Monthly Archives: April 2014

The Lovely Longwood Gardens, United States.



The Lovely Longwood Gardens, United States.

Rows of exotic plants, flowers, trees and fruits, make The Longwood gardens a paradise for Botanists. Located in Kenett square, Pennsylvania, United States, in the Brandywine Creek Valley, the Longwood gardens consist of, over 1,077 acres of gardens, meadows and woodlands. The Longwood gardens have their arms wide open throughout the year, for visitors to come and enjoy the exotic plants and Horticulture. The gardens are open to educational lectures, courses and workshops. There are a lot of people who willingly participate in the events taking place in the gardens.

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A little into history..

The present day Longwood gardens were earlier a working farm. Originally called Peirce’s park, the garden was open to the public since its first days. The owners of the park had accumulated one of the finest collections of exotic trees in the nation of United States.

An industrialist of that time Pierre S. du Pont, bought the farm and saved the trees from getting hacked down. The farm was now a private estate. Du Pont added extensively to the property. Additions such as the gigantic conservatory, a humongous Pipe Organ, a musical instrument commonly used in Churches and Cathedrals, were made. The Gardens were decorated with large systems of fountains. All in all, the Longwood gardens could be called a perfect imitation of the gardens of Eden. They are a paradise for botanists, bird watchers and people looking for solace away from the city and into nature’s lap.

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Presently, the Longwood gardens consist of 20 indoor gardens and 20 outdoor gardens. These gardens exist in the 4.5 acre, heated conservatories also referred to as Green houses. These green houses, comprise of all sorts of exotic plants and trees within them. The gardens contain 11,000 different species of trees and plants within its boundaries. Trees of all shapes, sizes and origins exist in these gardens. The fountains spread all across the gardens, cut the monotony of the green with pearl white, making the combination an absolute treat to the eyes.

The gardens have a number of educational programs, which include a two year tuition free school of Horticulture, a graduate program and offer various other internships. Around 800 horticultural and performing arts events are hosted at the gardens every year. Events ranging from flower show, courses, gardening demonstrations, children programs, to concerts, from organ and carillon recitals, musical theatre, to fountain shows and firework displays, all find shelter in the garden, you name it and its there. If you are out in a holiday season during Christmas, the garden has an elaborate display of lights in store for you.

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Information for aspiring Botanists, the massive conservatory situated at the Longwood gardens, is one of the world’s greatest greenhouse structures, which is a home to some 5,500 types of plants. A tour of the 20 indoor gardens, spanning a half mile, shall consume an hour and a half. The greenhouse gardens, each with its own special display of plants, include the Orangery, Silver gardens, acacia passage, orchid house, cascade garden, palm house, Mediterranean garden, tropical terrace and the outdoor water garden display. These displays are as beautiful and exotic as their names. The gardens have undergone a lot renovations and expansions, since the time they were constructed.

This beautiful gift of nature attracted around 900,000 visitors in the year 2009. West 8, a Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning firm, that has its headquarters in Rotterdam and an office in New York City, was hired to execute the plans laid down for the growth and expansion of the Longwood gardens, for the next four decades. The motive West 8 set for itself was to celebrate Longwood, enjoy it, preserve it, keep it, while looking for ways to make it function as a splendid place for a larger group of people in the 21st Century.

The most eye catching feature of the Longwood gardens is the massive Pipe Organ designed by Firmin Swinnen, a Belgian musician who moved to the United States and became a popular theatre organist in New York City. The Organ’s pipes filled fourteen railway freight cars and they needed a 72 horsepower blower motor to supply wind pressure. The Pipe Organ was one of the largest musical instruments to have been installed in a private residence. When the four manual Pipe Organ plays in the Longwood Garden ballroom the melodious sounds of it, can be heard all throughout the conservatory, when the adjoining panel windows are left open. The Organ itself has undergone renovation lately.

If you have always been attracted to fairytales and believe in the fact that trees and flowers and the soothing sounds of trickling water, all have healing powers. If trees manage to capture your attention, if flowers make you thank nature, just by the mere sight of theirs. If you are an ardent admirer of nature’s beauty. If you too get surprised by the play and display of colors and hues that are present in nature’s palate. If you are tired of living a monotonous life, in the concrete city jungles and want a respite, that shall work as a balm to soothe your sore soul, then this nature’s bounty awaits your arrival!

Maldives of Thailand, Koh Chang



Maldives of Thailand, Koh Chang

Koh_ChangKoh Chang is an island located in the Trat Province in Eastern Thailand. It is the second largest island of Thailand. There are only about 5000 residents on this island and hence it is not very populated however tourism has increased a lot in the recent years. The name of this place means Elephant Island and it is so called because of the elephant shape of its headland. The island is spread over an area of 217 square kilometres and is home to about nine villages. Before World War II little was known about this place and was mainly famous for piracy and was also the ground for sea battles between French naives and the Thai. However, now this place is famous for its chain of white sand beaches, several waterfalls, coral reefs jagged mountains, the rich marine life and the pristine rain forests.

