Friday, December 26, 2008

Travel in India - Winter

Though winter is the peak season in India for tourism the arrivals are year around. Most of the foreigners visit India in this season. But as I have seen many tourists from different parts of India and inbound travelers are not fully informed as to how bitter cold is North India and some part of Central India.

In some parts of Himalayan regions and its foothills the snow falls unannounced. This takes tourist by surprise. Cloud bursts and flash floods also create a risk factor for tourists to Northern India. Though the infrastructure and disaster management services are in place on rare occasions these calamities surface.     

The tourists come directly under the effect of cold. Those traveling to North India like Kashmir, Leh and Laddakh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Utter Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh should be vary of cold. The season begins from November and carries on till February or March in some cases.

The requirement of warm clothing are fulfilled by the markets hence the trouble caused is minimal. Many lodges and resorts have heating systems and emergency arrangement. During snowfall and rains landslide can occur hence on prior warning the tourist should avoid such destinations.    

In case of travel to National Parks, Hill Stations and Resorts in higher reaches extra warm clothing is a must. Clothing such as sweater, jackets, mufflers, hand gloves, head gear are a perquisite. Warm inner wear is very useful. Due to extreme cold tourists suffering from lung ailments and age should not travel without proper assistance. The high reaches of the Himalayas create breathlessness as oxygen is low.

The degree of difficulty and weather conditions should be highlighted by the tour organizers in India. But not many bother to emphasize upon the tourist to carry all sorts of warm garments. Though cold is not comparable with North America, Canada or Europe the trouble is there is no climate control in most of the places including in accommodations.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Luxury Hotels at National Parks

Tiger Tourism is on rise day by and there is a greater rush during holidays and week end. The accommodation has to keep pace with rising number of tourists every day. A number of hotels, wildlife lodges and jungle resorts have been set up around the periphery of the park.

Some of the hotels in the tiger reserves are high priced like the Celebration Van Vilas at Kanha and Celebration at Bandhavgarh while the semi luxurious hotels are affordable. Courtyard House Kanha is in the same price range but nonetheless offers luxurious amenities.

Besides the above two there are many other wildlife resorts and camps that offer accommodation. The accommodation types range from cottage, tents to standard hotel rooms. Some of the star properties provide luxurious amenities and cater to upscale tourists from India and abroad.  

There are many budget hotels in Kanha which are at best comfortable. During vacations it is advised to book hotels in advance since the room rates skyrocket as the rush begins and at times all room at the National Parks are fully booked. I have on number of occasions seen FITs turning back due to lack of accommodation.

Some of the finest hotels in NPs established in recent times are as follows:

Celebration Van Vilas Kanha Hotel

Celebration Hotel at Bandhavgarh

The hotel websites have option of booking online, which is fast and comfortable.