If you have been to the Vaishno Devi shrine or Patnitop in Jammu and thought there was nothing else to see or do, think again. That because you could be missing the scenic delights of Sanasar aka mini Gulmarg of Jammu. This place is defined by its cup-shaped meadow, enclosed by gigantic conifers.
Worried buyer trying to buy online!
Most people don’t get too excited when they answer a random phone call telling them about a free trip they won, especially if they haven’t signed up for anything to have the possibility of winning. While this may be an easy way to identify a travel scam, it’s not always as straight forward as a sketchy phone call.
In Larriesha Davis’ case, she connected with a travel agent through Facebook on what seemed to be a legitimate business page. Unfortunately, it took her until after she already sent her payment in before realizing she had been scammed.
Other times, people come across amazing travel promotions online that have an urgent deadline to book and get caught up in the too good to be true deals before checking the source to make sure it’s a real company. Unreal deals, price less than usual and last minute deadlines are few signs to take caution of before handing over your credit card.
With vacation scams on the rise, it’s important to take the necessary steps in avoiding a travel scam happening to you and identifying fake travel agencies if you come across them. The safest way to book a vacation is through a trusted travel agency.
National and state level tourism boards provide list of registered travel agent. If not convince ask for their national level or state level registration, such as MSME certificate, Company Bank Account branch, and local registration, company constitution certificate and company profile.
Before contacting your travel agency of choice, consider checking out the reviews. Most agencies will have a website, Facebook page or some sort of online platform with reviews available to read through. If you can’t seem to find much online presence, it may not be the right one to work with.
Another way to know you’re working with a trusted travel agency is by using a referral. If you have friends or family members who travel often, ask them where they are booking their vacations through. They will be more than happy to pass along their travel agent contact.
Even if you aren’t familiar, there are probably a handful of local travel agencies in your area. Consider shopping local for your next vacation. Whether it’s a storefront agency or a home-based agent, there are most likely a few reputable agencies available to meet with in person nearby. Online booking is unarguably very convenient booking system, but travel agent personal touch is always more reliable.
We at ExplorationZeal perfectly amalgamate online as well as personal experience of booking, after all we value your travel and exploration quest. We are ourself explorer, so we know how one feel when cheated during travel. It’s very annoying.
Overall, trust your instincts—if you don’t feel comfortable booking through the online website you’re on or if you’re receiving vague information from the current travel agent you’re working with, it may not be the best place for you to book your vacation.
Keep these things in mind when you’re ready to plan your next trip so you can enjoy a safe, scam-free vacation booking experience.
Poverty liberating village, exclusively in India – Mana Village, Badrinath
Mana is a small pilgrim village that is located in the state of Uttarakhand. The village is present near the religious site of Badrinath. The village has the distinction of being the last settlement on the road to the country of Tibet. It is situated at a height of around 3219 meters. The village is on the banks of the River Saraswati. The entire region is surrounded by hills and one can see many small streams nearby as well.
It is believed that once anyone visit this place, never fall short of money. According to local people Manik Shaw, a business man once visited this village and was a great devotee of lord Shiva, robbers cut his throat and looted him. His head kept of chanting Shiva even after falling from body, seeing this devotion, Shiva put a peacock head and gave boon that, whoever visits this place is free from all sins and never fall short of money.
This is a perfect place for trekking and there are many trekking spots that are located here. The village of Mana can be visited as day trip from Badrinath. There is a waterfall called the Vasundara Falls that is located nearby and this is also a good place to see while travelling to the village of Mana.
There is small passage called the Bhim Pul that is located here and the River Sarawasti plunges headlong into the path and this is a sight to behold. The local population of the village lives in small cottages that are decorated and carved exquisitely.
One can visit the temple of Mata Murti that is located near the town and the temple holds an annual fair, visiting which can be an interesting experience.
The idea of solo traveling seems unsafe and confusing to many. And the scenario doesn’t get any better especially for female solo travelers. Be it age 21 or 55; a solo female traveler is usually a term loaded with numerous assumptions.
