Gay India – Temple Tour with Exotic Beaches

We at Out Journeys always come up with something new for our Gay and Lesbian guests from across the world. This time we are offering a Temple tour along with some exotic beaches in South India. As you know India is a country where there are people of many religions like Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Janis, Zoroastrians etc. We will take you to some of the amazingly beautiful places in South India where you will experience the architecture and spirituality. Some of most amazing beaches will also be covered in this tour. We know the requirements of our Gay and Lesbian friends so we create tour keeping in mind their privacy and we also put in some surprise LGBT elements in these tours. Out Journeys is popular brand among Gay and Lesbian travellers. We hosted the 1st Asian Symposium on LGBT Tourism in New Delhi. We are also IGLTA ambassadors to India and India’s first International Gay Travel Company.

The detailed itinerary of the Temple tour with exotic beaches is as follows:

Mumbai – Cochin – Munnar – Kumarakom – Alleppey Kovalam – Madurai – Trichy – Pondicherry – Mahabalipuram – Chennai – Mumbai

21 Nights/22 Days Program

Day 01: Arrive Mumbai

Reception and welcome at Mumbai airport followed by transfer to your hotel in the late night. The stay will be overnight at Mumbai.

Day 02: Mumbai

Morning start half day city tour of Mumbai. Visit Kamla Nehru Park, Hanging Gardens situated on the slopes of Malabar Hill offering a panoramic view of Marine Drive, Chowpatty Beach, Prince of ales Museum, Mani Bhawan, Dhobi Ghat, Gateway of India & drive through the Crawford Market, Marine Drive & Flora Fountain. The stay will be overnight at Mumbai.

Day 03: Mumbai – Cochin by Flight

Morning check out from hotel and transfer to airport to board flight for Cochin. Arrive at Cochin and transfer to a hotel. Afternoon visit city.  Cochin is the natural harbour created by the famed underwater Malabar mud-banks whose quality ensures that the rougher the seas are outside the calmer the waters are within the Harbour. Vasco-de-Gama placed it on the world map. It has a Jewish synagogue, Portuguese churches, mosques & Hindu temples. The stay will be overnight at Cochin.

Day 04: Cochin – Munnar 

After check out drive to Munnar. Arrive at Munnar and transfer to hotel. Day free to relax. The stay will be overnight at Munnar.

Day 05: Munnar

Munnar is breathtakingly beautiful. A haven of peace and tranquility, this idyllic tourist destination in God’s own country is set at an altitude of 6000 ft in Idukki district. Munnar was the favored summer resort of the erstwhile British rulers in the colonial days. It has an unending expanse of tea plantations, pristine valleys and mountains along with exotic species of flora and fauna in its wild sanctuaries and forests. An early morning visit is a must. The aroma of spice scented cool air will make you never want to leave this place.  You will spend the night here.

Day 06: Munnar – Periyar

After check out from Munnar hotel you drive to Periyar, Arrive at Periyar and transfer to hotel. The stay will be overnight at Periyar.

Day 07: Periyar

Morning you visit a sanctuary. Set up in 1934, it extends to 777 square kms & forms a part of the high mountain ranges, the Western Ghats.  Wild life can be seen while cruising on Periyar Lake in a motor boat. You can see elephants, wild boar, sambar, tiger, leopard, wild dog, langur monkeys, etc.

You stay overnight at Periyar.

Day 08: Periyar – Kumarakom

Morning drive to Kumarakom. Arrive at Kumarakom & transfer to hotel. Day free to relax at Kumarakom. The stay will be overnight at Kumarakom.

Day 09: Kumarakom

After Breakfast visit Kumarakom. Kumarakom is the loveliest Village in Kerala, blessed with nature’s rare gifts is on the Eastern side of the vast Vembanad Lake. The lake provides facilities for boating, yachting, fishing, surf riding & swimming. Ideal picnic spot accessible by boat from here is Pathiramanal (Midnight Sands) a lonely island in the lake. The stay will be overnight at Kumarakom

Day 10: Kumarakom – Alleppey

A morning drive gets you to Alleppey where you board an houseboat. The coastal town of Alleppey on the Arabian Sea is the Venice of the East, for the numerous canals that meander through the town. Bathing in the backwaters on the Vembanad Lake is refreshing. This town holds a thrilling event of snake-boat race every year in August. It is also known for its cashew nuts, coir trade, rice, pepper crops & coconuts. You spend the night on a House boat.

