Monthly Archives: October 2016

Why Kerala Is the Best Tourist Destination for Travellers

124When it comes to tourism, Kerala is one the most popular tourist destinations that attracts thousands of tourists each year. Located in the southwestern region of India, this state with an unbroken coast line along its entire length and with its natural greenery and picturesque surroundings, has been rated as ‘one of the ten paradises of the world’ and ’50 must-see destinations of a lifetime’ by National Geographic Traveller.

Unique Features

Blessed by Mother Nature, the abundance of backwaters, lakes, beaches and tropical greenery beckon every traveller to this beautiful serene land to enjoy the ambience of nature’s beauty. Families, newly weds, nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts and those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, choose this paradise for its serenity and natural scenic beauty; This state with the highest literacy and lowest child mortality rates, is one of most progressive states with diverse culture and a home to some of the best eco-tourism destinations in India.

Besides the famous Kovalam beach, hill stations of Wayanad and Munnar and backwaters of Alleppey and Kumarakom, here are some other best places to visit in Kerala including a few eco-tourism destinations:

Some Famous Hill Stations

Munnar – One of the famous hill stations situated at the junction of three rivers. The tea-planted hills with mist and special shades of green present a beautiful sight. Some places (Pothamadu, Pallivasal, Mattupetty, etc) near Munnar with striking landscapes, waterfalls, trekking trails, lakes and dams; and Top Station where the famous Nilkurinji blooms once in twelve years, enliven the surroundings and makes it an unforgettable experience.

Vagamon – Famous for Meenachil River, Thekkady, Ponmudi, Lakkidi, Vythiri, Idukki, Malampuzha and Mattupetty are some other locations that attract tourists in Kerala.

Some Lesser Known Hill Stations

Gavi: It is located in Pathanamthitta and is a perfect place for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. Wildlife and bird watching, tree houses and spice garden, camping and safari in the forest are some other activities that attract tourists.

Athirapally: Situated in Thirussur, is known for its waterfall which has a total height of 82 feet. A scenic landscape and the beauty of the gushing Athirapally waterfall are best enjoyed in the monsoons. It is also a home to a number of animals and plants, including endangered species.

Ayyampuzha, Charalkunnu, Kalpetta, Thiruvambadi, Malakkappara, Vithura and Ranipuram are some other places to have a stress relieving vacation.

Nature walks, trekking, bird watching and other activities have attracted tourists and helped in promoting eco-tourism. Thenmala, Silent Valley National Park and Periyar Tiger Reserve are amongst the best eco-tourism destinations in Kerala.

Backwaters of Kerala

The backwaters of Kerala are famous for its interconnected rivers, lakes and canals. These lagoons are destinations all visitors enjoy with a cruise ride and a vacation at the magnificently created boat houses that ply the backwaters. The backwaters are also a home for a variety of aquatic plants and animals.

Alleppey, Kumarakom, Kollam, Kuttanad, Kasargod, Allappuzha, Munroe Island and Thiruvallam are some hot spots and important backwater regions.

Beaches

Besides the crescent shaped Kovalam Beach famous for relaxing, ayurvedic treatment and massages, Varkala Beach is also one of the famous beaches situated in Thiruvananthapuram. It is the only region where one can see cliffs with unique geographical features due to their elevation on the flat surface of Kerala, making it a geological monument. This beautiful location attracts more people to its scenic beauty and to catch a glimpse of the beautiful hues of the setting sun. This amazing destination is one of the best reasons for Kerala to be known as God’s Own Country.

Other beaches to enjoy the scenic beauty: Bekal Beach, Khozikode Beach, Allappuzha Beach, Meenukunnu Beach, Chavakkad Beach, Kappil Beach and Cherrai Beach.

A Few Forts

Fort Kochi, located in the city of Kochi, is one of the best sightseeing places in Kerala with the European inspired architecture and planning. Other major attractions are its beaches and the sight of marvellous traditional fishing in the region.

Bekal Fort, situated in Kasargod, is the largest fort in Kerala spreading across 40 acres of land.

Bekal with its exotic beauty, serenity and magnificent view is among the top three honeymoon places in South India.

Other Places of Interest

Marine Drive, facing Kerala’s backwaters, is one of the most enchanting places with beautiful sunset and gentle breeze from the Vembanad Lake. The popular Rainbow Bridge and the Chinese Fishing Net Bridge offer surreal view of the backwaters.

Mattancherry Palace is one of the finest palaces of Kerala. The palace with Kerala murals and Hindu temple art was built by the Portuguese and reflects the 15th century architecture. It was renovated by the Dutch and is known as the Dutch Palace.

Malayattur is a small village in Ernakulam famous for Christian pilgrimage. It is famous because it is the place where St Thomas had fled to save himself from his enemies who were trying to kill him and believed to have prayed on this mountain.

