7 TOP MOUNTAINS TO VISIT IN INDIA

India has a beautiful landscape full of a fantastic array of mountain ranges that you really need to have a look at. They have the highest mountains on the planet and these mountain ranges are also a source of some of the major Indian rivers. They are also home to mesmerizing glaciers, picturesque lakes and stunning valleys as well as a wide range of wildlife and medicinal plants. Today, we will be looking at the top seven mountains to visit when you head to India.

The Himalayas

These snowy mountains are the highest and also one of the youngest mountain ranges on the planet. The highest peaks include the famous Mount Everest and K2. Some of the major rivers of India are sourced from the Himalayas. Siachen Glacier, which is the world’s second longest glacier, is also a part of the Great Himalayan range. A range of superb lakes and valleys also sit within this mountain range. Due to the assortment of climates experienced here, you need to have appropriate footwear, so make sure the shoes are breathable as well as insulated when trekking the Himalayas.

Purvanchal Range

These wet mountains exist in the northeast district of India. There are three hill ranges that fall in the Purvanchal range, these include the Garo-Khasi-Jaintia, Lushai Hills and the Patkai. These hill regions are actually known for their high volume of rainfall, so be sure to dress accordingly. The top peak of this mountain range is Phawngpui.

Vindhya Range

In India, the Vindhya range is one of the seven chief holy mountain ranges that can be found here. They geographically separate Northern India from Southern India. Drainage on the range’s southern slopes occurs via the holy Narmada River. The highest peak is known as Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh.

Satpura Range

This triangular shaped mountain range extends through the states located in the mid area of India. The apex of this range sits across from the Narmada and Tapti River. These are the main rivers that lead to the Arabian sea. The Saptura’s are mainly made up of forests which are home to a range of large mammals such as the Royal Bengal Tiger. The greatest peak of this mountain range is called Dhupgarh.

 

Aravalli Range

This is known as India’s oldest mountain range which runs across Rajasthan to Haryana. The Aravalli range is actually the weather-beaten remains of the historic folded mountains and is also one of India’s most admired mountain ranges. They are also referred to as the Mewat hills. The Aravalli’s are very famous for the mineral resources they supply. Dense forest surrounds the range and it is rich in a variety of flora and fauna. Guru Shikar is the tallest peak of the Aravalli mountain range.

Western Ghats

This range begins close to the edge of Gujarat and ends at Kanyakumari. Around 60% of the Sahyadri Range is found in Karnataka state. This location can be found in the top 10 most biodiverse hotspots on Earth. The Arabian sea/Konkan area, has a great reputation as one of India’s greatest tourist destinations. The Western Ghats largest peak is located in Kerala’s Anaimalai Hills and goes by the name of AnaiMudi.

Eastern Ghats

This irregular mountain range includes four major Indian rivers; The Mahanadi, Krishna, Holy Kaveri and Godavari. The Eastern Ghats start in West Bengal and end in Tamil Nadu. ‘The Blue Mountains’ (also known as the Nilgiri hills) actually sit at the seam of the Western and Eastern Ghats. This region is home to the largest Indian elephant population. The highest peak is the Shevaroy.

If you are planning on mountain trekking in India, be sure to plan your trip before you set off to make the most of your experience. Many of the locations are tourist hotspots, so tour guides and companies will be available to help make sure you don’t miss a thing.

POSTCARD FROM LASWITAN

SURIGAO DEL SUR’S LASWITAN
An Ultimate Pacific Ocean Fun

Laswitan comes the word LASWIT which means splash. Here at Laswitan, the strong splash of the waves coming from the Pacific Ocean against the 20-foot black limestone creates a spectacular scene often describe by tourists as waterfalls by the ocean. Just awesome!

KINABAYO FESTIVAL: Dapitanon’s Way of Honoring St. James the Greater

When I hear the word Dapitan, the first thing that comes to my mind is the National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. In fact, Rizal has become synonymous to Dapitan as this city became his home when he was exiled in Mindanao. But there’s more to Dapitan than just Pepe.

While the City is best known for its rich history, it is also home to some grand celebrations and festivals the city hosts every year. One of these is the Kinabayo Festival, a colourful celebration staged every year in honor of the city’s patron saint, Saint James the Greater, who is also the patron saint of the entire Spain.

Dapitan City is among the first territories in Mindanao colonized by Spaniards. Aside from the deep Catholic faith, the colonizers left the Dapitanons with a very extraordinary and unique legacy – the tradition and pageantry of Kinabayo Festival which was celebrated even back in the olden days. Kinabayo is a unique festival re-enacting the Spanish-Moorish wars particularly the Battle of Covadonga.