Day 11: Alleppey – Kovalam

Check out from hotel at 1200 hrs & drive to Kovalam & transfer to hotel. The stay will be overnight at Kovalam.

Day 12: Kovalam

Kovalam is one of the most beautiful beaches of the world. The surf here is ideal for surf-riding and the water invites the visitor to ride the -Catamaran- or log, with the fisherman, or to take a cool swim. Nearby is the Beach Centre of aquatic sports. At the Yoga and Health Centre, Yoga classes and transcendental meditation are held. Ayurvedic oil massages and oil bath are given by experts.  The stay will be overnight at Kovalam.

Day 13: Kovalam

Day free to relax. Transport is at your disposal to visit within city. The stay will be overnight at Kovalam.

Day 14: Kovalam à Madurai via Kanya Kumari

Morning checking out from the hotel and drive to Madurai visiting Kanya Kumari enroute, Also called Cape Comorin. Visit city. Kanya Kumari is the land’s end of India where the water of the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean meet. An important pilgrim centre of India, it is famous for the AmmanTemple-a symbol of unity and sanctity-dedicated to the virgin Goddess, Kanya Kumari. To its South-East lies the famous Vivekananda Rock Memorial, a blend of all the architectural styles of India.

Arrive Madurai and transfer to hotel. The stay will be overnight at Madurai.

Day 15: Madurai

Visit lotus –shaped Madurai, once the seat of Tamil learning.  Visit the great Meenakshi Temple dedicated to the consort of   Lord Shiva with its towering gopurams (rising high above the  surrounding country side). Later, visit the Tirumala NayakPalace – A   gracious building in the Indo saracenic style, famous for the Stucco work on its domes & arches. Also visit the Alagar Hills and Tirupara Kundran Rock temple. The stay will be overnight at Madurai.

Day 16: Madurai – Trichy

Morning drive to Trichy, Arrive at Trichy & transfer to hotel.

Afternoon city tour of Trichy. Trichy was the citadel of the Chola dynasty in the medieval period. In the 18th century it witnessed the Carnatic wars fought between the French and the English. Lord Robert Clive’s house is still there to see and so is the DanishChurch. The Rock-Fort is the landmark of Trichy. A climb of 434 steps leads to the ancient temple of Ganapati on top and a further climb to a Shiva temple.

The stay will be overnight at Trichy.

Day 17: Trichy – Tanjore – Trichy

Morning same day excursion to Tanjore, The beautiful Chola Temple of Brihadeeshwara is capped by a monolithic cupola made of a single granite block weighing 80 tons which was taken to the top with the help of a 6 km long ramp, an old technique used by the Egyptians for building pyramids. Its bronzes and handicrafts make Tanjore one of the highlights of a visit to South India.

The stay will be overnight at Trichy.

Day 18: Trichy – Pondicherry

Morning drive to Pondicherry. Arrive at Pondicherry and transfer to hotel. Day free to relax.  The stay will be overnight at Pondicherry.

Day 19: Pondicherry

Day free to explore city. The capital of French India before independence, Pondicherry traces its origin to Saint Agasthya, the revered sage of the south & excavations near-by reveal that a Roman settlement existed here 2000 years ago. It was the theatre of many a battle between the British. The stay will be overnight at Pondicherry.

Day 20: Pondicherry – Mahabalipuram

Morning drive to Mahabalipuram, Arrive at Mahabalipuram and transfer to hotel. The stay will be overnight at Mahabalipuram.

Day 21: Mahabalipuram

Morning visit Mahabalipuram, visit the shore temple and the rock- cut murals that adorn the caves here. The city of Mahabalipuram is famous for the seven pagodas. Here on the seashore is an interesting group of ancient rock hewn temples which are the examples of Dravidian style of Architecture. The stay will be overnight at Mahabalipuram.

