Friday, 31 May 2013

Hotel Sonam Delek in Gangtok offers a beautiful view of Mount Kanchenjunga.


Photo not found
Gangtok, the capital of the Indian state of Sikkim is a beautiful hill town situated at an altitude of about 1,800 metres, along the Ranipul river. The town offers excellant views of the world's thirds heighest mountain peak Kunchenjenga (8,585 metres). The town is an important centre of Buddhist learning and it has a mystic feel with prayer flags fluttering all around and prayer wheels spinning with Lama's invocation of God. The streets are lined up with brightly coloured pagoda roofed houses and the markets are bustling with friendly and smiling people.
Foreigners, in addition to an Indian visa, must be in possession of an Inner Line Permit to visit the state of Sikkim. Indian missions abroad are empowered to issue a permit for 15 days and the same can also be obtained from the Tourism Office, Delhi, Sikkim Tourism Office, Kolkata and Sikkim Tourism Office, Siliguri on the strength of an Indian Visa. The applicants should provide two passport photographs and photocopies of Passport and Visa details. The permit can be extended for further 30 days of 15 days each. The extension of permits can be obtained from Foreigners Registration Office (FRO), Gangtok and Superintendent of Police of North, South and West Districts.
Further, for those interested in trekking in the interior regions of the state, an additional permit known as Restricted Area Permit (RAP) or Protected Area Permit(PAP) is required. This can be obtained from the Police Check Post and Department of Tourism in Gangtok for groups consisting of 4 or more foreigners subject to the condition that the trekking program is arranged through a registered travel agency.

Sights and Activities

  • Rumtek Gompa
  • Tsongo Lake
  • Tashi Viewpoint


Gangtok enjoys pleasant weather conditions throughout the year. The maximum temperature during the summers average around 22 degrees Celsius, while during the winters it averages around 14 degrees Celsius. The region also receives heavy rainfall, which usually starts by the end of May and continues till late September. The best time to visit the town is during March-May and again from October-December.

Avg Max12.7 °C14.2 °C18.3 °C20.9 °C21.6 °C22.1 °C21.9 °C22.4 °C21.7 °C20.9 °C17.7 °C14.4 °C
Avg Min4.4 °C5.8 °C9 °C11.7 °C13.8 °C16.2 °C16.8 °C16.7 °C15.6 °C12.5 °C8.9 °C5.9 °C
Rainfall31 mm76.7 mm124.6 mm287.8 mm528.7 mm614.9 mm630.9 mm565.8 mm453.4 mm180.4 mm39 mm21.2 mm
Rain Days5.6911.318.425.527.229.829.325.412.26.24.7

Getting There

By Plane

The nearest Indian airport is at Bagdogra, which is around 124 kilometres from Gangtok. Bagdogra is connected with Kolkata, Guwahati and Delhi by regular flights operated by Indian Airlines and Jet Airways. Buses and Taxis are available from the airport to Gangtok and the journey usually takes around 4 hours. A helicoptor service has also been started by the Tourism Authorities and this 30-minute journey from the airport to Gangtok cost around 2,000 Rupees. Gangtok can also be reached from Nepal by taking a flight from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur in east Nepal, then drive to the Nepal-India border at Kakarbhitta (35 kilometres), then to Siliguri (37 kilometres) and onwards to Gangtok (110 kilometres).

By Train

The nearest railhead is at New Jalpaiguri, which is around 148 kilometres from Gangtok. New Jalpaiguri is in turn connected by train services with most of the major cities of India. Train timings and fare can be checked at Indian Railways website. Private taxis and shared jeeps can be hired from the railway station to Gangtok.

By Car

Gangtok is connected by good quality roads with nearby towns such as Darjeeling (4 hours), Siliguri (4 hours) and Kalimpong.

Getting Around

By Public Transport

Most of the local transport is centred around the Lall Mall area.

Keep Connected


There's good coverage over most of India for Internet cafes. However, following the recent terror attacks in Mumbai and some other cities, all internet cafes have been instructed by the authorities to maintain a register and note down the identification details of all persons using internet. Sify iWay is a reliable and cheap cafe with over 1,600 cafes over India. iWay also allows you to open a pre-paid account that you can use all over India. Whenever you have Internet access probably the best and cheapest way to call family and friends at home is software that allows users to make voice calls over the Internet such as Skype.
Wifi hotspots in India are, for most part, limited. The major airports and stations do offer paid wifi at around RS.60-100 an hour. Delhi, Bangalore, Pune and Mumbai are the only cities with decent wifi coverage. At Mumbai airport, you get to use WiFi internet free, for an hour or so.


See also International Telephone Calls
The country code for India is 91. To dial outside the country from India, prefix the country code with 00.
The general emergency number is 100 (emergency response police & fire), while for ambulance you should dial 102 or 112, though some regions have 108 for this emergency. 108 is used in in the Indian states of Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Goa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha,Assam, Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. 108 can be called for medical, crime, fire, or any other emergency from any phone.
Local phone numbers can be anywhere from 5-8 digits long. But when the area code is included, all landline phone numbers in India are 10 digits long. Cellphone numbers usually start with '9', '8', or '7'. Toll-free numbers start with 1-800.
If staying longterm it is probably wise to think about investing in a mobile phone. You'll possibly need to provide a photocopy of your passport and itinerary, so come prepared. Make sure you arrange it upon arrival in a big city, as it can sometimes be difficult to organise with language barriers and such in more regional areas. You can buy a cheap nokia for about RS.1,200 with a pre-paid plan. Airtel is a good carrier to think about as they have great coverage, and constant offers for cheaper calling. To recharge, most shop vendors with phone carrier signs can do it via their own phone. You give them your mobile number, they put it in their phone and you'll both get messages as to whether or not the recharge has been successful. Also, if possible, buy the phone in the state where you do the most travelling as the charges are higher in the states where you did not originally buy the phone.
Over the entire country there are plenty of public phones, even in the middle of the countryside. Although most of the time these phones are not very well maintained and have horrible connections. Therefore remember when using one of these public phones one must be extremely patient.
For international calls from payphones, you'll have to visit a reputable internet cafe with a phone-booth. Mobile phones are usually a better and cheaper option.




