Attractive places in Japan

Cornwallis Beach

On the way to Huia, stop and check on the progress of the Auckland Regional Council's wharf restoration project at Cornwallis. (Wharf, Carpark)

Titirangi Beach

Just minutes from the Town centre along Titirangi Beach Road, this beach is ideal for parking up.

Watch wading birds on extensive mudflats exposed at low tide. There is a playground and toilets available also.

Armour Bay

An ideal place for families with children. Here they can frolic in the sea, indulge in a game of petanque or play games on the large flat common and there are rock pools to explore too. At the days end, after all that sun and sea enjoy a barbecue on site (you'll need some coins). For the energetic there are tennis courts (perhaps the City's most scenic ones) and a boat ramp for launching dinghies or kayaks.

How to get there
Take the road to Huia - go just past Parau and turn left at Armour Bay Rd at the sign marking Armour Bay Reserve.

Cranwell Park

Cranwell is the centre of recreational activities in Henderson with the Library, Aquatic Centre, Waitakere Recreation Centre, croquet and bowling clubs. A pleasant picnic spot among the historical trees - a link to the park's orcharding past and for the music fans there's a memorial to Elvis. Cranwell Park is the start of the Henderson Creek Walkway.

Hotels and resorts of Japan


The unique feature of M14101 is you can be released from everyday burden amid the depth and extension of the nature. The swimming spa (25m swimming pool with pure spa water) raises abundant vapor to the height of winter sky.

Our garden, a likeness of vast forest somewhere in the world, holds `Kelo (sauna)´, a naive log sauna with wood stove, `Palm Terrace ( a spa suite)´, with Fango-rassoul (fango pack in hamam)... and the hammock terrace, where you enjoy prolonged napping. Please breathe the mixture of pure mountain air and ozone from the Pacific, in our garden.

Besides having relaxing & enjoyable time at our new Garden Spa, we offer you another comfort in RilassarsI treatment, feeling Japanese ambience. Please start your refreshing vacation with our original herb tea and a madelaine, which novelist, Yukio Mishima favored. In traditional Japanese room, you can get 30 min. free Rilassarsi treatment, on your shoulder & back…Natural loofah sponge and aloe soap (Shimoda specialty) is ready for your bath time. A bottle of fango at Palm Terrace, Attivante / Freiburg, is also a gift for you.

Property amenities:
22 Japanese-style rooms-suites; 6 Japanese-style suites; Lift-Elevator; Car park; Air-conditionned rooms or restaurant.

Outdoor pool, Whirlpool, Hammam, Solarium, Hiking, Horseback, Fishing, Sailing, Diving, Kayaking.

Alpine Lodge Minakami

Alpine Lodge is situated in the mountain township of Minakami, one of Japan's premiere hot spring and ski resorts in the North of Gunma Prefecture. The lodge is primely located in the Yubiso area (valley of the hidden hot springs), which lies in the center of Minakami's 10 ski fields, with the closest field just 200 meters from the back door.

Guests have a variety of activities and adventures to choose from while staying at the lodge, from on-piste skiing and snowboarding to backcountry and snowshoe tours, Alpine Lodge has a package that is suitable for everyone.

Every weekend there will be various music and outdoor events ranging from acoustic live to DJ's and bands.

Property amenities:
Lounge with satellite TV, DVD and VHS players;
Club/movie theatre;
300 sq m wood bbq deck;
Shower facilities;
Giant baths - mens, womens, mixed;
Free washing machine;
Drying room;
Western toilets;
Pool table;
Free Internet and wireless Internet available;
Fully equiped communal kitchen;
Dinning room;
Ski demo center;
Gear shop.

Nearby attractions and activities:
10 ski areas, Japan's largest outdoor Hot Spring, Craft and cultural village. Whitewater rafting, canyoning, downhill MTB, paragliding.

Minakami has been one of Japans' best kept winter secrets. A hot spring resort town nestled in the Tanigawa Range in Northern Gunma, just 72 minutes by train from Tokyo.