HOW TO GET THERE?

Koh Chang has no airport of its own. The nearest airport to this place is Trat. There are three flights in a day by Bangkok Airways from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport to Trat. It takes an hour to reach Trat and from here you can reach the island by taking a bus or a taxi. You can also travel by road. There are two main roads to reach Koh Chang that run along the east and west coast. Both of these roads start at Ao Sapparot in the north near the ferry piers. You can also take a ferry to reach here. Ferries are available from Laem Ngob in Trat town to Koh Chang.

SIGHT SEEING AND ACTIVITIES

Hat Sai Khao

Hat Sai Khao also known as the White Sand Beach is the most developed area on the island and also one of the busiest. As far as accommodation is concerned, the beach is full of thatched huts and wooden bungalows. There are also many luxury suites and duplex rooms available. There are many hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops near the beach. It has one of the best night life on the island with many bars, nightclubs and jazz clubs. However, it is not the beach for you if you are looking for some quiet peaceful time.

White sand beach

Klong Prao Beach

Another famous beach is the Klong Prao Beach. The northern part of this beach is busier with many three star resorts and shopping plazas compared to the southern part. This is relatively less crowded compared to the White Sand Beach. The Southern part is not very well developed but it is easy to walk along the beach and get away from the crowded places.

Klong Prao Beach

Lonely Beach

If you have a limited budget and you plan on spending more on food and drink rather than on accommodation then this is the place for you. There are many cheap eateries too over here. It is a perfect place for a backpacker. This is also the party capital of the island and parties go on until five in morning with loud music. So if you are the peace loving person then this place is definitely not for you.

Lonely beach

Elephant trekking

This is one of the most famous activities on this Island of Koh Chang. It gives you a chance to glace the mountains, rivers and the beautiful forests. You also get a chance to see the forests that are packed with coconut trees and banana plants. Chang Chutiman Elephant camp offers this ride for 500 Baht for an hour and 900 Baht for two hours. For kids under the age of five it is available for free.

Elephant trekking

Waterfalls

There are many scenic waterfalls on the island. It will cost around 200 baht to enter the national parks to see these falls. Klong Plu is the most popular and also the only waterfall on the west side of the island. This fall can be reached to via Khlong Prao. The Klong Nuend waterfall is said to be the most breathtaking waterfall on the island. The Thanmayom fall is the largest waterfall of the island. Klong Nonsi fall is another scenic waterfall locaed on the east side of the island. About three kilometres away from the Salak Petch village is a medium sized waterfall called as Khiri Petch. There are five waterfalls in Kongoi near Bang Bao which are equally scenic and beautiful.

waterfall

This island is also very famous for numerous water sport activities. Snorkelling and diving are some of the most popular activities among tourists. You can see eel, coral reefs and anemones over here. If you are lucky then you can also spot a white shark which is very rare close to Hin Phrai Nam. You can also go hiking as there are many jungle treks here. There are many Thai cooking schools too which you could join as it is a great opportunity for a traveller to create their own delicious Thai food. You can spend a few hours and learn all the different types of vegetable as well as fruit carving Also you could visit the Bang Bao Fishery village. There are many fishing trips scheduled which you can join too. This is a beautiful island you can visit in Thailand away from the crowd and comparatively less known is what makes it one of the most peaceful places in Thailand.

MOVIE WORLD: THEME PARK OF AUSTRALIA



MOVIE WORLD: THEME PARK OF AUSTRALIA

movie world

Where movie and its characters come to life and get you from reel life of theirs in real life! Warner brothers Movie world is one of Australia most popular theme park, in the city of Gold Coast, Queensland. Opened in June 1991, the movie related theme park is entertaining and serving its visitors with all the fun packed adventure, rides, parades, live shows and lots more of fascination.

movie world, stars paradeAccording to the Warner Bros. movie world is a place where excitement and magic of a world, where movies come to life. Movie world has all for the people of all age group. Along with the adventure rides, there are many other shows and things to do for people who don’t prefer rides for some of the reasons. Movie world is designed in a manner that one can lost their selves in the world of movies, specially their favorites. A holiday is not complete to gold coast without a visit to Movie world, where there are lots of thriller activities for youngsters, kids play zone and rides for smaller ones and with various live performances and parades going on complete family fun.

There are various interactive shows like star streets parade, in which characters come live and parade for you in their very own movie avatar. Starting from 3.30 pm, one can get to see all -star avatars like looney tunes characters and heroes, batman, superman and other DC heroes, villains, Scooby doo, bugs bunny, mystery gang etc. starting from the Big screen parade will go till main street and return, here ones get a chance to click photographs with those famous Warner Bros. movie characters and a chance to interact them. Visitors with age of any group won’t live a chance to interact with them.

