is a lot more to learn and explore. The whole complex is a mystical land of the bygone era, the beauty of which remains immortal.

 

How To Get There

A flight can land you in Granada, which is located in Andalusia, the largest province of southern Spain. When in Granada, you can walk up to Alhambra; it’s a beautiful place to take a stroll. You also have the option to choose a minibus called Alhambra Bus C3, which carries tourists from Plaza Nueva to the Alhambra. It has a frequency of 10 minutes.

 

Best Time To Visit

Granada has a pleasant climate, and can be visited at any time of the year. Therefore, it invariably faces a lot of tourist activity. Between July and August (summer time), the temperature can rise up to 40C in the day, but it’s cooler by the night. The winter months are chilly but pleasant. The cold is enjoyable when the snow beautifully settles on the Sierra Nevada range. There are relatively lesser tourists during the months of September and November and the climate is favourable as well.

Visiting Hours For The Alhambra:

15th March to 14th October
Daytime: 8:30am – 8pm
Night visit: 10pm – 11:30pm (Tuesday to Saturday)

15th October to 14th March
Daytime: 8:30am – 6pm
Night visit: 8pm – 9:30pm (Friday & Saturday)

 

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Still not convinced about visiting Spain? Read how The Alhambra provided a backdrop for the Kingdom of Drone in HBO’s hit series – Game Of Thrones…

 

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Wondering where to head to this season for a vacation that won’t burn a hole in your pocket? Cox & Kings brings you the biggest holiday sale this year: The Dubai Carnival!

Don't Miss Dubai's Biggest Holiday Event On August 12th!

Don’t Miss Dubai’s Biggest Holiday Event On August 12th!

Make the most of this holiday sale as you venture into the dreamy paradise of Europe, experience the vast wilderness that Kenya has to offer, and uncover the mysteries behind Georgia’s impeccable beauty!

Discover The Magic Of Europe With Austria, Italy & More

Soak in the mesmerising views of the European cities, France & Switzerland!

Soak in the mesmerising views of the European cities, France & Switzerland!

Known for the world’s greatest art work, architecture, and food, Italy knows all the right ways to charm you. Choose to revel in its beauty where at every nook and corner, you’ll find spectacular vistas, endless feasts, and cultural riches. Set off to Austria, a country that is so effortless when it comes to blending modernity and history. Enchanting castles, charming cities, mesmerising landscapes and delectable cuisine, you’ll find it all in the idyllic countries of France and Switzerland! Explore the city of Lucerne, situated against the stunning backdrop of the Swiss Alps, and fall in love with romantic Paris, a city that could put all classic love stories to shame. Soak in the beauty of the architectural brilliance here, which is in itself a work of art. Indulge in the lip-smacking cuisines of France and Switzerland as you choose to take a thrilling gastronomical ride!

Get captivated by the land of art, beauty and architecture:

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Indulge In A Love Affair With Kenya

One of the most common sights in Kenya are the adorable elephants in the wild!

One of the most common sights in Kenya are the adorable elephants in the wild!

Stunning landscapes, warm locals, and an abundance of super-sized wildlife, that’s Kenya for you. Always considered a tropical country, not many know that this wild paradise also boasts of Mount Kenya, a stunning snow-capped mountain on the equator. From the Big Five, the giraffes, to black rhinos and elephants, this country better not be missed if you are a nature lover! The lush coastline of Indian Ocean, harsh deserts, and splendid valleys like The Great Rift make Kenya the wonderful country that it is!

Holiday in the country of epic landforms:
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Unlock The Mysteries Of Georgia

Unlock the mysteries of this exotic and off-beat destinations

Unlock the mysteries of this exotic and off-beat destinations

Set off on a colourful adventure to Georgia, where valleys are lush green, churches are pristine white, mountains spew magic and the landscape paints a beautiful canvas for adventure lovers and leisure travellers alike. Known as the birthplace of wine, travellers who come here are treated as blessings. Unlock the mysteries of the historical marvels in Tblisi, the capital, and soak in the impressive heritage of art and architecture that is a mix of ancient and modern equally.