Angel Seaside Minamiatami

When you've had about as much as you can handle, consider booking a lovely resort home at Angel Seaside Minamiatami, Atami-Shi Sizuoka. Rentals of timeshares at Angel Seaside Minamiatami provide affordable luxury.
Hotel Wakamizu

Hotel Lobby

Hotel Wakamizu offers hot spring bathing and delicious Japanese food.
Enjoy a soothing soak in the warm water of Takarazuka Hot Spring, which was discovered about 700 years ago.

Hotel Wakamizu is located within 25 minutes from Osaka Station, 35 minutes from Shin-osaka and Kobe and 55 minutes from Kyoto. Our convenient location makes us the top choice among many onsen resorts in the Kansai / Kinki region. The open-air bath for ladies is filled with roses twice a week. Private baths are also available. We offer a high standard of food. Enjoy Japanese meals with your family and friends in the peaceful riverside setting.

Spend your dream holidays at Hotel Wakamizu.

Cities of Japan


Tokyo is Japan's capital and the country's largest city.

Tokyo is also one of Japan's 47 prefectures but is called a metropolis (to) rather than a prefecture (ken). The metropolis of Tokyo consists of 23 city wards (ku), 26 cities, 5 towns and 8 villages, including the Izu and Ogasawara Islands, several small Pacific Islands in the south of Japan's main island Honshu.

The 23 city wards (ku) are the center of Tokyo and make up about one third of the metropolis' area, while housing roughly eight of Tokyo's approximately twelve million residents.

Prior to 1868, Tokyo was known as Edo. A small castle town in the 16th century, Edo became Japan's political center in 1603 when tokugava laysu established his feudal government there. A few decades later, Edo had grown into one of the world's most populous cities.

With the meiji restoration of 1868, the emperor and capital were moved from kyoto to Edo, which was renamed Tokyo ("Eastern Capital"). Large parts of Tokyo were destroyed in the great kanto earthqake of 1923 and in the air raids of 1945.


With a population of 2.5 million, Osaka is Japan's third largest and second most important city. It has been the economic powerhouse of the Kansai region for many centuries.

Osaka was formerly known as Naniwa. Before the Nara Period, when the capital used to be moved with the reign of each new emperor, Naniwa was once Japan's capital city, the first one ever known.

In the 16th century, Toyotomi Hideyoshi chose Osaka as the location for his castle, and the city may have become Japan's capital if Tokugawa Ieyasu had not terminated the Toyotomi lineage after Hideyoshi's death and moved his government to distant Edo (Tokyo).


With a population of over three million people is Yokohama Japan's second largest city. Yokohama is located less than half an hour south of Tokyo by train, and is the capital of Kanagawa Prefecture.

Towards the end of the Edo Period (1603-1867), during which Japan maintained a policy of self-isolation, Yokohama's port was one of the first to be opened to foreign trade in 1859. Consequently, Yokohama quickly grew from a small fishing village into one of Japan's major cities.

Until today, Yokohama remains popular among expats, has one of the world's largest chinatowns and preserves some former Western residences in the Yamate district.


Hiroshima has been the principal city of the Chugoku Region for hundreds of years. After its construction in the 16th century, Hiroshima Castle was the most formidable fortification for miles. Today, Hiroshima is a vibrant city and home to over a million inhabitants.

When the first atomic bomb was dropped over Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, the city became known worldwide for this unenviable distinction. The destructive power of the bomb was tremendous and obliterated nearly everything within a 2 km radius. One of the few buildings that remained standing afterwards has been preserved; known today as the A-Bomb Dome, it is a monument to the bomb's dreadful power.

After the war, great efforts were taken to rebuild the city. Predictions that the city would be uninhabitable proved false. Destroyed monuments of Hiroshima's historical heritage, like Hiroshima Castle and Shukkeien Garden, were reconstructed. In the center of the city a large park was built and given a name that would reflect the aspirations of the re-born city: Peace Memorial Park.

Despite the legacy of the bomb, Hiroshima has very much become a modern city. The downtown area is filled with places to shop, eat, and otherwise enjoy oneself. Another testament to Hiroshima's vitality is the Mazda Motor Corporation, which is based in the city. Mazda has a large factory outside the city center that offers visitors a museum as well as a look at its cars being assembled.

Economy of Japan

Government-industry cooperation, a strong work ethic, mastery of high technology, and a comparatively small defense allocation (1% of GDP) helped Japan advance with extraordinary rapidity.

