Tourist Circuit in India

  • Post last modified:2 October 2021
  • Reading time:24 mins read

A tourist Circuit is defined as a route on which at least three major tourist destinations are located such that none of these is in the same town, village or city. At the same time, they are not separated by a large distance such that a tourist would not like to cover them in a sequence.

The Circuit to be taken up will be identified by the Ministry of Tourism at the beginning of each year, in consultation with the State Government. While selecting the Circuit, the tourism potential of the places included would be borne in mind. It will be ensured that a circuit is identified for each State/UT in the full Plan period.

A circuit could be limited to a State or it could be a regional circuit covering more than a State/ UT. The identification of the project, the implementation agency and the mode of channelization of funds would be done in consultation with the State Government/UT Administration.

However, for projects in the ‘protected areas’ under ASI, the implementing agency would be ASI/CPWD or any other agency to be decided by the Ministry of Tourism.

The following works may be taken up under the Scheme

  • Improvement of the surroundings of the destination: This would include activities like landscaping, development of parks, fencing, compound wall etc

  • Illumination of the Tourist destination and the area around the SEL Shows etc.

  • Providing for improvement in solid waste management and sewerage management

  • Construction of budget accommodation, wayside amenities

  • Procurement of equipment directly related to tourism, like water sports, adventure sports, eco–friendly modes of transport for moving within the tourism zone

  • Construction of public buildings, which are required to be displaced because of implementation of the master plan

  • Refurbishment of the monuments

  • Signage

  • Tourist arrival centers/reception centers/interpretation centers

  • Other work/activities directly related to tourism

A State level monitoring committee would be set up under the Chairmanship of the respective Secretary (Tourism) of the State Government. The Committee would comprise a nominee of the Ministry of Tourism of Government India and a nominee of the executing agency.


Golden Triangle

Golden triangle is one of the most popular tourist circuits in India. It is preferred by both domestic and international tourists due to the charm attractions that are covered under this circuit. Golden triangle comprises visits to three popular cities of North India. These cities are Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. There are many tourist sites at these places.

Most of the attractions of these places are historical in nature. So, plan a trip to golden triangle to feel the majesty of golden past of India. Golden triangle tour starts with Delhi.

Delhi

Delhi is the capital of India and represents the mixed culture. People from all state dwell in Delhi. So, one can see blend of different cultures in Delhi. Global tourists visit Delhi to explore its popular attractions.

Popular attractions of Delhi are Red Fort, Qutub Minar, India Gate, Humayun’s Tomb, Old Fort, Tughlaqabad Fort, Jama Masjid, Lotus Temple, Akshardham Temple etc. These attractions are known for their architectural wonder. Lotus Temple has won many awards for its unique flower like structure. It is a world heritage site.

Agra

Agra (Uttar Pradesh) is one of the most visited cities in India. It is famous for Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of Modern World. It is also a World Heritage Site. Taj Mahal is one of the most beautiful monuments of India. It interior is very beautiful and stuns the imagination of the people.

Taj Mahal is the essence of golden triangle tour. Apart from Taj Mahal, there are numerous attractions in Agra. Some of the attraction places that are worth visiting are Akbar’s Tomb at Sikandra, Panch Mahal and Buland Darwaza at Fatehpur Sikri, Agra Fort, Jama Masjid, Jodhabai Palace, Salim Singh ki Chisti etc.

Jaipur

Jaipur (Rajasthan), the Pink City of India is one of the most charming cities of India. There are many tourist attraction sites in Jaipur. Some of the must visit sites are Hawa Mahal, City Palace, Amber Fort, Nahargarh Fort, Jaigarh Fort,

Albert Hall Museum, Jantar Mantar etc. Hawa Mahal and Amber Palace are major attractions of Jaipur. The forts and palaces of Jaipur represent the golden past of Rajasthan. In past days, every royal family had flagship fort or palace. Their lifestyle was royal and lavish.

Modes of transport

Distance between New Delhi to Agra 203 km

Train: The main railway station in Delhi is New Delhi Railway Station (NDLS) but trains to Agra also depart Delhi from H Nizamuddin Railway Station, which is around 20 minutes from New Delhi Railway Station. The main railway station in Agra is Agra Cantt. (AGC). Bhopal Shatabdi, Taj Express Superfast, Taj Express, NDLS Shatabdi, Palace on wheels

Flights – Air India, Indigo Distance between Agra and Jaipur – 232 km Trains – Marudhar express, Intercity express, Guwahati Barmer express, Kolkata Bikaner express, Sealdah Ajmer express, Palace on wheels

Flights – Indian Airlines, Indigo Trains from Jaipur to New Delhi– Shatabdi Express, Palace on wheels, Rajdhani express, Uttaranchal express, Garibrath express, Ajmer Haridwar Mela special etc.

