India Tours – Special Tour of India for First Time Visitors

India is such an amazing country of contrasts that a number of first time visitors to India feel completely perplexed for the first few days of their India travel. However, as their tour progresses, they come to know about the true colors of this wonderful country. From snow-capped peaks of Himalayas to sand dunes of Thar Desert, from sandy beaches of south to religious buildings of the east, from holy rivers to beautiful palaces and forts, India offers lot many options for the tourists to explore.

India is an astonishing tapestry of religions, cultures, traditions, languages, dance, music, philosophy, art, architecture, and mythologies. This is because of the people who came from different parts of the world centuries back and permanently settled in this country. These people brought with them their own cultures and traditions which mingled with local cultures of India thus producing a unique blend of cultures, which now has become the identity of India.

India offers a wide array of tourist sites to international visitors. Most of the visitors to India prefer visiting the popular tourist destinations including New Delhi, Jaipur, Goa, Agra, Khajuraho, Mumbai, Kerala, Udaipur, Mysore, Chennai, etc. However, India is such a vast country that numerous destinations here cannot be covered in a single tour. That is why many tourists prefer special tours for first time visitors in India. Such tourists prefer special tours of India for themselves depending on their interests and tastes. As they want to have some unique experience of the country on their first visit, their tours are designed with a focus on a particular theme such as local cultures and traditions, art, architecture, wildlife, etc.

A special tour in India is perfect to get acquainted with diverse customs and traditions of people, fairs and festivals, dress and costumes, dance and music, and diverse landscapes of India. Such tours let the tourists explore different aspects of the country one by one. With a special tour of India for first time visitors, a tourist can look beyond just enjoying his/ her holidays. It gives an opportunity to travel beyond the beaten tracks and explore some new, unheard destinations. Special tours are meant for personal enrichment, thus enabling a tourist take home a complete experience rather than some memories of India trip. These tours also let one interact with local people and know their customs and traditions in detail. Awesome beauty of India can be witnessed in these tours. Apart from sightseeing activities, these tours allow you to enjoy lots of other things in an area.

Some of the popular themes for special tour for first time visitors in India include: the cultural and religious life, beautiful gardens of India, golf tours, cuisine of India, white water rafting, agriculture tours, and wildlife safari. A garden tour offers tourists a chance to visit the stunning gardens laid down centuries back in India. A gourmet tour provides an opportunity to enjoy some outstanding cuisines of India including traditional and modern cuisines. An agriculture tour can give detailed knowledge about agricultural practices adopted by the farmers in India country. Some other popular themes for special tours in India are trekking tours, beach resorts of India, mountain biking, skiing tours, yoga and meditation, jeep safari tours, horse safari tours, camel safari tours, scuba diving, spa and ayurveda, snorkeling, aero sports. Apart from these tours, special tours for NRIs, senior citizens, women and students are also come in India for first time Travel to India Tours.

Source by Amanda Bos

Interview with Elle Newmark, author of "Bones of the Dead"

Elle Newmark is an award-winning writer whose books are inspired by her travels; she explored the back streets of Venice to cook up her delicious novel, “Bones of The Dead.” Elle also trekked through the rainforests of Costa Rica to write “The Cloud Forest,” and she toured India by car and elephant to write “The Devil’s Wind.” Both new books will be coming out soon, but today she is here to talk about “Bones of The Dead.”

Tyler: Welcome, Elle. I’m glad you could join me today. First of all, I understand “Bones of The Dead” is a novel with a bit of a mystery, set in fifteenth century Venice. How did you become interested in fifteenth century Venice, and what made you decide to make it the setting for your novel?

Elle: The Renaissance is an incredibly rich period for a writer to tap. Man waking up from a long intellectual nap-art, science, humanism all exploding at the same time-and most of it happening in Italy, my ancestral home. How could I resist?

Of course, Venice is utterly unique. A city of palaces built on water is an outrageous idea, and yet there it is. It’s fabulous-the pageantry, the architecture, the history-fabulous! I lived in Europe for seven years and I’ve traveled on almost every continent, but I’ve never seen any place quite like Venice.

To quote my narrator: “Venice has always been a perfect setting for secrets, seduction and the melancholy thoughts of a poet. Tainted by iniquity, Venice invites moral surrender, not with a playful wink, but with the understanding that she is, and always has been, sluttish under her regal disguise.” That’s perfect for “Bones of The Dead.”

Tyler: The main character, Luciano, is apprenticed to the doge’s chef, and together they become involved in a dangerous adventure. How would you describe their relationship?

Elle: In a rather Dickensian move, the chef plucks orphaned Luciano off a squalid street and takes him into the palace kitchen. Luciano is grateful, even though the chef has ulterior motives; he has a long-standing wish for a son and he needs an heir to a secret legacy. The chef is an enigmatic character whose real mission is slowly revealed.