Day 22: Mahabalipuram à Chennai by drive and Chennai à Mumbai by flight

Morning drive to Chennai visiting Kanchipuram enroute,

Kanchipuram (64 kms from Chennai (Madras)) is the ancient capital of the Pallavas famous as a city of 1000 Temples and still has 124 shrines. The first temple dedicated to Shiva was built in the 7th and 8th century and has paintings on the walls. Temples of Ekambaswara, Kailasanatha, Sri Kamakshi and Varadarajaswamy are of interest. Kanchipuram is also famous for its silks.

After visit transfer to Chennai airport to board flight for Mumbai, Arrive Mumbai and stay in transit.

Day 23: Departure

Board flight for onward journey.


                                                End of our services

                          All hotels check-in & check-out time is 1200 hrs. (Noon) 

Taj Hotels & Oberoi Hotels check-in time is 1400 hrs & check-out time is 1200 hrs (Noon).


To Book this tour log on to or mail us at to know about cost details.

Gay and Lesbian holidays

Gay Rajasthan Tour – The Largest Fort in India

Gay Rajasthan Tour - The Largest Fort in India

Chittorgarh Fort (Hindi/Rajasthani: चित्तौड दुर्ग Chittorgarh Durg) is the largest fort in India and the grandest in the state of Rajasthan. The fort, plainly known as Chittor, was the capital of Mewar and is today situated several kilometres by road south of Bhilwara. It was ruled initially by Guhilot and later by Sisodias, the Suryavanshi clans of Chattari Rajputs, from 7th century, until it was finally abandoned in 1568 after the siege by Emperor Akbar in 1567. It sprawls majestically over a hill 180 m (590.6 ft) in height spread over an area of 280 ha (691.9 acres) above the plains of the valley drained by the Berach River. The fort precinct with an evocative history is studded with a series of historical palaces, gates, temples and two prominent commemoration towers. These monumental ruins have inspired the imagination of tourists and writers for centuries.

Gay Rajasthan Tour – Mail us at or log on to

Gay Luxury Tours to India – Out Journeys

Gay Luxury Tours to India - Out Journeys

Luxury Stays in India, Relax and Rejuvenate yourself, Enjoy the Gay Experiences in India. Travel with Out Journeys – India’s first gay international travel company.

Delhi Night Life – Gay India Tour, Gay Parties

Delhi Night Life - Gay India Tour, Gay Parties

Delhi has several gay party organizers who throw gay gatherings on weekends at otherwise straight nightclubs on a changing basis. Ask a local for upcoming details or get onto a mailing list to find out what will be going on during your visit. The clubs listed below have an established and regular gay clientele.

Section 377, which criminalizes gay sex, may be well and alive in Indian society, but that doesn’t stop gay men in the Indian capital from putting on their dancing shoes.

When the sun goes down in Delhi, it is time to go out and enjoy everything that this exciting destination has on offer. Whether your preference is for relaxing in a quiet wine-bar, or letting your hair down and dancing the night away in a nightclub. Nightlife means fun and entertainment at night: dance clubs, bars, parties, festivals, shows, restaurants, live music bands and all that. The idea is to go out and have good old-fashioned fun.

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2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,500 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 9 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

1 week or 2 weeks or 3 weeks in India – Holidaying in India (Out Journeys, Gay and Lesbian Tourism)

First-timers to India tend to be guided unvaryingly (and sensibly) around the so-called Golden Triangle (Delhi/Agra/Jaipur). This route, straightforward enough on paper, requires some discernment to get right. A policy of less is more is always sensible in India, in order to limit the shock the place inevitably delivers to an average Westerner’s system.

A question often posed is whether a week is enough time to cover the birthplace of three great faiths — Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The answer, reasonably, is no. But travelers are not reasonable people, and it is distinctly possible to absorb the essence of India in CliffsNotes form.

The One-Week Trip

It is useful to start in the capital. A city created, like great geological formations, of time-sculptured and overlapping strata, Delhi is seven cities at least and almost as many civilizations collapsed, accreted and jumbled into one.

Despite its shambolic beginnings and ambient tumult, Delhi is a pleasing city to visit, in part because it retains swaths of forest greenbelt — its broad avenues, its traffic roundabouts and other useful systems bequeathed by the imperial nannies of the British Raj. Compared with the horn-honking frenzy of industrial tech centers elsewhere in the country, Delhi remains notably civilized. It is, as is often noted, Washington, D.C., toMumbai’s New York.