India Post is the national postal service of India, and on their website you find details about prices to send postcards, letters and parcels, both domestically and internationally. For most postcards to send internationally, it is better to visit the post office before writing on the card as you may need quite a few stamps. Parcels must be taken to a tailor, he will then sew it up in white linen. Make sure he seals it with red wax, otherwise the post office may refuse to send it or try to get you to pay them to do it. Sewing up a parcel should only cost RS.50 to 200. In general, post offices are open from 10:00am to 1:00pm and 1:30pm to 4:30pm in most bigger towns and cities, though there are regional variations and some might keep longer hours or be open during (part of) the weekend as well. Ask around.
If you want to send bigger packages/parcels, it might be better, faster and sometimes even cheaper, to contact a private company like DHL, TNT or UPS.

"So peaceful that you may not want to leave once you're here"


Candolim Beach Experience: Candolim beach is one among the famous and most beautiful beaches in the world. One can enjoy breeze of sea and feel the cold water of sea with energy of waves flowing around your feet and of course the sand will make to go deeper into the calm and close to nature feeling everyone desires. Watersports are must for a adventure enthusiast like me and ofcourse one can rent a bike or car to explore goa from there. Candolim beach is also surrounded by many 5 start hotels and other good hotels which makes it a perfect locality for staying in goa . One can also stay near baga and Calangute beach which are also similar to this beach.
Food, sight-seeing and shopping: Augada for which is famous for it dil chahta hai point is a ancient fort which deserves to be visited. Nearby beaches like calungute, baga and anjuna should also be explored . These beaches are in north goa . Nearby city of panji is good for shopping and for Ferry ride in the goa sea. Ferry consists of music shows and other casino games and is a very nice thing to spend a beautiful evening .
Activities & things to do: Water sports like banana ride, paragliding and water scooter are very prominent in goa.
Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: Reaching to goa through train , then one should stepout at thivim station which is near to north goa consisting of condolim beach and calungute beach where one can stay and plan rest of the days. One can rent a bike or car but one should check petrol as it could lead them in a problem.

"A Trip to Jannat"

"Trip to Jannat........Kashmir"

Kashmir Experience: A must visit destination, once in a life. Sonmarg Gulmarg
Food, sight-seeing and shopping: Food : Good verity of north indian food, don't try south indian Sight Seeing : Even 10days in Kashmir are not enough for the wonderful spots, still consult a good travel agent to cover most of them Shopping : Apricots, Saffron & Kashmiri Shawl
Activities & things to do: Click Pics & Roam around whole day.
Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: It's a wonderful time to visit Kashmir between 15th May to 15th June. You can visit all the places during this time. Snow is also available in Gulmarg & Sonmarg. Just make sure to book the hotels in advance as it's a vacation time and lots of people visits during this time.

5 years ago this massive mega structure opened to add more beauty to this city.

Dubai is one of the seven emirates of United Arab Emirates (UAE) that is progressing at an incredible speed in trade and tourism. One of the most progressive emirates in UAE, this cosmopolitan city is more like an independent city-state and greets numerous tourists each year. It is divided into 8 districts namely Satwa, Al Karama, Arabian Ranches and Emirates Hills, Bur Dubai, Deira, Jumeirah, Mirdif and International City.

Dubai, the desert city has emerged as a popular tourist destination due to its sites, infrastructure, amenities and liberal Government policies for tourists. Whether it is sightseeing, partying, shopping, skiing, sunbathing, enjoying different cuisines or visiting dessert safaris, Dubai has everything. Dubai also boasts of the largest skyscrapers, fastest modes of transportation, tallest structures, and costliest hotels, among others.

Popular places to visit in Dubai include Burj Al Arab, Dynamic Tower, The World, Palm Islands, Dubai Marina, Dubai Internet City, Dubailand, and Mall of Arabia, to name a few. Sheikh Saeed House, Heritage and Diving Village, Dubai Museum, the Bastakiya, and Souks are among the few places which provide an insight into the pre-oil history of Dubai.

One has the option of going on excursions to the Creek, desserts, Hajar Mountains, sandy beaches or through the wadis. Fishing, camel and horse riding, golfing, and bird watching are some of the activities one can engage in. Tourists can also go on dhow tours or hire a helicopter, car, yacht or boat to visit popular places or seek adventure.

Dubai is accessible from various countries, as its official carrier Emirates links it to more than 210 destinations across the world. More than 135 airlines operate through Dubai International Airport to connect to prominent cities worldwide.

A country where Cherry Blossoms like these are a common sight.

