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Expansive meadows and rolling hills, saffron plantation and tulips in blossom, still lakes and foamy rivers…who wouldn’t want to explore the land that’s earned itself the title of ‘heaven on Earth’. But the first question that comes to mind when considering a trip to this wonderland is – is it safe to visit Kashmir? Given the turbulent atmosphere in the state, these concerns are not unfounded. Yet, thousands of people land here, year after year, to grab a slice of this heaven. Since tourism is a primary source of revenue in this landlocked and disturbed region, the government and the locals do everything in their power to ensure the safety of tourists. That said, there have been a few isolated incidents where tourists have been trapped due to an unforeseen spate in the tension between the forces and the separatists and even found themselves caught in the crosshairs of angry…

Imagine a smooth ceramic bowl of white edged with jade green. Being surrounded by snow-covered peaks as far as the eye can see – an endless realm of pure white magic. The thrill of speeding downhill, which is as close as you come to flying without wings. Getting in touch with your childhood by making a snowman or indulging in snowball fights. A trip to Gulmarg offers it all and then some. This incredible place will give you a taste of different seasons all in a day – going from bright sunshine to pouring rain, a chill in the air and snowfall in the course of 24 hours. Words fall short to describe this huge meadow ringed by fir trees and snowy peaks, bestowed with mountain fresh air, nature trails, ski slopes, and a host of fun activities –gondola ride, sledging, golfing and snow scooters. A trip to Gulmarg will…

A green paradise holding many iconic landmarks, gastronomic delights and shopping avenues in its folds, Singapore is undoubtedly one of the most fascination Southeast Asian destinations. The Land of the Merlion, off the southern Malaysian coast, is a futuristic urban centre abounding in rich experiences at every step of the way. However, unless you are invested in careful trip planning, exploring Singapore can burn quite the hole in your pocket. Take these 10 Singapore travel tips into consideration, whether you are planning a brief stop-over or an elaborate holiday, to make the most of the experience: Singapore Travel Tips for Planning Your Trip Pack for the Weather The tropic climate of the place means the weather conditions are humid and hot all year round, with average temperatures in the range of 26-34 degrees Celsius. High levels of humidity result in excessive perspiration outdoors, so it is important to pack light,…

Tucked away in the towering mountains of Arunachal Pradesh lies the entrancing Ziro Valley that hypnotises anyone who dares to take on this formidable journey with its natural beauty, infectious charm and a whole different way of life. Over recent years, Ziro Valley has gained some popularity among music lovers, thanks to the annual cultural extravaganza – the Ziro Music Festival. Other than that, the place remains largely untouched by tourists, making it the perfect retreat for travellers willing to embark on arduous journeys to reconnect with nature. It is a great destination for adventure lovers too. This travel guide to Ziro Valley will tell you everything you need to know about the land of quaint villages, rice fields, rolling green hills, soulful trekking trails and exhilarating camping experiences: What Makes Ziro Valley Special The Ziro Valley lies between the Kamla and Panior rivers that flow through Arunachal Pradesh. The…

Tawang, a remote hill station in the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, is a destination brimming over with natural beauty, cultural heritage and military history. Sharing its border with Tibet to the north and Bhutan to the west, Tawang is dotted with majestic mountains, breathtaking gorges, passes and water bodies that bring in a hypnotic charm to this place. The natural beauty aside, this hill town is home to one of the highest motorable passes and the second largest Buddhist monastery in the world, the birthplace of the sixth Dalai Lama, the epicentre of the Indo-China war and continues to be a disputed territory between the two countries. This rich history contributes to the vibrancy and legacy of Tawang, making it a desirable destination for anyone with a penchant for travelling. However, given the remote location of this place, coupled with unpredictable weather and poor road conditions, travelling to Tawang…

Have you ever met someone who doesn’t get excited at the prospect of a trip to Italy? Well, neither have we. A majestically beautiful destination that rests on a unique historical heritage, breathtaking landscapes, world-class food, an exotic language, ancient architecture and art and a milieu of charming cities and towns – Italy checks all the boxes for a mind-blowing vacation. However, the catch with destinations as exotic as Italy is that it’s brimming over with tourists all year round. These insider tips will help you avoid the tourist traps and make the most of your trip to Italy: Steer Clear of Rip-Offs As with any other popular tourist destinations, Italy too has had its share of commercialisation to cash in on the huge influx of visitors. This is especially true of popular destinations like Venice, Rome and Florence. These cities are fraught with places looking to fleece unsuspecting tourists…

A Singapore trip with family is surely on everyone’s travel wish list and it was no different in my case. Pulling off a foreign trip on a budget is never a mean feat. Here is how I planned and pulled off a budget trip to Singapore by investing some time and effort in laying the right groundwork for it. Plan Your Own Trip I began with a visit to the nearest travel operator which happened to be Thomas Cook to know the best deals for our upcoming budget trip to Singapore. They offered a package deal of Rs 68,586 per person plus taxes for a 4N/5D trip, which included a stay in a 4-star hotel, airport and hotel transfers plus sightseeing to top tourist destinations, which are always time bound in any package tour. Now that I had some information on how to get started, the next task was to…

No matter how exciting the prospect of exploring new destinations feels, every traveller feels weary of air travel, especially when hopping on a long-haul flight. The crammed up seats, long hours of sitting in one place and vapid airline meals can leave you physically and mentally drained out. Packing a carry-on bag that contains every conceivable item you may need to stay comfortable during such journeys is a skill to be perfected over time. To get you started, here is a list of carry on essentials for flights to make you feel as at home as possible: Water Bottle Staying hydrated during flights is essential and the airline crew is often stingy when it comes to serving water unless you are buying packaged bottles at a premium price. This makes a water bottle an absolute must carry on essential for flights. If the airport security policy does not permit carrying…

Our desire to travel is ever so often quelled by the sobering reality of the astronomical travel costs. We have all at one point or the other put off a trip because we just didn’t have the budget to afford that holiday. If you look at the expenditure break-up, the airfares take up the lion’s share of the cost. The fact that some people always manage to get a steal of a deal on air tickets while you are postponing your travel plans until you have the dough to spare is like a rub of salt in a wound. As these people who have mastered the art of scoring airfare discounts will tell you, there is always a way to work around the system and get true value for your money. We bring you a rundown on some smart and savvy tips to save on airfare and travel more: Time…

The simple yet mesmerising beauty of Bhutan has an infectious charm to it. The land of breathtaking locales, salubrious air, majestic monasteries and some of the happiest people in the world, it acts like a balm of peace on battered, worn-out souls. It is no surprise then that Bhutan is on the radar of many a travel lover. Given its proximity to India and friendly bilateral relations between the two countries, travelling to the land of Thunder Dragon is fairly hassle-free for Indians. Here is an in-depth travel guide for Bhutan to help you plan a smooth, well-ordered trip: Top Tourist Attractions in Bhutan for Your Itinerary A Bhutan Tourist Permit allows you access to the regions of Thimphu, Punakha and Paro. The Phuentsholing region can be accessed without a permit too. These four areas make up for a large part of the country, with an exception to certain protected…