A week in India, I tell friends, axiomatically begins with two days in the capital (for simplicity’s sake I am referring to time spent in-country; nearly a full day is lost traveling to India from the East Coast of the United States). And, if budget permits, I advise them to book into one of the city’s fine, though pricey top-tier hotels. There is a reason for this. Delhi is ever sprawling, and the premium you pay at hotels like the Taj Mahal or theOberoi for a central location and for “amenities” like potable tap water (even ice is safe in such places these days), knowledgeable concierges, well-trained staff and, yes, consistent electrical service is repaid a thousandfold by reduced time in traffic and a placid digestive tract.

Because I believe that denial is the only plausible treatment for jet lag, after the usual 1 a.m. arrival and witching-hour check-in, I tend to sleep what few hours remain before dawn, setting the alarm for breakfast so that I can launch myself into the first day.

Some intrepid types navigate the city on the newly extended and, from all accounts, efficient Metro. In the interest of time-saving, I just flag down a cab at the hotel taxi rank. In most Indian cities the beloved Hindustan Ambassador taxi, its buglike design little altered since 1958, has begun to vanish, replaced by more modern vehicles. In Delhi, though, the Ambassador remains a reassuringly constant presence. No less comforting is the off-meter flat rate many drivers remain willing to accept. While this rate is subject to change at any time, in my experience it has held surprisingly steady for more than a decade: 1,000 rupees (or about $21 at current exchange rates) hires a car for 50 miles or eight hours.

While every guidebook instructs visitors to start out by seeing the lanes of Old Delhi, the Mughal sites like the Red Fort and the colossal mosque known as Jama Masjid, I gave up on the noise and crowds and filth of Old Delhi long ago. I advise friends to save their awe instead for the next phase of the journey, for Agra and the Taj Mahal, for Emperor Akbar’s little-visited tomb at nearby Sikandra, and for Fatehpur Sikri, the evanescent red sandstone city that lies about 20 miles down the road from the great and, in my impious view, overrated shrine to love.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Back in the capital on one’s first day in the country, I recommend bypassing the old city to have a driver convey one instead in early morning toRashtrapati Bhavan, now the presidential residence, though built for the British viceroy and thus a cornerstone of Sir Edwin Lutyens’s New Delhi and symbolic centerpiece of the British Raj. Heightened security has made it difficult to experience this complex of government buildings except at some distance or through gates. So I tend to have the car park on a side road while I stroll the broad Rajpath, which leads downhill from Raisina Hill to India Gate.

Few remnants of the colonial presence in India survive as nearly intact as does Rashtrapati Bhavan; fewer still evince comparable architectural modesty — a notable feature for an array of buildings designed to express imperial might.

This may be the place to note the presence of animals in urban Indian settings, the cows that still turn up on New Delhi medians despite laws that ban their presence; the white stallions trotting through traffic on the way to a wedding ceremony; the goat flocks being herded along the four-lane blacktop in Tamil Nadu. At Rashtrapati Bhavan, the wildlife takes the form of impertinent monkeys that fling themselves across the facades of the red sandstone pavilions, tails looping from domed chhatris, prehensile thumbs hitched on to crevices of pierced-sandstone jali screens as they nonchalantly delouse themselves.

From Raisina Hill and the presidential residence, I typically have my taxi drive on to theNational Museum, whose survey collection provides a fine grounding for visitors in need of a playbook to India’s cultural and religious multiplicities. After this, I have a late lunch at one of several downtown outposts of a restaurant called Nathu’s Sweets, a Delhi institution noted for its Bengali home-cooking and unctuous desserts.

The Nathu’s branch I frequent occupies a corner of the antiques enclave called Sunder Nagar Market, and thus is convenient for a leisurely afternoon tour through the Aladdin’s-cave-like emporiums there, places like Ladakh Art Gallery or Bharany’s, a shop whose presiding, though occasionally absent spirit is C. L. Bharany, a wizened ancient with a sharp sense of business and an expansive philosophy of life.