During the early years of the Spanish rule, Dapitan was still flooded by Moro pirates. To protect the Dapitanons from an attack of Moro invaders, the Jesuit priests made St. James the Greater as their patron saint with a strong faith that the Patron Saint will protect the town and the people from the invaders. Back in the fifth century in Spain, it was believed that there was an apparition of St. James the Greater riding a horse carrying a sword guiding the Spanish Christians to win the battle against the Moors in the Battle of Covadonga. After three centuries, St. James the Greater played the same part this time in the lives of the Dapitanons.

For quite some time now, Kinabayo Festival of Dapitan has become one of the most celebrated festivals in the whole Zamboanga Del Norte. Dapitanons have remained faithful to their devotion to their patron Saint and Kinabayo Festival is their great way of honouring him.

Celebrated on the feast day, July 25, a magnificent re-enactment of the Battle of Covadonga is staged before the city folk and a sea of tourists. Thousands of residents would gather at the city center not just to be entertained by the number of events lined up for the festival but also to show their devotion to their patron saint.

Kinabayo Festival has also become the most visited season in Dapiatn City. The celebration attracts tourists – both local and foreign – to come to the southern region to experience culture and tradition embedded in Kinabayo Festival. And those who come here, they don’t only enjoy the festivities but also got to enjoy the many amazing destinations Dapitan City has to offer.

Apart from Kinabayo Festival, Dapitan City is renowned being the home of Dakak Beach Resort, the most famous beach resort in Zamboanga Peninsula. Aside from Dakak, the city also hosts the Rizal Shrine and Park, a 16-hectare property where national hero Jose Rizal was exiled from 1892 to 1896. This has garnered the city as the Shrine City of Mindanao. Dapitan also houses the only Disney-themed family and recreational park in Mindanao, the Gloria’s Fantasyland de Dapitan.

Shout out of gratitude to the LGU of Dapitan City for the invitation for the Kinabayo Festival most especially to Ms. Apple Marie Agolong, the City Tourism Officer. Same goes my to travel buddy Ida Nanette Damo of ChoosePhilippines for her letting me use of her photos in the post. Daghang salamat! Viva Senior Santiago!

REVISITING CARAGA CHURCH OF DAVAO ORIENTAL

For another year, I am invited by the LGU of Caraga, Davao Oriental to be one of their guests for the annual celebration of the town’s Founding Anniversary and its Parochial Town Fiesta celebrated every 16th day of July. Caraga is the oldest town in the Province of Davao Oriental.

Situated in the eastcoast of the province, CARAGA is a laid-back town teeming with natural attractions, colorful culture and rich history. Being the easternmost town in the country, it is famous as the Sunrise Capital of the Philippines as the sun shines here first particularly in Pusan Point. The town also takes pride as home of the Mandaya Indigenous People, one of the most interesting and fascinating IP groups of Mindanao where culture and traditions are still intact even to this day.

Another fascinating thing CARAGA is so proud of is the SAN SALVADOR DEL MUNDO CHURCH, the Parish Church of the town, as it is known as the oldest Church in the whole Davao Region. Long before the arrivals of the Spaniards in the Davao Gulf to conquer what is now Davao City in 1848, Caraga is already established as a town and was part of Caraga Province (referring to CARAGA Region). The town served as a mission station of Spanish Missionaries in propagating Christianity in eastern Mindanao. San Salvador Del Mundo Church is the legacy and heritage they left to Caragenos.

Built on the promontory that overlooks a spectacular view of the great Pacific Ocean, San Salvador Del Mundo Church is mainly made of rubble – irregular pieces of rocks and corals – but the upper portion is built with hardwood. The aged door in the opening bears insignias that symbolize of the Holy Name of Jesus. The construction of this church began in 1877 led by Fr. Pablo Pastells, SJ and Fr. Juan Terricabras, SJ and was completed in 1884.

In 2012 during the town’s Parochial Fiesta, the San Salvador Del Mundo Church was declared a National Historic Site, a distinction given by no less than the National Historical Commission of the Philippines. The declaration was made 128 years after it was built in 1884 – something that every Carageños should be proud of, including me who hails from the same province.

San Salvador Del Mundo Church has survived the tests of changing times and has remained a beacon of Catholic faith in this side of the country.

CATEEL FROM ABOVE: It’s Incredibly Charming

When I got my DJI Spark a month ago, I told myself that the very first place that I should feature using this aircraft will be my hometown of Cateel. When our town celebrated its 114th Founding Anniversary, I was invited to go home to sit as judge in one of its event. And so I took this great opportunity to fly my drone camera and take incredible photos and videos of my hometown which I have never seen before. I have so much fun documenting my hometown from above. Here are some of these stunning photos that truly made me feel prouder of where I come from.

CATEEL FROM ABOVE:
It’s Incredibly Charming

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