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Destinations to Conquer with your College Friends!

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Palolem Beach, Goa, Wikimedia
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May 25, 2017: College life is all about fun, excitement and making memories for a lifetime. It is the time when most students travel, seek opportunities and relish life. However, many students studying in college have a limited budget and lack the financial support to fund the trip. But the brighter side is, college students are least bothered by commitments that most young professionals have, and they can mask their appetite for wanderlust quite easily.

The good thing is, the budget is a state of mind and college students are free-spirited. They will find a way to travel even on a budget. College brings out the perfect time to travel because it helps you sort out your mind and you can meet new people on your way. It can be a life changing experience and traveling with your college gang can indeed be a happy affair!

There are pocket-friendly places where you can head out with your college group and experience the Incredible India!
BANGALORE
Bangalore is one of the most popular cities in Southern India and offers plenty of attractions for people for all ages. The city with a rich heritage, it is also known as the garden city. A country that brings together contemporary and traditional themes fused in its milieus. The architecture is mostly modern but with few historical exceptions. Bangalore has several colleges, universities and has a serious influx of young working people. It is highly popular for its vibrant nightlife and friendly neighborhoods. If you visit the city, you can search for cheap hotels in Bangalore on websites like Yatra; a one stop travel solution for all your travel needs. You can start the day however you like, but visiting Woderla Amusement Park and Cubbon Park are a fantastic way to pump energy and enthusiasm. Bangalore is famous for its parties so make sure you find yourself a pub!

Bangalore, Pixabay

MANALI
A highly popular place among people from North India. Manali is a highly-recommended place if you are fond of mountains, greenery, and breathtaking views. The city is easy to reach, and the drive to Manali will leave you panting in awe. With several adventure sports are on offer ranging from paragliding, rappelling, river rafting and skiing. Often called as the backpacking capital of India, Manali offers its visitors many hiking options and is a breath of fresh air! Make sure you visit Solang Valley, Rohtang Pass, and Jana Falls. Go with your college friends, and be a part of the adventure!

Manali, Pixabay

RISHIKESH
Rishikesh is another fun place to visit with your college friends. If you are adventurous, then this is the place to go. It is popular for camping, bonfires, river rafting, bungee jumping, rock climbing and more. Bond with your friends, and make memories of a lifetime. One can hop from one café to another and eat scrumptious western food. Since religion is an integral part of Rishikesh; one can sign for yoga or meditation classes. If you are heading out to Rishikesh, make sure you visit the Beatles Ashram, which is one of the niftiest places to hang out with your friends.

Rishikesh, Pixabay

GOA
No college trip is complete without Goa on the list. The epitome of fun, Goa is the informally known as the party capital of India. It is the place to experience a range of emotions without worrying. A truly joyous place, the laid-back culture is what attracts most college students. The beautiful and serene beaches are truly enchanting and are dotted with several shacks on its front. It offers a memorable time that will leave you wanting for more. If your group likes a more calm and soothing place, then heading to South Goa makes sense. Otherwise, if you guys are all about noise and need a happening place, then nothing beats North Goa. Make sure you visit Baga Beach,, Fort Aguada and Calangute Beach.

Goa, Pixabay

All these places are pocket-friendly if you do your research right. If you are worried about the prices of hotels, then check out the popular travel websites like Yatra, MakeMyTrip, GoIbibo and more to make your holiday a hassle free and fun affair! College students are concerned about budgets, and these websites will make sure you get the best deal!

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  • Kayla Morrissette

    Go to hotelscombined dot com for the best and cheapest hotels where ever you want to go. They have great discount deals and packages for you and or your family to save tons of money to do extra activities. It helped me travel to a lot of places I wanted to go.

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Atal Bihari Vajpayee: A Peace Visionary and a Man Who Believed in India’s Destiny and was Ready To Fight For It

It was precisely this persona of Vajpayee -- one merged in Hindutva ideology yet seemingly not wholly willing to bow to it -- that won him admirers cutting across the political spectrum.

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Atal Bihari Vajpayee,
Atal Bihari Vajpayee, India's peace visionary. Image: Flickr

Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a man of moderation in a fraternity of jingoistic nationalists; a peace visionary in a region riven by religious animosity; and a man who believed in India’s destiny and was ready to fight for it.

Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee (93), who died on Thursday, will go down in history as a person who tried to end years of hostility with Pakistan and put development on the front burner of the country’s political agenda. He was also the first non-Congress Prime Minister to complete a full five-year term.

Even though he lived the last 13 years of his life in virtual isolation, dogged by debilitating illnesses and bedridden, he has left an enduring legacy for the nation and the region where he was much loved and respected across the political spectrum and national boundaries, including in Pakistan.

Vajpayee, former Indian Prime Minister
Vajpayee stunned the world by making India a declared nuclear state. Image: Wikimedia Commons

In the tumultuous period he presided over the destiny of the world’s largest democracy, Vajpayee stunned the world by making India a declared nuclear state and then almost went to war with Pakistan before making peace with it in the most dramatic fashion.
In the process, his popularity came to match that of Indira Gandhi, a woman he admired for her guts even as he hated her politics.

He also became the best-known national leader after Indira Gandhi and her father Jawaharlal Nehru.

After despairing for years that he would never become Prime Minister and was destined to remain an opposition leader all his life, he achieved his goal, but only for 13 days, from May 16-28, 1996, after his deputy, L.K. Advani, chose not to contest elections that year.
His second term came on March 19, 1998, and lasted 13 months, a period during which India stunned the world by undertaking a series of nuclear tests that invited global reproach.

Although his tenure again proved short-lived, his and his government’s enhanced stature following the world-defying blasts enabled him to return as Prime Minister for the third time on October 13, 1999, a tenure that lasted a full five-year term.