There are various live shows and performances which goes on in the movie world. One needs to check the timings prior the day of visiting to make sure that they don’t miss any exciting shows. The general show which takes place are Hollywood stunt driver2, Journey to the center of the earth 2 in 4d, which fascinates the visitors with the 4d venture and experience. Batman- shadows of Gotham, Scooby-Doo, disco detectives and star parade are the few of the shows and live performance. The shows though change within the period of times. There are various cars inside the movie world, which are used in the movie.car used in movies, movie world

Arkhum asylum, the one in its kind is only found in Movie world. It’s a super thrill ride which will that speeds up at 85km and as the ride starts, with five different electrifying inversions one will spin and twist by pulling 4.2Gs apart from the technical part one will come across with all the criminal minds who is trying to pest Gotham city. With the villains like Joker, Harley, Quinn and killer crook it needs a brave and strong heart to experience the adventure ride thrill.arkhum asylum

Green Lantern Roller Coaster is a new roller coaster in Movie world which will let one experience the steepest inverted drop of the southern hemisphere. Wide west falls adventure rides offers one to explore the thrill through the ghost towns, geysers, indian villages etc. the thrill of falling down of a 20m height in the speed of 70km/hr directly into the water is an adventure one should not miss on. Batwing space shot is near the entrance of the Movie world which is one of the high adrenalin ride along with the green lantern coaster and superman escape which with the same amount of 4.5G will go straight up and down again in real speed.batwing space ride

Road Runner Roller coaster, is another ride though with not much thrill as others, but a good option for mid age kids. Superman escape is one of the thrilling roller coaster ride of Movie World. The super adventure ride is based on Superman rescuing a train in the middle of an earthquake, with the super-fast speed of 0 to 100km/h in freaking only 2seconds. The thrill along with the stretch of 760 metres of ups and downs along with all twist and turns is a reall adventurous thriller ride to try for. Scooby Doo Spooky coaster is another fun filled coaster based on the movie shoot, with lots of spooky ghosts and creatures coming across. These were few of the rides for elders with a brave hearts.superman roller coaster ride

For kids, features a magical cartoon world with all famous looney tunes characters like bugs bunny, daffy duck, tweety, porky pig etc. with rides like Yosemite sam railroad, looney tunes carousel, tweety and sylvester cages, Tijuana taxis, looney tune splash zone etc.kidzone, movie world

There are many restaurants available inside the Movie world offering all meals and there are many ice crème parlors and pasterie shops. Thus refreshment and food is not a tension one inside the Movie world. With lots of shops selling toys and items of the movie characters, movie world becomes a perfect destination for one day indulgence.

Movie world is accessed by roads, located in Pacific Motorway, Gold coast, Queensland.  It’s around 45-60mins route from Gold coast and around 90mins from Brisbane airport. There are local transports and other private vehicles available for Movie world. Movie world also provides transfers with the prior bookings. There are many accommodation options available near Movie world and in Gold Coast.

An experience to Movie world is thus worth with all the memories which will last life- long.

Shaoguan, China



Shaoguan, China

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Shaoguan is a prefecture level city located in the north of Guangdong province in the Republic of China. To the northwest it borders Hunan and to its northeast is Jiangxi. It is also home to the remains of the sixth Zen Buddhist patriarch Huineng. It is very famous for its surrounding nature and the hot springs. This is the major reason to attract the tourists. It has a long standing history of more than 2100 years. Initially Shaoguan was called ‘the famous county of south of five ridges’. Also due to its unique geographical position and a very well developed transportation system it has been the key land passage of North China and the lower and the middle reaches of the Changjiang River. With beautiful mountains and the numerous scenic spots that this city has to offer it makes it a must visit.

HOW TO GET THERE?

You can take a flight to the Guangzhou Baiyun Airport which is the closest to Shaoguan. And from here you can take an intercity bus which will further help you to reach Shaoguan. There are also trains available to reach Shaoguan.  You can take a train ride from Guangzhou which takes about three hours. There is also a bullet train which takes about fifty minutes to an hour but is a bit more costly than the other trains.

SIGHTS

Nanhua Temple

The Nanhua temple is a very popular Buddhist site located about 22 kilometres away from the city downtown area in the northern part of Guangdong Province. Hui Neng, the sixth Patriarch of the Chan School of Buddhism used to live here and also teach. This temple has a history as old as 1500 years and keeps some of the many national treasures, the body of Han Shan and is also a very important pilgrimage site for the practitioners of Zen Buddhism. There is a hall of Heavenly Kings which was initially built by the Ming Dynasty in 1474 and later rebuilt during the Qing Dynasty. And in the centre of the temple is the Grand Hall which has a few Buddha Statues.

