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The incomparable, intoxicating and inimitable country of India is known the world over for its rich cultural heritage. The land of the saintly sages and the royal rulers boasts of colorful customs and timeless traditions. The people carry on with the legacy of their own lands and the beautiful built buildings act as the evidence of the elegant architecture we have inherited. Amongst the many treasures of the yester years we have the abode of the nobles, the forts and palaces.

In order to catch a glimpse of the bygone era follow the royal trail. The ravishing state of Rajasthan is home to much more than the heritage hotels. The forts and palaces are abundant in this colorful land. A journey through the desert land will leave you mesmerized with the astonishing heritage revealed in its forts and palaces.

The town of Mandawa in the Shekavati region of Rajasthan is renowned the world over for its painted havelis. Camels and horses carry the tourist and the travelers to the town amidst the drumbeats as a part of the royal welcome. The towering Mandawa castle was built way back in 1775 is a storehouse of paintings, jade, costumes and antiques. Each of the 51 rooms is uniquely furnished. Other havelis worth visiting are Chokhani, Sarf and Goenka. The Shekawati frescoes at Nawalgarh are fantastic. The havelis of the wealthy merchants of the 19th century have now become tourist attractions. Aath (eight) haveli complex, Anandilal Poddar haveli, Jodhraj Patodia haveli etc are examples of the same.

The remote city of Bikaner has some splendid forts like the Junagarh fort, Anup Mahal, Badal Mahal and the Lallgarh Palace. Each of these mansions is a work of art in itself. The fort of Junagarh built in 1588 lies on the desert plains, the marble columns in Anup Mahal has exquisite paintings. The Badal mahal boast of the breathtakingly beautiful frescoes of rain clouds. The lallgarh palace combines the home to the royals, hotel and museum.

The city of Bikaner is also known for the Camel Breeding Farm. You may enjoy the ride on the ship of the desert and the taste the fresh milk. Besides the joy rides, camels are active means of transportation in Rajasthan. Even the tourists can relish the Camel safari across the state to get a first hand experience of the rural life. It will sure leave several memories to treasure.

The Bhand Sagar jain temple must be visited to get a view of the city wall and the adjacent countryside.

The golden city of Jaisalmer is truly exotic. The Jaisalmer fort is a masterpiece in sandstone that seems to be rising from the desert. Here the royal family resides in the Megh Durbar and the Jawahar Mahal. Further more the city has an elaborate network of havelis with eye catching front walls and stone carving like the salim singh ki haveli, patwon ki haveli and nathmalji ki haveli. The architectural heritage is also displayed in the jain temples of Bikaner like the Amar Sagar temple and the temples at Lodurva. The sun soaked sand dunes of Sam are superb sights.

In the blue city of Jodhpur, we have magnificent Mehrangarh fort. The lace like work on stone is intricate and impressive. The Moti Mahal is another admirable work of art along with the in-house museum.

The town of Bundi, is another tourist destination with the heritage of the beautiful murals depicting the Art of the Rajputs. It has the famous Taragarh Fort and Garh Palace too. The city palace of Udaipur is appears splendid in the sunset amidst the Lake Pichola, Eklingi and Mnagda temples. The Jagdish temple is another hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The Saheliyon is Bari is a beautiful garden with lotus pools and fountains.

On the way to Jaipur tourists may visit various temples and dargah of Moinuddin Chisti. In the pink city of Jaipur besides the city palace and the Nawab Saheb ki haveli the Royal Observatory is worth a visit. The town of Fatehpur Sikri boasts of monuments like the Jama Masjid, The Buland Darwaza, Palace Jodha Bai, Birbal Bhawan & Panch Mahal. The grand finale can be reached by visiting the Taj Mahal, Red fort and the tomb of Itmad-ud-Daula at Agra

Ever wondered about the cultural diversity of India? The enticing unity represented by the people of the country who display a wide range of religions, culture, customs and languages. The rich and varied heritage happens to be one of the many sources of pride of the nation. The mysterious ways of the people, their lifestyles and the inseparable culture cannot be done solved in words but can surely be enjoyed with experience.

In case you are planning for a holiday, the idea to explore the cultural heritage of India will be an excellent option. The diversity of the land is immense to make us realize the number of years that have gone into beautifying each aspect of culture. The Cultural holidays are an effort to pick up the best possible flavors of the land and offer them to the tourists in a package.

The land of the kings, Rajasthan, promises to be an experience of a lifetime with its wealth of culture and traditions.

The arts and crafts, music and dance, architecture and people all are instances of the cultural rainbow of India. The trip to Rajasthan offers unique sights like the architectural magnificence of the forts and palaces. Joy rides on elephants cannot be compared to the ride in the BMW. The women from Rajasthan in brightly colored clothes, wearing tons of jewelry and the huge turbans adorned by the men are examples of the cultural diversity of India. The picturesque dunes, the enigma of the beautifully built palaces and the atmosphere of the cities of Rajasthan are few features of the culturally astounding state.

The pure white elegy of love, Taj Mahal, if viewed on a full moon night leaves a mark in the memory so does the masterpiece in red stand stone the Red Fort. The tomb of Itmad-ud-Daula is another spot to be visited by the tourists for its design.

Down south each city is associated with a specialty. The port city of Mahabalipuram is renowned for its rock-cut monuments, structures in a single stone and bas-reliefs besides its beaches. The Kamakshi Amman temple and the Varadaraja Perumal temples in Kanchipuram are must a visit for the travelers to the cultural destination. The beauty and elegance of the silk saris available need no mention. The silk industry happens to be centuries old, and famed the world over. Make sure to pick up the Kanjivaram saris for gifting purposes to your family and friends from the strech of silk shops along the Gandhi Road. The trip to trichy reveals the beauty of the ancient architecture in its temples and monuments. The Rock Fort temple, with exclusive rights of 'darshan' to the Hindus and the temple complex of Ranganathar are amongst the many places of interest in the city. The view of the river Kaveri is another mesmerizing experience.

The most happening cultural arena of the south happens to be the city of Madurai. The city situated on the banks of the river Vaigai is famed for the Meenakshi temple. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva one of the trinity. The other places of the interest include the Thirumala Nayak palace, an example of the architectural heritage. Close by is Tanjore or Thanjavoor, famous for its paintings and arts. The visit to the Brihadeshwara temple will complete the trip to the marvel of the Chola architecture.

Besides the pious travelers and admirers of architectural beauty, the trip down South will be unforgettable for the nature lovers. The wildlife sanctuary at Periyar happens to be a tiger reserve too. It is a haven for the terrestrial, aquatic and arboreal animals besides the rare flora and fauna.

While experiencing the cultural diversity of the land, one cannot miss the destination of Cochin. The port town offers a range of tourist spots. Right from the island palace of Bolghatty to the St. Francis church. The town boasts of the Chinese fishing nets, unique throughout India. Besides the nets, the Chinese tiles and the Belgian chandeliers are major attractions at the Jewish synagogue. The St. Francis church besides being the oldest church built by the Europeans is a travel spot because of being the burial site of the great explorer Vasco Da Gama. The fast changing and happening city of Bangalore and the royal city Mysore are other places displaying the richness of Indian culture.

So, next time you need a break, remember A to Z Holidays offers you the potpourri of heritage and cultural tours of India.

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