“Travelling solo,” this term has quite often garnered mixed responses. With some furiously advocating it as an authentic form of self-discovery and soul-searching experiences, while people on the other side of the debate seem to consider it an utter waste of opportunity and time.
Travel solo all the way to Ladakh, only to have nobody to share the view with? Go to goa, all alone and do what? The idea of solo traveling seems unsafe and confusing to many. And the scenario doesn’t get any better especially for female solo travelers. Be it age 21 or 55; a solo female traveler is usually a term loaded with numerous assumptions.
Below is an attempt to debunk some of these common myths.
The world is unsafe
The most common concern attached to a woman traveling all by herself is her safety. While there is no denying of the plausible hardships waiting for the woman stepping out the door, traveling solo to some other city or country is only as much risk as traveling to one’s college/workspace in their own city. Not all destinations around the globe are unsafe or dangerous for a woman to visit alone.
She is single and miserable
Solo traveling has been linked with singlehood of lonely people, having nobody to be with but themselves. However, wanting to travel all by self does not necessarily translate into loneliness. Rather, the distance and journey help one to understand them self and others better. One achieves the ultimate peace of solitude in traveling solo, and there is definitely a remarkable difference between solitude and loneliness.
Travelling solo an act of rebellion
Many people sadly believe that everything a woman does, is for other people, either to please them or annoy them. However, most of the times the intention is not to diss on some societal expectation or break some norm, but simply travel for the love of it, for the sake of it.
It is an attempt to prove to the world
Continuing on the previous point, there is nothing to prove to the world if a woman plans to travel alone. By trekking alone, she is not trying to reach a benchmark set by men. The trip can be just one of her ways to enjoy her holidays and relax, and not essentially a goal to prove her worth.
It is a dangerous quest
“Travelling solo also invites various other dangers such as the risk of being looted, tugged, etc.” However, travelers often state how the journey help them be more vigilant and careful. To be left all by oneself doesn’t always translate to being more vulnerable. It, in fact, makes one more careful about their belongings.
It calls for unwarranted difficulty
With the hassle of booking everything alone and managing the luggage all by self, it is more of a task than enjoyment. It is important to understand the simple concept of “personal choice.” Some people do relish autonomy, and sometimes they happen to be women too!
It is monotonous
“How terribly boring is it to be all by yourself in your favorite city, during a relaxed vacation?” there is no point in relating solo trips to boredom. Actually, it is extremely important to be comfortable in one’s own company, and solo traveling offers that luxury. If looked at carefully, this is one of the rare times; a person gets to discover how they behave in the absence of their acquaintances.
It will cost you a lot more
Though the trip budget is a relatively subjective matter, the common myth that solo trips are more expensive is far from correct. Proper research and planning will lead one to find out cheap stay places and hotels that cost the same as a group trip would.
It is once in a lifetime moment
Another common fallacy is visualizing a female solo trip as a once in lifetime kind of an event. Though it can be a “bucket list item” for some, there are plenty of women who go for solo trips every weekend and are hard-core travel enthusiasts.
Navigating around would be trouble
“How would women understand directions and local transport routes in a foreign place?” Because god forbid if they know to use maps and their phones. A traveler is bound to be lost while navigating new places; that’s the part of learning. And that’s where local people and phone maps help everyone out…men, women alike.
Waste of time
“Trips are meant to be fun. And fun is meant to happen in a group” Wrong. Fun is anything that makes you happy; it is not contingent on the presence of others. While traveling with friends and family has its own charm; being all by oneself is a different kind of fulfillment. Far away from a waste of time.
All in all, solo traveling for a female is neither the most dangerous thing nor the most dramatic thing as usually portrayed. It is simply a person venturing into their hobbies and interests. In the process understanding themselves better and gaining more life experience. This is what traveling really is all about.
Sleepy hamlet, amazingly scenic beautiful village, surrounded by greenish and yellowish paddy fields, Mori is located on the banks of renowned Tons River. Mori is a part of the Tons valley, have a unique culture and history. Local folks boast that they are the descendants of the Kauravas and Pandavas, the mythological royal warriors and kings in the epic age of Mahabharatha.
