Monthly Archives: March 2014

Lake Palace, Udaipur



Lake Palace, Udaipur

Udaipur-The city of lakes, is one of the best tourism attraction in Rajasthan. The place serves to be ideal for nature lovers. The divine lakes like Fateh sagar lake, Rangsagar lake, Pichola lake, Swaroop sagar lake, Dudh sagar lake, Udai sagar lake personifies the beauty in the air of Udaipur. Above all the belongings, we cannot deny on the fact that an excursion is incomplete without a good and luxurious hotel selection. So the combo of visiting the beautiful city and residing in first rate awesome hotel would not be a bad option. “Nothing like staying in a place”

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LAKE PALACE -One of the most romantic hotels of India  earlier also known as Jag Niwas .It is located in Udaipur. The palace is built on a small island in lake Pichola and give a wonderful view with Aravali hills surrounding the lake.It was beautifully built by Maharana Jagat Singh II in 1743.It is a opulent hotel with about 83 rooms and covering an area of across four acre. And the rooms have special name of their own like Bada Mahal, Ajjan Niwas , phool mahal and dhola mahal. The palace was so constructed in such a way that it faces east so that people residing here can pray early morning to lord Surya. It has a piazza which was used by the rulers as their DARBARS with fountains and garden. On the entertainment side, the former includes amazing dance by professional dancers and many more things.

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Besides the external beauty and location this palace has wonderful interior also. The interior is even enhanced by carved arches, crystal work, stained glass, painting, sand stones of pink and green lotus leaves. It has one of the brilliant architecture which includes series of courtyard oriented with beautiful fountains, terraces and well maintained garden. The floor is made up of white marbles and black stones. The walls are decorated with multi colored stones and dome is undoubtedly marvelous. Its amazing architecture and beauty cannot be expressed in few words. According to the reviews the hotel serves to be best in room services to food quality.

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It was built as a summer palace for the dynasty rulers. But later during the Indian Sepoy Mutiny around 1857 several European people used it as asylum. The island was offered to these European people by Maharana Swaroop Singh and not only this he helped his guest by destroying all the boats of town so that rebels couldn’t reach the island. After 1950 Bhagwat Singh finally thought to convert this Jag Niwas into beautiful hotel rather the first luxury hotel in Udaipur. He defiant gesture transformed into one of the most romantic hotel. And then a Didi named contractor took the entire responsibility to design the hotel realizing the romantic location of the former. It was because of his great work the great palace turn out to be a great hotel. It was a great decision of Maharana to convert the palace into hotel as it was the only way to maintain the palace and preserve their heritage. In 1959,the reconstruction began and then after some years in 1963, the palace opened its doors for first arrival of guests. In 1971, the palace has been taken up by Taj group of hotels and made it rate amongst the five star hotel with world class amenities. The added about 75 rooms in the palace. Mr Jamshyd D.F.Lam of the Taj group was an important person in restoration of the original property and then he was appointed as the first general manager and was youngest at that period of time. Then again in 2000 a second restoration was done. And still the Royal Butlers working there are original descendant of original palace retainers

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People found the palace peace oriented and it served most beautifully for nature lovers. The days and nights seem to be magical there. Imagining yourself to be floating in the middle of lake Pichola is delightful. The location is no more or less than any other romantic places all over the world. One can have his/her delightful moments with their beloved under the canopy of stars and moon light. Hotel gives magnificent view of Sunrise and Sunset to inhabitants.

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Apart from the scenery, let us have an overview about the interior of the hotel. The same is contained with 83 rooms along with 17 suites. All the rooms are well facilitated like direct dialing, room service, separate tv.s and bars etc. It consists of luxury and palace rooms which provide a great view of lake and lily pond. Apart from this it also have grand royal suites and royal spa suites where one can relax him/her self fully.The hotel is also well contained with elegant restaurants and bar. This fine dining restaurant is named Neel Kamal. Its menu is also enlisted with proper Rajasthani food and many more other categories. The interior contain a large banquet hall with a beautiful view of Lily pond.The hotel is also accommodated with a stylish bar. Along with a perfect ambience, the bar is also contained with a good collection of wine and cigars. A hotel uniquely serves a variety of dining patterns like a romantic dinner on terrace, a sit down dinner by the pond and many more. So above all features make Hotel lake palace worth watching and worth visiting one.

Outrageous Beaches In Goa



Outrageous Beaches In Goa

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The world famous Beaches in Goa covered about 125 km of its coastline. These beaches are divided into North Goa and South Goa. The North goa beaches are remunerative and are mostly visited by medium and lower class tourist whereas South goa is covered by private beaches and is mostly visited by higher class tourist. The cluster of beaches in Goa have something for every tourists. The blue sea, golden sand, swinging palm, coconut trees, tasty seafood, water sports and mesmerizing night life of Goa beaches make it special and popular destination. The beaches in Goa are divided into North Goa and South Goa. Some of the famous beaches in North Goa are Calangute, baga, Anjuna, Morjim Beach etc. and Some of the famous South Goa beaches are Majorda, Colva, Benaulim beach etc.

North Goa

  •  Calangute beach

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Calangute beach is known as ’’ Queen of Beaches’’ in Goa. It is situated in north east of goa. Being largest in North goa, Calangute beach is overcrowded in both peek and off-season. It is one of the busiest beach in goa. Tourist from all over the world surely visit Calangute beach as they land Goa because people find it an ultimate place to relax and spend a fabulous time with there partners. It is the perfect beach for adventure lovers with water sports like parasailing, water-skiing and wind surfing. On this beach tourist can enjoy delicious see food and beer as they are sold on the stalls spread all over the beach. Some tourist also enjoy the sun bathing on this beach.