Flights – Indian Airlines, Indigo Interstate board buses as well as private buses and taxis are also available.

Bangalore Mysore Ooty

Bangalore

Bangalore is the most happening city in India and is called the Silicon Valley of India for its fast growing software industry. Vidhan Soudha, home to the State legislature and the Secretariat. Built of Granite, it is a four-storied structure known for the Neo– Dravidian style of architecture. Lal Bagh Gardens, Cubbon Park, the Government Museum, Tipu Sultan’s fort and palace, the Bull Temple and the Ulsoor Lake.

Bangalore is the most happening city in India and is called the Silicon Valley of India for its fast growing software industry. Vidhan Soudha, home to the State legislature and the Secretariat. Built of Granite, it is a four-storied structure known for the Neo– Dravidian style of architecture. Lal Bagh Gardens, Cubbon Park, the Government Museum, Tipu Sultan’s fort and palace, the Bull Temple and the Ulsoor Lake.

Mysore

Bangalore Government House Mysore – Mysore Palace, is the landmark of the city and perhaps the most ornate example of Indo–Sarcenic architecture. A solid gold throne studded with the jewels remains the most resplendent object that visitors throng to see here. Other attractions are St. Philomena’s Church, Chamundi Hills, Brindavan Gardens, Mysore Zoo, Jagan Mohan Art Gallery and Varshaswamy Temple.

Ooty

Ooty is a beautiful hill station located in the Nilgiri hills. Places of interest are Botanical Gardens, Ooty Lake, it is an artificial lake constructed by John Sullivan, the then Collector of Coimbatore. Boat races are conducted here during the summer festival. Other attractions are Government Museum, Dodabetta Peak, Lamb’s rock, Kokanadu’s View Point, Kotagiri and Coonoor etc.

Kalhatty Waterfalls: Distance between Bangalore and Mysore is 140 km.

Trains – Mysore Passenger, Tippu Exp, Chamundi Exp, Mysore exp, Mangalore exp, Shatabdi Exp, Ajmer Mysore Exp, Jaipur Mysore Exp.

Distance between Mysore Ooty is 160Kms via Gudalur and 130Kms via Kallatty.

Trains – Nearest broad gauge railway head is Mettupalayam (46 kms). Major broad–gauge railway junction is Coimbatore. It is connected with all major cities. Mettupalayam to Ooty is connected by a Mountain Railway (toy train) which is 4 hours journey.

Ooty is well connected by good roads.

Flight – The nearest airport is in Coimbatore, 100 km away. You can catch a direct flight to Coimbatore from Chennai, Kozhikode, Bangalore and Mumbai. Indian Airlines flies Delhi–Kochi via Mumbai and Coimbatore.

Flight – The nearest airport is in Coimbatore. A taxi from here to Ooty will take 3–1/2 hour and do negotiate on the fare. Indian Airlines, Indigo

Distance between Bangalore Ooty

There is no direct rain from Ooty to Bangalore. One has to travel by toy train from Mettupalayam to reach Coimbatore.

Flight – Spice Jet, Indian Airlines, Indigo

Buddhist Circuit

The Buddhist Circuits are the places of all high significance and holy sites of Buddhism, where Lord Buddha was born, attained Enlightenment, preached his first Sermon and reached Nirvana.

Lumbini

Lumbini: Lumbini in southern Nepal is where Queen Mayadevi gave birth to Prince Siddhartha. It is just a short distance from the Shakya capital of Kapilavastu. Pilgrimages focus on the sacred garden, which contains the site of birth, the Mayadevi temple, the Pushkarni pond and the Ashoka pillar.

Bodhgaya

Bodhgaya (Bihar): It was in Bodhgaya in Bihar, India that Prince Siddhartha found Enlightenment (nirvana) under the bodhi tree after meditating for 49 days. No longer a bodhisattva (mentor), he became Lord Buddha, the Enlightened One.

Sarnath

Sarnath (U.P): Buddha gave his first sermon at Sarnath after achieving enlightenment, about 10 km from the ancient holy city of Varanasi. It was here that the Buddha established his first disciples (sangha) to promote his new doctrine. The splendid Dhamekha Stupa at Sarnath was originally erected by King Ashoka, as was the famous lion capital pillar, now the proud symbol of India.

Kushinagar

Kushinagar: At Kushinagar, Lord Buddha fell ill and left this world in 543 BC. His mortal remains were preserved in eight commemorative chortens and then further distributed by King Ashoka into 84,000 stupas across his kingdom and beyond.