Japan, officially called Nippon, is an archipelago of 6852 mountainous and volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean. It is surrounded by the Sea of Japan, East China Sea and Sea of Okhotsk. The four largest islands, namely Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku, consist of 97 percent of 377,873 square kilometres of the total land in Japan.

The name 'Nippon' means the sun’s origin and Japan is nicknamed as the 'land of the rising sun'. Japan was first inhabited in 30000 B.C. by hunters. The migrants from China and Korea brought along agriculture and metallurgy to Japan. The country was one of the allies in World War I. However, during the World War II Japan had to witness incidents like Pearl Harbour and nuclear bombing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Japanese is the official language and most of the population follows Buddhism or Shintoism. Tokyo, Yokohoma, Osaka and Kyoto, the former capital of the country, are the four major cities of Japan. Though a roughly homogeneous population resides here, it is home to many old and diverse forms of art and culture.

The country has the world's oldest unitary constitutional monarchy. It is the third largest economy in the world, with a population of 127 million which is the tenth largest in the world. Two third of the economic output is generated by the service sector, while a technologically advanced industrial sector specialises in consumer electronics.

Japan is popular for sumo wrestlers and various martial arts like Kendo, Judo and Karate. Moreover, the ancient culture of Geisha and the modern narrow gauge bullet trains have played a major role in forming Japan's identity. Mt. Fuji, an active volcano, has become a well known symbol of Japan and is visited by thousands of tourists every year.

While Kabuki and Noh are popular styles of theatre, the Bunraku puppet play is also famous. Japanese flower arrangements called Ikebana, paper folding art called Origami and Japanese tea ceremony have become household names all over the world. The culture of Ninja and Samurai also find their origin in Japan.

Japan is ideal for tourists who look for futuristic cityscapes, traditional heritage and a culturally rich experience. Japan has four distinct seasons and the best time to visit the country is the cherry blossom season of November and April. For sports lovers, the winter season from January to March is ideal for skiing in the northern regions of Japan.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Whoa! Find out which city is home to this mind blowing water park--->

Beijing is the capital of China and it is recognised as one of the oldest and greatest cities of the world. In Chinese, ‘Beijing’ means ‘Northern Capital’.  In the year 1421, Emperor Yongle shifted the capital from Nanjing to Beiping and renamed it Beijing. Famed emperors such as Shi Huang Ti and Kublai Khan are associated with the history of this city.

The celebrated Ming and Qing dynasties ruled from Beijing. The city saw the rise and fall of many regimes and governments since it was founded. Beijing is the political, cultural and educational capital of the People’s Republic of China.

Beijing is located at the northernmost end of the North China Plain in the time zone of East Eight (GMT 8). All major international airlines include Beijing in their destinations. There are mountains running from the north of the city through to the West to shield it from the effects of arid climate.

It stands 45 metres above sea-level and the climate is generally humid. Five rivers flow through the city and the Yongding is the largest. The city and its suburbs measure more than 16,000 sq, and about two-thirds of the city is mountainous. The sixteen districts and two counties are well-connected by four ring roads that coil the city and by a major median road connecting the east-end of Beijing with the west.

The three major styles of architecture that dominate the city are imperial, post-war and modern. The best time to visit the city is from September to November. It is home to around 22 million people.  Beijing is a highly industrialised city with hundreds of factories, banks and corporations apart from 26 offices of some of the world Fortune 500 companies.

Beijing generates an annual GDP of about USD 175 billion. The real estate and automobile sectors have seen a steady growth in the last decade. The Central Business District and the Wangfujing, also known as the ‘Silicon Valley of China’ has together played a major role in creating new wealth for the city and the nation.
The meteoric rise of China in the last decade has been attributed to the numerous new companies set up in Beijing.

The government recently took up measures to counter the growing menace of air pollution in the city by relocating industries, triggering artificial rainfall to clear smog, converting some areas of the city into no-vehicle zones and designating certain other areas as closed for traffic on weekends.

Find out this where this amazing vantage point is located as

"Queen of the Hills"

Darjeeling Experience: From Siliguri the road reaches Darjeeling has a number of winding over the hills, if you travel via Mirik you will be mesmerized by the majestic view of the Tea Gardens. Even if you travel by the Toy Train that will be an added advantage, you will travel through the UNESCO Heritage Railways. The hills are having some story behind each of them, right from the British era. When you happens meet the majestic Kanchenjunga family you will be spell bound and for this you must visit Tiger Hill at dawn in a clear morning. I visited five times this queen of hills since 1982 till 2007.
Food, sight-seeing and shopping: Food are nice, you may taste the local Tibetans food i.e. the Momo and Thukpa. Local sight seeing are there and for that local tour operators are the best choice.Shopping centers are there, you may buy Tibetan Tankha Paintings, one type of Wall Hanging. Many curio shops are there with showcase full.
Activities & things to do: A number of trekking are possible from here. The best one is Sandakphu trekking, there are many routes in this trekking, the best one is Sandakphu-Falut-Gorke-Ramam-Rimbik route. You can visualize Mount Everest from Sandkphu(the highest point in West Bengal) and the Kanchenjunga family in more details.
Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: From Kolkata by air reachupto Bagdogr then by car. From Kolkata or from New Delhi you may reach New Jalpaiguri by train then by car or bus. Be careful about the drinking water, don't take water from the source. Mineral water bottles are available through out the route

"This is the region GOD has created for nature lovers.."