A tourist attraction for the solitude-seeking travelers for secluded destinations; Mori is a perfect holiday retreat. The tallest pine forest in Asia is among the thickly populated forest in Mori. Main attractions include the ancient historic temple, with main deity as Duryodhna and the Lunagad Creek, a fantastic place with a narrow ravine and a cute pond with a small but fascinating waterfall.
Cultural diversity of Mori, full of legendary temples, architectures and mythology, is fascinating. The cutie village offers one with unusual, unique and diverse opportunities. The people in Mori are followers of Kauravas, considered as the anti heroes in epic Mahabharatha, and Mori folks consider them as gods. The people here have peculiar habits like smoke earthen pipes, coconut hookahs or bidis, women folks are fond of wearing ornaments made out of silver. An ancient temple of Karna, with a rectangular wooden structure, located nearby to Mori in Netwar is attractive.
Mori is well known for adventurous water sports activities. Water rafting on the Tons River and trekking on the undulated hilly terrains are the chief activities one can adventure for. Mori is an apt place for holiday camping, to rejuvenate and relax the body mind and whole life activities.
The hill station Mori has a cold climate all through the year. Summers during March to June are very pleasant within the temperature range of 9°C to 23°C. Winters during November to February are very chilly with minimum temperature reaching freezing level of 2°C or below. Maximum during winters are around 8°C only. Snow falls are common during winters. Monsoons have very low rainfall. Moist is very common during post monsoons and beginning of summers.
Post monsoons are good for water rafting and fishing. Summers are excellent for trekking and climbing. Best season is all through the year, may keep off freeze winter days.
Attraction for Mori
Netwar is situated at the confluence of the tributary stream Rupin Gad and the Tons River. The village is popular for its ancient shrine dedicated to Karna, the King of Shalya. Karna was the son of Surya and Kunti. Netwar is considered to be the only region where Duryodhana, one of the Kauravas, is worshipped. The village has beautiful wooden temples devoted to Duryodhana and his allies.
About Lunagad Creek
The Lunagad Creek is located in the narrow gorge of the Tons Valley and leads to a blue pool formed by a small waterfall. The creek is surrounded by pine forest, a few Gujjar huts and tribal homes. The site is popular for the plantations of yellow and red nasturtium flowers and wild roses.
The Duryodhana Temple is located in Jakhol Village in the Tons Valley in Uttarkashi District. The temple is dedicated to the Kauravas and is believed to have been constructed by the local people of Saur Village.
It is considered that the Tamas River was formed by the tears of the natives who cried at the defeat of the Kauravas. The river derives its name from a Hindi word ‘Tamas’, meaning sorrow. Places like Osla, Gangar and Datmircan have temples dedicated to Kauravas and Duryodhana
This place is blessed with eternal natural beauty, and temple for antihero of Epic Mahabharat is main attraction here, tourist can enjoy adventure activities and chilly temperature.
South Asian destination weddings, one of today’s fastest-growing and most lucrative travel segments, are drawing increasing interest from resort hotels and travel advisors alike. But while the rewards are great, experts say the knowledge required is as complex as the intricacies of the weddings themselves.
Destination wedding specialist Jennifer Doncsecz, owner of VIP Vacations in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, learned just how steep the learning curve is when handling her first South Asian destination wedding over a decade ago.
“Explaining what we needed to the resort in Mexico was very difficult and tedious. When we said that we needed a special bowl for the fire ceremony they kept saying they don’t do bonfires on the beach,” she said. “Destination weddings are already complex, but South Asian weddings have even more complexity than most.”
Why are South Asian destination weddings garnering more attention these days? The rapid growth of Indian communities in North America (the Indian immigrant population in the U.S. increased by over 70 percent between 2000 and 2010, according to U.S. Census figures) is part of the answer.
At the same time, Indian immigrants tend to be an especially lucrative clientele, according to both Varghese and Doncsecz.
“They are well-educated and affluent — many are doctors, Ph.Ds and engineers,” Doncsecz said. “They’re well-traveled and have not been scared off, as many others have, by the Zika virus in the Caribbean or the travel safety warnings about Mexico.”
Varghese, whose clientele is about 40 percent South Asian, agreed, adding that “they do a lot of research and know what they want. They’re willing to spend money on the right experience.”