Wayanad – Famous for the heart-shaped lake on the way to the top of the Chembara peak and wildlife sanctuary, Kanakakunnu Palace in Thiruvananthapuram, Periyar National Park in Thekkady, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary (World Heritage Site) harmonized with Thoovanam Waterfalls, Eravikulam National Park in Idukki, Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary and Edakkal Caves are some other places in Kerala that are popular.

Beauty Of Yosemite

123I visited Yosemite just after my marriage in 2013 and the beauty of the place has captured my heart ever since. It could be that Yosemite felt so amazing because it was my honeymoon, but the fact remains that it is rich in bio-diversity with lakes, mountains, glaciers, granite cliffs, giant sequoia trees and several other scenic attractions.

Yosemite National Park located in the central eastern part of California is one of the most picturesque spots of United States visited by millions of tourists and has been the world heritage site since 1984.

We stayed in America’s Best Value Inn near Yosemite south gate which is an affordable and convenient place to stay for tourists. We had our car, so we drove to the national park everyday to explore the various parts of it. The park is huge and has several spectacular views, so the three days were worth spending here.

Yosemite consists of a valley that extends up to the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountains whose terrain is majorly composed of granite. The granite gives the cliffs the bold look with the sharpness of its edges quite eye-catching. Among them El Capitan is one such cliff which has been quite popular among rock climbers. However I liked the Half Dome more which is a naturally formed granite dome around 5000 feet above the Yosemite valley floor because of its unique shape. I had visited several hill stations situated in the lap of the mighty Himalayas. The snow-covered peaks are of course the stunner but I had never seen such a remarkable shape among the peaks as that of the Half Dome. It looked similar to the face of a lady with a veil covering her head.

The other extraordinary feature of the Yosemite valley is the high density of water falls and clear water streams. Among them the Yosemite falls are the tallest falls in North America. I remember sitting on one of the rocks and watching the falls cut through the granite cliffs for hours together. The lush greenery and the rays of the sun penetrating through the leaves falling on the water and making it sparkle is a sight worth capturing. These wildly romantic views are one of the many reasons that photographers come flocking to Yosemite for creating their very own natural masterpiece.

There are two rivers that cross the valley, Toulumne and Merced. It is difficult to tell the color of the water. It’s a certain shade of blue mixed with the deep and light green colors of the shadows of the trees around the rivers. On the Merced, there is a beautiful perennial waterfall, the vernal falls which flows all through the year unlike its ephemeral companions. The vernal falls are quite clearly visible from the glacier point which gets its name from the abundance of glacial materials found here.

A strenuous but picturesque trail leads to the mesmerizing viewpoint which is closed during the winter months because of the slippery snow accumulation. There are many such beautiful trails which are not that strenuous and are great for observing wildlife and for breathing in the fresh air mingled with the sweet smell of pines.

Along with the natural beauty there is a museum which tells about the history of the American Indians who used to live in this area for thousands of years. The evidence about their life ways and culture majorly comes from the archeological evidences and oral histories passed down through generations. Earlier Yosemite valley was called Ahwahnee meaning ‘gaping mouth like place’ and the inhabitants came to be called as Ahwahnees. Behind the Yosemite museum is a reconstructed Indian village of Ahwahnee.

During the California gold rush in the mid-nineteenth century there was an influx of many non-Indian miners who settled in this region and caused the local population to deplete. The ruthless search for gold lead to the killing of thousands of native people of Yosemite.

One of the foreign settlers called Galen Clark discovered the Mariposa grove in Wawona, an Indian encampment in the now south-western part of the park. The giant sequoia trees in the Mariposa grove are surely a tourist’s delight. They are very tall around 60 meters in height and have a formidable structure. I had heard about these trees and throughout my visit to the park me and my husband made wild guesses as to which trees could be those giant ones. There were blue oaks and grey pines everywhere and some of them were also huge trees. But when I first saw the giant sequoia my mouth remained wide open with astonishment for a few minutes to say the least. Among them the most famous was the tunnel tree which had a carriage wide tunnel cut through it. It was 69 meters tall and 27 meters wide and very popular with the tourists. We were no different. Both of us clicked several photographs standing around and inside the tree. There were other giant sequoia that had interesting names like the ‘Grizzly Giant’.

The widespread coniferous forest of the park is also an important habitat for a wide variety of wildlife. We were lucky enough to spot quite a few like the golden-mantled ground squirrel and coyote. There are many more like the grizzly bear, Sierra Nevada red fox, bobcats and many species of birds and reptiles, some of which are rare sightings.

We had visited the park in the summers, so I cannot describe its beauty during the winters. However the bookstore in the Yosemite Valley visitor center had some beautiful picture postcards and books with amazing views of the snow-covered cliffs of Yosemite. While returning back I felt refreshed but at the same time a little sad to leave behind such magnificent surroundings. Even today sometimes when I close my eyes I imagine myself strolling in the beautiful green meadows of Yosemite.