Japan's industrial sector is heavily dependent on imported raw materials and fuels. Japan is among world's largest and technologically advanced producers of motor vehicles, electronic equipment, machine tools, steel and nonferrous metals, ships, chemicals, textiles, and processed foods.

Comparatively, the agricultural sector is small. It is highly subsidized and protected, with crop yields among the highest in the world. Japan maintains one of the world's largest fishing fleets and accounts for nearly 15% of the global catch.

Although, economic growth was slow in the 1990s, it recently improved again. Japan's huge government debt, which totals 176% of GDP, and the aging of the population are two major long-run problems.

The currency of Japan is the Yen.

Culture of Japan

Japan’s schizophrenic culture may leave you gasping for breath as you try to navigate its multifaceted depths. Over the centuries, Japan has been shaped by outside influences and has gone through periods of intense isolation. The result is a culture that is uniquely layered.

On the one hand, there are magnificent temples, serene shrines, kabuki, nō, tea ceremonies and museums full of remnants of its rich artistic heritage. On the other hand, there is stark, spare modernism—karaoke bars, video game parlours, Western fashion and minimalist urban living.

Traditional Japanese arts include crafts such as ikebana and origami, performances such as kabuki, unique architecture, gardens, martial forms, and cuisine. Manga is a traditional form of comic books that blends traditional woodblock printing and Western art. Anime, which is television and film influenced by Manga, is also renowned the world over.

Japan is no laggard in literature either. The Tale of Genji by Lady Murasaki is often described as the world's first novel. Modern novelists include Junichiro Tanazaki, Yasunari Kawabata, Kenzaburo Oe and Haruki Murakami. Kawabata and Oe have both received the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Sumo is considered Japan's national sport and is one of its most popular. Martial arts such as judo, karate and kendō are also widely practiced in the country. Baseball is a popular spectator sport.

History of Japan

The earliest known inhabitants of this group of islands were hunters, fisherman and gatherers who came from Korea or Siberia, or by sea from Polynesia. The arrival of Buddhism in the sixth century influenced Japan significantly and introduced Chinese elements in political institutions, the writing system, and the lifestyle of the ruling class. Shinto deities took on Buddhist forms.

By the eleventh century, these influences waned and the country entered a long feudal period, during which different rulers and a Shogun (military leader) exercised power over Japan. This era lasted till the nineteenth century when the Tokugawa Shogunate’s reign, which insisted on strict obedience and loyalty and exercised almost fanatical control against outside influences, started declining. In 1868, the Meiji Restoration transformed Japan into a world power under the guidance of rulers dedicated to the pursuit of national wealth and strength. This was also the time that Westernization and modernization shaped the country into much of what it is presently.

While Japan sided with the Allied forces during WWI, it signed a tripartite pact with Germany and Italy in 1940 and WWII saw conflict with the US, with disastrous consequences—the release of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan was occupied until 1952 by US forces but a recovery program after that enabled the economy to expand rapidly, and Japan became the world's most successful export economy.

In recent years, a massive earthquake in 1995 and a poison gas attack on the Tokyo subway system as well as a sluggish economy have been concerns that the country has grappled with.

Attractive places in India

Calangute Beach, Goa

Calangute is a beach that is around 16 kms from Panjim, North Goa. The most basic attraction is Baga Beach. The best time to visit this place is from December To February.

Calangute derives its name from the local vernacular word—‘Koli-gutti’, meaning land of fishermen. It is the most popular holiday resort in Goa popularly known as the queen of Goan beaches. The rainbow hued canvas of Calangute has welcomed everyone. Seemingly not all that long ago, Calangute was the beach all self-respecting hippies headed for, especially around Christmas when psychedelic hell broke loose.

There are hardly any palms, the sand is contaminated with red soil and the beach drops rapidly into the sea. But wait, there’s more… On the shores of the Arabian Sea, under the shade of palm trees, bathes the Queen of Beaches—Calangute. Some call it Kalyangutti (village of art) or Konvallo-ghott (strong pit of the coconut tree) because the village is full of coconut trees. There are picturesque agors (saltpans) at Agarvaddo, and Maddavaddo is full of madd (coconut trees). While Dongorpur skirts a bottle-green hillock, Tivaivaddo laces the beach. In Gauravaddo lived the gaudds or milkmen ran dairies. Calangute's heyday as the Mecca of all expatriate hippies has passed. It has undergone a metamorphosis to become the centre of Goa's rapidly expanding package-tourist market. Though it isn't one of the best Goanese beaches, there is however, plenty going on, especially if you don't mind playing a minor role in this stage-managed parody of what travelling is meant to be about.