In particular, destination weddings have strong appeal to South Asians because of the considerable cost savings they bring over a traditional wedding, which typically lasts for multiple days and can cost up to $1 million, Varghese said.
“Indian weddings tend to be huge. My brother had over 800 guests at his and my wedding, which was the smallest anyone had ever been to, had 400,” he said. “By contrast, a South Asian destination wedding averages around 150 to 200 guests, so it typically costs much less.”
Because South Asian destination weddings tend to involve a longer stay and draw considerably more guests than other destinations weddings, they are an especially lucrative specialty for travel advisors, said Doncsecz. While only comprising 10 percent of her overall destination wedding business, South Asian weddings bring in over 30 percent of the revenue.
Devalgarh – Maa Raj Rajeshwari sacred shrine and Temple of Goddess Gauri built by Lord Kubera in 7th Century AD
Devalgarh – Maa Raj Rajeshwari sacred shrine and Temple of Goddess Gauri built by Lord Kubera in 7th Century AD
This amazing hill station is situated at a distance of 19 km from the main town of Srinagar via Chamdhar, Devalgarh was established by the King of Kangra named Deval under his name. The Laxmi Narayan temple, Gauri Devi temple and Rajeshwari temple are the main attractions here. Inscriptions on the stones of the temples make them important from the archaeological point of view.
Illuminate your soul in the spiritually blessed town of Uttarakhand, Devalgarh. Endowed with the beauty of pristine shrines, King Deval established the town in 1512 in the Pauri Garhwal district of Garhwal Region. Located at a short distance from the popular tourist destination of Khirsu, Devalgarh was once the Capital of the Garhwal Kingdom in the 16th Century before it was transposed to Srinagar. Considered one of those small towns that are rich in architecture, Devalgarh is best known for its group of ancient temples like Gaura Devi which is one of the Sidhpeethas, devoted to the divine Goddess Gauri and built by Lord Kubera in 7th Century AD.
Not only does the temple offer a heartwarming view of the Himalayas but also calls out to pilgrims for an annual fair which is organized during the harvest season. Besides, there is one more sacred shrine known as Maa Raj Rajeshwari which dedicated to the local deity of Garhwal. Nurturing archaeological importance the temple is swarmed by pilgrims also for the annual fair that is held here in April. Other must visit places you can take a tour to in Devalgarh are Som ki danda and Laxmi Narayan temple. Our Devalgarh travel guide is overflowing with information on best places to visit and amazing things to do in and around Devalgarh, which makes it quite essential for the travellers looking for an impeccable travelling experience. Also, handcrafted for you are the varied holiday packages by Tour My India that ensure a vacation unlike any other.
Devalgarh has its own significance in Uttarakhand’s history. In ancient times, Uttarakhand was divided into 52 small states which were known as Garh, and on this name, this land of Godboom was called Garhwal. In the 14th century, when King Ajaypal became a lioness in Chandpur Garh, he made Dewargarh, a strategically strong place, in 1512. But after about six years, on the banks of Alaknanda was established in Srinagar. During his 19 years of reign, King Ajaypal expanded his kingdom by winning the 48 strongholds of Devbhooman. Raj Rajeshwari was the Kuldevi of the dynasty of Garhwal. Raj Rajeshwari Mandir is the most famous historical temple of Devgarh. It was constructed by 14th century King Ajaypal. Built in Garhwali style, this temple has three floors. The actual temple is in the right room of the third floor. Various of Goddesses here There are statues in currencies. Among them, the golden statue of Raj-Rajeshwari is the most beautiful.
This temple is the law of Yantra worship. Here, Daksha Yantra, Mahakali Yantra, Baglakumu Yantra, Mahalaxmi Yantra and Shravanantra are duly worshiped. In the whole of Uttarakhand, the advanced urban center is established only in this temple. Even today, the priest of the temple is blessed with a daily morning prayer. Rajarateshwari yagna is organized at night in Navratri. In this Siddhapith the tradition of Akhand Jyoti is coming from generations. Hence it is also called Jataka Shakti Peetha.