Nanhua

Danxia Mountain

The Danxia Mountain boasts of the largest scenic area and has some of the most beautiful scenery. It is also a very famous Geopark of the world. It is formed from fresh reddish sandstone which has eroded now over time and turned into a series of mountains which are surrounded by curvaceous cliffs and has some of the most unusual rock formations. There are many temples located on the mountains and there is an old monastery too. There is a river which flows through the mountains where boat trips are allowed. It was also marked as UNESCO marked World Heritage Site in the year 2010.

Danxia

Nanling National Forest Park

This National Park is situated in Ruyuan Yao Nationality Autonomous County. The park is spread over an area of 27300 hectares. This is the core Zone of Nanling Mountain and it is also the only virgin forest in Guangdong that is preserved. It is also the only forest which has an oasis with the largest area in the areas that have the same latitude in the world. The park also has some scenic spots like the number one peak in Guangdong with an altitude of 1902 meters, the Water Loving valley, a small yellow mountain and the numerous waterfall groups.

Nanling national park

Guangdong Grand Canyon

This canyon is situated in Guangdong Ruyuan Yao Autonomous Dabu Town. The Grand Canyon is of up to 15 kilometres and is more than 300 metres deep. It has a number of splendid waterfalls and waterways. The largest waterfall here is about 200 metres in height. There is a place called ‘Heavenly Stairs’ having 1386 stairs where you can ascend from the bottom to the top of the canyon. This is one of the top tourist destinations in Guangdong as rated by foreigners. Although it is a little tiring to get to this place as compared to others but it is definitely worth it. The timings of this canyon are from 8 am to 5 pm and it is open every day.

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Jiangwan District

This district is situated approximately 30 minutes away from Shaoguan. You can take a city bus from Shaoguan East Train Station to the last stop. This place is stretched along a river valley and has two hot springs. At one of the hot springs you can also take a bath. There is a small traditional village here which you can visit. There are also many trekking opportunities available in the side valleys. You can walk along the main road in Jiangwan and then cross the Mountains to reach Dabu town and also go to Guangdong Grand Canyon.

Jiangwang

Thus, Shaoguan has a lot of tourism  resources among which the major attractions are the once mentioned above and apart from that there are many more sights which are worth a visit like Zhuji Alley which is also a hometown to the millions of overseas Chinese, Maba Man Ancient Ruin, Shixia Cultural Remains, Nanxiong Dinosaur ancient living creation fossil, the beautiful Hakka Buildings and the Fengcai Buildings. Thus with the beautiful mountains to the scenic sights and temples, this city has too much to offer for every tourist.

Cu Chi tunnels, Vietnam’s relic



Cu Chi tunnels, Vietnam’s relic

The Vietnam war left behind paged of history, radical defense systems and war strategies that was wholly the invention of the Vietnamese. The singular conception of all these put together is what remains today as the Cu Chi tunnels in Vietnam. These tunnels that cover the length of a whole city under the was literally, a ground breaking strategy drawn out by the nation’s Military during the French occupation in the 1940s. But it was the 1960s Vietnamese war with USA that elongated these underground structures into a networked system used extensively by the army for defense, shelter and army forces. Weapons, goods, documents detailing US military strategies and of course heaps of people resided in the bottom of these germ infested tunnels till the war reached an end.

Although the war itself happened outside in broad daylight, Cu Chi forms the biggest piece of memory left behind from it. Today it is a bustling site for tourists who are held at awe by the genius handiwork of the Vietnamese who hand but only hands and small tools to create this confounding underground system. Whilst all the bombings echoed in the distance, the people of Cu Chi continued their lives beneath the soil where they were held safe with the promise of food rations, sleep, and the most important thing they needed – buffer time before planning a counter attack. Although the conditions weren’t ideal and deteriorating health was a common worry, there were almost 10,000 people who lived and died in these tunnels, making it a monumental space.

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There are two locations from where these post-war sites are accessible to the public. The first tunnel is called Ben Duoc and the second is called Ben Dinh The most widely accessed tunnel is the Ben Dinh which is roughly a 2 hour travel from the city of Saigon. Getting there shouldn’t be a concern at all as many active tourist group packages are found in teeming numbers. Both sites have an ample number of public bus, taxi and even speedboat services plying to the site and back. Getting there can be an inexpensive affair of a mere 5 dollars and the entry to the tunnel is also found to be light on the wallet.

When you reach the site, you would have reached a walking track in middle of a clearing with twigs and leaves heaved in strays and piles across the ground. Tourists crowd around looking about, but beyond the trees and the pathways there is no sign of any secret underground passage way. ‘So, where is the tunnel?’ you might think. Look again, you might just be standing right on it!

