Most Beautiful Bird Sanctuaries in India.

“The bird is powered by its own life and by its own motivation”- A.P.J Abdul Kalam.

Owing to its varied geography, climate and presence of a long coastline, India is the dwelling house to several species of bird sanctuaries. Not only can you spot many regional birds here, but scores of migratory birds also make India their temporary habitat. Bird sanctuaries in India are therefore a hot spot for nature lovers and bird watchers.

The sanctuaries offer a dwelling place for these birds, but the true beauty is not in the habitat but in the inhabitants. Birds may be considered small creatures but they are majestic. Their colors, their build and their sounds. Every bird has a purpose and watching a bird in its natural element is a different experience altogether.

Jack Snipe

Jack Snipe

With more than 1200 species of avifauna present in India, it has forever been one of the most favored destinations for tourists. Among the most distinguished bird sanctuaries in India, the following are the most visited ones:

Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary, a well known sanctuary of Gujarat is a true bird paradise harboring over 250 bird species.   It is situated west of Ahmedabad near Sanand Village, in the Gujarat state of India. Mainly populated by migratory birds in winter and spring, it is the largest wetland bird sanctuary in Gujarat, and one of the largest in India. It harbors over 250 species of wetland birds. Ducks, geese, pelicans and flamingos are seen early in the morning and in the evening. The best time to visit is at sunrise, as the lake is peaceful, surrounded by a flock of birds in their element.

It’s something about the call of the birds, their numerous conversations that you don’t understand, but it still enthralls you. It’s a way to look at the species we share nature with, how they live, how they eat and its moments like these where we don’t feel that different from them.

Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, also known as Pakshi Kashi of Karnataka  is the largest bird sanctuary in the Mandya District of the state of Karnataka in India. During the months of January and February, more than 30 species of birds are found and it is truly a breath taking sight. About 50 pelicans have made Ranganathittu their permanent home. During winter months, as many as 40,000 birds gather in this bird sanctuary and some birds travel from  as far as Siberia, Latin America and parts of north India.

Karnala Bird Sanctuary, is located in Panvel Taluka of Raigad District, outside Mumbai, India near Matheran and Karjat.The sanctuary is open to visitors from sunrise to sunset. The bird sanctuary is an admired destination for bird-watchers and hikers in the Mumbai area. The sanctuary provides a habitat for 150 species of resident and 37 species of migratory birds that visit the sanctuary during winter. Three rare birds, the ashy Minivet, three-toed kingfisher and Malabar Trogon have been sighted here. The Karnala fort is located on the top of the hill in the sanctuary and is a popular trek for hikers.

Minivet

Short-billed Minivet

“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song”- Maya Angelou

Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, is an estuarine mangrove habitat, which is now a bird sanctuary, and is located on the western tip of the Island of Chorao along the Mandovi River, Goa, in India. The sanctuary has been named after Salim Ali, the eminent Indian ornithologist. Several species of birds have been sighted and the common species include the striated heron and western reef heron. Other species that have been recorded include the little bittern, black bittern, red knot and jack snipe. The sanctuary is also host to mudskippers, fiddler crabs and other mangrove habitat specialists.

Red Knot

Red Knot Bird

All these bird species look as exotic as they sound and truly showcase nature’s beauty. If you find yourself visiting any of these places, be it Goa or Bangalore then you cannot miss out on the Mango Hotel experience. Suited to meet the needs of the tech savvy traveler, Mango Hotels boast various locations without compromising on the quality of their service. After a long day of sightseeing or business deals, Mango Hotels provide the comfortable retreat to relax and unwind.

People usually visit the cities of Goa, Bangalore, Mumbai and Gujarat for the food, the culture, the architecture or the nightlife. Well, you have another reason to explore more of the city and Mango Hotels will be with you all the way because, “Hospitality is when someone feels at home in your presence”.

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Shrimp Papad Roll Anyone?

Shrimp Papad Roll

A recipe has no soul, you as the cook must bring soul to the recipe”- Thomas Keller

Shrimp Papad Roll Anyone?

Shrimp Papad Roll Anyone?

A recipe is more than instructions; it’s a chance to create something, a chance to put a smile on someone else’s face. It’s that instant joy that you get when you create something new, something delicious with your hands. Food is nostalgia; food is an art, a feeling so profound that rationality often takes a back seat.