This is the most observable place in archaeological terms in Pauri district. There are many temple temples and gates here. These temples were restored by King Deval who came from Kangra. Apart from this, there are also samadhis of the people of Nath community here. The inscribed inscriptions on which prove their ancient origin. It is proved automatically by seeing this rare temple group that during the time of the kings of Garhwal, architecture, especially the construction of the temples, was at its peak elevation.
The ancient temple of Satyanath on many sides behind the Gourja Temple. This is said to be made by King Ajaypal. Raja Ajaypal had established Satyanarath Bhairav and Raj-Rajeshwari Yantra at this place. Statues of Kalbhairav, Adityanath, Bhubaneswar and other goddesses are also installed in this temple.
The temple of God Laxminarayan is coming down from the courtyard of Gaura temple and along with it. In it, the lofty statue of Lakshminarayan is situated in the black stone.
The Gaura Devi Mandir is situated in the south of the famous Daktali Mandap, named “Soma Manda”. It is said that King Ajaypal used to sit in the mandap and perform the office. And in the direction of his teacher Satyanath Bhairav, he used to meditate. From the point of view of structure and carving, this porous palace itself is the only example.
A small and beautiful temple of Murali Manohar Krishna is made up of something rising from the Gourja temple. In it, the idol idol of Lord Shri Krishna is glorified while playing fists. This temple was once an important place of Vaishnavism.
It is called Bhairavgupa, in the west of Satyamath temple, a few caves descend from the hill and it is said. The idol of Bhairav is inscribed on the entrance to the cave. It is said that from this cave to Alaknanda there was a tunnel in ancient times. The Queen of Develarh used to go to the Ganga bath everyday through this tunnel route.
There is a small temple of Lord Dattatreya on the Murlimmanohar temple. This is also called the piazza arena. Lord Dattatreya is considered as the incarnation of Vishnu by Vaishnavas. But the Shaiv sect of Garhwal Dattatreya as a representative of Lord Shiva and as an officer of Yogrishna.
Gaura Devi temple:
Gaura Devi temple (temple of non-Goddess) is calculated in ancient Sidhpiths. This stone temple, made of seventh century, is an incomparable example of ancient architecture. Rajrajeshwari was Kuldevi of the dynasty of Garhwal, so his worship was in the worship hall of the palace of Deulgargarh. Gaura Temple was built while feeling the need of another temple for the people. After construction work, the Equatorial Sankranti (Vaishakhi) was established from Sumadi Naga in the Develagarh temple under the leadership of Shri Rajivochan Kalaji. In this temple, the tradition of the Shakta tradition has been prevailing. Here is the statue of Bhagwati Gauri and Lion Vahini Devi installed here. From here, there is a great view of the Himalayas. It is the Kuldevi of the local residents and the Baishakhi is organized annually for the grand fair. The devotees of Goddess come from far and away here. It is also said that Kuber had given Gaura Mata The temple was built by receiving blessings. Devgarh, famous for Kuldevi Raj Rajeshwari and Satyanath of Garhwal’s throne, has remained the capital of the Garhwal state for 6 years. According to Janushuti, there used to be an ashram of goddess Rishi. Later, disciples of Guru Gorakhnath established Satinath here. It is said that the land of Garhwal is the blessing of Gaura Mata. From here, there is a great view of the Himalayas.
How to Reach
Nearest airport is Jolly Grant, 115 km.
Kotdwar (138 km) and Rishikesh (106 km) are the nearest railway stations.
It is well connected to Dehradun, Rishikesh, Kotdwar, Nainital, Almora, Delhi and other cities of the region.
At an altitude of 7000 feet, there lies the tiny hamlet of Abbott Mount from where one could witness the snowcapped cliffs of the mighty Himalayas in its full glory. Situated in state of Uttarakhand in district champawat. Delhi to Abbott Mount is 384 km.
This momentous hilly resort on the eastern side of the Kumaon Hills unravels a passable vision of the massive peaks from the Gangotri cliff to Dhaulagiri range.
Like all other hilly resorts, this hill station is also a noble venture of the progressive English men, especially John Harold Abbott, who wants a retreat from the tiresome life of the plains. Though this is established during the early part of the 20th century, it succeeded to keep its identity till now.