But the chef and Luciano come to love each other as father and son. The chef becomes Luciano’s mentor, his protector, and his teacher-his father in the truest sense.

Tyler: In your book you use food as metaphor to advance the plot. You say, “Intrigue escalates and schemes thicken like stew while the enigmatic chef uses metaphorical soufflés and mysterious sauces to guide Luciano through a dangerous but delicious maze.” Why did you choose to use food as a metaphor?

Elle: My father is a master chef, so I suppose food-as-metaphor was inevitable. I grew up in an Italian family, and food played a central role, not only on special occasions but every day. My first job, at the age of ten, was stuffing homemade ravioli on a long, pasta-covered table in our basement. Of course, I learned to cook, and I’ve often thought the preparation of food is loaded with metaphorical possibilities. Also, I just like the notion of a culinary historical.

We talk that way all the time, don’t we? “Variety is the spice of life,” “You are what you eat,” “Dry as toast,” “The salt of the earth,” “Peaches and cream complexion,” “He stewed in his own juices.” Food engages all our senses. Everyone loves the satisfying crunch of peanuts, the narcotic aroma of fresh bread, the sight of ripe cherries, the sound of sizzling bacon. Food overwhelms the senses. One wonders whether we consume food or it consumes us.

As for metaphors, could there be a more perfect metaphor for the impermanence of life than a soufflé? Well, maybe a rose, but that’s a cliché. The soufflé blooms, it’s magnificent, and then it’s gone. Either you were present to appreciate it or you missed it. The chef’s spiritual message is “Be here now.” I’m Buddhist, so I guess when a Buddhist writer grows up with a chef you’re going to get soufflés instead of roses.

Tyler: I understand the plot revolves around Luciano learning that powerful men are plotting to unearth an ancient book rumored to contain heresies, love potions, alchemy, and even the secret of immortality. Where did you get the idea for this book?

Elle: Books were tremendously important during the Renaissance-the printing press was new and it was the dawn of humanism. Until then, the power structure in Europe maintained iron-fisted control of the people by limiting the flow of knowledge. When books presented crazy new ideas (like the earth revolving around the sun) there was trouble. Books were always monitored for seditious content.

However, there’s no squelching human ingenuity. People find inventive ways to protect their ideas, like the scrolls stuffed into jars and hidden in caves near the Dead Sea. The chef hid his subversive ideas in plain sight-he encoded them in recipes. One way or another, the written word is preserved to illuminate the past and show the way forward.

In “Bones of The Dead,” is about a book that holds forbidden secrets. Human nature being what it is, everyone thinks the book has what he wants most. Luciano wants a love potion, the old doge doesn’t want to die, one person wants gold, and another wants power. No one knows exactly what’s in this book, but they all know what they want it to be.

Tyler: Immortality and alchemy have frequently appeared as dreams or goals in fiction. What do you find fascinating about them?

Elle: I find them interesting for the same reason everyone else does. Immortality fascinates because no one wants to die. We try to fool ourselves into thinking we don’t age-we dye the gray out of our hair and we spend billions on wrinkle creams, diet plans, and cosmetic surgery because we idolize youthful beauty. Getting old isn’t cool because it smacks of death.

In spite of all that, we do die, but we achieve immortality by what we leave behind. Whether we intend it or not, we all leave something, even if it’s only a mote of DNA. Most of us make an effort to leave something more meaningful-art, skills, ideas, values. I believe we achieve immortality by passing these things along to the next generation. That’s why I dedicated this novel to teachers.

Oh, and alchemy, yes, that’s an old favorite because it speaks to something embedded deep in the human psyche. Alchemy is about greed and a wish to believe in magic. If people didn’t fantasize about getting rich quick, the lottery would go broke. Last time I checked it was doing astonishingly well.

Tyler: Why did you choose “Bones of The Dead” for the title?

Elle: The title works on several levels. First there is a scene in which the doge and the pope’s astrologer eat Italian cookies called bones of the dead. As the characters munch through the bones of the dead, they talk about the illusion of defeating death, and this introduces the theme of immortality.

Second, all the churches in Europe have catacombs and bones of saints preserved as relics. The chef points out that they are only bones, only symbols of the real legacies-lives lived with courage and wisdom, the things he wants to teach Luciano.

Third, as the chef tells Luciano, “Civilizations are built on the bones of the dead.” Teachers of every description pass knowledge from one generation to the next, and thus humanity advances. That’s why I chose the quote from Sir Isaac Newton for my epigraph: “If I have seen farther than other men, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.”

Tyler: I understand the book has some political intrigue involving the Church. The novel sounds like it has a conspiracy theory feel to it. Do you feel the issues in it speak to the world’s current state of affairs?