If you are hosting a party, or just having a night in, or you have hungry kids to feed, this recipe is a sure shot winner. Shrimp, papad and a roll, it’s basically a party in your mouth. The Chinese have spring rolls well, we just came up with the shrimp papad roll of your dreams. Crunchy papad filled with tender, juicy prawns, a kick of green chili with some tangy lime, finish it off with some juicy tomato and freshly grated coconut and you’ll find yourself going for seconds. It’s finger food without all the fat of Kentucky Fried Chicken! And it’s quick and easy to prepare.

All You Need

Shrimp -0.100 Gms

Onion- 0.06 Gms

Tomato- 0.04 Gms

Freshly grated coconut- 0.03 Gms

Garlic- 0.010 GMS

Ginger- 0.005 Gms

Chili powder-0.005 Gms

Coriander powder-0.005 Gms

Turmeric Powder- 0.004 Gms

Garam Masala            – 0.005 Gms

Salt- 0.002 Gms

Pepper-0.002 Gms

Oil- ml, For Frying

Papad- 6

Green chili- 0.003 Gms

Juice of 1 lemon

Coriander leaves- 0.003 Gms

Method:

The filling

  • Put the Shrimp in a bowl, remove the head and shell. Cut the shrimp down the back to remove the center vein.
  • After you have cleaned it, marinate with oil, turmeric powder, and lemon juice and keep aside.
  • Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the garlic, ginger and onions till they turn translucent.
  • Add the freshly grated coconut and sauté for another two minutes till it turns a light brown shade. This will add a toasty flavor to the dish. Add the chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and Garam Masala
  • Add the chopped shrimp and sauté for a few minutes until it turns lightly white or a blushing pink color. It is very easy to overcook shrimp, which only makes it taste rubbery. Make sure you do not keep it on the heat too long because it will be cooked a second time when it is deep fried.
  • Sprinkle over some coriander leaves, remove from heat and let it cool.

The roll-

  • Place each papad on a flat surface and brush with beaten egg. The beaten egg mixture will help seal the papad and ensure the mixture does not fall out.
  • Place the cooked shrimp mixture horizontally on one half of the papad and roll it up tightly to enclose the filling. Make sure you do not over fill the papad as there is a chance the mixture might burst out of the filling.
  • Press the edges of the papad to seal the ends.
  • Heat the oil. A good way to check if the oil is hot enough is by placing a wooden skewer in the oil, if bubbles form around the edges the oil is hot enough.
  • Carefully slide in the Shrimp papads in the hot oil and fry till golden and crispy.
  • Drain it on a tea towel to remove excess oil.
  • Season with salt and pepper while it’s still hot
  • Serve it with some tangy laccha pyaaz and refreshing mint chutney

 

Do be careful, especially when you are deep frying, people usually use a throwing motion, but that only causes the oil to spit. Hold the papad on one end and gently slide it into the oil to avoid any oil splattering.

There you have it, a tasty snack all in a matter of minutes.  This is a lovely evening time snack and for seafood lovers, it’s quite a delight.

 

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Rajkot – A Glorious Past And A Beautiful Present

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Courtesy: Swaminarayan Temple

Rajkot was the capital of the princely state of Saurashtra from 15 April 1948 to 31 October 1956 before merging in bilingual Bombay State on 1 November 1956. During the British ‘raj’, Rajkot was one of the priciest states in India. It was founded by Thakur Sahib Vibhoji Ajoji Jadeja of the Rajput Jadeja clan in 1620. Rajkot is the home of several temples.

Taking a trip to Rajkot gives you the chance to visit some of the most historical places the city has to offer. While you wander around the streets, the past comes back to life. The main tourist attractions in Rajkot are Mahatma Gandhi’s house or Kaba Gandhi No Delo, Watson Museum, Jagat Mandir, Rajkumar College, Lang Library, Lal Pari Lake and Randerda.

Mahatma Gandhi’s house: The house where Gandhi stayed from the age of six still contains a collection of things that were a part of his life. His passion, the handloom, is carried forward in the form of a small weaving school.

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Courtesy: Mahatma Gandhi School

Watson Museum: This museum and library contain the work of Colonel John Watson, a political agent from 1886 to 1889. The inscriptions and ivory work overseen by a marble statue of Queen Victoria are from the 3rd century.

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Courtesy: Watson Museum

Jagat Mandir: A temple made out of red stone, it features beautifully carved art of Shri Ramkrishna Paramhansa.