"Ladakh, MUST experience for everyone who likes 'Nature'"

Ladakh (Leh) Experience: Ladakh, is the region GOD has created for nature lovers where you meet hills, valleys, clean water rivers, difficult roads, blind curves, snow, negative temperatures, high altitude sickness, loving Army, cool Ladakhi people, buddhist culture and much more. This is enjoyed better if you dive yourself.
Food, sight-seeing and shopping: At Kargil, a Hotel is available which is not so good but ok for taking rest overnight if you are travelling from Srinagar to Leh. Plenty Non Veg Food is available but you don\'t get Chapati here, Veg is limited. At Leh, Hotel Lamerazo is a best hote where even filmstars also stay. Rate is around Rs.5000 per day, Cheaper options available. For food, plenty good restaurants are existing. For Shopping, road side sellers give you good stuff but you need to bargain little. However, in Chinese Market place, some fixed price shops are available. You get good variety of Woolen clothes & some antique pieces. For Sightseeing, Khardung La Pass (over 18000 feet), Chang La Pass, Pangong Lake, Indus-Zanskar river meeting point, buddhist temples are the major & must see destinations.
Activities & things to do: If you are travelling from Srinagar, then on way you can halt at Kargil overnight for rest. Here, you find the memorial of brave soldier who laid their lives for us during Kargil War. This fills in emotions of patriotism within you. Further, you meet the famous Indus river which passes through the region & meets Zanskar river which take you to the history of Aryans. Nearing Leh, you enjoy the magnetic pull on your vehicle at \'Magnetic Hill\' point. This surprises you. Also, you can see Patther Sahib Gurudwara where Guru Nanak has visited. At Leh, take full 02 days rest to counter high altitude sickness then plan your travel to Khardung La. This takes you to worlds highest motorable road. Evening you can do shopping in Leh. Next destinations are Pangong Lake where you go via Chang La pass. If weather allows you, you can reach lake where residnetial arrangement is available. If you have time spend one or two more days driving around. You van reach Manali via Rohtang Pass negotiating same hills & Valleys.

Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: You can drive from Srinagar to Leh via Dras sector i.e. Kargil on the way. after travelling for 10 hours, you must take rest at Kargil. Carry High Altitude Sickness tablets & suuficient winter clothings with you. In Leh, first 02 days, medication & rest is must. Best time to visit is in the month of October when snowfall is just started. At Khardung La, & Chang La, you witness lots of snowfall & temerature to the tune of minus 10 degrees. In Leh, daytime temeratures would be between 4 to 7 degrees. Night it drops. Take help of Army to know the weather condition which worsens at any time. You must carry snowchains for the all the wheels of your vehicle. These are must when riding on snow. Army people will not allow you without these.

Sign of beauty,love,inspiration The TAJ MAHAL.

Speaking of Valley Of Fire...

What a ride this would be! An untouched tourist destination at an altitude of 10,000 feet..

About Zuluk Tourism

Located in the lower Himalayas in east Sikkim, Zuluk is situated at an altitude of 10,000 feet. This location is an untouched tourism destination, which has been less explored. It has gained importance owing to its strategic location on the historic Old Silk Route and its proximity to the Indo-China border.

The Old Silk Route was the official corridor between India and China. It originates from Kalimpong and passes through Pedong, Aritar, Zuluk and Jelepla to Chumbi valley located in Tibet. However, after the Chinese aggression, this route was closed and Nathula was made the official corridor between India and China.

In addition, an army base is located at Zuluk, which is utilised as a transit camp for the army movement towards the Chinese border. Majority of the inhabitants comprise of immigrants of Nepal, who settled at Zuluk for a better future. Since Zuluk is inhabited mostly by Nepali migrants, the village is dominated by Sikkimese Nepalese culture.

Dashain, celebrated in the month of October, is the biggest festival and is also the most prominent festival of the region. Furthermore, Tihar is another famous festival, which is celebrated 15 days after Dashain. In addition to these festivals, dances are also performed to celebrate the cultivating and harvesting seasons in the region. The 'Dhan Naach' and 'Maruni' are two popular dance forms of this region.

Besides festivals and dances, Zuluk is also famous for Sunrise Point, which provides a beautiful view of the rising sun. Another prominent attraction of the destination is the Tsomogo Lake, which is a popular picnic spot. In addition, travellers visiting the destination can offer homage at the Nag Temple and the Adi Baba Mandir. Apart from this, the Lungthung and the Luxmi Chowk are popular among wildlife and nature lovers.

Zuluk can be reached through airways, roadways and railways. The nearest airport serving the destination is Bagdogra Airport, which is located at a distance of 128 km from Zuluk. From there, tourists can reach the village by road. Those travelling by trains are served by the New Jalpaiguri Station, which is the nearest train station serving Zuluk. In addition to this, Zuluk can be reached via road through Gangtok and Siliguri.

The best time to visit Zuluk is during the summer season, when the village is blooming with a variety of rhododendrons.

"An excellent place to visit with rich surroundings.."

"Lovely pune"

Pune Experience: Its an excellent place to visit with its rich surroundings like Mahabaleshwar, Panchgani, Khandala, Lonavla, Shirdi, Shani Signapur etc
Food, sight-seeing and shopping: Bamboo House, Shivaji Nagar.
Activities & things to do: Just do anything
Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: Should always give a halt at Mahabaleshwar, best suited is to have your own cab (hired)

"There are some things you will experience that you have never seen before... like clouds being formed and a reverse waterfall!"