Sikkim With India Tour Packages

122Sikkim is the second smallest state of India. It is surrounded by Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet and Indian state of West Bengal. This land is situated in the Himalayan ranges; the terrain of the state is composed of only hills and greenery. The third highest peak in the world, Mt. Kanchendzonga, is situated in this Indian state.

The earliest know inhabitants of Sikkim are Lepchas. It was later that Bhutias from Tibet and Nepalis came to Sikkim. Gangtok is the capital of the state, and also the most important city. This beautiful capital city lies on a ridge, and one can also enjoy the view of Kanchendzonga from there.

The state of Sikkim is known for its monasteries and hot water springs. The flora and fauna of the state is equally enticing. The flora and fauna in Sikkim can be categorized into another exciting India Tour Packages.

Sikkim has 600 species of birds. This means that out of 1200 species of birds found in India, half of them are found in Sikkim.

Yaks can also add excitement to your trek. Yak milk is quite famous in Sikkim. Moreover, Yak is considered to be the highest dwelling animal in the world.

To enhance the flora and fauna of the place, Sikkim is blessed with some 150 lakes, each ranging from 200 meters to almost 8000 meters.

If you are traveling to Sikkim, you can also arrange trekking India Tour Packages, through a renowned tour operator. The hilly terrain of Sikkim makes it the best place for trekking.

70 % of the Sikkim land is covered with forests. Therefore, everything is so magical about Sikkim. There are many high altitude lakes. Thus, culture and adventure travel side by side in Sikkim. But if you just want to focus on one thing, get your India Tour Packages for Sikkim customised.

The picturesque village of Yuksam in Sikkim is also a mind captivating place. Another aspect of Sikkim which attracts foreigners every year is the festivals- Phang Lhabso and Losoong. Phang Lhabso is celebrated to honor Mt. Kanchendzonga and the festival takes place around August/September. Losoong marks the end of the harvest season.

For, foreigners visiting Sikkim, it is compulsory to obtain Inner line permit. But once you enter this land, you will be left all captivated.

The Sikkim culture is mostly influenced by Tibetan culture, and the food served here is also quite similar to the Tibetan food.

There are many tour operators online, which can help you form proper Sikkim Tour Packages. Come to this land to get completely lost in its glory and rich culture. Everything is so unique and so fresh about this place.

Nainital Hill Station Tour

121Nainital is well-known not just for its beauty and green hills or many lakes. Nainital is also famous for it’s many stories and legends. Many prehistoric temples and peaks with amazing views of the mountains in the background add to Nainital’s magical request.

History of Nainital:

According to a legend King Daksha father of Parwati held a great ‘Yajna’ but did not invite Parvati and Lord Shiva. Parvati could not accept this direct insult, in her great anger Parvati gate-crashed into the ‘Yajna’ ground and leaped into the high flames of ‘Yajna’ fire to end her life. And later on lord Shiva retrieved her half-charred body himself. The local people think that the eyes of Sati dropped in the lake while her body was being carried by Lord Shiva to Kailesh Parvat. thus, the lake was known the name of ‘Nainital’ or Naini lake.
Nainital (Recent history):
Nainital was founded by Mr. P. Barron in the year 1841. Mr. P. Barron was a European merchant and a hunter from Rosa. Mr. P. Barron was the first European who took great picture to this land. Moved by the beauty of the fresh lake he wrote: “It is by far the best site I have witnessed in the course of a 1,500 miles treak in the Himalayas.” The name “NAINI” is copied from a temple to the goddess ‘Naini Devi” built on the upper edge of the lake and was damaged by the landslip of 1880. It was replaced by a current structure. The word “Naini” means ‘Eyes’ and ‘Tal’ means ‘Lake’.

Climate of Nainital:
Nainital is colder than the rest of the hilly area of Kumaon region. During the monsoon, Nainital gets heavy rainfall. The atmosphere, therefore, is wet. The nearest areas of Almora and Ranikhet are heater than Nainital. Humidity in Nainital is less than in other hill stations. The monthly highest and lowest temperature of the town ranged between 27.06 degree C and 8.06 degree C.

Places to See in Nainital

Bhimtal:
Bhimtal is 22 kms far from Nainital. It is a beautiful valley. this is the biggest lake around Nainital. The beauty of this lake surrounded by blue water.
Khurpatal:
the altitude of Khurpatal is 1635 MT. this beautiful spot 12 km from the Nainital. It is measured to be anglers heaven having clear water and a good harvest of fishes.

Sattal:
Sattal is seven small lakes nested together. It is 23 km far from Nainital. Sattal altitude is 1370 MT. you can see the natures beauty at this place.