Calangute is one of the best beaches in Goa. It takes just 45 minutes by road to reach to this busy beach and its resorts. Things have become very commercial at this place as of now. There is a drastic change in the outlook of this place which was once more of a fishing village. But today this place has transformed itself to one of the best tourist spots when it comes to beaches.

Corbett Wildlife National Park

Corbett Wildlife National Park: Set up in 1936 as India's first wildlife national park and possibly the finest, the Corbett National Park was established in consultation with the great hunter and conservationist, Jim Corbett. The wildlife park spreads over some 920.9 square km at an altitude of 600 to 1100 metres at the foothills of western Himalayas in the districts of Nainital and Pauri Garhwal. In its eventful 64-year life, it has grown considerably in size and now includes the Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary as a part of its 1,319 sq km of reserved forest area.

Thoseghar water fall

Thoseghar is situated in Satara District.The most enchanting natural surroundings. A beautiful view of windmills at nearby Chalkewadi. During the Monsoon season Thoseghar is always the attraction for the picnic lovers. And now a days people are looking for different spots - especially in the rainy season.
Thoseghar is very famous for it's high Waterfall . These Waterfalls are very attractive and creates a loud noise in the calm nature. These waterfalls are also accompanied by a clean lake, dark woods and highly hilly region. You can enjoy various small waterfalls here which are about 15-20 meters high and one of around 500 meters high.

Marching Destination:
By Road: Thoseghar Waterfall is near to Satara City

Prince of wallace musuem

Prince of wallace musuem is located in Mumbai. Prince of wallace musuem femous for collaction of flora & Fauna.
Barely a stone's throw from the Gateway of India is the Prince of Wales Museum, a magnificent, but somewhat strange structure, built in a confluence of Gothic and Moorish styles, and crowned by a sparkling white dome. It boasts a good collection of ancient Indus Valley artifacts dating back to 2000 BC, plus some priceless Tibetan and Nepali Art.
There is an entire gallery devoted to Buddhist tankha scrolls and another to Tibetan bronzes, but the chief attraction here is the collection of over 2000 miniature paintings from the various art schools of India. Next to the Museum is the Bombay Natural History Society, which has an extensive collection of local flora and fauna.

Marching Destination:
By Road: Albert Museum is in Mumbai
By Rail : Mumbai is nearest Railway Station
By Air : Mumbai is nearest airport


Khandala is situated in Pune District. Khandala is one of the important hill stations in the state of Maharashtra and is the pride of the Sahyadri mountains. Khandala is endowed with abundant natural beauty. It also provides a popular gateway from the hustle and bustle of cities of Mumbai and Pune. The picturesque green surroundings of this pretty hill station attract the travelers towards it.
Khandala is a small hill station. The town provides a panoramic view of the lush green hilly environs. Travelers throng this place to escape the hectic lifestyle of Mumbai city. They can enjoy the scenic beauty of this place by taking a walk around. It has a number of trekking trails around it.
The popular hill station of Lonavala is only 5 km from Khandala. Lonavala also has the same geographical settings as that of Khandala.There are a number of lakes around Khandala. Tugauli Lake, Lonavala Lake and Bhushi Lake are worth visiting; so is the Walvan Dam.

Resorts in India

Snow Valley Resorts

Snow Valley Resorts introduces itself as one of the biggest Hotel of Manali having about 50 rooms, with all modern facilities and decorated with local touch. It is situated in the most posh area of Manali, the log hut area. This area is absolutely green and pollution free area. It is located among lush green deodar pine forest and surrounded with apple orchards. The hotel basks in the Sun throughout the day, making the guest feel comfortable and warm. Each room offers excellent view of the Snow clad Mountain Ranges, Forest & orchads.
Snow Valley Resorts is situated at Log Hut area, the only V.I.P. area in Manali, just 1.5 km away from the mall & bus stand.