Abbott Mount has spectacular trails and walkways that make the picnicker spell bound. Picturesque and serene surroundings of deodar and pine forest are a haven of exotic Himalayan birds whose twittering and chirping creates a melodious environ. It would be a perfect quixotic location for young couples and honeymooners
March to June is perfect for sightseeing and outings. April and May are good season for fishing in the surrounding Rivers. July to October is majestic with monsoon showers and is deal for sight seeing with majestic lusting greeneries. November to February suits for those like chilly climate.
Younger generation are influenced more by social media than friends and family on big life decisions
New survey released by experience design agency, 383, found that 18-35 year olds are twice as likely to take advice from influencers on social media as they are to trust the judgement of friends and family when booking a holiday. 58% of students (18-24 year olds) and 53% of ‘Gullenials’ (gullible millennials) believe Facebook, Instagram and Online Bloggers are more trustworthy than their nearest and dearest when it comes to booking a holiday.
The survey reveals the extent to which social media influences the buying decisions of consumers across generations, and the increasing control and dominance it has over big real-life decisions, including overseas travel. A lack of street wisdom, coupled with the usual holiday maker’s suspension of disbelief, could make the younger generation more vulnerable to holiday scams – less likely when recommendations come from a trusted resource.
Further statistics found that 32% of UK consumers cited Instagram as their app of choice for vicarious travel. Also, UK women browse three times as much as men – with one-third using it to find holiday inspiration, compared to only 1 in 10 (11%) of men.
• 44% of young adults would use Instagram over the recommendation of friends and family to influence holiday-booking decisions
• 58% of 18-24 year olds, 53% of 24-35 year olds, 49% of 35-44 year olds, 29% of 44-55 year olds and only 13% of 55+ year olds trust social media (Instagram, Facebook and Online Bloggers) over friends and family when it comes to travel
• Social media influences 71% of travel-planners’ decisions in the UK, with only 36% relying on word of mouth from family and friends
• 40% of millennials are searching for holidays while they’re at work
• 1 in 10 people spend up to 20 hours searching for holidays before they book
Sukhi Dehal, founder of 383, said: “These survey results provide interesting insight about how customers are searching for their holidays. Customers are more influenced by complete strangers on social media than their own friends and family.
“While social media plays an important role in inspiring us, we should be smarter in our research ahead of booking. In an era of fake news and online scams that are increasingly difficult to identify, it’s important that travellers do their homework with a broader spectrum of trusted resources – whether that’s family and friends or reputable travel-relevant sites. This is especially important for those off-the-beaten track experiences, which bring with them a set of risks due to insufficient information or knowledge.
“It’s a huge concern that the younger generation has been found to be so trusting of a source that may or may not be telling the whole truth.
“The urgent message from these survey results is yes, be inspired by social media, but be smart, responsible and safe by broadening your scope of research before making a big-life decision like travelling overseas.”
Why RUN if you can FLY. Uttarakhand Tourism Department (UTD) has submitted a Detail Project Report (DPR) to the State Government for this Rope Way Project, According to government Reports if finance and other approval from state government and center governments come in time, the project can be open for the public within two years.
UTD has estimated a project cost of Rs 400 corer, travel time will be around 15-20 minutes. Ropeway will be set up in Purkhul village of Dehradun near DIT University, to Mussoorie Chowk, about 5 km ropeway which can accommodate up to 10 people from one side.
Although the roadway is a visual pleasure, during the summer season, traffic jam is the bottleneck. Tourist has to wait hours to cross 35 KM of a stretch, ropeway bus will be a great tourism booster for the region and less pollution will enhance the beauty of the region.
There will be multi-level parking near the tower in Purkul village and Mussoorie. Purkul village has a car parking plan of about 15 hundred capacity. After parking the car here, the tourists will visit Mussoorie. In Mussoorie, you will be able to travel to the nearby tourist spots including Kempty fall, Dhanotti, from private car. For this, the land has been marked for parking near the two towers.
After clearance government will soon float tenders for the project, let’s hope this project soon come to reality.