"Where the clouds are formed"

Malshejghat Experience: Malshej Ghat is heaven located a stone's throw away from Mumbai and Pune. It is not at all commercialised making it ideal for a peaceful and tranquil holiday. The view is just amazing and there are some things you will experience that you have never seen before - like clouds being formed and a reverse waterfall. It is best visited during the monsoons as the lush green surroundings just make it simply stunning. You can even spot some interesting fauna there. Flamingos are said to visit Malshej during the monsoons.
Food, sight-seeing and shopping: There is not much to do at Malshej except, sit, relax, sip on some tea and enjoy the view and the weather. The climate is just perfect for that. The sight-seeing is limited to the viewpoint, but you can never have enough of that. Shivneri fort is located about 30 kms away, and there is a dam 6 kms away.
Activities & things to do: You will need a car to be able to explore the area. You can explore the area where the hotel is located and will find hidden viewpoints. During the monsoons, it is also fun to go scouting for waterfalls that emerge on the roads and other places. You can take a ride to the dam and the fort if you feel like it.
Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: You can take a train to the nearest station, that is Kalyan and there are ST buses and cars on rent available there. Otherwise you can drive down to Malshej. It is about 160 kms from Mumbai and will take around 3-4 hours. You have to drive down to Kalyan and take the road towards Murud. It is advisable to plan your journey such that you travel while it is still daylight. The ghats leading to Malshej are quite dangerous and unsafe after dark. Even the locals do not traverse that road alone after sunset since visibility gets low. Low clouds and mist make it difficult to navigate before 11 am and after 6 pm.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Like if you can actually see the shadow of the boat~

Switzerland is a small landlocked country spread over an area of around 41,285 square kilometres. Located in the heart of central Europe, Switzerland is surrounded by Germany in the north and France in the north and west. To the east of the country lies Austria and Liechtenstein, while to the south lies Italy.

The country is divided geographically between the Alps, the Jura and the Central Plateau. Switzerland is divided into states, which are referred to as Cantons. There are 26 Cantons within the country and each Canton has its own flag.

The history of the country dates back around 350,000 BC and there are evidences which support that Stone Age hunters have resided in the country even before the Last Ice Age. However, the modern history of the country describes that Switzerland was conquered by Julius Caesar during the Gallic Wars, after which it was made part of the Roman Empire.

Until the 4th century AD, the country remained a Roman province. However after the decline of the Roman Empire, the country was invaded by German tribes from the north as well as from the west. In 800, Switzerland became part of Charlemagne's empire, which later passed under the rule of the German Emperors.

In 1291, an Eternal Alliance was signed between the representatives of the three forest Cantons of Unterwalden and Uri Schwyz to fight against the Hapsburgs. In the 1315 battle of Morganten, the Swiss defeated the Hapsburg army. By doing so, they secured quasi-independence within the German Empire.

In 1648, under the treaty of Westphalia, European countries recognised independence of Switzerland from the Roman Empire. Decades later, in 1798, the country was conquered by the French.

In 1815, the country again re-established its independence with the help of the Treaty of Vienna and Second Peace of Paris. The countries that participated in this treaty agreed that the Swiss from now on will be recognised as a permanent neutral power.

Switzerland adopted a federal constitution in 1848 and amended it extensively in 1874 and again in 1999. This established the country's responsibility regarding legal matters and defence trade. Since that time, the history of Switzerland has been characterised by continual political, social and economic improvement.

The country showcases three most distinct cultures of Europe, namely French, German and Italian. The influence of this cultural amalgamation can be seen in the art, architecture, music and literature of the country.

Switzerland is especially known for its beautiful architecture, and the famous sculptor Alberto Giacometti and architect Le Corbusier are also from Switzerland. In addition, the country is known for its mountains, landscapes and chocolates and cheese.

The best time to visit the country is during the summer season that extends from June to September. During this season, the weather is pleasant and the temperature is around 30° Celsius.

How nice would it be to take a swim in this cozy natural pool?

Photo: How nice would it be to take a swim in this cozy natural pool?

Find out where it is located here--->

"I was felt like I was in another Pandora in the Movie Avatar.."


Darjeeling Experience: Darjeeling, the trip from njp to darjeeling that too in the after noon still i remember it with a nostalgic feeling.the greenery and the wild beauty of mountain ranges..i was feeling that i was in another planet..something like pandora in avatar filim.
Food, sight-seeing and shopping: The tiger hills,the distant view of ice covered k2 mountain ranges and the zoo.all are excellent
Activities & things to do: Simply go for evening walk around chourashtra square
Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: Get down at njp railway station..get a taxi from there to darjeeling

Find out which country is home to the stunning 'Frozen Falls' - or the Minnehaha Falls here

Photo: Find out which country is home to the stunning 'Frozen Falls' - or the Minnehaha Falls here--->

A hidden paradise called the Isla De Gigantes Islands is Heaven for all those who set foot on it.

Philippines, an archipelago comprising 7,107 islands, is situated above the equator in South-east Asia. Philippines is spread over an expanse of 300,000 square kilometres. The islands comprising the country are surrounded by the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea.

Out of the 7,107 islands of the country, Luzon is the largest island. The capital city of Philippines, Manila is located on the island of Luzon. At a length of 36,289 kilometres, the country has the fifth longest coastline in the world.