Marc Royale Hotel

Marc Royale is a 4-star government approved hotel in Zirakpur. It offers a unique blend of most modern amenities and warm hospitality. The hotel has 34 well-appointed rooms with latest amenities. Banquet and meeting can be organized at its function halls. The hotel also has a multi cuisine restaurant and a well stocked bar. Live music and folk dance are organized for entertainment. The nearest railway station and airport are at Chandigarh.

52 tastefully appointed rooms and suites. All centrally air-conditioned with additional fresh air supply. And attached bath with hot and cold running water, channel music, CCTV with Star TV channels and refrigerator in every room plus, direct dialing from each room.

Coconut Lagoon Resort, Kumarakom

Coconut Lagoon is one of the leading Ayurveda resort Located in Kumarakom.It is a part of casino group of hotels. Coconut Lagoon has rightly carved its place among the top 10 heritage resorts of the world. The Coconut Lagoon is known for it's fine Kerala Cuisine and Ayurvedic Spa. An ideal place to relax and experience Kerala.

Coconut Lagoon is 110 km from Nedumbassery Airport, 18 kms. from Kottayam Railway Station, 14 kms. from Kottayam Bus Stand and 72 kms from Cochin airport.

The resort is on a small island and can be reached only by boat. The accommodation consists of individual cottages built in the traditional Kerala style, relying heavily on wood and some with private pools.

Room Service, Money Exchange Facilities, Credit Cards Accepted, Restaurant, Swimming Pool, Bar, Doctor on Call, Sunset Cruise, Ayurvedic Center, Health Spa, Expeditions, Country Boat and Fishing.

The Coconut Lagoon at Kumarakom has very comprehensive Ayurvedic Spa. Ayurveda, the ancient Indian science of health and longetivity, deals with the well-being of the spirit as well as of the body and mind. The resort offers, in addition to relaxing ayurvedic massages, complete seven and fourteen day Ayurvedic Rejuvenation packages, where a team of Ayurvedic Specialists take you through a routine of massages combined with yoga and spa specific diets.

Sun Village Beach Resort, Goa

Sun Village is situated near Arpora Beach,with 135 rooms set in the quite hillside on the outskirts of Arpora Village and Baga Beach. Overlooking calm countryside, paddy fields and salt pans. Eight Blocks on three floors surrounding the pool area offers high quality, well appointed spacious rooms with separate sleeping and living area.

Distance from Airport : 50 K.M from Airport,
Distance from Railway station : 55 K.M from Margao Railway Station.
Distance from Panjim : 15 K.M from Panjim cit

Accommodation are twin or double bedded rooms with separate living area, divan, ceiling fan, satellite TV, air-conditioning, mini-bar, telephone and balcony. Bathrooms with shower, wc, hot and cold water.

Conference hall to accommodate 80 to 100 on theater style, 35 classroom, 25 "U" Shape and 80 for cocktails, well equipped with audio visual equipment and other basic conference equipment.

Facilities include swimming pool, paddling pool, Sun terraces, air-conditioned restaurant serving multi-cuisine, seasonal Barbecue restaurant, buffet restaurant, pool bar, lobby bar, Pub, health club with gym, Jacuzzi and massage, Pool-Table, Beauty Parlor, hair dresser, table tennis, board games safe deposit, doctor on call, Money exchange.

Live entertainment like folk dance, live music, theme nights etc., are frequent but limited during monsoon.

Cities of India


Being the capital of India and an integral part of the glorious history of the country, Delhi travel guide unveils the rich heritage of the country of India. Delhi, located in the northern part of the country, has a strong influence of the north Indian culture and derives its outlook from the Punjabi culture.

