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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.


Amazing aerial tour of the Taj Mahal compiled

Posted on Fri, 09/20/2013 - 09:44 by easytours
 

The Taj Mahal – one of the most photographed monuments of the world


As one of the world`s most photographed monuments, the 17th century Taj Mahal continues to delight and fascinate Camera persons from all over the world.

Every day, hordes of photographers, both amateurs and professionals, shoot pictures of the white marble mausoleum, bringing joy and excitement to those who pose against its magnificent backdrop.

While we all know about the Taj Mahal being the eternal symbol of enduring love that has been celebrated in story and song the world over, what is not commonly known is the scale of the conservation effort made by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to preserve the beauty of the monument.

As part of this conservation effort, the Government of India maintains a strict no-fly zone over the Taj Mahal. The no fly zone is maintained around a 1.8 mile diameter of the Taj Mahal and no building higher than 561 feet (which is the highest elevation in the Taj Necropolis) can be erected in the no-fly zone.

AirPano, a Moscow based photography specialty company that has taken famous aerial shots of landmarks around the world including the cityscapes of metropolises like Rome, Dubai and Singapore, approached the Indian government for permission to photograph the Taj Mahal from the air.

The permission was granted after considerable effort and what emerged is a phenomenal collection of photographs and a virtual aerial tour that shows the Taj Mahal in a scale of grandeur never before seen by locals or tourists in history.

More of these phenomenal shots along with accompanying 360 degree vantages in high resolution can be seen at AirPano’s website at the following link:


Madurai

Posted on Thu, 09/19/2013 - 11:36 by easytours
 

The main attraction of Madurai is the great Sree Meenakshi Temple. This awe-imposing monument is the finest example of Dravidian temple architecture on this planet. Its Hall of a Thousand Pillars is a fabulous collection of elaborately sculpted and painted deities as well as other creatures from Hindu religious annals. The temple is always a beehive of activity as pilgrims from all over India come to seek the blessings of Meenakshi (Goddess Parvati) & Sundareswarar (Lord Shiva) and is filled with worshippers at all hours of the day. You will witness Hindu priests performing various ceremonies in different parts of the temple complex as you explore this huge structure, including religious aspects of traditional weddings. According to Tamil belief the temple has existed for about 2000 years, but this current structure is a mere four centuries old (the previous majestic temple was destroyed by Muslim invaders in the 14th century).

Madurai

The massive complex includes 14 magnificent Gopurams that jut into the sky from different parts of the temple. These Gopurams have thousands of elaborate sculptures carved into them and these have been colorfully painted. The most significant of these Gopurams are the two golden towers dedicated to the two main deities, the tallest one reaches 170 feet.

You can also drive to nearby Thirumalai Nayak Palace. Constructed in 1636 AD by an Italian architect, the palace is an interesting confluence of Dravidian, Islamic & European architectural styles.......... More details

 

 

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