Noida is actually an acronym for New Okhla Industrial Development Authority and is managed by the authority with the same name. It came into being on 17 April 1976 and every year this day is celebrated as 'Noida Day.' It is situated in the Gautam Buddh Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh and its administrative headquarters are in the nearby town of Greater Noida. Along with Gurgaon, Noida is the centre of the booming IT industry in India and today almost all multinational companies have their offices here.
Okhla Bird Sanctuary
Spread over an area of 3.5 km, Okhla Bird Sanctuary is a veritable haven both for the native and migratory water birds. The sanctuary is located close to the Delhi border on the bank of river Yamuna at the point where it flows down to Uttar Pradesh. An important feature of the sanctuary is a lake that has been built by damming the river Yamuna. The water body is located between the western side of Okhla village and the eastern side of Gautam Buddh Nagar.
According to records maintained by the ornithologists, the lake attracts 319 species of migratory birds and approximately 50% of these come from cold regions like Tibet, Europe and Siberia to spend their winters in a warm climate of this part of the country. Okhla Bird Sanctuary has been a favorite destination of the bird lovers of this region since 1874 when the Agra canal was built.
View of the Sanctuary.
Photo Courtesy: Amit.pratap1988
Built by the Bahai community in India in 1986, the lotus shaped architectural marvel called Lotus Temple is regarded as the 20th century Taj Mahal of modern India. It is the finest and the most magnificent buildings and is rightly called its iconic symbol. The temple has won a host of international awards from countries including USA and UK for its architectural design. Built like a half-open lotus flower, the temple is a haven of peace and spirituality.
The bright white marble shrine is surrounded by artistically landscaped lawns, gardens and pathways with beautifully designed balustrades. It has nine pools with stairs and bridges. A significant feature of the temple is the hourly audio-visual presentation that provides important preliminary information to the visitors. The lotus is covered with a roof made of glass and steel to protect it from the rain and vagaries of weather. The glass cover also allows the natural light to enter the main hall.
The Great Indian Place
Developed by IRPPL, the Great India Place is one of the largest shopping malls in the country. The mall features sales outlets of a host of internationally known brand names. Some of these are Shopper's Stop, Globus, Pantaloons, Big Bazaar, Home Town, Woodland, Lifestyle, Lifestyle Home, Adidas, Nike, Guess, Marks & Spencer besides many others.
It is divided into various sections or zones, which are spread over various floors of the mall. There is, for example, a home and groceries and men's and women's apparels zone on the basement level. The top floor of the mall houses six big screen multiplex cinemas that can seat 1220 spectators. Then there is a Wedding Bazaar zone and also has a section dedicated to home improvement and is named Home Saaz.
View of the mall
Photo Courtesy: CaptainRon
Sai Baba Mandir
Dedicated, as the name suggests, to Sai Baba of Shirdi, Sai Baba Mandir is one of the most famous and largest shrines in Noida. It remains heavily crowded on all the days especially on the weekends as people believe that the blessings of Sai Baba can not only bring health, wealth and happiness to his devotees but also rid them of incurable diseases.
The temple is built with beautiful white marble slabs. It houses a charitable dispensary under the care of qualified doctors who attend to approximately 100 patients daily. The temple also provides free mid-day meals to the needy children. The mandir provides for daily poojas or worships, archana and hawans for the devotees who experience deep peace and tranquility within its sacred precincts.
How to Reach Noida
By Air: The nearest airport is the Delhi Airport. It is well connected with all the major cities of the country.
By Rail: There is no railway station in Noida. The nearest railway stations are in Delhi which is well connected with all the major rail heads of the country.
By Road: Noida is served by three expressways: DND Flyway, Greater Noida Expressway and the Yamuna Expressway, UPSRTC, DTC and private buses ply through various routes in Noida.
So when are you heading to Noida?
Photo Courtesy: Leonegi