Delhi, India being a cosmopolitan city and the capital of the country is home to people from all over the country and is a melting point of various cultures. Delhi preserves the great Mughal architecture, which includes the most magnificent buildings and structures. With the presence of numerous historical and modern amusement sites, Delhi has always been one of the major tourist destinations of the country. Some of the popular tourist spots in Delhi are:
  • Red Fort: This elegant fort built out of red stand stone, is considered to be one of the most visited places of Delhi.
  • Qutab Minar: Built in 1199, it has a height of 72.5 meters from the base.
  • Jama Masjid: Built by Shah Jahan, it happens to be one of the largest mosques in India.
  • Jantar Mantar: This observatory was made by Maharaja Jai Singh.
  • Humayun's Tomb: Built in the 16th century by wife of Humayun, this grand structure is made of red sand stone.
  • Lodhi Gardens: It has man-made streams and is located around the tombs of Lodhi and Sayid rulers.
  • The Bahai Temple: Also known as Lotus temple, it was founded in 1986. It has the shape of a lotus after which the name has been kept. Some of the other places of interest for Delhi travel and tourism are:

  • Nizam-Ud-Din Shrine
  • Sisgunj Gurudwara
  • Chandni Chowk
  • Rajpath and India Gate
  • Bangla Sahib Gurudwara
  • National Science Centre
  • Old fort
  • ISKCON Temple
  • Nehru Museum and Planetarium
  • Lakshmi Narayan Temple
  • Dolls Museum
  • Chattarpur Mandir

  • Mumbai

    Mumbai Location is in the Deccan region of India and it is the capital city of the state of Maharashtra. Mumbai location is perfectly set in the western coast of India, by the bank of the Arabian Sea. Mumbai can be called as an island city as it is made from the cluster of seven islands and its name is derived from Mumbadevi (the goddess of the koli fisher folk). Mumbai city consists of two different regions namely the city and the suburbs.

    Location of Mumbai is ideal as this metropolitan city is easily accessed by the national and international visitors. Sahara International Airport of Mumbai lies at a proximal distance of 30km from the city centre and offers flight connectivity to all the major cities in the world. The main railway station is Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus is located in the centre of the city and both local and outstation trains ply from here. Other railway station of Mumbai are Dadar, Kurla and Churchgate. The road connectivity of Mumbai is attached to all the parts of India.
    Previously Mumbai was known as Bombay and is very famous for the film city or Bollywood. Mumbai is an important commercial and cultural center. Business and trade are carried on large in Mumbai and majority of the foreign companies are based in Mumbai. Mumbai is also the financial capital of India and is a true cosmopolitan city with multiple shopping arcades, gourmet restaurants, nightclubs and interesting sightseeing.

    Hence Mumbai acts as a great tourist centre and attracts tourist throughout the globe. Mumbai city in India is a famous city both from the cultural and commercial view point.


    Lucknow is the capital city of the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. It is also the administrative headquarters of the district Lucknow and the Lucknow Division. Lucknow is a multicultural city famous for its beautiful gardens, delicious cuisine, poetry and music.

    Lucknow in India is a historical place. From the days of the Nawabs till this day it has remained a center of political power. From the decline of the Mughal rule to the rise of the British power – Lucknow has witnessed it all. Numerous places of tourist interest are present here. Bara Imambara, Chhota Imambara, Jama Masjid, Lucknow Residency and Rumi Darwaza are some of them.

    Lucknow has a number of shopping places. From the shopping plaza at Hazrat Gunj to the Aminabad market, to the Chowk and the Nakhas (Sunday market) – choices are plenty. Lucknow is famous for its Chikan (thread work) designs. This is a fine specimen of workmanship that is manifested on clothes, mats, bed sheets, etc. The city is also famous for its jewelry and ornament shops.

    In Lucknow hotels are available at varying price range. There are luxury hotels as well as budget hotels and economy hotels. M.G. Marg, Rani Laxmi Bai Marg and Gomti Nagar are some of the places where luxury hotels are available. Budget and economy hotels are available in places like Rana Pratap Marg and Charbagh. The cuisine of Lucknow is famous for its individuality. Kebabs, korma, kaliya, zarda and kulcha are some of the popular dishes Lucknow is known for.
    Lucknow is well connected to all the major places of India. The airport at Amausi provides links to the major cities of India through direct flights. Express and super fast trains can be boarded from Lucknow Junction and Charbagh station. Lucknow is also on the cross routes of some of the important National Highways.


