Seven Major Attractions of India’s 7 Union Territories
Andaman & Nicobar Islands – Diving
A scuba diving expedition is an essential part of the Andaman holiday. The snorkeling and scuba diving around Havelock Island are some of the best in the country. Havelock offers plenty of options and most resorts and hotels will help you sign up. It’s a magical world that you’ll discover underwater. On view are hard corals, which attract turtles, lobsters, stingray, brilliant-hued butterfly fish, clown fish and lots more. On a short trip you can do the PADI Scuba Diver or SSI Resort Diver course that gives you an introduction to diving.
Chandigarh Le Corbusier’s – Architecture
In the years after Independence, Jawaharlal Nehru commissioned French architect Le Corbusier to plan and build a city that was to be the capital of Punjab. Even today, Chandigarh’s strongest associations are with Le Corbusier and his visionary design. Among the outstanding examples of his work is the Capitol Complex, made up of three concrete buildings—the Palace of Assembly or Legislative Assembly, the Secretariat and the High Court. Now, a UNESCO World Heritage site, it contains the administrative quarters and is a grand expression of the French architect’s work. It is said that Le Corbusier saw the city like a human body, with these buildings functioning as its ‘head’.
Dadra & Nagar Haveli – Portuguese History
Nagar Haveli, nestling between Maharashtra and Gujarat, and Dadra, an enclave a kilometre away, were under Portuguese rule until the mid-1950s and you can still see traces of this colonial past in many places, particularly in the quiet capital, Silvassa. One of the main attractions of the town, which lies at the mouth of the Daman Ganga river, is the Portuguese Church which recalls the times when the region was under colonial rule.
Daman & Diu – Forts and Cannons
The former Portuguese enclaves of Daman and Diu afford opportunities to explore churches and forts and to relax on still unspoilt beaches. In Diu, the picturesque island located off the southern tip of Saurashtra, there’s the Diu Fort, with its double moat from whose ramparts you can get some great sea views. Just beyond the city wall of the Diu Fort are the Naida Caves, an intriguing network of square hewn hollows and steps. In Diu, the Fort of Saint Jerome is a fine edifice which heritage lovers enjoy visiting.
Delhi – Ancient And Modern Monuments
Giving the capital city a sense of grandeur and ceremony are its many monuments—from those dating back to the Mughal era to fin de siecle constructions, all of which come together to tell the story of a city that has been at the centre of so many dramatic events in history. There’s the Red Fort, seat of the Mughals, which is from where the Prime Minister addresses the nation. The Qutab Minar, a towering structure, and Purana Qila also inspire awe. Delhi’s tombs are equally magnificent; there’s Humayun’s Tomb and the Lodi Tomb that lends its name to the garden in which it is located. India Gate, built in 1931, is the very symbol of Delhi and nationhood.
Lakshadweep – Coral Reefs
Lakshadweep, a cluster of islands, flung off the western coast, is India’s tiniest Union Territory. It also has some of the best beaches and coral reefs, making this the perfect destination for those who enjoy underwater adventures. Agatti Island has superb stretches of sand and also offers opportunities for snorkelling and scuba diving. The island of Kalpeni lies in a shallow lagoon and is known for its wealth of marine life, particularly the corals. So, put on that snorkelling gear and explore the magnificent waters of Lakshadweep.
Puducherry – French Quarters
When you visit this former colony for the first time you are bound to be surprised that it has so distinct a French air. The town that hugs the sea is laid out in a tidy grid of streets lined with lovely white buildings and little patches of green. Rubbing shoulders with the Ville Blanche, or the white town, is the colourful ethnic side with its temples and bustling markets. One of the best ways to see Puducherry is a walking tour through the rues and the avenues which allows you to admire the French colonial architecture.
Few places in India lend themselves well for solo female trips. Pondicherry is definitely amongst them. The French Quarter is particularly safe, as is the Rock Beach that stays open 24×7. The French culture is evident in lovely cafes and colourful homes. Cycling around Pondicherry is as normal as it is to stroll along the promenade in the evening. If you’re spiritually and artistically inclined, Auroville is your haven. Even though the general vibe of the city is rather serene, there are plenty of bars to wind down with a drink or two, where you can even catch some live music and performances.
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