That’s plenty for one day, especially on little sleep: head back to your hotel, I tell friends. Order a club sandwich and watermelon juice and sack out.

On Day 2, I tend to set out early for South Delhi and for the austere and distinctly phallic minaret at Qutb Minar, or else spend time at the seldom-visited Sikh Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, or at an obscure ruins near the woodlands of Mehrauli known as Jamali Kamali Masjid.

Few locals even know of this mosque complex named for a Sufi saint interred beside his male lover. I’d never heard of it before being taken there by Bim Bissell, the irrepressible matriarch of the family behind the Indian handicrafts emporium chain Fabindia.

On our visit, Bim mentioned to me offhandedly that when her children were young, the family customarily packed food for al fresco meals at Jamali Kamali. It seemed somehow characteristic of both Bim and her city that it was a natural thing to picnic with your children at a tomb.

After my morning outings, I tend to make my way to Basil and Thyme for lunch. This simple and surprisingly inexpensive cafe is in a bungalow in Santushti Shopping Complex, itself set behind the walls of New Wellington Camp, Air Force Station, a shopping complex much favored by Delhi’s retail-mad leisure class.

Here, the chef, Bhicoo J. Manekshaw — now closing in on 90 and retired from the stove — continues to devise menus offering fresh, unfussy fare best categorized under the rubric of what was once called “butler food” in India. Over lunch of cold-poached salmon or roast chicken with black mushroom stuffing, washed down with fresh lime soda, it is easy to forget that outside Santushti’s gated walls is a tumultuous city of 14 million and that one is not just passing time before catching the 5:05 to Cos Cob.

After lunch I poke around at Santushti, stopping in at Anokhi to see the new offerings produced by this Jaipur-based company specializing in hand-block printed fabrics, and atTulsi, the small shop run by the designer Neeru Kumar. From there I move on by taxi to Baba Kharak Singh Marg, an avenue that juts like a radial spoke from the central roundabout of Connaught Circus.

Baba Kharak Singh Marg is among the last remaining streets in India where it is possible to find an array of government-sponsored emporiums, places that, in a drowsy and state-subsidized way, promote the specialist crafts that are fast disappearing from the Indian scene. From Andhra Pradesh comes iron and silver filigree work called Bidriware; from Orissa, paintings on palm fiber; from Rajasthan, white-on-white patchwork appliqué; from Assam, the naturally golden silk called muga; from Kashmir, the lacquerware that is pretty inescapable in India or, for that matter, at ABC Carpet & Home.

If fatigue threatens, this experience can be condensed by stopping in at Kamala, a well curated omnibus crafts shop run by the Crafts Council of India, at the end of the state shop parade.

(Of course, if one happens to be in Delhi on a weekend, it is worth ditching the country club lunch at Santushti to splash out on the buffet at the Threesixty restaurant in the Oberoi hotel. The most steroidal bar mitzvah feast has nothing on the Oberoi’s buffet, a prime example of the notion that in India too much is hardly ever enough — although, of course, for much of the population too little is a grim and permanent condition.)

Fortified by lunch, and as a preparation for the journey to Agra, I urge friends to head straight for Humayun’s TombFor decades this monument was a travesty — its fountains and watercourses barren, its lawns moth-eaten, its ancient palisades in peril of imminent collapse. Wasps had built vast bulbous nests in the pointed Mughal archways; shanty dwellers had built their own improvised nests in crevices of the monument walls.

Though evocative in decay, Humayun’s Tomb is no less so today, restored with funds from the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, and in all of Delhi or even of India, there can be few places lovelier than Humayun’s Tomb at sunset, when the waning light of day outlines the tiled dome and eagles hang in the thermals above the nearby Yamuna River.


From Delhi, I typically hire a car and driver through the hotel travel desk and head to Agra. And while I would prefer not to spend a night in this shamefully polluted city, this is the only proper way to visit the Taj Mahal.

What I mean is that the Taj Mahal seen in the glaring sun of an Indian midday, as happens when you reach it after arriving from Delhi, can seem as ghostly blank as an overexposed photo. Seen at dusk or dawn, however, the structure’s marmoreal surface magically absorbs and reflects the ambient colors of sky and clouds and even a hint of the orangy pollution belched out by nearby industries.