Nakuchiyatal:
Nakuchiyatal is 4 kms from Bhim Tal. This lake with nine corners. This lake is surrounded by solid forested hills. The attitude of Nakuchiyatal is 1218 MT. all sides it provides comfort from the infuriating rush of the plains.

Kausani:
Kausani is the famous hill station. It is also called the Switzerland of India. It provides an charming sunrise over the Himalayas. The kausani experience will stay alive in your memories for lifetime. It is 120 km from the Nainital. It attitude is 1890MT.

Ranikhet:
This beautiful hill station is about 63 km from Nainital. It’s beautiful pine trees create a homesick feeling. The temples, the orchards, the joy grounds will back on you again and again to its fold. Ranikhet attitude is 1829 MT.

Near By Places Nainital

China Peak:
The highest peak of Nainital is China Peak. It’s 6 kms from the town. China Peak is known for wonderful view the Himalayas and Bird’s eye view of the town.
Snow View:
Snow view is 3 kms from the Nainital and also reachable via a cable car. Snow view is one of the most visited tourist palce of the town. It provides delightful view of the Nainital and 350km long range of the Himalaya. The attitude of this place is 2270 MT.

Tiffin Top:
Tiffin top is also known as Dorothy’s seat. This place memorable for an English lady Mrs. Kellet Dorothy, who was killed in an air crash. Tiffin top is a best place for the outstanding view of the Himalayas and the Nainital.

How to reach Nainital
By Air:
Pantnagar is the nearest airport. Nainital is 71 km far from the airport. A Buses, taxis also available from pantnagar to Nainital.

By Train:
The nearest railway station is at Kathgodam. It is just 35 km away. Nainital is linked by rail to Bareilly, Lucknow, Delhi and Agra. Buses and Taxis are available from Kathgodam to Nainital.

By Road:
Nainital is joined by good roads to Almora (66 km), Ranikhet (60 km), Delhi (322 km) and Bareilly (141 km). Private and Public bus services between Nainital and Dehradun, Almora, Ranikhet, Bareilly, Hardwar, Ramnagar, Delhi, Lucknow, and other important towns in the state.

Killarney, Republic of Ireland

120Killarney is a beautiful town located among the most beautiful mountains, woodlands and lakes in Ireland. It is called the Beauty’s home and Heaven’s Reflex due to the wonderful scenic beauty which it has. This wonderful town of natural beauty is the destination for thousands of people from all over the world for spending their vacation in style and comfort. During the last one hundred and fifty years Killarney has emerged as one of the top destination for tourists visiting the United Kingdom and Ireland due to its mysterious beauty and charm that is never seen anywhere else.

There are many places of interest and tourist attractions in Killarney and you have many types of activities to indulge while here. This makes the vacation more enjoyable and more memorable for your whole family. The Killarney National park is one of the important places to visit. This is the first wild and beautiful National park that was set up in the year 1932 out of the lands provided by Muckross Estate. This 25000-acre expanse of vast land has all types of landscape ranging from the parklands to lakes and mountains. The most important places to see in the National park are the Muckross House, Knockreer House, Ross Castle, Muckross Abbey, Innisfallen Island and Torc Waterfall among others. You can see the Yew Wood and the Red Deer in this park which cannot be seen elsewhere.

The Aghadoe is one of the best viewpoints of Killarney below. From here you have breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside all the way to the town that is about 3 kilometers away. This historical place is home to a 7th century monastery, a 13th century round house and also a 12th century Church. The Torc waterfall is yet another important place to visit and it is about 7 kilometers away from the city. The waterfall lies on the road to Kenmare. You can reach the falls by walking though a forest. Here you will find the best views of the waterfall from standing near its base. This will provide you with a good view of seeing the water falling from a height of about 70 feet onto the boulders below and gushing out to the Killarney Lake.

The Gap of Dunloe is the place you have to go to see the real scenic beauty of Killarney and it lies about 9 kilometers away from the town. Here one of the most wonderful glaciated lakes in the whole of Europe is waiting to enthrall you with its natural beauty. Even while you are on your way you can find the 5 lakes that lie in this area and the picturesque sight that unfolds before you will amaze you. You can go on foot or on a car ride to reach and explore this unique place.

Yet another place of natural environment is the Muckross House, Gardens and Traditional Farms. This is a must see place when you come to Killarney and here you have to visit the Muckross house that lies in the National park overlooking the Lakes of Killarney. This Victorian Stately home is the property of the Henry Arthur Herbert who built it in the year 1839. Queen Victoria visited this house during the year 1861. Now it is a museum. As a part of the home you have the Traditional Farms that will show you how rural Ireland was during the early part of the 20th Century.
Apart from this you have many other important places in Killarney to visit and is an excellent vacation destination and you will be happy that you visited this city that will be in your memory for many more years to come.