  •  Baga Beach

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Baga Beach is located in north goa 16 km from panaji, the capital of state. It joins Calangute beach in the south and Anjuna beach in the north. It is said that the start point of Baga beach is the end point of Calangute beach. It is one of the most admired beach on the coast. It is also crowded and busy beach of the Goa. The Baga beach is all suurounded with colourful umbrellas abd beach chairs where the tourist can relax and enjoy the sun bath. One can also rapture delicious sea food and different kinds of mocktails, which are sold on the stalls displayed on the beach. Water sports are one of the prominent attraction for the people who visit baga beach in Goa. Here one can enjoy para sailing, windsurfing, wake boarding, kite surfing and rides on Jet Skis. Dolphin and Island watching on boat are also enjoyed by tourist on Baga beach.

  • Anjuna Beach

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Anjuna beach is located in north Goa 18 km from Panaji the capital of the state. Anjuna beach is favourite for hippies who organise Rave parties. Anjuna beach is well-known for its stunning beauty which includes swinging palm trees and very beautiful white sand which covered the beach. Some unusual black rocks are also found which are projected out from the see. Anjuna beach is eminent for parties exclusively full moon parties that are held during Christmas and New Year eve. Though Anjuna beach is not crowded area but during Christmas and New Year eve, rush of tourists from all over the world come to enjoy the colourful beach parties.  On every Wednesday a flea market is displayed which includes each and every thing which one can imagine.

South Goa

  • Majorda Beach

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Majorda beach is situated in southern part of goa, 18 km Dabolin airport. It is one of the most popular beaches of south Goa. According to Hindu mythology it is believed that Lord Rama was kidnapped and brought to Majorda beach. It is also said that lord Rama came to the beach in search of his wife Lord Sita. Majorda beach is eminent for its bakery items. Besides that tourists can also relish a huge variation of seafood, steaks and Chinese food at Majorda beach. The beach is prevalent for its carnivals which are held in winter season on every Christmas. Tourists love to swim on this beach without any fear as they are provided with lifeguards. The most popular attraction of Majorda beach is Mae De Deus church which was found in 1588 and was rebuilt in 1739. Water sports such as jet skiing, water skiing, parasailing etc. are also enjoyed by tourists.

  • Colva Beach

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Colva beach is located in South Goa 40 km from Panaji, the capital of the state. Here land, sea and sky blend with each other creating a natural accord lined with coconut palm trees. This beach is stunning and covered with white sand which fascinates the tourists also. It is the longest and oldest beach in Goa, which stretches 26 kms along the Arabian Sea. Although the Colva Beach has never been an entertaining destination for rave parties, rather the nightlife of Colva beach is very energetic and vivacious. While walking on the beach we can perceive some sliver particles shinning on the golden sand. We can also watch the fisher men trawlers standing on the off-shore. Tourist from all over the world can be seen here having sun bath on striking golden sand. The decorated stalls of snakes and beer make the evening more romantic on the beach.

The Serenity of Australia



The Serenity of Australia

“Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder”. Indeed, a true beauty of a nation lies within its own culture, morals and ethical values. The world has created such marvelous wonders in the long run which has made this beauteous world an ecstatic place to dwell in. With such blissful places, one of the most serene place is Australia. Australia is one of the best place to live in and spend your exotic life with full of zeal and enthusiasm. Australia is so cool that it’s hard to even know where to start describing it. The beaches are beautiful; so is the weather. Not too crowded. Great food, great music and really nice people.

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Profound for its natural wonders and wide open spaces, its beaches, deserts, “the bush”, and the “Outback”, Australia is also entitled as one of the world’s most highly urbanized countries, well known for the cosmopolitan attractions of its large cities such as Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. Bordered to the west by the Indian Ocean, and to the east by the South Pacific Ocean, Australia is the sixth-largest country by land area. Australia is a developed country and one of the wealthiest in the world, with the world’s 12th-largest economy, Australia ranks highly in many international comparisons of national performance, such as quality of life, health, education, economic freedom, and the protection of civil liberties and political rights.

Australia is blend with a rich cultural heritage that imbibes into itself a lot to witness and inculcate in oneself. Distinctive cultural features have also arisen from Australia’s natural environment and Indigenous cultures. Australian visual arts are thought to have begun with the cave paintings, rock engravings and body painting of its Indigenous peoples. Australian art has been the natural landscape,seen for example in the works of Albert Namatjira, Arthur Streeton and others associated with the Heidelberg School, and Arthur Boyd. The country’s landscape remains a source of inspiration for Australian modernist artists; it has been depicted in acclaimed works by the likes of Sidney Nolan,Fred Williams, Sydney Long, and Clifton Pugh. This exotic continent is also popular for its cuisine. Since the beginning of the 20th century, food in Australia has increasingly been influenced by immigrants to the nation, particularly from Southern European and Asian cultures.Australian wine is produced in 60 distinct production areas totaling approximately 160,000 hectares, mainly in the southern, cooler parts of the country. The wine regions in each of these states produce different wine varieties and styles that take advantage of local climates and soil types. The predominant varieties are Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Sémillon, Pinot noir, Riesling, and Sauvignon blanc.

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Australian flora and fauna is unique to the island, the result of having been isolated from the rest of the world for millions of years. A visit to Australia would not be complete without taking the chance to see some of these animals in their natural environment. Australia has many landmarks, famous the world over. From Uluru in the red centre, to the Sydney Harbor Bridge and Opera House in Sydney. Sport is an integral part of the Australian culture from the capital cities to country towns. The majority of games are played over the weekend period. Australia is huge but sparsely populated, and you can sometimes travel many hours before finding the next trace of civilization, especially once you leave the south-eastern coastal fringe.

