Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Land of Maharajahs and Gandhi, GUJARAT & RAJASTHAN


Land of Kings, jewel of the Indian architectural heritage, and astonishing visual delight, Rajasthan is, by far, the most colorful state of India. Every city, like any other in the world, has its own traits and character. In the land of Maharajas, where the spice route, silk route and Mogul battles took place, some cities can be remarkably distinguished by their color. While Jaipur, the capital city and jewel of Rajasthan, was built of pink sandstone, the rarest color of its kind.
Jodhpur, a true mosaic of all shades of blue, was painted as such, to distinguish the homes of Brahmins, its largest population, from others. As if to blend into the desert of Thar, Jaisalmer dressed itself up in the same nuances of yellow. Udaypur, with its majestic palaces, its multitude of lakes, and houses painted in white, is the most elegant and lush city of them all.
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As picturesque as it can be, Rajasthan, famous for its gigantic forts, castles and intricately carved temples, is rife with contrasts of colors beyond imagination. Women dressed in saris of all colors, covered with semi-transparent veils in an infinite variety of tones, are sumptuously painted as if to amaze passers-by. It is no wonder, that kings made it their land, as we make it our playground today!
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Land of desert, where the oldest and once highest mountains in the world, have now passed-on their glory to the Himalayas. The Aravelis, now, no higher than hills, bow with modesty, making the Thar desert a land of oasis. The Aravelis, a country ruled by many Great Kings, is known for its fierce and fearless sword warriors, the Rajputs, for its stone carvings, and vast selection of semi-precious stones, for its most authentic gypsy music, and for its surreal atmosphere.

Indo-Tibet Silk route raid, "The little Tibet"



From the “Valley of Gods and Goddesses” to the Top of the World, the Manali-Leh itinerary (1,500km) is the most notorious Indian motorcycle tour, and the World's highest Motorcycle Expedition. The trip starts from the Himalayan lower range, in the State of Himachal Pradesh (Manali), ascending to the High Mountain passes in the regions of Zanskarand Ladakh, or “Land of high mountains”.
The 1,500km trip over narrow, steep, intricate and zigzagging roads that run through the Himalayas, filled with obstacles of all kinds, will bring you through five of the highest motorable passes. The lowest pass, the Rohtang La, is no less than 3,978m, and the highest of them all, the Khardung-La, is at an altitude of 5,602m. The safari involves a cross-country ride through Changthang, “The valley of Tibetan Nomads”, passing the amazing crystal-clear lakes of Tso-Moriri and Tso-Khar.
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During our journey, numerous rest stops are made, to ensure the comfort of our guests. Drinking tea or coffee is a good way to recharge from the exhaustion of this challenging ride. Even though the Himalayan road builders invest great efforts in maintaining the highways, weather conditions make it a constant battle. Certain challenges, such as landslides, ice melting, river crossing and “left hand driving”, for some, add difficulty to this wild ride... Our greatest “road enemy” is the notorious 'Tata truck', the terrifying monster of the road. Colorfully painted, it is the only means of transportation for goods and food supplies, to those remote and isolated high-mountain villages.This amazing route is spiced with more adventure than one can imagine.

India, cradle of some of the oldest religions in the world - Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism - offers, within its own continent, an extraordinary variety of people, customs, landscapes, and plant and animal life. Often referred to as a living museum, India is a fusion of the past and the present, where its numerous cultures, ancient yet still vibrant, blend extraordinarily into the 21st century. India attracts many visitors from all over the world, with its vast polytheistic system of innumerable Gods and Goddesses, and its religious manifestations, holistic festivals and artistic representations. It is also the land of Maharajas, Rajputs, Saddhus and Holy men, great Poets, Philosophers, Charmers and Gypsies… and sacred cows!
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“Incredible India” with a population of over 1.6 billion inhabitants, 18 major languages spoken and over 1600 regional dialects, never ceases to amaze, in its immensity, versatility and profoundness. Come to discover incredible India, we promise you that you will come back again and again!