Elle: Any novel worth its fictional salt speaks to the world in its current state, that is, to some universal theme. In medieval times, the Church wielded political influence and popes conspired with heads of state. During the Renaissance, free thinkers challenged that power structure. These days, it might not be the pope, but we all know that far-reaching deals are made behind the scenes. Politics are politics, then and now.

“Bones of The Dead” carries the message that we don’t have to be personally defeated by shrouded power struggles at the top. We can choose to live with decency and purpose, no matter what plots are hatching behind closed doors.

But if, by conspiracy theory, you’re referring to the passages about the Gnostic gospels and Jesus, well, there’s nothing in my novel that hasn’t been suggested before. It’s not new; it’s just controversial.

Tyler: Which writers or books would you say have influenced you in your writing?

Elle: Oh, there are so many. Early influences were the two Johns-Steinbeck and Updike. Steinbeck for his humanity, and Updike for lives imagined down to the last quirky detail. I also love the magical realists-Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Isabelle Allende in particular-for the way they bend reality and take me along for the ride. Ian McEwan stuns me with his ability to portray the dark side of human nature with insight and compassion. Ann Patchett has a lovely gentle touch; Rohintin Mistry offers us a moving and unflinching look at India; Toni Morrison colors outside the lines, but brilliantly; Tim O’Brien depicts war with an admirable willingness to mine his own pain; Sebastian Faulks draws me into foreign landscapes of time and mind; Kasuo Isaguro is a genius…

Honestly, there are so many fine writers out there I could go on forever. I wish everyone would just go to a library, go to a bookstore, and try new authors. Experiment.

Tyler: What about writing historical fiction intrigues you, and do you find anything specifically difficult or frustrating about it?

Elle: I love everything about historical fiction-reading it, writing it, and researching it. What broader canvas could I ask for than the history of mankind? And what richer palette could I use than the tapestry of human experience? The historical writer draws on vast resources of human behavior, but with the benefit of hindsight.

Tyler: Would you tell us a little bit about the next two novels you have coming out?

Elle: “The Cloud Forest” tells a story of indigenous people in an Amazonian rainforest and their struggle to escape the intrusion of the 20th century. Researching that book took more than a year, as well as an unforgettable trek through a rainforest.

“The Devil’s Wind” is set in India, 1948, the year of Partition and Gandhi. That one is about the power of forgiveness, and researching it took me to India. Elephants are surprisingly easy to ride.

Tyler: Obviously you love to travel. What is it about traveling that inspires your writing?

Elle: A sense of displacement kicks my creativity into high gear. In familiar surroundings it’s easy to get into a routine and walk around half awake. But when you travel, everything is new, you don’t know what’s around the next corner and you’re awake to every moment. I’m addicted to that feeling of discovery.

To experience the world and its people is a great and humbling adventure. To write about it is a way of understanding and sharing.

Tyler: Where do you plan to travel next, and will you be researching another book?

Elle: I’d love to go back to Africa just to see more of it and, who knows, a book could come out of that. But right now I’m thinking my next book might take place in cyberspace.

I’m fascinated by the meeting-of-the-minds happening on the Internet. These days, many of us live a good chunk of our lives virtually and, as a result, our internal worlds are becoming significantly larger. We interact with people we would never otherwise encounter in our daily lives. This is unprecedented, and I’m interested in how it’s changing us.

Tyler: Thank you for joining me today, Elle. Before we go, would you tell our readers where they find out more about “Bones of The Dead” and where to buy a copy?

Elle: With pleasure: You can visit my website at, or order “Bones of The Dead” from Amazon.

As my personal thank you, I’d like to invite everyone to a virtual Renaissance party at on November 27. If you order Bones of The Dead that day, you can use your Amazon confirmation number as a password to get into the party. We’ll have music, I’ll be serving food for thought, and I’ll be giving away a bundle of free downloads as party favors. Invite everyone.

Source by Tyler R. Tichelaar

Why Rishikesh Is Best for Yoga Teacher Training

Rishikesh, the spiritual capital of India is also known as the Yoga capital of the world. If you want to learn the true, most authentic, and the Veda acknowledged version of any yoga form, there is no better way than travelling down to Rishikesh. Be it about yoga teacher or resources, It has been always the center of excellence in all manners. Nature has been always at its very best in Rishikesh, being perfectly endearing for yoga learning.

At the same time, it has been quite excellent from communication point of views as well. It is less than 45 kms from the state capital Dehradun. In fact, this is the largest municipal council in the state of Uttarakhand. All these points make it evident that it has the best facilities for global yoga enthusiasts flying down here in the pursuit of yoga teacher training program.