Modes of transportation

Distance between Lumbini and Bodhgaya is 161 km.

Train– Nearest railway station is at Gorakhpur in India. It is 122 km from Lumbini. Where to stay in Lumbini

Distance between Bodhgaya to Sarnath is 247km.

Train – Bodhgaya does not have a railway station. Gaya is a railway station near it. Arial distance between them is 10 km, Sarnath Exp, Howrah Mumbai Mail, Neelanchal exp, Doon Exp, Jammutawi Exp, Budhpoornima Exp

Flight – Sarnath does not have an airport.

Distance between Sarnath and Kushinagar is 266km. There is no train connection between Sarnath and Kushinagar

Bhuvaneshwar Konark Puri

The eastern temple town triangle of the Bhubaneshwar, Puri and Konark forms one of the most pious tourist circuits in India. The triangle reveals the rich heritage of the state of Orissa. Each of the three jewels in the crown of Orissa has its unique glitter.

The rulers of ancient Orissa left a mark by building spectacular temples, shrines and stupas. A rainbow of the monuments can be enjoyed by visiting this triangle. As other rulers of the country put their mark by building forts or mausoleums on the death of their beloved ones, these rulers preferred construction of religious shrines where each and everybody could gather without any distinction of caste or creed to find solace.

Bhubaneshwar

Bhubaneshwar – It is the masterpiece of the Orissa style of temple architecture; Parashurameshwara Temple will charm any devotee with its carvings and sculptures. The city is also called the ‘ Temple Metropolis of India’. The finest example of purely Hindu temple in India, the Lingaraja temple will attract anyone.

Lingaraj Temple

Lingaraj Temple is a temple of the Hindu god Harihara and is one of the oldest temples of the Temple City Bhubaneswar, a revered pilgrimage centre and the capital of the state of Orissa.

The temple of Lingaraja, the biggest of all at Bhubaneswar is located within a spacious compound wall of elaterite measuring 520 feet by 465 feet. The wall is 7 feet 6 inches thick and surmounted by a plain slant coping. Alongside the inner face of the boundary wall there runs a terrace probably meant to protect the compound wall against outside aggression

The triangle of ancient Buddhist monuments at Lalitgiri, Ratnagiri and Udaigiri near Bhubaneshwar are other attractions besides Dauli where King Ashoka took to Buddhism after the gory battle of Kalinga

How to reach Bhubaneshwar

Air: Bhubaneshwar is well linked by air to Delhi, Chennai, Varanasi, Nagpur, Calcutta and Vishakhapatnam on daily basis flights by Indian Airlines.

Rail: Superfast trains connect Bhubaneswar to major cities of India Konark Exp, Tiruanantapuram–Howrah Exp, Tirupati–Howrah Exp, Madras– Howrah Mail, Hyderabad–Howrah (East Coast), Puri–Howrah Express Puri– Nizamuddin (Kalinga/Utkal Express), Madras –Howrah (Coromondal Express)

Road: Bhubaneswar is well linked to the rest of India by the national highways Distance between Bhubaneshwar– Konark is 64 Km.

Konark

The Sun Temple of Konark, often called as the Black Pagoda, was constructed in the mid-thirteenth century by Raja Narasingh Deva–I of the Ganga Dynasty. It is an ample testament to the artistic glory of the time. Conceived in the form of a huge chariot drawn by seven spirited horses on 12 pairs of exquisitely decorated wheels (after the mythical seven–horse chariot of Sun God), the temple was unique in its architecture and implementation.

Intricate carvings on the walls of the main temple and the Natya Mandap (a separate structure just in front of the temple) are a remarkable sight. It is often considered the best among other temples of its kind and that is saying something when you are talking about the golden triangle of Orissa, which boasts of Sri Jagannath temple and Lingraj Temple of Puri and Bhubaneswar.

The distance between Bhubaneshwar to Konark is 35 km and is connected by road.

Puri

The temple of Lord Jagannath (‘Lord of the Universe’) at Puri is one of the most sacred pilgrimage spots in India, one of the four abodes (dhamas) of the divine that lie on the four directions of the compass. The present temple structure was built in the twelfth century by the Ganga king Chodagangadeva, replacing an earlier structure that probably dated to the tenth century.

Gundicha Mandir (Temple): This temple is located at the end of Grad road (the main road) about 3–km northeast of the Jagannatha temple. At the time of the ‘Ratha–Yatra’ festival, Lord Jagannatha goes to the Gundicha temple and stays there for one week.

