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Yoga Retreats, Sound Therapies, Tea Make Bucket List for Foreign Visitors to India

© AP Photo / Rajesh Kumar SinghA view of Devprayag, Uttarakhand state, India, Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013. Thousands of people were killed and equal numbers of people went missing after devastating floods, cloud burst and landslides struck in June 2013 in northern Indian state of Uttarakhand.
A view of Devprayag, Uttarakhand state, India, Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013. Thousands of people were killed and equal numbers of people went missing after devastating floods, cloud burst and landslides struck in June 2013 in northern Indian state of Uttarakhand.  - Sputnik International
New Delhi (Sputnik): India expects to reach 30.5 million arrivals by 2028 as more attractions have become popularised, in addition to traditional royal palaces or the white marble marvel – the Taj Mahal.

India’s hospitality sector has started moving away from traditional palaces, historical monuments and Taj Mahal, the monument of love.

Tourists now have a new bucket list, which includes yoga retreats, sound healing, special aroma and herbal treatments, meditation sessions garnished with a wide array tea-types. Bollywood is also a vital attraction that draws international travelers to India.  

Usually, the relaxing Indian yoga retreats and healing therapies also provide physical activities like dancing, surfing, trekking and volunteering work. This provides all-round rejuvenating experiences for travelers. 

"India, known as one of the top destinations for wellness retreats worldwide, is getting more popular than ever as people are moving towards a healthier lifestyle. Ayurveda, yoga and meditation are the oldest and most effective methods to harmonizing body, mind, and soul in ways that go beyond just the physical that not only adopted by domestic travelers, but also by international tourists," Manu Rishi Guptha, CEO, Niraamaya Wellness Retreats told Sputnik.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has listed 38 world heritage sites in the country - which include famous caves, wildlife sanctuaries, forts, churches and tombs among others.

However, the country's tiniest state of Goa, popular for its enchanting beaches and traces of ancient Portugal architecture make it favorite for national and international tourists.

"From a tourist-point of view, the must-visit party and celebration destination is Goa. From an Indian context, Goa is the most popular place. The state has a global appeal," said Rohit Taparia, Vice President of Isprava, a homegrown luxury vacation homes brand that has also expanded internationally.

Goa is often portrayed as India's own Las Vegas, and has an international reputation that, as some say, is comparable to the Spanish island of Ibiza. Goa's annually estimated 1200 international flights account for nearly 93 percent of India's international charter tourist flights. However, the state is struggling to tackle the rising menace of drug dealing. 

According to Taparia, India’s hill station of Coonoor surrounded by the awe-inspiring Nilgiri Mountains and tea gardens in southern Tamil Nadu have emerged as new destinations for travelers – not just foreign, but also for big fat Indian families and re-union seeking college gangs. The region is known for producing dark and intensely aromatic Nilgiri tea which is relished all over the world. 

While India was going through its slowest economic growths in five years in September 2019, the hospitality sector registered a growth of 2.6 percent in revenue per available room (RevPAR). India is the third largest in terms of investment in travel and tourism with an investment of $45.7 billion in 2018, accounting for 5.9 percent of national investment.

Taparia also added how on an average, Isprava and its sub-brand Lohono Stays run on an average occupancy rate of 60 percent across different destinations, including mini hill stations and beaches like Lonavala and Alibaug that come with horse-drawn carriages and regional delicacies on the outskirts of Mumbai city - where tourists flock to catch a glimpse of their favourite Bollywood celebrities

According to the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), the  total contribution by travel and tourism sector to India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to rise from  $234.03 billion in 2017 to $492.21 billion in 2028 - and even then, so many underrated travel-worthy destinations in India are going unnoticed.

For instance, the "DhuaDhaar Waterfalls" on the countryside of central India's "marble city" Jabalpur, fresh water from the holy river of Narmada dives deep and cuts through natural hills of white marbles.

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#beautiful #views #of #bhedaghat #in #mp

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Away from the mobile networks and basic civilizations, the curvy ends of Himachal Pradesh-based Parvati Valley - overlooking the scenic rivers, natural hot water springs, rope bridges and wide valleys - where temperatures drop to lower than -10 degrees Celsius in the winters and furry dogs guide your way home - also deserve to be explored more by tourists travelling to or within India.

The sandy-seasides of Gokarna on the western coast, and Puducherry in eastern coast - which was a French colonial settlement in India until 1954 are also destinations that must not be skipped by bag packers cruising around exotic Indian lands.