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Courtesy: Jagat Mandir

Rajkumar College: This famous college located in the city dates all the way back to the 19th century and is regarded as one of India’s best private colleges. The college was set up by the British for the education of the princes of the Indian States.

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Courtesy: Lang Library

Lang Library: With so much history, discovering the magical past makes this library stand out even more. It has a collection of thousands of documents and books covering every period in Rajkot and Saurashtra (region) history.

Lal Pari Lake: This lake is a one-of-a-kind picturesque picnic spot, situated 5 km from Rajkot.

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Courtesy: Lal Pari Lake

As you enjoy the history of this glorious place, do stop to buy some of the handmade crafts which are traditional and ethnic, and native to the region of Gujarat. If you plan to shop in Rajkot, then you’ll be spoilt for choice. Things to buy range from the famous “bandhani saris”, the mirror works, bead works, patchworks, and silk embroidered dress materials. Goods to buy in Rajkot may include things that are manufactured in the industries of Rajkot, and are available at a reasonable and cheaper rate.

Do make it a point to eat some “desi” food in Rajkot. The localites love to eat street food often, some most popular foods such as Pav Bhaji, Panipuri, Dabeli, Ghughra, and much more. To have a taste of true local cuisine you could visit Rasikbhai Chevdawala.

The city has a lot to offer for all manner of travellers. Unravel it’s gorgeous past and experience its beautiful present.

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The Bangalore We Don’t Always Experience

Bangalore_palace

Courtesy: Bangalore Palace

When we talk about the city of Bangalore, the first thing that comes to our mind is the high-tech industry which the city harbors. The one thing we often overlook is the cultural heritage of the city. So if you can look past the technology and the overly modern aspect of the city, then you’ll see a very different Bangalore.

Bangalore, now known as Bengaluru, is the capital city of Karnataka in South India. The weather in the city is always quite pleasant, just like the city itself – always bustling with life. As far as accommodation in Bangalore goes, budget hotels are some of the most popular amongst both, the business crowd and the travelers who are just looking to explore the city. Budget hotels near Bangalore Railway Station are the most sought after, considering the convenience of their location. Staying at hotels which offer you a good deal on accommodation, has its advantages; saving a lot of money is one of them, money which can be used to explore the city.

So what are some of the best places to visit in Bangalore?

Some of the most beautiful attractions you simply cannot miss are the breath-taking parks like the Lal Bagh, a botanical garden built in the 18th century. Another popular park is the Cubbon Park, which displays about 6000 species of trees and plants – definitely a heaven for the nature lovers.

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  Courtesy: Cubbon Park

Now when we talk about the historical heritage of Bangalore, there definitely isn’t a shortage of sights to visit. The Tipu Sultan’s Grand Summer palace, now a museum, is a marvelous display of Indo-Islamic architecture. Another historical monument that’s worth visiting is the Vidana Soudha. The enormous building was built in 1954, it has four domes and showcases neo-Dravidian architecture. It also houses the Legislative Chamber of the Karnataka Government and many other government departments.

The sights in Bangalore are one thing, but the food is quite a different experience. If it’s an English Breakfast that tickles your fancy, then Hole in the Wall is the place to be. The restaurant is located in Kormangala and features an indoor and outdoor sitting area; the place is really popular with the younger crowd. There are also many budget hotels in Kormangala, which makes it a lovely place to visit. If you’re a seafood lover then Vembanad which is located on the rooftop of The Paul. The restaurant serves up some amazing coastal dishes like Meen Nirachathu, Erachi Pathiri, Chemeen Muringakai Theeyal, Chemeen and Koonthal Ularthiyathu and Thalasseri Kozhi Curry. The décor of the restaurant is an authentic Kerala style and is a treat for anyone who loves the flavors of Kerala.

the-hole-in-the-wallCourtesy: The Hole In The Wall Cafe

Bangalore is, without a doubt, a city with a perfect blend of the modern and cultural aspect. It’s clearly visible to anyone who takes the time to immerse themselves in the culture of the city. Opting to stay at hotels near majestic Bangalore is the best way to explore the city since you’ll get a really good deal on your reservation.