After one week, He returns to His original temple. It is said that the wife of ‘Indradyumna’, the king who originally established the temple of Jagannatha, was known as “Gundicha”. The cleansing of the Gundicha temple takes place the day before the Ratha–Yatra festival as mentioned in “Chaitanya– Charitamrita”.

Symbolically, the Rath Yatra (chariot festival) is a journey to light from the dark and begins on the second day of the bright fortnight in the month of Ashadh (June–July). It commemorates the journey of Krishna from Gokul to Mathura. This festival is celebrated at Puri with great pomp and ceremony. In this religious journey, Jagannath, Subhadra and Balbhadra are taken out in procession in three raths (chariots). The main rath is 43 ft high, 33 ft wide and has 16 wheels. The ropes of the chariots are pulled by millions of devotees.

Nava Kalebara Held once in every 12 to 19 years according to lunar calendar, on this religious ritual, the idols change their external forms. New idols are carved out of specially sanctified trees.

Rath Yatra: The Car Carnival Orissa is a land of innumerable fairs and festivals celebrated round the year but the most spectacular of them is the Rath Yatra, hitherto known as the Car Festival in western world.

  • Celebration: The three wooden deities of lord ‘Jagannatha’, ‘Balbhadra’ and ‘Devi Subhadra’ with ‘Sudarshan’ are brought out of the main temple and taken to Gundicha temple for a week’s visit in three beautifully decorated chariots.

  • Specialty: From the many specialties of the festival, the most unique one is that, this is the only occasion to see, even embrace the deities irrespective of caste, colour and creed outside the Temple.

  • Legend: After performing all the necessary prostrations, he carried the lump of wood to the temple and, following instructions from ‘Brahma’, called the court carpenter ‘Vishvakarma’ to carve out the image. Vishvakarma agreed to perform the task on condition that no one so much as set eyes on the deity until it was completed.

    The king, however, unable to contain his excitement, peeped through a crack in the door of the carpenter’s workshop during the night to see how the job was progressing. Vishvakarma spotted him, downed tools just as he had promised and cast a spell on the deity so that no one else could finish it.

  • Sequence in the Rath Yatra: Divine Procession (Pahandi Bije) : The deities are brought out of the temple to the chariots by rhythmic movement called “Pahandi” in a royal procession to the accompaniment of the beat of the ‘cymbals’ and drums and chanting of prayers by devotees.

  • Sweeping of the Chariots (Chhera Pahanra): After the deities are installed on their respective Chariots, the traditional King of Puri sweeps the Chariots with a golden broom, which is known as “Chhera Pahanra”.

  • Pulling of Chariots (Rath Tana) : The most exciting part of the Rath Yatra is the pulling of Chariots by thousands of devotees to the Gundicha Temple, which is about 3–kms away from the starting point of the ‘yatra’. Devotees stay in the temple for a week.

  • Return Journey (Bahuda Yatra): On ‘Ashadha Shukla Dasami’, the 10th day of the bright fortnight of Ashadha (June–July), return journey or ‘Bahuda Yatra’ of the deities commences in the same manner from Gundicha temple to the main temple like Rath Yatra.

  • Suna Besha: Before going in their original abode, the deities are dressed in Golden attire on the Chariots the next day.

  • Nabakalebar: When two months of Ashadha fall in one year, Rath Yatra is observed as the festival of ‘Nabakalebar’ the old deities are buried within the temple premises (‘Koilibaikuntha’) and are replaced by new deities, carved out of Margosa trees for which there are set procedures.

    Double Ashadha occurs at intervals of 8 to 19 years. As history records, Nabakalebar was held in 1996, 1977, 1969, 1950 and 1931 during this century.

Puri offers the tourist the rare opportunity of witnessing the colourful Sunrise and Sun set. Puri sea beach is the right place to spend and enjoy morning and evening. Thousands of people from different part of India and world spend their morning and evening at Puri sea beach each and everyday. Seashells are collected here in large quantity. These are the main wealth of Puri sea beach.

Getting Around The nearest airport is Biju Patnaik Airport, Bhubaneswar, 60 km from Puri. Puri is well connected to New Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Mumbai via railways. For intracity transportation, you can rely upon auto–rickshaws and cycle–rickshaws, which are economical enough and gives you a lot of time to explore the city.

The nearest airport is Bhubaneshwar (65 km). Puri is linked by rail to other cities in Orissa and the country including Bhubaneshwar and Calcutta. Government State Transport and Orissa Road Corporation buses connect Puri with Bhubaneshwar, Calcutta, Chilka, Konark, Madras, Sambalpur and Visakhapatnam.

The cycle rickshaw is the most popular mode of travel within Puri. Bicycles are also easily available for hire and are recommended for touring the temple and beaches.

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