Upon arrival at Agra on one’s third day in India and having risen to see the great monument near dawn, it is usual to press on to Jaipur on a route that takes you first to Fatehpur Sikri, among the most evocative ruins in India.

Unlike the Taj Mahal, which impresses but rarely moves me, this city abandoned in the 16th century is a deeply atmospheric place, rising as it does from farm fields in the middle of seemingly nowhere. A complex of meeting halls, women’s quarters, courtyard gardensand stables for elephants, Fatehpur Sikri was occupied for a mere 14 years before a shortage of water forced its abandonment. Like all lost cities, it is a screen onto which one is free to project any narrative of your choosing. It is a poetic place, as even the wild parrots scribbling their vivid green arabesques above the old minarets seem to know.

From there I continue on to Jaipur, the fabled Pink City, which is, by Indian standards, not that old (17th century) and by any reasonable estimate, not so roseate, either. Still, Jaipur must be seen for at least three reasons: the City Palace; a hilltop redoubt outside town called Amber (pronounced Amer) Fort; and Gem Palace, which is not a palace at all.

Even an hourlong tour of City Palace, a multistory ancestral home of the high-living Anglophile Maharajahs of Jaipur, provides a tantalizing peek into the voluptuary lives of the acquisitive royals, who collected miniatures by the yard, silver by the ton, carpets seemingly by the mile.

At Amber Fort, the ruling Kachhawa clan lived and ruled from a hilltop redoubt of red sandstone and white marble, where the fused influences of Hindu and Muslim architecture are only part of the pleasure of place. The fort is best reached on elephant back (a bit of tourist hokum that is well worth it) and is notable both for interiors that feature the latest technological innovations of earlier ages — cascading water running down marble ramps provided an early form of air-conditioning — and views of the barren Aravalli range.

It makes sense to save Gem Palace for last because it is the sort of place that yields up its secrets slowly. Chambers filled with cases of jewels and silver lead into each other, and serious shoppers will often find a member of the Kasliwal family — which has run the place for generations — beckoning them into a back room for glimpses of treasures not kept on public view.

Gem Palace is one of those purveyors passed around like a secret among cognoscenti, though realistically it’s not much of a secret. Eventually everyone from the philanthropist Anne Bass to Giorgio Armani to Aunt Tillie has wandered in at some point. The greater challenge is getting out without losing your shirt.

That then is the one-week plan. You might return to New Delhi and fly home, or else stay on and — doubling the available time — use this same basic format for an itinerary easily expanded to encompass places a bit farther afield. The following itineraries can be managed in chunks of two to three days and accordingly the first stop after Jaipur is Jodhpur, my favorite among the cities of Rajasthan.

Two Weeks is Better


Jodhpur, like the other cities noted below, can probably be adequately enjoyed in two days and is an easy hop by plane from Jaipur via Delhi or Mumbai and an easy place, as well, in which to find hotels at every price. I have tested them all, from the funky stucco pavilions of Ajit Bhawan to the businesslike Hari Mahal. There is, though, only one ideal place to lay one’s head in this desert outpost, and that is the Indo-Saracenic pile called Umaid Bhawan Palace.

Last of the mega-palaces built over a century-long building spree by Indian maharajahs, Umaid Bhawan is sometimes likened to a Victorian railway station and invariably said to have been built as a charitable work-relief program for a region beset by a prolonged and killing drought. Believe what you like, the place can be reliably said to belong to its resident owner, the Oxford-educated Gaj Singh II, 64, the Maharajah of Jodhpur, who inherited the immense pile at age 4.

A vast and haunting palace, replete with Bohemian chandeliers, gilt tête-à-têtes and taxidermied trophies bagged during ancient shikars, Umaid Bhawan sits atop a low hill and overlooks another of Gaj Singh’s properties, the great citadel of Mehrangarh Fort.

Umaid Bhawan is now operated in partnership with Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces, and it must be said that a certain amount of its quiddity was lost in hotel-chain translation. Still, the palace retains its time-stopped aura and, perhaps alone among the great Rajasthan palaces, easily conjures an era when palace ladies led segregated, gossipy lives in the secluded zenana, when the gallants of the legendary Jodhpur polo teams played fierce chukkers and returned to drink stiff whiskies in a bar where, to this day, a stuffed black bear stands upright with a drinks tray balanced in its paws.