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Well even if that isn’t true, on a windy autumn day when the tunnel entrance is shut, its close to impossible to spot it. That is because these tunnel openings are found to be brilliantly designed trapdoors that camouflage with the ground, lying incognito to escape the enemy eyes. But beneath the ground, shrouded by the sounds of the wind and the birds lies a tunnel track measuring almost 250 kilometers in length.

The Ben Duoc tunnel tour is about 60 minutes long. But right after that, there is a nearby temple which exists as a part of the same site. As Ben Duoc lies near a prominent water body, there are many attractive restaurants on the river which is also linked to the same place. This site offers up to four tunnel segments for you to clamber into, crawl through and explore. In fact, it is quite a task for the big-boned to squeeze themselves into these tunnels (it is generally prohibited by the guides if that is the case). The insides of the tunnel are quite breath catching, displaying human hand design and will to survive. But while taking an appreciating view of all of it, a bug spray in your bag will go a long way, most definitely till the end of the tunnel!
Ben Dinh is the more crowded, commercialized tunnel site. Most mapped out tours and and tour packages have opted for this as this site is home to the large number of redesigned tunnels. But even the Ben Dinh can foster many bats and mosquitoes, so stick to the bug spray in any case, even if these tunnels seem wider and more welcoming.

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As far as claustrophobia goes, yes, each tunnel is lowly built as one would anticipate. So if you’re afraid of cramped spaces, this trip isn’t designed for you. But the good news is that the stoop roofs and the cramped passages only extend for 40 meters or so. Beyond that are semi structures and sub-tunnels which were thankfully reworked on to give tourists a better view of things. This is widely prominent in the Ben Dinh. This tunnel network has been worked into, creating bigger cavities in the existing structure to facilitate display of the various booby traps and war weapons used. There are also models depicting how the tunnel was housed by people. Also for the most significant improvement that made the tunnels more viable by tourists, one must thank electricity! Unlike in the war days, where the enemy troops could not see five feet beyond their footsteps, the tunnels are now lit up with low voltage lighting so as to make the passage ways clearer without reducing their maze-like feel.

In order to enhance the tourist appeal of the site even further, more number of shops selling local souvenir, traditional goods and war memorabilia are set up at the end of the walking track. Food and drink stalls that line the entrance may seem a little out of place in this war site ridden by disease, deaths and battle. But you will thank their presence when the half a day long tedious trip is over. An added bonus of the trip are the samples of boiled tapioca one can to conclude your trip.

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The tunnels have unspoken words of tenacity and survival determination displayed by the Vietnamese, etched along their historic passageways. Despite braving diseases and rampant illnesses like malaria (which the second most prominent cause of death after death by war) the people, we come to understand, meticulously forged the tunnels with bare hands, disregarding disease and fighting for survival.

Strawberry Paradise – Mahableshwar



Strawberry Paradise – Mahableshwar

Mahableshwar

The marvel of the encompassing mountains and the chilly yet soothing breeze outside makes this a perfect hill station for a short trip. Mahableshwar is situated in Satara district of Maharashtra and is one of the favorite hill stations of the people of this state. Quiet easily accessible by road, the place can be comfortably reached with no difficulties in finding it. The soaring peaks and the spell binding valleys prove to be an amusing destination for the people who love relaxing in the beauty of the nature. With the temperatures well below the average temperatures all year round, and heavy down pours during the monsoon months, people come here basically to chill, both physically and mentally. The monsoon months are not considered suitable because of the torrential rains that the place receives. It practically shuts down the entire hill station’s tourism due to the intensity of the showers. On the contrary, the rest of the year is considered as the peak period and sees crowds of youngsters and couples flocking in to spend some quality time.  Covered in beautiful canopies of greens and humungous ranges of Western Ghats on one side, it has a picturesque scenario which welcomes the tourists from all the places. The atmosphere being apt for the growth of the red glistening beauties, the strawberry cultivations here are immensely popular. People especially visit this place to taste the heavenly combination of the succulent strawberries with fresh whipped cream and ice cream. Also, you cannot resist taking home the freshly made strawberry jam and crush for relishing the taste and memories of this place. You will get to view a number of horses in the locality as well, offering you a ride wherever you go to wherever you have to go. They also have a lot of colorful carriages that take you on evening rides through the winding roads.

Mapro Gardens

Mapro    strawberries

If you have been to Mahableshwar and returned without visiting the Mapro gardens then your trip is officially considered incomplete. A park renowned for its stunning strawberry produce, it is an absolute must to taste the lip smacking combination of strawberry and whipped cream. There is also a snack center that serves you with the yummy toast sandwiches and other spicy varieties. The sweet dishes, almost all of them, will be found with small pieces of strawberries sprinkled all over or a generous stack of the whole fruit kept besides it. The place serves as an important halt if you are planning to take some original fruit jams and mind blowing crushes.