Australia has a lot more to witness and analyze the beauty at a whole. Every year thousands of tourists visit different places and cities in Australia with a gleam of light and contentment each time they go to an all-together different place. Most attractions in Australia remain open year-round, some operating at a reduced frequency or shorter hours during the off-peak season. With various destinations such as Blue Mountains, Dandenong Ranges , Great Barrier Reef , Kakadu National Park ,Nitmiluk National Park , Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast and lots more enduring list of tourist attractions, this place has become a harbor to various holiday tours thus bringing out a huge employability in the hotel and the transport sectors. Australia has a generally well-maintained system of roads and highways, and cars are a commonly used method of transport. Most of the state capitals are linked to each other by good quality highways. Major cities around Australia have multiple outlets providing a wide range of rental vehicles from major international rental companies.

When it comes to visiting Australia,people tend to scratch their heads regarding the mode of transport and conveyance.In most cases, Electronic Travel Authorities and eVisitors are approved instantly and the visa will be issued and available for use immediately. Nationals of certain countries, such as Bulgaria and Romania and other Eastern European EU member states, are rarely issued eVisitor visa automatically and must provide additional documentation.If you are visiting Australia for employment, study or for medical treatment you will need to obtain the appropriate visa. If you are staying longer than 3 months continuously you are ineligible for an ETA or eVisitor, and should apply for a Tourist Visa (subclass 600).For all tourist visa classes you must be able to demonstrate your ability to support yourself financially for the time you intend to spend in Australia. If you have a criminal conviction, obtain advice from the Australian Embassy or visa processing centre.

All fees are payable in Australian Dollars, converted to your local currency at the current rate of exchange.

Catering to the vast number of young European and American backpackers traversing the country are several low-budget car rental companies which rent cars and campers of varying quality. Accommodation is readily available in most Australian cities and tourist destinations. It comes in a number of different styles. Budget hostel-style accommodation with shared bathrooms and often with dormitories is approximately $20-$30 per person per night. Facilities usually include a fully equipped kitchen with adequate refrigeration and food storage areas.

The world is full of marvelous wonders and a beautiful place created in this Mother Nature has been fruitfully bestowed to us. Such an enthralling place is termed as Australia. Indeed, this nine-letter word has nine hundred things to do and enjoy the life to the fullest. There is none other place than Australia to dwell a sustainable and an amiable life ahead.

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Wales: The Land of Castles



Wales: The Land of Castles

Wales, the cultural hot-spot of the United Kingdoms has a long and rich past which has nourished this region with delicious cuisines, culture, customs and castles.  With over a hundred current castles, Wales is rightfully known as the ‘Land of Castles.’ You are likely to encounter quite a few stunning creations on your visit here. These castles display the splendour and grandeur of the ancient and medieval times through their architectural styles. Wales offers a large variety of architectural masterpieces in these castles. From Tudor banqueting to Victorian decadence, these architectural wonders will undoubtedly fascinate you. Here are some of the most magnificent of the 100 castles.

 

Caernafon Castle

Caernarfon Castle

Built by King Edward I of England, in 1283, this grand stone castle is still one of the most visited castles of Wales. Situated in the North West of Wales, it is blessed with the natural beauty of the sea and green pastures that surround it. This Edwardian castle with its polygonal towers was established as a symbol of the English rule in Welsh. This mighty castle has survived many great wars and battles throughout the ages. Rich in history, charm and architecture, the Caernarfon Castle makes for a great tourist destination.

 

Conwy Castle

Conwy Castle

Located on the North coast of Wales, the Conwy Castle is another one of Edward I’s chain of beautiful castles in his fortification of Wales. Made out of limestone and sandstone, today this castle lies in sublime and picturesque ruins. Built between 1283-89 this Conwy Castle has seen many wars including the Revolt of Madog ap Llywelyn and the Revolt of Owain Glyndŵr. This enticing Castle has been considered as one of the best architectural works of Edward I. The interior is a maze of great halls, chapels, and royal chambers that evoke a sense of awe in the tourists.

 

Powis Castle

Powis Castle

Unlike the Caernarfon and Conwy Castles, the Powis castle was a product of a dynasty of Welsh Princes. Today the National Trust runs the property under the name of ‘Powis Castle and Gardens.’ It features the notable Clive Museum, Reynolds Portrait and the infamous State Bedrooms. Despite its rich history, the lovely gardens of French and Italian style is what attracts tourists the most. On a sunny day, these gardens are the perfect place to sit back and enjoy the beautiful Welsh countryside.

 

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Pembroke Castle

This magnificent castle which was the birthplace of Henry VII is located beside the beautiful river Cleddau. The Castle was originally the seat of the Earldom of Pembroke. Not only does this castle have a rich historical past, but it also has made quite a few appearances in the TV world. After its partial restorations in the 20th century, Pembroke castle continues to be the largest privately owned castle in Wales. Open to public, the Pembroke Castle proudly displays exhibitions which depict its history. What more, there is even a Castle Café for the use of tourists!

 

Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle

This Victorian Gothic revival style of architecture was built in the late 11th century. Since then it has been a part of many wars such as the Glyndŵr Rising and the English Civil War. It has also been renovated numerous times during the Victorian era. The Cardiff Castle is well known for its Burges interiors and beautiful paintings. The interiors of this beautiful Castle have been described as “three dimensional passports to fairy kingdoms and realms of gold.” Today this splendid castle has been a venue for numerous social and cultural events. Among its many attraction the two-storey banquet hall and the gigantic library are the most well-known.

 

Dinefwr Castle

Dinefwr Castle

Located on the northern bank of the river Tywi the Dinefwr castle offers luxurious views of the Tywi valley and river. The Dinefwr Castle boasts of impeccable architecture, wonderful gardens and a close proximity to the National Nature reserve which showcases a variety of rare flora and fauna. The 18th century park is one of the best specimens of man-made landscapes. Among its various other attractions, the Dinefwr Castle is also known for its visually arresting croquet lawns.

