S E E U S O N T H E W E B AT wildlifeworldwide.com Ooty (Udagamandalam) The 'Queen of Hill Stations' Udagamandalam, better known as Ooty, is the most popular hill station in South India. It is located in the Western Ghats at a height of 2240 metres, and although the Toda tribe has been living here since time immemorial, the British are credited with 'discovering' Ooty, making it accessible and developing it. With its cool mountain climate Ooty became the summer capital of the Madras Presidency, in the days of the British Raj. The town itself is very picturesque with churches, Victorian mansions and bungalows spread around steep sided hills. Some of the old ways still remain and many establishments still serve afternoon tea! One of the highlights of a visit to Ooty is a trip on the100 year old ‘toy train’, a narrow gauge rack and pinion railway between Ooty and Mettupalayam which is linked to Coimbatore and Chennai. The nearest airport is 100 kilometres away in Coimbatore, which is connected to Chennai, Bombay and Bangalore. Ooty is well connected by good (and scenic) roads to Coimbatore, Chennai and Mysore. Due to its altitude, summer temperatures (March to June) in Ooty are similar to those in Britain, and the rest of the year sees warm days, but cold nights. The Savoy Hotel is an historic hotel located high on a hill overlooking Ooty. Accommodation is in 40 en-suite rooms in bungalows which are spread throughout the manicured lawns and colourful flowerbeds. The emphasis is old English charm and elegance with high tea often served on the lawns. Kolkata Kolkata is India’s third biggest city, with a staggering population of around 14 million. It is located in the State of West Bengal, on the banks of the Hooghli River, just 60 miles from the Bay of Bengal. Today it is a major commercial city, but its illustrious history as the capital of the British Raj is reflected in some fine historical buildings and memorials. Those who have some time to spare while passing through will find more than enough to occupy them for a day’s sightseeing, from the magnificent Victoria Memorial and Marble Palace Museums, to the remains of Fort William (with its dark history) and Writer’s Building. The Park Hotel is a well-appointed four star hotel located in Kolkata. The 174 air-conditioned rooms and suites are designed in a contemporary style and all have modern en-suite facilities. The Oberoi Grand is a large luxury hotel featuring elegantly appointed rooms, excellent restaurants offering speciality cuisine and an exclusive spa and fitness centre. Centrally Located in the commercial heart of Kolkata this historic hotel is an oasis in the bustling city. Bangalore Bangalore is a rapidly expanding modern city and capital of the southern Indian state of Karnataka. Previously a centre for British colonial rule the city has some beautiful civic buildings and gardens dating from this time. The Royal Orchid Hotel is a smart hotel close to the city centre. Accommodation is in 195 modern rooms and suites offering views of both the city centre and the lush green golf course next door. Darjeeling Darjeeling still retains some of the quaint, old-worldly colonial charm reminiscent of the days of the Raj. In the summer months the top British officials, troops and wives would decamp here en-masse to avoid the searing heat of the plains and enjoy the cool mountain air. The city has a breathtakingly beautiful backdrop of the mighty snow-clad Himalayan Peaks, including Kanchenjunga which overshadows the town. Darjeeling is surrounded by tea plantations produces one of the most famous teas in the world. It is a fascinating place of old and new buildings and customs, where you can see Buddhist monasteries, colonial bungalows and gothic mansions, visit tea plantations, or go trekking to high altitude spots near the border with Sikkim. The Cedar Inn offers accommodation in 29 rooms in an elegant Victorian gothic building. All rooms have spectacular views of the snowy peaks of the Himalayas. Hotel Windermere is arguably the best accommodation in Darjeeling. It was the cozy boarding area of the bachelor English and Scottish tea planters and converted into a hotel in 1939. It has 38 rooms and an enviable reputation for service. 99 Asia / India fatepursikri Jaipur “ ” Mandy Shepherd Wildlife Artist India - What an amazing experience! My first visit and I have returned waxing lyrical about the place, the people and the wildlife in all its glory. As an artist it was electrical in colour, sensual, vibrant... my dictionary of superlatives will never be large enough to embrace it all. And my first sighting of a Tiger? A magnificently humbling experience for any human being and, had there been a need, that one moment endorsed my commitment and passion for wildlife conservation.
100 F O R R E S E R V A T I O N S C A L L U S O N 0845 130 6982 Nepal Sitting at the heart of the Himalaya, Nepal is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular countries on earth. Perhaps more special in this mystical mountain kingdom, is the warm, friendly nature of its people, its rich blend of Buddhist and Hindu cultures, and an exceptional variety of both birds and mammals, and a remarkable diversity of habitats. Over 850 species of birds are found in Nepal, and amongst its lager mammals are Tiger, Leopard, Greater One-horned Rhinoceros, Elephant, Water Buffalo, Gaur, three species of bear, deer, antelope and, in the mountains, a population of wild sheep and goats. Kathmandu Kathmandu is the capital of the Himalayan Mountain Kingdom of Nepal. Although the wildlife enthusiast will usually only stop here en-route to the national parks and rural areas, the Kathmandu valley has some wonderful and unique sights for those visitors with a little more time on their hands. Kathmandu city centre itself is a wonderful complex of palaces, courtyards and temples, built between the 12th and 18th Centuries, and it has been protected as a UNESCO World Heritage sight. Just outside the city is the hilltop Buddhist temple complex of Swayambunath, which offers fabulous views of the snow-covered mountains surrounding the city on clear days. Nearby the royal cities of Bhaktapur and Patan also have wonderful historic centres filled with palaces and temples. The forested slopes of Phulchowki also offer some good birdwatching, walking and photographic opportunities of some of Nepal’s highest peaks. To do the royal cities of the Kathmandu Valley justice visitors should allow at least a day’s sightseeing and for those who like to wander and browse, two days is even better. Tiger Tops Jungle Lodge, Chitwan National Park Dwarika’s Hotel, Kathmandu