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Five Reasons You Should Travel Alone

Heading out, traveling with your friends and family is an enjoyable experience. It’s special because you get to share your experiences with other people and at the same time you indulge in new experiences, experiences that make for compelling stories! But, there is something that trumps everything that’s mentioned above, and that is traveling alone! Solo travel can be done by anyone, irrespective of you being single, committed, workaholic extroverted, or introverted! Now, that those prerequisites are settled, here are five fantastic reasons to travel alone!

  1. It’s simpler
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Courtesy: Bag Packers

Going with a bunch of people brings along its own headaches. Coordinating the trip and catering to other people’s preferences usually makes the trip much less impressive.

2. Get your bucket list

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Courtesy: Bucket List

How many times you’ve been willing to try something and no one is ready to do it along with you. Well, now go ahead and take the plunge, because there are no more agreements and disagreements.

3. Finally, someone who understands you

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Courtesy: Time Alone

Yeah, finally! First, people rarely spend time alone and most importantly spending time alone can lead to introspective and life changing experiences.

4. Amazing people are out there

Friends on adventure

Courtesy: New Friends

But, traveling alone is not only for the introverts. Often, individuals who travel alone are more approachable than others. Traveling alone is a wonderful way to meet other people and know new people.

5. It’s your way and your way only!

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Courtesy: Your Way

Ever been in a situation where you want to visit a place and your traveler partner is not in the mood to visit the place. None of that anymore, as you are not obliged to entertain anyone but yourself!

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The 5 Unexplored Beaches of Goa!

Goa has a very long coastline with almost unbroken sand cover. So, if you’ve come looking for sun, sand and sea without the crowds and the fuss, you’ll be pleased to discover these beaches tucked away from the crowd.  Escape the crowds of Colva and Anjuna by visiting these unexplored beaches instead.

Butterfly Beach

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Courtesy: Butterfly Beach

If you are looking for privacy, then Butterfly Beach is the one you should visit. The beach not only has a pretty name but is a relatively unexplored stretch of sand because of its isolation. The only way to reach this beach is by boat from Palolem Beach.

Hollant Beach

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Courtesy: Hollant Beach

Hollant beach is just perfect for the non-swimmers. The beach is rocky with a long stretch of shallow water running into the sea. It is also known to be the only beach in Goa where one can see a sunrise.

Betul Beach

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Courtesy: Betul Beach

Betul beach which is also known as the fishing beach of Goa is a must visit if you love fishing. Also, the nearby restaurants serve you some lip-smacking seafood.

Arambol Beach

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Courtesy: Arambol Beach

Arambol beach is perfect for enjoying barbeque evenings with loved ones. It is a quiet beach that has a lovely view of the cliffs. The beach also offers opportunities for Paragliding.

Grandmothers Hole Beach

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Courtesy: Grandmother’s Hole Beach

The Grandmothers hole beach is clean and for the most part of the year does not have any visitors. On the cliffs, you can find a Japanese garden. The cliffs surrounding the beach once had the walls of the Marmagao Fort along the edges.

Yes, some of these secret beaches may seem out of the way, but you’ll be glad for the peace once you get there. So, there you go; have a happy exploring time!

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5 reasons you should go on an adventure to discover yourself?

If you want to discover yourself then you should go for a solo adventure. It is not for everyone but here are five reasons you should discover yourself:

CHALLENGE YOURSELF

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Courtesy: Everyday is a challenge

 

Going to a new place is about challenging yourself on many levels. You have to fend for yourself and you will figure out who you are when you are out of your comfort zone.

INDEPENDENT

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Courtesy: I wear my own attitude

You and you yourself are responsible for everything you do. Being alone is scary but also empowering

MEET NEW PEOPLE

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Courtesy:Socialise

You have the chance to meet new people and hear new stories and learn more about the local culture

FREEDOM

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Courtesy: Master of my own

You have the complete freedom to do what you want. You can do what you like and not feel selfish for going a certain place.

BUILD CHARACTER

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Courtesy: The other side of me

Traveling alone can completely change you. It will completely change your nature. Even if you are shy or timid kind of a person, it reflects a lot on your character as to what kind of a person are you.

 

 

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5 Ways To Break Your Routine In Your Normal Life?

One of the greatest parts of having a routine is to be able to break it..

When we are working we tend to get into a routine. From the moment we get up till the time we hit the bed. Everything tends to be on a schedule. Sometimes you just get so bored of the schedule that you start hating your work. So you need to make sure that you create a change so as to make your life interesting. Here are 5 ways to make that change:

Have a conversation with a new person every day.