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Want to do the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra? From the religious significance of Mount Kailash to the best route to Kailash Mansarovar, Sarah Merchant tells you all you need to know about this tour.

When in Mt. Kailash, don't miss visiting the Buddhistic stupas (chorten)

When in Mt. Kailash, don’t miss visiting the Buddhistic stupas (chorten)

The highest point in the Trans-Himalayan region in Tibet, Mount Kailash is not just a mountain, it’s a legend. Clouded with numerous myths, this magnificent peak is believed to be the centre of the universe. Embarking on a voyage here is like taking a journey within yourself. This is where numerous trekkers and devotees have claimed to have felt at home. So come join us for a pilgrimage to this timeless, breathtaking and fascinating abode of Lord Shiva.

Why Mount Kailash?

Mount Kailash is not just a mountain, it's a legend

Mount Kailash is not just a mountain, it’s a legend

Not just Hindus, but even Buddhists, Jains and Bons consider Mount Kailash sacred. For Hindus, this majestic peak is where Lord Shiva, along with his wife Parvati, resides. According to Jains, the first Jain Tirthankara attained Nirvana here. In Buddhism, the belief goes that Kailash Parvat is the abode of Buddha. The Bons (a religion which predates Buddhism in Tibet) believe that their saint Shenrad descended on this very peak.

The Kailash Mansarovar Yatra

It is believe that anyone who completes the Yatra attains salvation and is relieved of all their sins

It is believe that anyone who completes the Yatra attains salvation and is relieved of all their sins

Due to the high altitude and remote location in western Tibet, only a few thousand pilgrims are able to do the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra in a year. You can either trek to Mount Kailash or fly there (check Fact File). The Yatra mainly comprises of two elements; performing the revered Kailash Parikrama and taking a dip in the holy Mansarovar Lake.

1)The Parikrama

The most important part of the yatra, the parikrama requires devotees to trek to Mount Kailash and then circumambulate the mountain peak. However, the trek to the mountain can get strenuous. Cox & Kings’ Kailash Mansarovar package includes a helicopter ride to Hilsa from where you can drive to Purang and directly perform the Parikrama. The Parikrama involves walking around the peak in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction. It usually takes around 3 days and can be either done on foot or on a yak/pony.

2) Lake Mansarovar

Soak in the mesmerising view of LakeMansarovar early in the morning

Soak in the mesmerising view of LakeMansarovar early in the morning

Located at the foot of the sacred Mount Kailash, Lake Mansarovar is the highest freshwater lake in the world (4,500 metres). Your yatra is incomplete without taking a dip in this holy lake. Legend has it that this lake was created by Lord Brahma himself for meditation. Another legend states that Queen Maya was given a bath in the lake by the Gods before Siddhartha (Gautam Buddha) came into the world!

A travel tip for your Kailash tour: After completing the yatra, we suggest visiting this lake again at night. It looks absolutely stunning in the moonlight. The lake is also believed to change colours; it is clear blue near the shores and emerald green towards the centre.

Fact File:

Weather:
Summer: 15 to 30 C
Winter: -5 to 24 C

Best Season:
May – Oct

Who Can Undertake The Yatra?
Anyone between 18-70 years of age, who is physically fit

Getting to Kailash Mansarovar
Air:
The nearest airport is Lucknow. Lucknow airport is well connected with other airports in North India. From here, one has to travel to Nepalgunj (about 75 km) and trek to reach Mansarovar. The popular trek route is Nepalgunj – Semikot – Tuling – Kermi – Yangar – Torea – Sipsip – Nara La Pass – Hilsa – Taklakot – Kailash Mansarovar.

You can also board a flight from Nepalgunj to Simikot and then charter a helicopter to Hilsa. From there drive to Purang and Kailash Mansarovar.

Rail:
The nearest railway station is in Lucknow. Lucknow is well connected with regular passenger and express train services with all major cities in India.

Road:
The nearest place to Kailash Mansarovar where state owned bus services are available is Nepalgunj which is about 75 km from Lucknow.

Interested in booking a Kailash Mansarovar Yatra?

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