 

Caerphilly Castle

Caerphilly Castle

Occupying about 30 acres of land, the delightful Caerphilly Castle located in the South of Wales is the largest castle of Wales. Its remarkably intricate water defense system is said to be one of the best in England. This historical landmark was built in the later half of the 13th century as part of the Anglo-Norman expansion into South Wales. The Caerphilly Castle is extremely famous for its large gatehouses and introducing to Britain the system of concentric castle defenses. The castle surrounded by artificial lakes and lying in partial ruins has an almost surreal beauty to it.

 

Raglan Castle

 

Raglan Castle

This classic medieval Castle is located just north of the village of Raglan in south east Wales. The Raglan Castle is an imposing, luxurious and fortified castle with a large hexagonal keep which is famously known as the ‘Great Tower.’ Even when lying in ruins, its grandeur and valor is impressive. Some of the architectural attractions of this castle are the astounding Closet Tower, the Fountain Court, and the lovely gardens. This stunning castle is a symbol of wealth and social aspiration rather than being a bold military presence as it was built in the medieval eras which were quite peaceful.  

Khajuraho: The Land of Sacred Temples



Khajuraho: The Land of Sacred Temples

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The Khajuraho complex always remains unique and famous in the temple architecture of India. The Chandela rulers built these temples around 950 AD-1050 AD. There were 85 temples, which were built, and only 22 of them survive today. Spread over an area of approximately 20 square kilometer on the North Eastern part of Madhya Pradesh (heart of India). It is a major tourist archaeological site. Khajuraho is also referred to as Kama sutra temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Jain deities. The temples are famous for the exquisite work of art and sculpture on the walls that depict the inner human feelings. The temples are lofty with ample walking space separating them. The interior rooms are inter-connected. Each contain an entrance, a hall, a vestibule and a sanctum. Windows were added to the larger temples to add a feeling of space and light. They are divided into three sections according to their location:

Western– On the main road, (beside the path leading to the Matangeshwar Temple) there is an ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) counter where you can purchase a ticket to visit the western group of temple.

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It is the largest complex of the three and comprises some of the most famous temples of Khajuraho.

  • Kandariya Mahadev Temple– It is studded with several statues and designs dedicated to Shiva and is the largest temple of Khajuraho.
  • Lakshmana Temple– Dedicated to God Vishnu, It is one of the oldest in the Khajurahi fields and is situated near Kandariya Mahadev Temple. It is decorated and covered completely with images of over 600 Gods (Hindu Pantheon)
  • Chousath Yogini Temple – Dedicated to 64 Yoginis i.e. Mother Goddess Shakti. It is built in granite. It is situated in an open courtyard on the bank of Shivsagar Lake with small temples surrounding it.
  • Vishwanath Temple – Dedicated to Shiva, the temple enshrines not only a Shiva lingam but also his vehicle: the bull Nandi, as well as an image of his consort depicted as Durga. In another subsidiary corner shrine, there is an image of the Shiva lingam with four faces attached. The sculptures are striking in the carving.
  • Jagadambi Temple (age certain)- It is one of the most finely decorated temples at Khajuraho, with numerous erotic carvings, There is an enormous image of the goddess Devi, though it was probably originally designed as a Vishnu Temple.

Southern– Sacred Temles can be found 5 km from the Khajuraho town and slightly located away from the other temples. It includes only two temples:

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  • Duladeo Temple– It is also known as the Groom Temple. There is a pciture of Shiva on the lintel of the entry to the underground garbh griha (main house). The sanctum has a holy Shiva Lingam. The entire temple is decorated with carvings of Shiva and Parvati.
  • Chaturbhuja Temple– Dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It has a large 9ft designed picture of Lord Vishnu brought from Tibet. In addition, the Temple also has another incarnation of Vishnu known as the ‘Narasingha Avatar’.

Eastern– A km distance or a 10 minute walk away from the Western group of temples is the Khajur Sagar and the old village if Khajuraho. A number of Jain temples are located in the eastern complex. It includes four temples:

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  • Bramha Temple– Dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The Lord Bramha’s forehead is without the ornamental styles, sculptures and architectures. Instead, there is an easy framework and is created along with a pyramidal spire made up of sandstones. At the entry, on the either part, you can see the sacred Ganga and holy Yamuna.
  • Vamana and Javari Temples– These are two sacred temples devoted to Lord Vishnu. The Vamana temple resembles the incarnation of Lord Vishnu’s puffy and dwarfed face. Javari temple is named after the millet crop that is grown in the nearby fields.
  • Parshvanatha Temple– Parashvanatha forehead is the largest Jain forehead at Khajuraho and is devoted to the first Jain holy Tirthankara Adinatha. The forehead includes wonderful sculptures and styles on the external walls of beautiful apsaras (fairies), sacred vyalas and other animals. It also includes Hindu deities like Lord Krishna, Lord Rama, Lord Bramha, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. The temple has pierced windows.
  • Ghantai Temple– It is named after the gong. It has decorative roof, the lintel, entry and area have lived through. The higher lintels represents styles of the 16 excellent signs of the Jain sacred Digambra where as the primary lintel represents the Jain goddess Chakreshwari driving Garuda.

How to Reach Khajuraho khajuraho-city-map

 

By Air khajuraho-airport

  • The renowned Khajuraho is having a household terminal known as Town Airport Khajuraho area. It is situated at only 2 kms south of Khajuraho city. Now routes from city of Delhi as well as Varanasi city are managing for Khajuraho.

By Train IMGP8862

The world famous Khajuraho has its own railway station, which is just around 5km from the renowned places of Khajuraho. All the trains from significant places in India stop at the Mahoba station. From here one can seek the services of a cab or bus to reach world famous Khajuraho.