The country, which is bordered by Vietnam in the east and Sabah & Borneo in the north, is a rugged land of mountains, plains, rivers, valleys, waterfalls and volcanoes. Mt. Apo at 2,954 metres is the highest mountain in the country. It is located on the island of Mindanao. Philippine Trench at 10,057 metres below sea level is the deepest point in the Philippines and the third deepest point in the world.

Cagayan River in northern Luzon is the longest river in the Philippines. Further, the largest lake in the Philippines is Laguna de Bay. Owing to its rich mineral deposits, the country ranks as the second-biggest geothermal producer in the world.

The rainforests and coastlines of the country make it an abode to nearly 1,100 land vertebrate, 100 mammal and 170 bird species. With over 2,400 fish species and 500 species of coral, the country has gained a prominent position in the Coral Triangle.

The country was once a part of the Asian mainland. The early inhabitants of the country were Negritos and Indons. It is believed that these early immigrants had crossed the land bridges from the Asian mainland to enter the country. Thereafter, Indonesians and Malay migrants travelled to the country via sea.

Archaeological evidence states that before 1500, Filipinos were involved in bilateral trade relations with the Arabs and Chinese. Owing to these relations, Islam flourished on the Mindanao and Sulu islands in the 14th century.

In 1521, The archipelago was discovered by Ferdinand Magellan. The country was named after King Philip II of Spain, who laid claim on it post its discovery. A Spanish government was established by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi in 1565. Post this,  Philippines came under the colonial rule of Spain. The Spaniards ruled the country for 333 years.

The country became independent from Spanish colonial rule in 1898. From 1900 to 1946, the country was ruled by the Americans. During the Second World War, the country came under a brief rule of the Japanese. Phillipines gained complete independence and hosted its national flag in Manila in 1946.

Due to the historical complexity of the country, the culture of Philippines is strongly influenced by Malay, Spanish, American and other Asian cultures. The native population of the country is the Filipinos. The Filipinos are descendants of the traditional Malay race. The population has also been mixed with Chinese, Arab, Spanish and American aborigines.

Christianity is the major religion of the country. The country is home to both Roman Catholics and Protestants. Apart from Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism are the other religions followed in the country. The official language of the country is Filipino.

Every province in Philippines organises several festivals and events throughout the year, which attract tourists from around the world. These include Ati-Atihan Festival & Procession of the Black Nazarene in January, Moriones Festival in March, Flores de Mayo in May and Pagoda-Sa-Wawa festival in July. All these festivals celebrate the religious beliefs of the medley of population inhabiting the country.

"Just unbelievably beautiful and surprising!"

Photo: "Just unbelievably beautiful and surprising!" 

Check out the Top 5 Cave destinations in India--->

A full moon night on these majestic islands can make it the most romantic of places.

The Maldives is an island nation and is officially known as the Republic of Maldives. It is an archipelago of 1,190 coral islands that lie in the Indian Ocean. Composed of a double chain of 26 coral atolls, the country is located in the Laccadive Sea.

Situated at the intersection of Lakshadweep and Chagos group of islands, the archipelago is actually the summit of mountain ranges located in the Indian Ocean. The featured 1,190 islets of the country are located at a distance of 700 km to the south-west of Sri Lanka and south-west of India.

Spread over an expansive area of 90,000 square kilometres, it is the world's most dispersed country, in terms of geographic area. Malé is the largest city and the capital of the country. It is strategically situated at the southern edge of North Malé Atoll in the Kaafu Atoll.

Maldives is the smallest country in the world in terms of population and land area. It is also the lowest country in the world, with a ground level of 1.5 metres. The uniqueness of the island lies in the fact that it has the lowest highest point in the world, which is 2.3 metres above sea level.

The atolls are made of live coral reefs and sand bars, which do not support vegetation. However, the country has an abundance of marine life, which are important both from the biological and commercial point of view. Reef sharks, moray eels, stingray, eagle ray and whale shark are some of the rich marine life of the waters surrounding the islands.

The historic records of Maldives show that the country has remained independent throughout its known history. The country was inhabited by the Aryans in 1,500 B.C. It was a trade centre and contributed to the trade of pearls, spices, coconuts, dried fish and cowry shells to other parts of the world.

However, records also state that the country was occupied by the Portuguese in the 16th century. It was a part of the British Protectorate from the years 1887 to 1965. Thereafter, the country came under the Sultanate reign and was ruled by Mohamed Fareed. The country became a republic in 1932.

The culture of the island country has been influenced by Sri Lanka and southern India.  Dhivehi, an Indo-European language, is the official language of the Maldives. Maldives became a Muslim country in mid-12th century. Sunni Islam is the official religion of the country.

The traditional dress of the Dhivehi is the Libas. The dress is adorned with hand stitched gold and silver neckline, called the Kasabu Bovalhu and matching embroidery on the sleeve cuffs. The Libas is complemented with a head dress called the Rumafalhi.

Tourism in the country began with 2 resorts in the year 1972. These resorts were the Bandos island resort and Kurumba Village. Today, there are 91 resorts. Tourism is the largest economic activity and accounts for 28% of the GDP of the country.

Tourists are drawn to the island to enjoy its beaches and water activities. The archipelago is also a paradise for honeymooners. Couples visiting the island also opt for weddings at the beach resorts. Christmas and February to April are the major tourist seasons of the Maldives.

"This is a place created by God for complete relaxation"

"Relax by the lake side."