A visit to Jodhpur logically starts with a trip to the hilltop citadel of Mehrangarh Fort, where, up a series of ramps and past the studded elephant gates is a historical fortress museum almost without parallel in India.

Gaj Singh II was an early adopter of Western-style curatorial practices, a welcome anomaly in a country so stuffed with antiquities that treasures are often carelessly left by their owners to be devoured by white ants or to rot in the dust. The Mehrangarh collection includes silver elephant howdahs, Jodhpur school miniatures, arms and armor, and textiles. The fort itself, though massive, stupendous and ominous when seen from afar, is surprisingly intimate and homey within: a series of mirrored chambers of pleasure and rest.

From the sinuous ramparts of Mehrangarh there are fine, expansive views of the surrounding Thar Desert and — barnacled to the flanks of the fortress — the traditional houses of the city’s Brahmins, all painted Krishna blue.


From Jodhpur I go on to Udaipur, again booking a driver and car for a road trip that Google Maps pegs at precisely five hours and 20 minutes. At a guess, the geniuses at Google Maps have never actually seen an Indian road. I myself find a useful rule of thumb when in India to double the estimated road time and average things out.

Winding slowly uphill through sere desert and a region inhabited by a pacifist tribe called the Bhils, the drive from Jodhpur eventually crests the Aravallis before descending into a startlingly verdant landscape of cultivated fields.

Only by traveling overland are you able to visit the Jain Adinatha Temple atRanakpur, an ineffable monument of marble whose hall contains either hundreds or thousands of intricately carved columns, depending upon whom you ask. It is an austere place, one whose ecstatic carvings create an atmosphere of quietly humming spiritual intensity, something like a fission lab for souls.

A fine (and, essentially, the only) stopping-off point at Ranakpur is Maharani Bagh Orchard Retreat, a former country house still in the family of the Maharajah of Jodhpur. Set amid gardens and fruit groves, the hotel is right off a main artery where, come evening, one can watch the traffic of barefoot pilgrims heading toward the temple as red-turbaned Rabari tribesmen head the opposite way with their herds of sheep or goats.

The end point of this particular road trip is Udaipur, a lovely though to my mind essentially dull spot whose chief points of interest are the finely conserved City Palace of Maharana Udai Singh II, the renowned Taj Lake Palace hotel and the ritzy Oberoi Udaivilas overlooking Lake Pichola from shoreside just outside of town. Udaipur is a great place to unwind, though. For those lucky enough to put up at Lake Palace, there is a ready excuse for enforced idleness, since the only way to reach the hotel or leave it is by boat.

Three Weeks, Divine


For more leisured travelers, and bucket list types, I advise a longer journey, one that heads from Udaipur, by road, for the majestic destination of Jaisalmer, a desert city that is among the oldest of Rajasthan’s fortress citadels, a once sleepy place whose tourist potential has been exploited as ruthlessly as its conservation has been sadly allowed to decline.

Conservation groups are actively working to preserve this fragile monument, where ancient havelis, or merchants’ houses, with lacelike screen walls of wood or stone crowd narrow lanes. Their main task is to keep the fortress walls from outright collapse. In doing so, however, they hope to preserve the ineffable stillness of this golden walled island surrounded by the sand sea that is the Thar Desert, historically known as the Land of Death.

One can easily spend two days or more wandering the narrow lanes, where buildings crowd in on one another (and where pedestrians used to have to yield to cows). Time has a funny way of seeming to stretch infinitely before one in Jaisalmer, during days spent visiting the jewel-box Jain temples dedicated to Rishabhdevji, Sambhavanathji and Ashtapadi, idling on rooftop cafes drinking lassi or scanning the desert from the fortress walls.


And when you have had enough of that, you can move on to other and even more obscure desert cities, my favorite among them being the rough-and-tumble city of Nagaur, home to a fine citadel

complex known as Ahhichatragarh-Nagaur Fort.