    Kolkata travel makes way for the tourists to the 'City of Joy'. Kolkata, which was formerly known as Calcutta, is known as the Cultural Capital of India. More than 300 years old, it is one of the largest metropolitan cities in India. The city is vibrant and full of life with a cozy cosmopolitan ambiance that never fails to engross and attract people from all over the world. The majestic Hooghly River flows by the city, enhancing its beauty just in the manner the Thames beautifies London.

    Previously the Gateway to the country and the capital of the British Raj in India, Kolkata still bears the Victorian imprint on its landscape. Kolkata has witnessed a number of significant happenings of the colonial rule in India. The home of the cultural Renaissance of the early nineteenth century and a number of violent and vigorous nationalist movement, Kolkata continues to be one of the most culturally and politically happening city of India. Home to more than 10 million people, the life of Kolkata is a melting pot of heritage, art, culture, sports, politics and tourism – making it a blissful place for tourists.

    The most important city in the eastern India, capital of West Bengal, Kolkata can boast of varied tourist
  • Victoria Memorial
  • Howrah Bridge
  • 2nd Hoogly Bridge
  • Town Hall
  • Kalighat Temple
  • Birla Planetarium
  • Fort William
  • Botanical Garden
  • Asiatic Society
  • Ashutosh Museum of Indian Art
  • Academy of Fine Arts
  • Nandan Complex
  • Alipur Zoo
  • Race Course
  • Science City
  • Millenium Park
  • Aquatica
  • Nicco Park

  • Economy of India

    India's population is estimated at more than 1.1 billion and is growing at 1.3% a year. It has the world's 12th largest economy--and the third largest in Asia behind Japan and China--with total GDP in 2007 of around $1.1 trillion ($1,100 billion), based on a 2007 year-end exchange rate of 39.5 rupees to the U.S. dollar. Services, industry, and agriculture account for 55%, 27%, and 18% of GDP respectively. Nearly two-thirds of the population depends on agriculture for its livelihood. 700 million Indians live on $2 per day or less, but there is a large and growing middle class of more than 50 million Indians with disposable income ranging from 200,000 to 1,000,000 rupees per year ($4166-$20,833). Estimates are that the middle class will grow ten-fold by 2025..
    India continues to move forward, albeit haltingly, with market-oriented economic reforms that began in 1991. Reforms include increasingly liberal foreign investment and exchange regimes, industrial decontrol, reductions in tariffs and other trade barriers, opening and modernization of the financial sector, significant adjustments in government monetary and fiscal policies, and more safeguards for intellectual property rights.

    Real GDP growth for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2007 was 9.4%, up from 9.0% growth in the previous year. Growth for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2009 was initially expected to be between 8.5-9.0%, but has been revised downward by a number of economists to 7.0% or less because of the financial crisis and resulting global economic slowdown. Foreign portfolio and direct investment inflows have risen significantly in recent years. They contributed to $255 billion in foreign exchange reserves by June 2007. Government receipts from privatization were about $3 billion in fiscal year 2003-2004, but the privatization program has stalled since then.

    Economic growth is constrained by inadequate infrastructure, a cumbersome bureaucracy, corruption, labor market rigidities, regulatory and foreign investment controls, the "reservation" of key products for small-scale industries, and high fiscal deficits. The outlook for further trade liberalization is mixed and a key WTO Doha Ministerial in July 2008 was unsuccessful due to differences between the U.S. and India (as well as China) over market access. India eliminated quotas on 1,420 consumer imports in 2002 and has incrementally lowered non-agricultural customs duties in recent successive budgets. However, the tax structure is complex, with compounding effects of various taxes.

    The United States is India's largest trading partner. Bilateral merchandise trade in 2007 was $41.6 billion. Principal U.S. exports are diagnostic or lab reagents, aircraft and parts, advanced machinery, cotton, fertilizers, ferrous waste/scrap metal, and computer hardware. Major U.S. imports from India include textiles and ready-made garments, Internet-enabled services, agricultural and related products, gems and jewelry, leather products, and chemicals.

    The rapidly growing software sector is boosting service exports and modernizing India's economy. Software exports crossed $28 billion in FY 2006-2007, while business process outsourcing (BPO) revenues hit $8.3 billion in 2006-2007. Personal computer penetration is 14 per 1,000 persons. The cellular/mobile market surged to 140 million subscribers by November 2006. The country has 54 million cable TV customers.