Taking time to chat with colleague. Two cheerful business people discussing something and smiling

Courtesy: Talking To New People

Sounds scary right? But it isn’t. Just look up from your phones when you are travelling and talk to the person next to you. You will get to know many new things.

Go out for lunch, to a park or a garden.

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Courtesy: Nature

Instead of sitting in your office and eating your lunch you can go out to a park where you can sit amidst the nature and eat your lunch.

Move to another City.

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Courtesy: Migrating

You can have a change of scenario without actually quitting your job. You can just take a transfer to a new city and you will have a great time exploring it and meeting new people.

Start reading new material.

Young woman lying on grass reading book.

Courtesy: Reading

Get more inquisitive by getting interested in reading new things. You are gaining more knowledge and you are getting yourself acclimatised to new topics.

Create something by yourself.

girl-writing1

Courtesy: Writing

Start writing or painting in your free time. It will calm you down and it will give the happiness of creating something of your own.

So make these small changes to your life and break your routine and you surely will feel more alive.

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5 Things To Do On Your Visit To Ujjain

Ujjain is a widely known city that is considered sacred by Hindus all over the world. Located in Madhya Pradesh, there are some really nice places to visit in this holy city.

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Courtesy: Ujjain City

Shree Mahakaleshwar Temple

mahakaleshwar-temple-ujjain

Courtesy: Mahakaleshwar Temple

The Shree Mahakaleshwar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple is built at five different levels. It’s also having an underground level. It is believed that the shrine of Lord Shiva present in the temple formed on its own.

Chintaman Ganesh Temple

chintamani-ganesh-temple

Courtesy: Chintaman Ganesh Temple

The Chintaman temple is a very ancient temple of Lord Ganesha that is based out of Ujjain. The ancient temple is a frequent place of visit by hordes of devotees every year. The temple is one of the most popular destinations in India.

Kal Bhairava

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Courtesy: Kal Bhairava

The two main sects that worship Kal Bhairava are Kapalika and Aghora. As of today, the place is open to all for visiting and worship.

Harsiddhi Temple

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Courtesy: Harsiddhi Temple

Originally the temple was situated at the hill top facing the sea. The temple has the idols of Mahasaraswati and Mahalaxmi, and between them is the shrine of Annapurna painted in dark vermilion color.

Make visiting the above temples a priority

If you are visiting Ujjain, then visiting the above mentioned temples should be a top priority for you. The city is very ancient and has great importance in history.

The city of Ujjain was an important political center in India around 600 BCE. The city has also been selected as one of the hundred smart city that will be developed as a smart city under the smart city plan. Make sure that you make it a point to visit this exotic city in the near future.

 

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5 Hidden Places In India

India as a country is filled to the brim with really interesting places to visit and discover. From the marvelous Taj Mahal to the exotic Jaipur, the list is never ending. Let’s explore some of the hidden places which are truly deserve your attention.

Cherrapunjee


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Courtesy: Cherrapunjee

Cherrapunjee is much more than just being one of the wettest places on earth. The greenery is amazingly refreshing and weather is indeed pleasant. Belonging to the state of Meghalaya, Cherrapunjee is at a distance of 56km from Shillong.

Daman & Diu

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Courtesy: Daman & Diu

Daman & Diu is a union territory that is governed by the capital Delhi. The Daman-Ganga river is responsible for dividing the town into a half. Great beaches and reasonably priced food will make your visit worthwhile.

Tarkarli Beach


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Courtesy: Tarkarli Beach


Based out of Sindhudurg in Southern Maharashtra, this beach is pure bliss. The clear waters at the beach are going to leave you mesmerized. The pure shores of the beach and the enchanting emerald green ocean waters will uplift your mood.

Hussain Sagar Lake


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Courtesy: Hussain Sagar Lake

The lake is a wonder and the amazing thing about it is that its man-made. The everlasting water in the lake encourages various water based sports. Some of the many water sports are boating, parasailing and skiing.

Konaseema


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Courtesy: Konaseema

The place is a dream come true for nature lovers. The delta region is vivid and rich in coconut grooves and the stunning landscape will leave you enchanted with the place. If you are visiting this place in Secunderabad, then ensure that you also visit the mangrove forests, they are truly amazing.

The above-mentioned places are some of the hidden places in India. Make sure that you discover even more and until then, keep exploring!

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