List of some trains from some nearby city to Khajuraho

  • Uttar Pradesh state Sampark Kranti- Starts from Delhi
  • Bundelkhand Express- Starts from Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh)
  • Jhansi Khajuraho Express- Starts from Jhansi (Uttar Pradesh)
  • Udaipur City Khajuraho Express- Starts from Udaipur (Rajasthan)
  • Kanpur Khajuraho Traveler- Starts from Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh)

By Road

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The world famous Khajuraho is well linked with many places in and around of Madhya Pradesh by roads. Roads from all major cities nearby and far connect Madhya Pradesh with a variety of some 75 roads. Local transportation and personal providers offer common, semi-deluxe and elegant vehicles for visiting Khajuraho. Private cabs and trainers are also available.

Distance to world famous Khajuraho from some nearby cities:

  • Distance from Satna             115 Kms     Approx 2 and half hour drive
  • Distance from Jhansi           175 Kms     Approx 3 hour drive
  • Distance from Kanpur         210 Kms     Approx 4 hour drive
  • Distance from Allahabad    315  Kms     Approx 5 hour 20 min drive
  • Distance from Gwalior        280 Kms      Approx 5 and a half hour drive
  • Distance from Lucknow     300 Kms     Approx 5 hour 45 min drive
  • Distance from Bhopal         370 Kms      Approx 7 hour drive
  • Distance from Agra              409 Kms      Approx 7 and a half hour drive
  • Distance from Delhi            650 Kms      Approx 10 hour drive

Note: Distances and drive mentioned above are all approximate distances and drive time to Khajuraho. Actual may vary by some units. Time may depend upon the traffic and road conditions.

Getting Around Khajuraho

An excellent way to discover around the location and see the sacred temples in world famous Khajuraho is by leasing a motorcylce or strolling around. Leased vehicles, pattern rickshaws and equine golf trolleys (popularly known as Tongas) are the regularly used as method of trasnportation within the location. The western record of sacred remples is near to the location and transportation is only needed to see the rest of the two places of sacred temples.

 

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The Beautiful City of Florence



The Beautiful City of Florence

Florence city situated on the arno river is the one of the most beautiful city in the Italy. Florence lies in a basin by the hills of careggi, Fiesole, arcetri, poggio imperial is the birth place of Italian renaissance has impressive sites, historical beautiful palaces and museums, elegant buildings, traditional and religious cathedrals and churches. its artistic and architectural  beauty it attracts million of visitors every year.

Cathedral in Florence

The most famous site of Florence the Palazza vecchio, People’s palace Completed after 23 years, is the town hall of Florence and also an art museum containing a large bell to announce public meetings the small fountain at the center decorated with a statute of a putti and dolphin than at its first floor the room of 500 hundred people another interesting room is sala dei gigli (lily room) walls are decorated with golden lilies and frescoes of roman dignitaries.

Florence-Attractionspiazza_della_signoria

Florence contains several palaces and buildings from various eras. The most famous square is piazza della signoria, the heart of historic center. Than the baptistery of Jhon is one of Florence’s oldest buildings and predates the cathedral. It was constructed on top of Roman foundations, possibly as early as in the sixth century. The interior dates back to the thirteenth century when the mosaics on the ceiling – depicting stories from the bible – were created. The exterior white and green marble cladding was added around the same time. Than the Campanile-bell tower its first store was designed by the giotto it gives the grest view of city of Florence. The Uffizi and the pitti palace are two of the most famous picture galleries in the world. These museums has a great collection of Donatello, verrochio and Michelangelo. Palazzo pitti was built in the 15th century garden is adorned with plenty of statutes and fountains.

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Than you can also see the Best known site of Florence the duomo di firenze, the florence cathedral built in between 1296 and 1436, is one of the largest in the world. santa maria del fiore known as the duomo, largest dome built in brick and mortar in the world, its exterior made of green, pink and white marble has several elaborate doors and it is has an interesting statutes.

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This city also contains numerous historical museum and art galleries such as the Uffizi gallery, Those whose appreciate the arts will also enjoy a visit to the Uffizi gallery, its Located in the heart of Florence, is one of the most famous museum in the world given rich amount of unique artwork and masterpieces conserved within its walls . it holds the world’s most important collection of renaissance art and thousands of paintings of Leonardo da vici and giotto, botticelli, Cimabue, and raffaello. Other Museums like Galleria dell’Accademia is a museum with a collection of Renaissance sculptures, religious paintings and musical instruments vast collection of Russian icons and works by many artists. It is best known for Michelangelo’s David, one of the world’s most famous statues.

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Museo dell’opera del duomo this museum located nearby at pizza del duomo, is dedicated to the history and construction of the cathedral of Florence by consisting a valuable collection of artwork .  Other different , bargello museum, medici chapels , palantina gallery and modern art gallery basilica di santa del fiore is the main church of Italy. Florence is also famous for various parks and gardens such as boboli garden, the parco delle cascine and great monument Florence baptistery with its mosacics, the cathedral with sculpture, the gallery of modern art, the museum of silverware and the museum of precious stones.

Ponte Vecchio Bridge Over the Arno River Florence ItalyForte+di+Belvedere

Florence is also famous for its most outstanding bridge the ponte vecchio, provides great view of the Florence, it is the only bridge survived in world war II whose most striking feature is the multitude of shops built upon its edges, held up by stilts. After crossing the ponte vecchio to the giardino di boboli visitors can see  A large number of statues, fountains and grottos decorate the picturesque Italianesque garden, a huge park on a hillside in the middle of Florence behind the pitti palace and  santa croce is the largest Franciscan church in Italy and holds the tombs of several important Florentines including Michelangelo and dante and countless paintings and other work of art.

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This city also has large numer of art filled churches such as san miniato al monte, san Lorenzo, santa trinita and santa spirit. Florence also a important research center UNICEF innocent research center. Serristori palace is a choice that offers you the opportunity of living in the heart of Florence by providing a view to touch the major monuments of Florence.