    The United States is India's largest investment partner, with a 13% share. India's total inflow of U.S. direct investment was estimated at more than $9 billion through 2006. Proposals for direct foreign investment are considered by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board and generally receive government approval. Automatic approvals are available for investments involving up to 100% foreign equity, depending on the kind of industry. Foreign investment is particularly sought after in power generation, telecommunications, ports, roads, petroleum exploration/processing, and mining.

    India's external debt was $155 billion in 2006-2007, up from $126 billion in 2005-2006. Foreign assistance was approximately $3 billion in 2006-2007, with the United States providing about $126 million in development assistance. The World Bank plans to double aid to India to almost $3 billion a year, with focus on infrastructure, education, health, and rural livelihoods.

    Culture of India

    The term culture refers to a state of intellectual development or manners. The social and political forces that influence the growth of a human being is defined as culture.

    Indian culture is rich and diverse and as a result unique in its very own way. Our manners, way of communicating with one another, etc are one of the important components of our culture. Even though we have accepted modern means of living, improved our lifestyle, our values and beliefs still remain unchanged. A person can change his way of clothing, way of eating and living but the rich values in a person always remains unchanged because they are deeply rooted within our hearts, mind, body and soul which we receive from our culture.

    Indian culture treats guests as god and serves them and takes care of them as if they are a part and parcel of the family itself. Even though we don’t have anything to eat, the guests are never left hungry and are always looked after by the members of the family. Elders and the respect for elders is a major component in Indian culture. Elders are the driving force for any family and hence the love and respect for elders comes from within and is not artificial. An individual takes blessings from his elders by touching their feet. Elders drill and pass on the Indian culture within us as we grow.

    “Respect one another” is another lesson that is taught from the books of Indian culture. All people are alike and respecting one another is ones duty. In foreign countries the relation between the boss and the employee is like a master and slave and is purely monetary whereas in Indian culture the relation between the boss and the employee is more like homely relations unlike foreign countries.

    Helpful nature is another striking feature in our Indian culture. Right from our early days of childhood we are taught to help one another in need of help and distress. If not monetary then at least in kind or non-monetary ways. Indian culture tells us to multiply and distribute joy and happiness and share sadness and pain. It tells us that by all this we can develop co-operation and better living amongst ourselves and subsequently make this world a better place to live in.

    History of India

    One of the great early civilizations made its home in the Indus River Valley around 2500 BC along the Indus River valley. Its great cities were Mohenjo-daro and Harappa. Nobody is quite sure what caused their decline. Then between 1500 and 200 BC, Aryan invaders from Central Asia came to India and pushed the original Dravidian inhabitants south.

    Over the next few centuries, several kingdoms rose and fell in different parts of the country, including the Maurya kingdom and the Gupta empire. India was invaded by various people including the Huns and the Mongols. Most notable were the Muslim Ghurs in 1192, who brought the entire Gangetic basin under their control within 20 years. In the south, the mighty Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagar, and the fragmented Bahmani Islamic kingdom came to power.

    The Mughal emperors defeated the Sultan of Delhi in 1525, and ushered in another artistic golden age. The Maratha Empire grew during the 17th century and gradually took over more of the Mughals' domain. The Marathas consolidated control of central India until they fell to the last great imperial power, the British.

    The British established their power over India by 1803 and started using the country as a place to make money. Unlike the Mughals, they did not assimilate into the culture, nor did they think of the country as their own. The treated the local Indian people as ‘natives’. The Uprising (also known as the War of Independence) in northern India in 1857 was the first mark of protest.

    By the turn of the 20th century, Indians had started opposing foreign rule in earnest. The struggle for freedom was fought on many fronts by many people across the country, most significant of them being Gandhi who adopted a policy of passive resistance, or satyagraha.

    India finally attained independence on 15 August, 1947. Muslim parties had fought for a separate country all along and so the country was also divided to form the separate nation of Pakistan. When the dividing line was announced, the greatest exodus in human history took place as Muslims moved to Pakistan and Hindus and Sikhs relocated to India. Over 10 million people changed sides and even the most conservative estimates calculate that 250,000 people were killed.

    In the years after independence, India struggled to grow its economy but finally started doing that only as recently as five years ago.