A 200-mile overland journey from Jaisalmer, Nagaur is a challenge to take up only after getting your travel legs in India. The drive is rough and dusty, and when years ago a woman friend and I first fetched up there, dust caked our clothes and filled every uncovered orifice, and our fillings had nearly shaken loose from our teeth. We swore bitterly as we banged on the padlocked fort doors, like Dorothy in Oz, until the gates creaked open and a turbaned figure beckoned us inside.

And there in a courtyard not far from a 17th-century stable block, we found a cluster of luxurious tents, their walls made from hand-block printed cottons, their camp beds covered in thick quilts, the private baths fitted out with showers that rained hot water.

If it is true that in India a traveler is often tested by the tumult, the hustle, the dirt, the pollution, the first-world prices and sometimes second-rate service, the inevitable upturned palms and the overall din, it is also the case that as the advertising campaigns promise, India is in fact incredible.

How else to explain the experience we had of emerging from our private showers atRoyal Camp, Nagaur Fort (open only from October to March) to find that we were the only guests at the fort, the sole patrons being served cocktails by a freshly kindled wood fire in a broad Mughal courtyard under the cold black dome of desert sky?

A delicious Rajasthani thali meal was presented on a table set up in an ancient pavilion. Perhaps too much terrible Indian wine was consumed. In our individual tents the bedcovers had been turned down and desert chill staved off by hot-water bottles discreetly tucked into the beds. Delirious sleep overtook us. When we awoke, we found that our plans to stay just a night had suddenly changed.

And that is something I forgot to mention, how in India time is oddly elastic, everything fraught with challenge and wonders so inevitable that it makes sense to allow for enormous changes at the last minute (to swipe Grace Paley’s wonderful phrase). In India the plans you made at home are seldom the final word on the matter. Do yourself a favor and keep that in mind.

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Vedic Village – Kerala Ayurveda Tour Package

Vedic Village - Kerala Ayurveda Tour Package

Vedic’s Spiritual Ayurveda Package 5 Nights / 6 Days @ INR 74,400 per person on twin sharing

Above package includes

· Airport Pick Up
· Welcome drink & Fruit basket on arrival.
· Breakfast, Lunch & Candle light Dinner on the banks of river
· Sight seeing to Beaches and Historical places
· Speed boat cruise in backwaters (one hour for Two days)
· Free use of Swimming pool.
· Free use of wifi internet.
· Five time Ayurvedic Rejuvenation Therapy
· Athirapilly water falls visit (using A/C Indigo)
· Guruvayoor Temple visit & Elephant sanctuary visit
· Airport or Railway station Drop

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Gay Wildlife Tour – Chasing the Tiger

Gay Wildlife Tour - Chasing the Tiger

Meet Smasher—the male in the background. That’s the name Steve Winter gave this youngster, cooling off in a watering hole in Bandhavgarh National Park, after he slapped the automated camera trap until it stopped clicking. Both tigers are thought to have killed people, and Smasher is now in captivity.

For Details about the Tour Click the below link

Luxury Gay Tours to India – Out Journeys

Luxury Gay Tours to India - Out Journeys

Recreating the magnificence of princely Rajasthan, in a beautiful fort setting, with Jaipur as its backdrop; The Oberoi Rajvilas is set in 32 acres of landscaped gardens with pavilions and reflection pools that create the romance and grandeur of Rajasthan. Rooms, luxury tents and villas with private pools are clustered around private courtyards in a richly embellished fort setting. At The Oberoi Rajvilas superb attention to detail creates a soothing blend of warm, effortless service and harmonious spaces.

All rooms have large four poster beds and sunken marble baths overlooking private walled gardens. Air-conditioned luxury tents have embroidered interior canopies, old style baths and outdoor decks. Interiors of the Royal Villa highlight the fine craftsmanship and attention to detail that distinguishes the hotel.

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Gay Goa- Gay Friendly Hotels, Gay Nightlife

Gay Goa- Gay Friendly Hotels, Gay Nightlife

If the call of the sea beckons, come down to Goa, where you can spend your days lazying on a sunny beach and pass the nights away in celebration and revelry till the sun comes up again. The three days in Goa, you are free to roam about on your own and explore this charming place just like you’d want to.