Kumarakom Experience: Kumarakom, where the famous backwaters of Kerala exist, is a place created by God for complete relaxation. Or was it man that made the place so? In any case, there is nothing like Kumarakom to rejuvenate your mind and body. Take a room by Lake Vembanad, that impossibly large lake that borders Kumarakom, Alleppey and many other unknown towns and villages. Enjoy morning tea by the serene waters of the lake, go for a boat ride before the sun gets too hot and then when the wind starts blowing over the lake, spend the afternoon in the shade, enjoying the breeze and watching the restless waters of the lake move flower-filled floatsam along the lakes edge.

Food, sight-seeing and shopping: A motor boat can be hired for your exclusive use (ask at the reception or go to the Government jetty and bargain for one) at the rate of around Rs.400/hour or you can get a speed boat (completely different experiences) for Rs.1,750/hour. Kumarakom is used to rich Europeans who dont need to share their boat with other mortals, thanks to a good exchange rate. With the INR appreciating against the Euro, it is likely that Kumarakom will see either lower rates or the concept of sharing of motorboats very soon! Then there are the houseboats. Kumarakom, I suppose, is one of the few places left after Kashmir where you can still sight-see by houseboat. You can hire the houseboat again for your exclusive use only- for 4 hours or for an overnight stay. Note that the houseboats drop anchor at 6 pm (Government rules) so you cant really glide over dark waters past lighted villages like in the thriller books. However, what you do get is a very royal experience of watching the lake and villages pass you by in the day while you recline on sofas in a covered viewing area and eat the fresh food served by the galley. Our hotel charged Rs.8,000 for an overnight stay and Rs.7,700/ for a 5 hour cruise. But the poorer of us travelers can take heart  the Government boat jetty charges a nominal Rs.1,500/hour and the houseboat is quite nice too  not as posh as our hotels was but with two neat rooms, a viewing gallery and tiny kitchen, it was quite sufficient for most travellers needs. After this long description of houseboats, I must confess I didnt spend money on one.

 I went for a motor boat ride instead and realized that 3 hours was more than I could manage on the still waters of the Vembanad lake. Upto a point it is interesting to see village life lived by the canal but I got bored after a couple of hours. The backwaters look stagnant and slightly dirty. And the lake looks the same after an hour. So a whole 5 hours spent on the lake was out of the question for me.
Activities & things to do: Try the Kathakali performance if you are interested in art. It is held in a shady looking building in the village and was quite a novel experience for me. At Rs.200/head for an hours performance, it felt expensive but was a nice treat from doing nothing for the rest of the day. The Driftwood Museum, a 20 minutes drive from the main resort-infested area of Kumarakom, makes for an interesting change too. Mrs.Leena Poonnoose charges Rs.50/head to show visitors the varied types of driftwood that she has collected over a lifetime in the Andamans. Her interest in the driftwood is contagious and her explanations of what the driftwood pieces represent very believable. Kumarakom is not for the active travelers, it is meant to be enjoyed at an extraordinarily relaxed pace indeed.

Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: There isnt much to do outside the hotel/resort as the place is basically a village, parts of which have been developed for tourism.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

"It is a peaceful and raw destination... untouched and unexploited as of now"

Mandarmani Experience: It is a peaceful and raw destination... untouched and unexploited as of now... the sea is very calm and the sand is soft... local people are helpful... a nice weekend getaway for both family and friends...:D
Food, sight-seeing and shopping: Food availability is restricted, you either have to have your meals in the hotel you stay or from small stalls step up by local people... apart from beach in mandarmoni, there is another destination called Tajpur, which is accessible by boat and take about 45 min to go... people can spend quality time in both Mandarmani and Tajpur.
Activities & things to do: Water sports is coming up, promoted by Rose valley, sports like water scooters, para sailing, kayaking, etc

Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: Best to go by your own private car, its much cheaper, pre book your hotel and meals, it take about 4 hours from Kolkata to reach there... carry sufficient sunscreen and snacks for munching.

"Perfect place for people who want Peace & Enjoyment together"

"Peace and Happiness in the Air"

Port Blair Experience: Peace and Happiness in the Air. It is a lovely, beautiful destination to visit for nature lovers, water lovers. No One can imagine such a beautiful, delighted sea life with variety of corals & fishes (I like Parrot fish more). You will find one new sea life in Andaman which is more beautiful Perfect place for people who want Peace & Enjoyment together
Food, sight-seeing and shopping: Sight Seeing to Island is the key attraction You can plan a short trip to visit key places like : You can visit to Port Blair local spots like Cellular Jail, Samudrika Marine Museum, Anthropological Museum, Andaman Water Sports Complex, Corbyn's Cove soft sandy beach, Gandhi Park. Visit to Havelock Island & Jolly buoy Island. is a memorable experience You can see tribal�s while going to Baratang Island. (1 day Trip from Port Blair) Every thing is costly SO NO SHOPPING, still if you want to do then Samudrika is the place where you can visit for shopping.

