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Amritsar: The world famous Golden Temple, Harmandir Sahib in whGolden Templeich is enshrined the Holy Book of the Sikhs, the Guru Granth Sahib, is the centre of a 400-year-old pool in Amritsar. Next to the Golden Temple is the Akal Takht or the Immortal Throne which was established by Guru Har Gobind Singh in the early 17th century. This is the supreme seat of Sikhs temporal authority. Another edifice is a 9-storey tower built in the memory of Baba Atal Rai , decorated with frescoes depicting the life of the founder of Sikhism - Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Not far off is Durgiana Mandir , a Hindu Temple dedicated to Goddess Durga . Jalianwala Bagh is a pilgrim place for every Indian, as it symbolizes India's struggle for freedom. On the outskirts of Amritsar is Hari-ke-Pattan, a picnic spot (Bird Sanctuary) where rivers Beas and Sutlej meet.

CHERRAPUNJEE: Of orange honey, rainfall and rolling mCherapunjieadows. Cherrapunje recently lost its claim-to-fame as the 'Wettest Place On Earth' to nearby Mawsynram. Even though it had a recorded 'best' of around 2300 cm. of rainfall in a year and the average annual downpour is still about 1150 cm., Mawsynram is wetter. Cherrapunjee has to be content with the status of being just 'another wet place'.

Rainfall apart, one gets the feeling that the stark scenic beauty of Cherrapunjee has never been fully appreciated. With rolling hill ranges, glens, moors, dells and vales, the lush greens are counter pointed by the dark open coal pits. To the greens are added the majestic silver of the waterfalls in the mighty gorges. To crown the landscape are the ever-present clouds and mists.

Cherrapunjee is also famous for its oranges. An eye-catching part of the local scene are the orange groves, the men and women carrying oranges in conical baskets, and heaps of oranges in the local market. Honeybees also contribute by making Cherrapunjee's orange honey a very sought after product.

PALITANA: Commanding a special place on the Gujarat traPalitanavellers' map, Palitana is a 'must visit' destination for those who would like to see what the subtle combination of human enterprise, architectural skills, philanthropy and channelised religious fervor can achieve. The entire summit of the majestic mount Shatrunjaya is crowned with about 900 temples, each rivalling the other for beauty and magnificence, presenting an awe-inspiring spectacle to devotees and visitors.

Originally the town was an imperial thana which later grew into the capital of Palitana State of princely Kathiawad. The feuds and rivalries culminating into the battles during the reign of the Rajput King Unadji reminds us of the sacrificial chivalry of an age that has passed into history. Taking advantage of the occupation of the Bhavnagar army with Maratha forces, Unadji had attacked Sihor. In retaliation Gohil Wakhatsinhji, the then ruler of Bhavnagar, laid siege on Palitana. Unadji's stubborn resistance which compelled the Bhavnagar forces to retire is even today, many generations later, remembered by the natives of this templetown.

BETUL : Away from the bustle of the main tourist routes in SoutBetulh Goa is a gem of a village that any discerning visitor would love to reach. This is Betul, on the estuary of the Sal river where it flows into the Arabian Sea.

Life in the village is centered around fishing and coir production, beneath an attractive canopy of coconut palms, banana, jackfruit and papaya. A jetty from the water's edge leads to a gaily-festooned cluster of fishing boats, each brightly coloured. When the catch comes in, the little harbour buzzes with the happy sound of fisherfolk returning to unload their vessels. A closer look at the estuary is possible by walking along the track that leads towards it. For the travel-weary visitor, this picture will lift the spirits.

Sorpotel...pork vindaloo...xacutti ... chicken cafreal ... ! Need anything more be said about the gourmet delights in Betul? The answer is an unqualified yes! For there is also apa de camarao, fish reichiad (with masala sauce), prawn balchao and ambot tik, not forgetting stuffed crabs and kishmar! But beware, for this is only the main course. The dessert will include the celebrated bebinca , doldol , doce and , if you haven't burst by then, also some bolinhas and unde slapped with mangada. There is one thing the visitor will drop down to with certainty after such a feast... and that is an afternoon siesta. When the sun is lower, and softer, one may saunter down the promenade where village folk look out from their balcaos. Later, in the evening , there will be some-thing very special in the church service followed by socialising with the village residents.