When finally he stepped down in May 2004, after an election that he was given to believe he would win, it marked the end of a long and eventful political career spanning six decades.

Vajpayee had gone into these elections riding a personality cult that projected him as a man who had brought glory to the nation in unprecedented ways. The BJP’s election strategy rested on seeking a renewed mandate over three broad pillars of achievement that the government claimed — political stability in spite of the pulls and pressures of running a multi-party coalition; a “shining” economy that saw a dizzying 10.4 percent growth in the last quarter of the previous year; and peace with Pakistan that changed the way the two countries looked at each other for over 50 years.

The results of the elections could not have come as a greater shock to a man who was hailed for his achievements and who was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 influential men of the decade.

Success didn’t come easily to the charismatic politician, who was born on Christmas Day in 1924 in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, into a family of moderate means. His father was a school teacher and Vajpayee would later recall his early brush with poverty.

He did his Masters in Political Science, studying at the Victoria College in Gwalior and at the DAV College in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, where he first contested, and lost, elections. He began his professional career as a journalist, working with Rashtradharma, a Hindi monthly, Panchjanya, a Hindi weekly, and two Hindi dailies, Swadesh and Veer Arjun. By then he had firmly embraced the ideals of the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS).
But even as he struggled to win electoral battles, his command over Hindi, the lingua franca of the North Indian masses, his conciliatory politics and his riveting oratory brought him into public limelight.

Also read: For Modi, Road To 2019 Will Be Steeper

His first entry into Parliament was in 1962 through the Rajya Sabha, the upper house. It was only in 1971 that he won a Lok Sabha election. He was elected to the lower house seven times and to the Rajya Sabha twice.

Vajpayee
Vajpayee spent months in prison when Indira Gandhi imposed Emergency rule in June 1975. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Vajpayee spent months in prison when Indira Gandhi imposed Emergency rule in June 1975 and put her political opponents in jail. When the Janata Party took office in 1977, dethroning the Congress for the first time, he became the foreign minister.

The lowest point in his career came when he lost the 1984 Lok Sabha polls, that too from his birthplace Gwalior, after Rajiv Gandhi won an overwhelming majority following his mother Indira Gandhi’s assassination. And the BJP he led ended up with just two seats in
the 545-member Lok Sabha, in what looked like the end of the road for the right-wing party.

In no time, Vajpayee was replaced and “eclipsed” by his long-time friend L.K. Advani.
Although they were the best of friends publicly, Vajpayee never fully agreed with Advani’s and the assorted Hindu nationalist groups’ strident advocacy of Hindutva, an ideology ranged against the idea of secular India.

Often described as the right man in the wrong party, there were also those who belittled him as a moderate “mask” to a hardline Hindu nationalist ideology. Often he found his convictions and value systems at odds with the party, but the bachelor-politician never went against it.

It was precisely this persona of Vajpayee — one merged in Hindutva ideology yet seemingly not wholly willing to bow to it — that won him admirers cutting across the political spectrum. It was this trait that made him the Prime Minister when the BJP’s allies concluded they needed a moderate to steer a hardliner, pro-Hindu party.

He brought into governance measures that created for India a distinct international status on the diplomatic and economic fronts. In his third prime ministerial stint, Vajpayee launched a widely acclaimed diplomatic initiative by starting a bus service between New Delhi and Pakistan’s Lahore city.

Its inaugural run in February 1999 carried Vajpayee and was welcomed on the border by his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif. It was suspended only after the 2001 terror attack on the Indian Parliament that nearly led to a war between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.

The freeze between the two countries, including an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation on the border for nearly a year, was finally cracked in the spring of 2003 when Vajpayee, while in Kashmir, extended a “hand of friendship” to Pakistan. That led to the historic summit in January 2004 with then President Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad — a remarkable U-turn after the failed summit in Agra of 2001. Despite the two men being so far apart in every way, Musharraf developed a strong liking for the Indian leader.

His unfinished task, one that he would probably rue, would be the peace process with Pakistan that he had vowed to pursue to its logical conclusion and a resolution of the Kashmir dispute.

He was not known as “Atal-Ji”, a name that translates into firmness, for nothing. He could go against the grain of his party if he saw it deviate from its path. When Hindu hardliners celebrated the destruction of the 16th century Babri Mosque at Ayodhya, he was full of personal remorse for the apocalyptic action and called it — in a landmark interview to IANS — the “worst miscalculation” and a “misadventure”. He even despaired that “moderates have no place — who is going to listen to the voice of sanity?”

In his full five-year term, he successively carried forward India’s economic reforms programme with initiatives to improve infrastructure, including flagging off a massive national highway project that has become associated with his vision, went for massive privatisation of unviable state undertakings despite opposition from even within his own party.

While his personal image remained unsullied despite his long innings in the murky politics of this country, his judgment was found wanting when his government was rocked by an arms bribery scandal that sought to expose alleged payoffs to some senior members of his cabinet. His failure to speak up when members of his party and its sister organisations, who are accused of killing more than 1,000 Muslims in Gujarat, was questioned by the liberal fraternity who wondered aloud about his secular proclamations. He wanted then Chief Minister — now Prime Minister, Narendra Modi — to take responsibility for the riots and quit but was prevailed upon by others not to press his decision.

A day before his party lost power, Vajpayee was quoted as saying in a television interview that if and when he stepped down he would like to devote his time to writing and poetry. But fate ruled otherwise. The man who once rued that “I have waited too long to be Prime Minister” found his last days in a world far removed from the adulation and attention — though across the nation people prayed for his well-being — surrounded only by care-givers and close family whom he even failed to recognize. (IANS)