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Chettinad

Posted on Mon, 11/25/2013 - 18:13 by easytours
 

The Chettinad region is made up of 76 rural communities and its capital is Karaikudi. Easy Tours guests stay in an exquisitely renovated Chettinad mansion while exploring the area. The Chettinad region has been famous in South Asia for many centuries. The inhabitants that made this region famous moved here about 400 years ago when the coastal region that they had lived in for over a thousand years was devastated by a tsunami. They were prosperous traders that had migrated to nations all over South Asia and had become successful businessman in these nations.

Their primary vocations included moneylending and trade in goods between nations. They accumulated vast wealth and with this wealth they purchased the finest materials from the countries that they lived and traded in, and brought these materials back to their homeland. These materials were used to construct the amazing mansions of Chettinad. A Chettinad mansion is impossible to describe in words. These mansions are massive structures where wide open spaces are enhanced by generous use of Burma teak and marble, and the ambiance created puts most modern mansions to shame.


Aurangabad

Posted on Tue, 10/15/2013 - 09:48 by easytours
 

Although it is more famous (in tourism circles) as the nearest major city to Ajanta & Ellora, Aurangabad is one's of India's main commercial centers and a bustling metropolis. It has an interesting history, and a culture (and monuments) that are worth exploring. The city was founded, in the early 16th century, by Malik Amber (a former Abyssinian slave who was, at that time, prime minister to the Moghul rulers of nearby Ahmadnagar). Scattered over a large industrial sprawl are remains of various monuments, some of which can be explored between your visits to Ajanta & Ellora.

Aurangabad's brocade creations (the finest silks combined with gold and other threads) have been long acknowledged as the best in the world. The city is also a bustling center of manufacturing and other commerce.

The Chowk area retains it's Islamic flavor from the days of the Nizams. Visit the Bibi-ka-Maqbara, the Pan Chakki, or the Dargah of Baba Shah Muzaffar. You can also choose to explore the Buddhist Caves as a prelude to your visits to Ajanta & Ellora. Aurangabad is easily accessible from most major cities in India...More details.


Khajuraho

Posted on Fri, 10/11/2013 - 10:07 by easytours
 

Created by the Chandela dynasty between 950AD and 1050AD, the Hindu Temples at Khajuraho are a magnificent example of the architectural and artistic achievements of the Hindu Kings in Medieval India. Hewn from stone a thousand years ago, the twenty two surviving temples are an amazing display of stone sculpture and erotic art. The sculptures depict Gods and Kings in an large variety of sexual activities, in an incredible number of postures and positions. They were designed and built to be Temples, and there are many theories as to the purpose of their explicit nature.

The eroticism of the sculptures and their explicit nature have been well documented; what has not been emphasized enough is their incredible detail and vast number. Part of the reason these exquisitely crafted monuments are in such good condition is that they were forgotten soon after they were built, to be discovered again in the 19th century. The other reason is that, besides the Temples, Khajuraho is but a small village in the middle of nowhere, and not many people visited the temples till tourism and travel became common in India.

As there is not much else to do in Khajuraho (besides visiting the awe inspiring temples), our visits here are scheduled for one day. During February/March, the "Khajuraho Dance Festival" (An exposition of classical Indian dances) takes place, including some performances using the Temples as a backdrop. We can arrange for a longer stay during this time. Khajuraho's hotels are booked well in advance for this event...More details.


Varanasi

Posted on Thu, 10/03/2013 - 12:20 by easytours
 

Located on the banks of the Hindu holy river Ganga, "The Eternal City" is one of the most visited pilgrimage destinations, in a land blessed with many. Near here (at Sarnath), about twenty five hundred years ago, the Lord Buddha preached his message of Enlightenment for the very first time. Two thousand years ago, it was a well planned city, renown for its universities and places of worship.

It has survived onslaughts by India's Mughal Emperors, who destroyed some of the ancient Hindu temples and learning centers. The famous Ghats, Hindu Temples, Muslim Mosques, and various museums are almost all worth a visit.

A heritage walking tour of the city is included, as are sunrise & sunset boat cruises on the holy river (Ganga). It's advisable to use the assistance of ETI support staff when visiting religious institutions; some temples are not open to non-Hindu's; there are other areas where photography is prohibited...More details

 

 


Kochi

Posted on Thu, 09/26/2013 - 18:29 by easytours
 

One of the least acclaimed tourist destinations in India, Kochi has something to delight every explorer. It is know as "The Queen of the Arabian Sea", among other names, and is a scenic and lush collection of islands, capes, and mainland; connected by an elaborate yet intricate system of ferries and bridges.

Europeans controlled Kochi, and it's thriving trade, from the early 16th century. Their influence can be seen all over the picturesque city and the surrounding area. There are many monuments, architecture, and other reminders of the Dutch, Portuguese and British. The old world charm of Mattancherry and Fort Cochin have not changed much in the last couple of centuries. There are also many events in surrounding Kerala, such as the "Great Boat Races".

Visit Mattancherry Palace and its exquisite murals. St. Francis Church (early 16th century) is the oldest European church in India, and The Pardesi Synagogue was founded around the same time (history records Jewish settlers in this area as early as the 6th century, the guides will tell you that roots can be traced to over two thousand years ago). Fort Cochin is distinctly British Indian (with a little bit of Dutch thrown in) in it's architecture, and the Chinese fishing nets that dot it's northern end add to it's languid charm. The modern section called Ernakulam is pleasant and offers one of India's best opportunities to view classical Indian dance.

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