The other stunning buildings are Basilica di san Lorenzo, members of the wealthy and powerful medici family were buried here. San miniato al monte is a medieval church located on the hill in the Florence built in 13th century, Mercato central it is a covered market hall with modern glass and iron structure, than the san marco church, visitors can see 15th century paintings and frescoes, its one of the highlight is the last judgement an altarpiece in the hospitium- a shelter of pilgrims. So to explore the history of Italy you must visit this beautiful city.

 

Sinai Peninsula, Egypt



Sinai Peninsula, Egypt

The Sinai Peninsula is a triangular region (meaning peninsula) which is situated between the Mediterranean Sea in the north and the Red Sea in the south. It is a sixty thousand square kilometer of area in Egypt and is the only part of the whole of the Egyptian territory located in Asia. The major portion of this peninsula has a population of approximately five lac people. Egyptians have also informally named it the Land of Turquoise or Ard-ul-Fairuz. In fact, history has it that ancient Egypt knew this place as the Land of Green Minerals or Mafkat. The Sinai Peninsula is divided among two administrative Egyptian provinces called Ganub Sina ( meaning South Sinai) and the Shamal Sina( meaning North Sinai). Besides these, three more provinces have parts of the Sinai peninsula, namely, el-Sewai or Suez in the south end of Suez Canal, el-Isma’ileyyah in the middle and Port Said in north.

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It is contested that the name Sinai may have been taken from the the ancient moon god Sin’s name or from the word Seneh in Hebrew. It is assumed that the Sinai Peninsula got its name because of the presence of a mountain near Saint Catherine’s Monastery called Biblical Mount Sinai. The region has been a reason for conflict between various Egyptian administrative states, basically due to the strategic location of the peninsula.Today, Sinai Peninsula has become a major tourist attraction due to its beautiful  natural location, rich coral reefs and also due to its biblical history. The Mount Sinai in the peninsula hold lots of religious significance for the people of Abrahamic faith.

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The area holds a rich history of rising and falling empires and empires. Besides being under periods of direct rule by Egyptian governments and before being the part of the modern Egyptian republic, the area was occupied and controlled by the Ottoman Empire and the the United Kingdom from 1882 to 1956, after which in the Suez Crisis it was invaded by Israel. The 1979 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty saw the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the lands.

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Sinai was originally inhabited by the Monitu people and they called it Mafkat. From the times of the first ever dynasty or empire or even before that, the Egyptians have mined turquoise in the Sinai Peninsula in basically two locations. They now carry Arabic names Wadi Maghareh and Serabit-el-Khadim. The mines have been worked for thousands of years and have been mined in a seasonal nature. But any of the modern or recent attempts to mine the turquoise deposits and earn a fortune have proved to be futile. Despite being an unprofitable business, these mines are famous for holding the suspicion of being world’s first ever historically attested mines.

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The Jewish tradition describes that the Sinai peninsula was crossed by the people of Israel from Egypt and has been described in detail in the Hebrew Bible during the time of The Exodus. This journey had many halts and stays over a span of forty years in the 1313 BC in the Jewish tradition. This has attracted historians to explore the truth behind these claims but unfortunately, there has not been any such historical discovery or archaeological finding to stand as an evidence for large scale nomadic wanderings from that time period, as is culturally believed.

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The most popular tourist destination in Sinai Peninsula is the Mount Sinai and the Saint Catherine’s Monastery. While the Mount SInai has Biblical reference and also is popular by the name of Jabal Musa, the  Saint Catherine’s Monastery is considered to be the oldest working Christian monastery in the world! Besides, since Sinai is a peninsula, it is gifted with beautiful beaches. Beach Resorts like the Sharm-el-Sheikh, Taba, Nuweiba etc. are very popular. These beaches are easily accessible to people most of who arrive at the Sharm-el-Sheikh International Airport or through Eilat, Taba or Israel, or from Cairo by bus or train or even by ferry through Jordan. Over the past three decades, Sinai has attracted lots of tourists from all over the world to explore not just its rich scenic beauty but also explore is history.

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Sinai is one of the coldest provinces in Egypt due to its high altitudes and mountainous regions. More surprisingly, in the winters, the temperatures in some of the cities and towns of Sinai plummet to a freezing minus sixteen degrees celsius or a three degree fahrenheitEgyptians in very large numbers from the Nile Valley and Delta have emigrated and settled in the area of Sinai Peninsula to work in tourism. But unfortunately, while tourism industry is flourishing on one hand, at the same time development has negatively affected the native population of Sinai, the Bedouin population. So, to help overcome and alleviate these issues various Non-governmental organizations have come forward and have started to work in the Sinai Peninsula region. One of the very famous one is the Makhad Trust which is a charity trust based in United Kingdom. It basically assists and guides the Bedouin population in maintaining a sustainable level of  income. Besides, it also protects Sinai’s natural environment, cultural heritage and native and historical significance of the area and its people.

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Visit Virginia, Land of Rich History and Nature



Visit Virginia, Land of Rich History and Nature

Situated in the South Atlantic area, the U.S. State of Virginia is often called as the Mother of Presidents. As the birthplace of eight US Presidents the place certainly has political significance, but that is not all.

Virginia Landscapes

Virginia is a land with abundant natural and historical significance, making it a place worth visiting and exploring. The famous travel campaign ‘Virginia is for Lovers’, sums up Virginia quite well.  Be it the beautiful natural locales, or the historically layered sites, the energetic city life, the opportunities to indulge in adventure activities and sports, or to simply go on a drive replete with scenic road side views, Virginia caters to all kinds of travel lovers. There are many tourist attractions in Virginia depending on one’s taste and disposition:

Natural Attractions

Blue Ridge Mountains

Nestled between Blue Ridge Mountains, Chesapeake Bay, Shenandoah Valley, the state of Virginia provides some incredible scenic sights. The lakes in Southern Virginia, wineries in Northern Virginia, and the vivid and colorful scenery around the Virginian terrain make it a nature lover’s delight. A drive through these landscapes is full of scenic views. Beach lovers won’t be disappointed in Virginia either. The opportunities abound for them around Chesapeake Bay and many other beaches for instance the Virginia Beach.