Points to be noted

Sunset point   Elephant point

An enchanting experience of the yellowish orange skies and the setting sun in front of you and the wide spread greenery lying beneath in the valleys surrounding cannot be missed. The sunset point allures the tourists due to its striking valley features and the pleasant breeze that accompanies the sunset view. Also known as the Bombay point, this place has a lot more than just the sunset. The Wilson point and Kate points are famous for these mesmerizing events along with the Sunset point. For the early bloomers, you can catch a similar scenario with fewer crowds to disturb your peaceful moment in the form of sunrise. The Elephant point is another place where you get to see the deep valleys and a face of the plateau that resembles the head of an elephant.

Pratapgad Fort

 

The symbolic icon of the Maratha Empire, this fort has been mentioned in the history for numerous times. It is the same place where the legendry Shivaji Maharaj had cunningly managed to put an end to the mighty Afzal Khan during their meet. Just 24km away from the main Mahableshwar, this point can be covered in a days’ time. The fort comprises of an array of ponds and chambers. Along with this, it also has dark alleys that lead to a dead end where all you see is a 100m deep fall. Built in the year 1656, the place offers you quiet an explicit view of the greens and the plateau with valleys in the middle. Apart from this, there are a lot of water falls as well in the vicinity of this area where you can get soaked in the cold waters.

Venna lake

The place incorporates the interest of all types of people. The people who love to find a retreat in the heart of the nature are always welcomed with greens everywhere. There are a few hotels that offer such kind of rooms or huts that are located amidst the foliage to give you a true experience of residing in the natural beauty. The place guarantees you complete relaxation and peace. For the people who love trekking, it also offers easy to moderate climbs through the forests. To make the deal better, at the end of the hike it treats your eyes with a colorful combination of the blue waterfalls, the green bushes, colorful flowers and the brown mountain ranges. The Venna Lake is another spot which offers you the joy of boating. It also has other small games like go karting points and gaming zones which are offered at various locations. For the shopaholics, the bazaar has a variety of shoes especially, apart from the normal shopping stuff. A near perfect endeavor of peace and excitement entangled into one another, it hits the right spot when you decide onto a short refreshing trip.  It offers to pamper your mind and tongue together with the serene panorama of the trees and the taste of sweet and satiating strawberries on your tongue.

 

 

BAMBOO FOREST, JAPAN



BAMBOO FOREST, JAPAN

Sagano Bamboo Forest,Japan

 

Sagano Bamboo Forest,Japan

Sagano Bamboo Forest,Japan

Sagano Bamboo Forest is one of the most significant natural place in Japan.It is one of the top sights with lengthy stalks of bamboos in the mid forest.Thousands of bamboos are lined together one after another which is nearly 150 feet high,straight as pillars standing like disciplined soldiers who are waiting for a combat.

Location:

Location of Sagano Bamboo Forest

Location of Sagano Bamboo Forest

The Sagano  Bamboo Forest is situated at the north west in Kyoto basin near the Tenryū-ji Temple of Japan around an area of 16 square kilometers.The bamboo forest can be reached by train in Kyoto in about half an hour.

This area has been a popular visiting spot from the period of Heians at the time of 8th to 11th century where the nobles would come here to enjoy its natural view.The place Arashiyama is pretty popular at the time of fall due to its cherry blossoms.

Bamboo Forest is truly earth’s special wonder.It is not only famous for its beauty but also for its sound producing by the wind as it is blown through the bamboo groves.The sound of the wind has been predicted as the most “one hundred must-be preserved sounds of Japan” by the Japanese Government.The sound produced bu the sound of the bamboo trees caused by the swings of them resembles a lullaby which causes them to sleep.The sound is produced by the rustle of leaves against the trunks ,swinging of the bamboos creates a slow melodious music.

Monkey Park in Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

Monkey Park in Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

The bamboo forests are believed that they are surrounded to protect the people against evil.These bamboo forests are located around the mountains,the top of the mountains is reached through the forest paths where the stunning panaroma of the forest and the river is revealed.Also, on  top of the mountain peak,there is a Mountain Park where several monkeys roam freely.

A textile product from the bamboos

A textile product from the bamboos

At 19th century,when Edison was looking for good bamboos for filament materials for his light bulb experiment,the Kyoto recommended two sources of bamboo where one of them is this one but due to some conditions,he used the other one.The bamboo here is used to manufacture many products like boxes,cups baskets,mats which are very beautifully made are sold in this area.Also,it is used in building.art,textiles,paper making.