Classic Indian temples like the Unakoti in Tripura city where Lord Shiva is rumoured to have cursed over 10 million gods and goddesses to turn into stone carvings and the Khajuraho Temples located in central India's Madhya Pradesh - that illustrates erotic learning from the ancient Indian manual to sex and fulfillment - the Kamasutra, serve as bait for both - spiritual as well as history seekers.

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Ancient history of Khajuraho the Chandela rulers built the enthralling temples at Khajuraho over a period of 100 years from 950 AD to 1050 AD. Khajuraho was the cultural capital of the Chandela Rajputs, the Hindu dynasty that ruled over the region from the 10th-12th centuries. The political capital of the Chandelas was Kalinjar. Later the capital was moved to Mahoba, but Khajuraho continued to find patronage for some time. It fell into neglect and dispair much later by medieval period.The most intriguing aspect about these temples is the choice of location, as there is nothing exceptional about Khajuraho as a place nor is there as sizeable population around the city. The Chandelas were followers of the Tantric cult, which believed that gratification of earthly desires is the first step towards salvation. The legend says that these erotic sculptures were intended as a part of a lesson for young boys in Brahmacharya stage to train them for family life in the Grihasta stage. खजुराहो का प्राचीन इतिहास चंदेल शासकों ने खजुराहो में 950 ईद से 1050 ईस्वी तक 100 वर्षों की अवधि में चित्ताकर्षक मंदिरों का निर्माण किया। खजुराहो चंदela राजपूतों की सांस्कृतिक राजधानी थी, हिंदू वंश जिसने इस क्षेत्र पर 10 वीं -12 वीं सदी से शासन किया था। चंदेल की राजनीतिक राजधानी कालिंजर था। बाद में राजधानी महोबा में ले जाई गई, लेकिन खजुराहो कुछ समय के लिए संरक्षण तलाश रहा था। यह दुर्लभ हो गया और मध्ययुगीन काल के बाद में बहुत अधिक स्थानांतरित हो गया। इन मंदिरों के बारे में सबसे दिलचस्प पहलू स्थान का विकल्प है, क्योंकि वहां खजुराहो के बारे में कोई स्थान नहीं है और न ही शहर के आसपास काफी आबादी है। चंडेलस तांत्रिक पंथ के अनुयायी थे, जो मानते थे कि सांसारिक इच्छाओं को तृप्ति मुक्ति की ओर पहला कदम है। कथा कहती है कि ये कामुक मूर्तियां ब्रह्मचार चरण में युवा लड़कों के लिए एक सबक के रूप में लक्षित थीं ताकि उन्हें गृहस्थ परिवार में परिवार के लिए प्रशिक्षित किया जा सके।

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The fun events on the desert sands on India like the Pushkar Mela and Bikaner Camel Fair along with the annual Rann Utsav on Gujrat-based Thar Desert's "Great Rann of Kutch" - which is reputed to be one of the largest salt deserts in the world are also an experience that tourists out to experience while they are in India.

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When the #whiteRann comes alive with #colout #Desert#Dazzle #instagram #RannofKutch

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Between April 2000 and June 2019, the hotel and tourism sector in India garnered increasing Foreign Direct Investment of $12.96 billion, the report by the IBEF stated.

Earlier in January Indian Tourism Minister Prahlad Patel revealed that Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in the country surged even after several countries issued advisories suggesting travelers to keep their India-related plans on hold, in the wake of internal conflicts triggered by the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in the country.

The government of India has set a target of recording at least 20 million FTAs by 2020, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi also urging Indians to travel more within the country and visit at least 15 domestic destinations by 2022.

India had introduced a Tax Refund for Tourists (TRT) scheme to encourage tourists to spend more in India and boost tourism. The TRT provides an opportunity to foreign tourists to purchase goods during their stay in any part of the country on payment of GST and obtain refund of the GST so paid while exiting the country. 

"‘India is sun, spice and everything nice! Tourists who are looking to explore the Indian Himalaya do their homework well in advance – they choose Ladakh to experience the raw beauty of the nature, Himachal Pradesh to increase their adrenaline levels by indulging into adventure sports, Uttarakhand to find peace for their body and soul by enrolling into yoga and healing workshops and the North East to trek through offbeat trails dotted with spectacular vistas’ said Nitin Gupta, CEO – On High Grounds (OHG) a boutique travel firm that is into experiential travel in offbeat locations across the Himalaya.
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