Skyline Drive

 

You can simply go on drives and experience firsthand the beauty and vibrancy of Virginia’s landscapes. Such passages as the Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway are especially mention able. Giving access to the Shenandoah National Park, these drives are a must for all travelers. They make up for some astounding views across the way as well as from the destination to which they lead. In addition to the lush greenery, the waters of the mountainous springs and stunning waterfalls, he beautiful and varied trails that are available for travelers to explore, the opportunities of camping all make it that much more attractive.

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Shenandoah National Park, for instance, located between the Valley and Blue Ridge Mountains is a naturally abundant site. With various waterfalls like the Whiteoak Canyon, Rose River, Cedar Run within the boundaries of the park’s wilderness make up for some exciting hiking trails replete with beauty.

Historical Attractions

Garden Week

Virginia’s Historic Garden Week is another attraction of this place, which the traveler’s must catch. These walking tours are made available in different parts of Virginia, as almost all of Virginia has an incredibly rich and fascinating history dating back to 1607 when it was first colonized by the English. Virginia also happens to be the first New World English colony. Besides this the place also played a significant part in the American Revolution and Civil War. All of these add many interesting facets to Virginia’s history.

Historic Garden Week

This tour of the historic homes, outer buildings, some museums provide you with a glimpse of this fascinating history. Travelers can avail of such trips as the ‘Past to Present’ made available in the region of Courtland to mention just one. These Historic Garden Weeks have been in practice for some eight decades now, with each passing year making it even more remarkable for those inclined towards historically important tourist sites.

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One can visit the vast and old plantations of Virginia whose histories are steeped in slave labor. For instance Monticello is a popular tourist attraction. The Historic town, Jamestowne, Virginia War Museum, Black Soldiers Memorial, Richmond Slave Trail, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens are some of the other historically significant and popular tourist sites.

Cultural Attractions

Culinary Delights

There are many outdoor activities that are organized in different places in Virginia during different times. Many such events are organized all the year round, giving the travelers an opportunity to witness and engage with the local culture. These include events such as various wine tasting events organized most commonly by wineries, food festival to name a few. To experience the culinary delights that Virginia has to offer both in terms of beverages as well as sea food should be on all food lovers travel itineraries. These culinary events are not the only offerings. Many eclectic music festivals and events are organized across Virginia at various times.

Heritage Music Trail

The Crooked Road that connects the Blue Ridge Mountains and Heart of Appalachia is famous among tourists and music lovers. It is Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail.

Rustic Retreats

There are innumerable accommodation facilities of all kinds available across various regions of Virginia. But to make your stay more memorable you can opt for one of the Bed and Breakfasts, or cabins or cottages that are also readily available for travelers. These are bound to provide you with a unique traveling experience. To stay in B&B that date back to 18th and 19th centuries, living in these historic buildings, maintained as taverns or pubs of the ages gone by, or old mansions is an experience in itself. The fireplaces, authentic architecture all add to the overall experience. The log cabins and quaint cottages located in the mountainous, or forest regions in Virginia are very popular with travelers. They allow the visitors to have solitude besides being located in the middle of scenic hiking trails and beautiful vistas.

Virginia

Virginia with its varied terrains, vibrant events, and vividly fascinating history, makes for a delightful exploration. Travelers whether they be food lovers, history buffs, nature lovers, music enthusiasts, or simply those out on a sightseeing trip, Virginia has something to offer to all of them.

Great Blue Hole, Belize city



Great Blue Hole, Belize city

Belize city, the largest city in the central American country of Belize. It is located at the mouth of the Belize river on the cost of the Caribbean. Belize is a beautiful Caribbean gate way where tourists can laze away on white sandy beaches, dive in the western hemisphere’s largest barrier reef, hike through lush jungles. But the most importantly Belize is known for its most adventurous and extraordinary natural creation that is the great blue hole. A feature attraction of diving in Belize,  specially for divers with a appreciation of geographical phenomena, is the opportunity to explore the famed blue hole.

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The Great Blue Hole is a world-class destination for recreational scuba divers attracted by the opportunity to dive in crystal-clear waters and see myriad species of marine life including tropical fish and spectacular coral formations. The blue hole is located 45 miles away due east of ambergris caye, 75 km east of Belize city and 8 km north of half moon caye natural monument, is located at lighthouse reef atoll. The hole is almost perfectly circular over 1000 feet across and 400 feet deep and is almost surrounded by fringing reefs which make it an excellent snorkel adventurous spot. A blue hole is a cave inland or underwater sinkhole also called as vertical caves. There are many blue holes located around the world but the most famous can be found in Belize, Australia, Egypt and the Bahamas. Most blue holes contain freshwater and saltwater

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The Blue Hole of Belize is unique and is the only Blue Hole that can actually be seen from space with the naked eye. It is called blue hole because of the striking indigo blue color of the deep hole in comparison to  lighter shades of green and blue of the surrounding. The blue hole is considered a land mark of Belize is a prime attraction of the country. It was originally an above ground  cave and as the water levels rose the weight of the water caused the roof to collapse and form an almost perfect circular hole. The blue hole is more of dive destination but it also offer excellent snorkeling around the rim of the hole. This site was made famous by jacues yves Cousteau who declared this as one of the top ten best scuba diving sites in the world.

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From above, this renowned dive spot looks like a dark blue circle in the middle of a vast expanse of turquoise. Divers seek this limestone sinkhole for a challenge and a thrill, but also for an education in natural history. great hole has a total 11 underwater caves. They all vary in depth and length. The most shallow is the great blue hole at 124 meters to the most deep each year around 200000 people come from all over world to experience this extraordinary natural creation. This is also famous for 500 rare forms of animals and plants. On different locations you will find variety in the color of blue hole like few miles away it looks more turquoise in color as you come to close it looks crystal blue. the temperature in the blue hole at 130 ft is about 76 F with hardly any change throughout the year.