In fact, many renowned names in the world have enlightened their life by visiting this holiest destination in the world. At the same time, it has churned out a great number of yoga teachers around the globe. The following factors make Rishikesh as one of the explicit destinations for yoga teacher training in India.

What’s Special about Rishikesh?

There is a huge difference between any conventional training and that of yoga training. Yoga training is not just about attaining expertise in few physical exercise techniques. Various learning aspects like breathing technique, meditation, concentration, etc require a complete transformation in lifestyle of the aspirant. And, to bring such heavenly transformation in life, it is very important for a person to have the right environment around him.

Rishikesh is indeed the explicit destination in the world where you can have the environment as explained above. The tranquil environment here indeed creates a unique enthusiasm, and delightful spiritual vibe. In addition, respecting the spiritual value of the place, non-vegetarian foods and alcohols are strictly prohibited in the city. This means the city provides every amenity that one would require to be a yogi or a yoga teacher/trainer.

Loads of Options:

There is plethora of options here in Rishikesh for pursuing the yoga teacher training. In fact, it won’t be wrong to claim that all the renowned centers for yoga teacher training are based in Rishikesh only.

No matter you are a beginner or looking for an institution to pursue the highest level of yoga teacher training programs, there is always an option for you in Rishikesh. Pioneering names in the world of yoga like Patanjali International Yoga Center, those are like the introducers of such a wonderful gift for mankind, are all based on Rishikesh only.

Concreting the Career Path:

There are thousands at present who are interested in exploring the greatest career scopes as a yoga trainer. Working as a professional yoga trainer isn’t just financially accomplishing, but also provides a way to have a healthy and blissful life. Such people are always recommended to join a renowned yoga teacher training school to fulfill their dream in the desired fashion.

First of all, a certificate for pursuing yoga teacher training at these institutions hold much greater value in comparison with any other institution in the world. Moreover, the yoga teacher training schools provide the students best placement assistance than any other institution in the world. This is so as these premium yoga schools in Rishikesh are not just the training centers of yoga, they are the pioneers and spreaders of this wonderful principle to the world.

Naturally, this means they have much more exposure regarding yoga and its scopes, than anyone else in this world. On top of all, the number of people who would openly admit about their life changing decision to join such institutions is quite big.

Learn Yoga From The Pioneers Themselves:

Coming to the quality of training, Rishikesh has been like the undisputed king in the world. There is every reason behind such claims though. As explained above, Rishikesh is termed as the “Yoga capital of the world”. It is the birth place of yoga. Vedic yoga knowledge and skills derived from the Vedas has propagated around the globe from Rishikesh only. Great ancient saints in Rishikesh have gifted the world and mankind with such a precious concept.

The best part, the tradition of yoga learning has been well maintained in Rishikesh. Classic gurukul or ashram principle is still quite alive in Rishikesh. And, the trainers of the leading yoga teacher training in Rishikesh are the disciples of the great saints or pioneers of yoga as explained above. These trainers have maintained the true value by observing the holiest lifestyle. In other words, these trainers have conquered their senses to realize or observe the actual effects or benefits of yoga.

Learning Vedic yoga from the inceptors themselves, these trainers only can explain an aspirant about the truest knowledge from their practical experience. Well, needless is to say that the trainers of these premium yoga institutions in Rishikesh are thoroughly certified and are having years of experience. Most of they are quite known names to travel across the globe being invited to spread the essence of yoga.

Specialty of Training:

Quality of yoga training becomes evident through the ability of the trainer to clear the doubts. On this context, there can’t really be a better recommendation than the yoga ttc in Rishikesh. If you are willing to learn the most authentic form of Vedic yoga, its various forms, the breathing techniques, meditation techniques, the underneath science and logic behind all these poses and ways, no one else should be trusted other than a certified yoga trainer from a leading training center in Rishikesh.

The best part about the trainers here is that they are not just enriched with greatest knowledge, but also are perfectly trained on how to conduct class. They know it well how to represent things, so that an aspirant can grasp the skills in the quickest possible ways. If you are a beginner, they have special ways for you and something different for people who are at the higher stages of their training program.

Naturally, the students get to learn about such precious teaching techniques from these trainers on how to teach, and the tradition goes on. Being the most resourced houses for yoga teacher training in the world, these institutions in Rishikesh can provide best personalized guidance to their aspirants.

Emphasize is given on each student, their skill, weakness, etc, and are thus trained accordingly. Based on the knack of a student, the career counselors over here prepare the roadmaps for them to ensure they have the brightest future ahead.

Live Your Way!

As explained above, Rishikesh has the every option for the aspirants. They may choose to live in a comfortable place within the yoga resorts of these training centers, or may love to have the explicit experience of living in an ashram. There are a great number of yoga ashrams in India where money has never been a constraint for someone enthusiastic about.

Source by Tanu Thapliyal