Sunshine in Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

Sunshine in Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

The view of the Arashiyama’s Bamboo Forest is just like being in another world.The shape,color and sound of the bamboo plants are not only unique but also gives a poetic essence.The bamboo trees has a color of green and gray which is dependent on its height and the amount of rays passed through the sun.The light and shadows are really impressive when we look upside.Especially,when the sun is shining and a gentle breeze comes to the movement of trees this is a picture perfect scene.

The weather there is really unpredictable and often rainy weather is present.So,it is better to carry an umbrella,scarfs ,boots and even jackets as it has a very cool climate.

The walking path of the bamboo forest

The walking path of the bamboo forest

The fence of the bamboo forest

The fence of the bamboo forest

The 200 meter walking path which cuts through the bamboo groves is a pleasant one and is a nice trekking area.Also,the railing on the road sides are composed of old and withered parts of the bamboos.As the walking path is all fenced and railed,the bamboo plants are watched from a distance.It is a really wonderful place for strolling and even through bike rides we can view this.Through the path,we can smell the bamboos also.

Resembling light house

Resembling light house

The slight bending of the old bamboos

The slight bending of the old bamboos

 

After the complete growth of the bamboos,they seem to be like an old lighthouse bending a little and their top part is like a halfway Pisa Tower.The bending is due to its over weight of the upper part of branches and older branches and their leaves.This is popular as they withstand for any type of weather-in winter,summer and even through storms.It is truly elegant and mesmerizing.

Unfortunately,due to farming pressures and population,there is a decrease of bamboo production in the past 30 years.

The Kyoto-Arashiyama Hanatoro Festival

The Kyoto-Arashiyama Hanatoro Festival

Lights illuminated through the Bamboo Forest

Lights illuminated through the Bamboo Forest

The nearest another tourist attraction is the Kyoto-Arashiyama Hanatoro Festival,held in mid-December around Sagano and Arashiyama.In this festival,nearly 2,500 oriented lamps are lit and people enjoy the night walk which definitely is an amazing sight.Many nearby temples and shrines are lit up and also the bamboo grove road going on between Nonomiya Shrine and Okochi cottage.The lights at nightime really fascinating.

Thus due to its special features and the exciting and breath taking beauty is really a festival for natural lovers.It really is a natural wonder which brings the popularity not only throughout the town Arashiyama but also Japan.It brings the tourists to visit this place every year increasing its number.It is really an worth going visiting center in the world.

 

KASAULI: COLONIAL CHARM OF HIMACHAL PRADESH



KASAULI: COLONIAL CHARM OF HIMACHAL PRADESH

kasauli

Kasauli is a beautiful cantonment and town located in the district of Solan, in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India. The beautiful town of Kasauli is 77 kms away from the very famous hill station of India, Shimla and 70 kms from Chandigarh.

With the cool temperature of 15 degrees and the touch of colonial era during the British times, it’s easy to line any tourists with the early morning mist clogged in the beautiful hills of Shivalik. The combination of pine and oak trees all over makes the hill station and the surrounding gardens and orchards more scenic with the pleasing cool climate in the mountain ranges. The splendor of the nature cherishes the charm of the colonial era. Only rare knows about the scenic beauty of the place and according to the epic some says that only after the Lord Hanuman’s feet touched the place in the reach of Sanjeevani hill, the place is said to come into existence. Kasauli is located at 1972metres above the sea level. Kasauli is a good place for all those who wish to spend some time off work and the stress of city life or for those who want to spend long quality times with their family and loved ones. With the picturesque beauty of the place, this hill station is perfect for honeymooners and for camping. Many to them don’t mind spending their life in Kasauli after retirement in the fresh air and lively atmosphere of Kasauli.kasauli1

There are many good places in Kasauli to explore the beauty of the place and many activities to indulge oneself with the beauty. With the small town are few of the small attractions. Manki point in Kasauli is most popular spot of the hill station. It’s one of the highest peak in Kasauli. The place has the temple of the great Lord Hanuman as it is said that he touched this place with his feet while in the search of the sanjeevani hill, which is a magical herb which was used to cure Laxman, young brother of Lord Ram, as written in the Ramayana. Thus the place famous is famous for its Hindu religious values. In today’s time the place falls under the air-force boundaries, so if lucky one can get chance to interact with the army man. Apart from these facts, the place has a splendid beauty to watch out for. The place offers the panaromic beauty of Kasauli.

manki point

Christ church is a magnificent structure in Kasauli built in ancient days by the Britishers. The shape of the church is that of a cross, and the architecture of the church makes it a tourist spot.