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The Great Blue Hole’s geological past spans 150,000 years, back to a time when it actually existed above ground, as evinced by the presence of stalactites in its underwater caves. Although many mysteries remain as to the origin of the great blue hole, scientists believe that a series of dry caves predating the Ice Age gave rise to the submerged sinkhole of today. Sometime before the last great thaw, an earthquake shook the area to an angle of 12 degrees, which explains why the stalactites hang so strangely tilted. Following this seismic upset, the melting of the last Ice Age flooded the cave systems and eventually the limestone ceilings of the once-dry caves collapsed under the weight of the water, creating one giant sinkhole 1,000 feet in diameter and over 400 feet deep.

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Now it is declared as world heritage for preservation for coming  generations. A plethora of plants and animals inhabiting the reef, lobsters, turtles and schools of bright fish swim and feed in patches of the purple coral found around the great blue hole. The marine life in this area includes nurse sharks, giant groupers and several types of reef sharks such as Caribbean reef shark and black tip shark. The most popular dive destination in Belize, the Great Blue Hole offers divers interesting observations of limestone formations that mold its walls. This massive sinkhole under the water is near the Lighthouse Reef and creates a perfect circle of deep blue water. The deeper one dives into the Great Blue Hole, the clearer the water and the more breathtaking the scenery, as the array of bizarre stalactites and limestone formations become more complex and intense.

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There is lot to enjoyed from the blue hole dive. Although the Great Blue Hole is most definitely great but it also required a certain level of experience and responsibility. So the Visitors visiting to Belize must not miss the opportunity to visit great blue hole, one of the world’s most recognizable natural wonders.

Balances Rock in the Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, Colorado



Balances Rock in the Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, Colorado

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Garden of the Gods is a remarkable and beautiful red rock public park located just minutes from downtown Colorado Springs, Colorado. It is one of the most magnificent places that one can visit in Colorado Springs. One of the most amazing experiences is just driving there. As you move towards the Garden of the Gods, you are surrounded by hills with grasses and trees and then out of nowhere you drive around a curve and come across massive red rock structures. It offers admission to some unforgettable scenery featuring unique and unusual sandstone rock formations which are about 300 feet high and stand silhouetted against the deep blue sky.

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The history of this park dates back to millions of years ago. These red rock formations were created during a geological disruption along a natural fault line. Archaeological evidence shows that prehistoric people visited Garden of the Gods about 1330 BC. This area was first called as Red Rock Corral. Later in 1859, two surveyors who helped to set up the Colorado City explored this place and named it as The Garden of the Gods by which it is famous today. Charles Perkin is known as the Godfather of the Garden of Gods who bought 480 acres of land which included the portion of the Garden of the Gods and upon his death his family gave away this land to the City of Colorado Springs with the condition that it would remain a free public place for people to visit forever. Having purchased additional surrounding land by the city, this park is now spread over 1,364 acres of land.

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Your first stop when you arrive at the park should be the Visitor and Nature Center which is directly across the street from the Main Entrance. At this place, you will get your orientation as to what needs to be done and seen first at the park. You can also pick up a free visitor’s guide and map which will help you to keep a track of the places that you visit. Also, you will be shown a wonderful 12 minute short video about this beautiful national monument at the centre. The park hours for the months of May to October are 5 am to 11 pm whereas in the month of November to April it is from 5 am to 9 pm. The park also has various programmes for the visitors like Nature walk, Living history tours and nature talk sessions.

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The Garden of the Gods Park is popular for hiking, walking, rock climbing, road and mountain biking and horseback riding.  It contains numerous trails for people including the handicapped. One of the most popular trails of the park is called the ‘Perkins’ which has been paved in an effort to combat the erosion of the park’s central garden caused by its many visitors. Because of the unusual and steep rock formations in the park, it is an attention grabber for the rock climbers.  Rock climbing is permitted for the visitors with annual permit obtained at the Visitor and Nature Centre. The requirements for rock climbing are following the “Technical Climbing Regulations and Guidelines” using proper equipment, climbing with a buddy and staying on established climbing routes. Precipitation makes rocks unstable and so climbing is restricted when the rocks are wet or icy. Certain annual events also take place in this park which includes two summer running races, Pro Cycling Challenge Prologue and bike rides.

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Of particular interest here are the scenic views of red sandstone formations, which include a balancing rock and kissing camels. Also the fantastic view of Pikes Peak is visible from here. The various scenic views of rock that are visible in the park are The Balanced rock, the sleeping giant, Kissing camels, three graces, cathedral spires, Steamboat rock, Siamese Twins, Tower of Babel. The Balanced Rock, one of the most famous sites was exposed for more than 60 million years ago when the existing Rocky Mountains rose. To obtain this current shape, the soft bottom layer of shale worn off much faster than the harder sandstone above. Astonishingly, narrow pedestal supporting Balanced Rock has held the 700 ton weight for thousands of years now.

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Now moving on to the landscape here, it has a wide amount of vegetation, cliffs and different types of rock formations. Some of the particular type of vegetation found here are native grasses, bushes, ponderosa pine trees, cactus and yucca. The cliffs and rock formations include both red and white sandstone. Certain rocks also have pine tree growing on them near the top of the rocks. There are also many wild animals found here which include the mule deer, bighorn sheep and fox. There are about 130 species of birds including the white throated swifts, canyon wrens and swallows.

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The Garden of Gods is in fact a magnificent place. Just like the name suggests, one can imagine that the Gods would come down to this place and rejoice themselves in these gorgeous surroundings where the handicraft of Nature makes you realize how wonderful these unique places really are. This place is a must visit for everyone to see the beautiful creations of nature.