Activities & things to do: Scuba diving & snorkeling on Jolly buoy Island is more enjoyable activities to do.
Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: Jolly buoy Island is THE BEST Place you must not miss visit to this place. Crystal clear water you can see tour feet�s into water, can play water games etc. for mid age & old age People glass boat gives the closer view of sea life. If you want to see corals & sea life closer you can do snorkelling. Best place for snorkelling (Even if you are not a swimmer) Like other Trips, Not a single worst experience during this trip. While travelling to Andaman, Sometimes due to bad weather condition your flight may get cancelled so directly you will waste one day from your planned Trip

"Perfect location for long drives amidst the romantic flora and fauna"


Munnar Experience: Beautiful, romantic, peaceful. Perfect location for long drives amidst the romantic flora and fauna.
Food, sight-seeing and shopping: Kerala paratha is AWESOME!! Coffee and tea estates bloom their native essence. Do not miss out to buy the natural hand-made soaps which are simply superb and enchanting. A true natural product. Also tea essences(ginger and cardamom) are very good.
Activities & things to do: Go sight-seeing, shopping and eating. Jungle safari and Mattupetty lake boat ride(specially when the lake is full) are a must.
Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: Woolen clothes are recommended for the biting cold. From the foot of the Western Ghats, one has to mandatorily reach Munnar by road, driving through the forests- a beautiful experience specially when you encounter some wild elephants enroute!! Warnings: jeans and shoes are best. No slippers or high heels.

"If you have not been here you are missing the time of your life"..

"Kadmat- Heaven on earth"

Kadmat Experience: AWESOME... if you have not been here you are missing the time of your life. Maldives and andaman take a back seat here... when you go diving .. you are the only one around... snorkelling diving..kayaking..very few people pristine clean beautiful beaches.... one of the best place i have been to ....
Food, sight-seeing and shopping: Food is avaiable in the resort... and you have very few options outside to have food... you can go for deep sea fishing and bring back your catch. the cooks would serve you the same :) Not much shopping except for some memorablia....
Activities & things to do: snorkelling scuba kayaking glass bottom boat ride are must do......
Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: Book your flight to agatti..from agatti take a boat to kadmat.. if you plan for kavaratti the ride is in a helicopter:)

"This place is fabulous..An amazing experience" Almost all of the hundreds of travellers to this destination absolutely love this place and rate it very highly.

"Heaven on earth"

Mysore Experience: The place was fabulous. the Mysore palace was really mesmerized. The light and sound show in the Vrindawan garden was an amazing experience for us. The fantasy of the palaces and the chamundi hill temple and the bull temple boasting its priority on the top of the hill really evidence of our mythology. The zoo was really a life time experience for my son. It was n amazing experience

Food, sight-seeing and shopping: The best attractions are mysore palace, chamundi hills temple, bull temple, zoo etc are the major places to visit. there are some restaurants near the mysore i remember may be pragati and rajasthani restaurant, we should not miss the light and sound show in vrindavan garden. In shopping wooden paintings and mysore silk sarees are worthy to purchase.
Activities & things to do: Shopping, sight seeing, evening walk specially in the dushera festival on the illuminating streets of mysore heading the palace.

Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: Very easy from Bangalore there are plenty of buses and private cars to take you. buses by the travel agencies are safe as we r in a group. don;t purchase the things where your bus guide refers to purchase the things because it is expensive and he has his commission. sometimes they kill more time in such shops instead of showing us the other important things.

"The beauty of this place has been brought into celluloid with much perfection by famous director Mani Ratnam in his film Raavan"..

"Athirapilly : Calling Nature lovers !"

Athirappilly Experience: Travel approx 70 + kms from Cochin and then you reach Athirappilly, known for its beautiful waterfalls.It is a perfect one day trip to escape into the lush greenery from the busy city life. Beyond Athirappilly and the nearby waterfalls Vazhachal,lies the Sholyar ranges. This place maintains a rich flora and fauna and is the nest to many rare species of birds.The waterfalls are a part of the beautiful Chalakudy river.
Food, sight-seeing and shopping: Main attraction here is obviously the waterfalls and the road that leads you to them. Ezhattumugham prakrithi gramam would also be a good pitstop on the way to the falls. It is a park on the side of a check-dam at Ezhattumugham. If well kept this park can attract more tourists. Silverstorm amusement park Athirappilly would also be a good place to check out. On the way to Athirappilly and Vazhachal waterfalls there are many number of pitstops, rather view points for tourists to get down and take a walk. The lush greenery and water on either sides at few places adds to the scenic beauty. The beauty of this place has been brought into celluloid with much perfection by famous director Mani Ratnam in his film Raavan. I had stayed at rainforest resort, Athirampilly and since it is a luxury resort, their rates are on the higher side. But the amenities they offer are worth the rates. They have a well maintained pool, super spacious rooms, the walking area inside the resort is huge and its kept natural.The best part is if you could get to stay in the tree house (just 1 there ) and the direct view of the waterfalls that you get to see right from your window.They also have a private path that takes you to the waterfalls. If you are ready to spend a good sum on your stay then Rainforests (Abad property ) is the right choice for you.

Activities & things to do: As far as i know, there are no water games,boating or adventure sports being offered here. Travelers can walk up till the waterfalls over the rocks (at certain places they are slippery )There are guides/forest officers to ensure the safety of visitors and to make sure they do now get into areas marked as dangerous for swimming.If you go to silverstorm, that can easily take up a half day of yours.
Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: Easily accessible from Angamaly or Chalakudy side. If your are taking the route from Angamaly, you pass Ezhattumugham too. But being a hard core traveler, the route i loved and would suggest would be coming from Pollachi side and then crossing Valparai and then cutting the dense Malakkiparai forests and then reaching Vazhachal Athirapalli. If you are lucky enough you can get to see wild elephants, bison or may be even a tiger :) Have seen news articles of tiger been spotted in Malakkaparai area.

Nature's very own swimming pool!

Photo: Nature's very own swimming pool!
Find out where it is located here--->