kasauli upper mall housings

The upper mall is another hotspot tourist attraction. One of the happening area in Kasauli, or offers the travellers and tourists beautiful picturesque of valleys, flower gardens, hills, and beautiful bungalows and few of the heritage buildings.  Lower mall is also one of the popular place of Kasauli. Though upper mall is of the royal people, lower mall gives you a feel like walking in the British colonies. The mall, compromising of upper mall and lower mall, reflects the life of the colonial era. Lower mall is famous for its delicacies and popular food available in kasauli. It’s the best place for all the food lovers and they will definitely treat their taste buds with mouth-watering dishes. One can have yummy bunsams which are easily available at chai stalls all over kasauli. There are lots of restaurants and eateries one can find in the lanes of the lower mall. Lower mall also offers one with the option of good shopping options, there are many shops selling handicraft items all around.

lower mall kasauli

Gilbert and the sunset point is another beautiful destination in the town of Kasauli. Gilbert trail is one of the best place for trekkers offering breathtaking beauty of the hill station which is beyond comparison.

gilbert trAIL

Sunset from this point is much better than the sunset point, the view of the sun settling in and the foggy clouds in the sky with chilling cold and breeze can just indulge anyone in the world of beautiful nature. The splendid beauty of the place can win anyone’s heart and will make them visit the place more often.

sunset point

Kasauli brewery is the old brewery of the 19th century, which in today’s date is still famous for its drinks like Old Monk rum, Summer hall, diplomat deluxe whiskey and Black Knight. The brewery is open for visitors from 7am to 7pm, one can have a full filled experience while visiting the brewery. Thus Kasauli brewery is one of the tourist place in Kasauli.OLD MONK. KASAULI

There are many more tourist attractions like monkey point, Shri Baba Balak nath temple, Kasauli Bapist Church, Shirdi Sai Baba Mandir, Central Research institute, Gurka fort etc. One can indulge in activities like camping in the valleys of Kasauli, hiking etc. Kasauli club offers amazing nightlife for all party lovers and is famous amongst the youngsters of the place and the visitors. There are many good hotels and restaurants serving amazing food all over Kasauli. Residential option is also the best in Kasauli.COLONIAL CHARM OF KASAULI

Kasauli is accessed easily by roadways through private vehicles, buses etc. nearest airport to Kasauli is Shimla an nearest railway station is Kalka. Through these stations Kasauli is easily accessed by roadways. Accommodation option is the best in Kasauli as there are many good hotels all around kasauli. Lodges, guestrooms, cottages etc are also easily available in Kasauli.

Visiting Kasauli is thus a treat for self and is a true colonial charm in real sense with beautiful climate and picturesque views all over which pleases the heart and soul.

MUNNAR: EMERALD HILL STATION OF KERALA



MUNNAR: EMERALD HILL STATION OF KERALA

munnar1

Green treat for the eyes and a true paradise for all the greenery lovers. Munnar is a small quaint town located in the green state of India, Kerala, is a beautiful hill paradise with tea plantations all over.  Located in South India, munnar is located 1600metres above the sea level. Once a summer hill resort to the British government before independence, Munnar  is the result of the association of the three main mountain streams. Mudraphuza, Kundala, Nallanthani are the three mountain streams. The greenery of the tea plantation, beautiful picturesque view along the windy breeze and clouds, beautiful and exotic flora and fauna of the place and the grasslands makes Munnar the popular tourist destination for holidaying in South India. Munnar still reflects the traditional touch of typical India. The name Munnar means three rivers, resulting in the greenery.  Munnar is also blessed with beautiful waterfalls adding to the scenic beauty.

munnar3

Apart from the lush green pastures and beautifull hills, Munnar also has many attractions which appeals and attracts the tourists all over India and world. Eravikulam National Park is one of the most famous and popular tourist attraction in Munnar. Located 15kms away from Munnar in the district of Idukki, Eravikulam National Park lies along the ranges of the western coast.

eravikulam national park

Mattupetty dam is a beautiful clear water dam with the still water. Mattupetty dam is a beautiful serene lake which reflects the beauty of Munnar in real sense with its tea gardens which borders the dam, due to the still water, the reflection looks just beyond the comparison. Mattupetty dam is a storage dam to conserve water for hydroelectricity. The water flourishes large number of wild animals and birds. The District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) has included the boating facilities in the dam. One can hire boats like motorboats, speed launch, slow speedboats etc. to enjoy the serene of the lake. Boating is thus a good way of indulgence in the Mattupetty dam. One can also ride on elephants along the way between the dam and the tea gardens.mattupetty dam

Devikulam meaning the lake of the Goddess is another tourist attraction near Munnar , famous for its pristine lake Sita Devi Lake. With the marvelous view of lush, misty layered hills along with the beautiful lake, the place has become a great attraction for tourists as a picnic spot. The place also has legendary importance, according to Ramayana it is said that Devi Sita had bathed here in the lakeand thus lake has its sacred importance. It is also said that lake also has many curative powers of its mineral water. Thus Devikulam lake is one of the popular tourist spot in Munnar.

Munnar is blessed with beautiful waterfalls like Attukul waterfalls. With the beautiful panaromic view of the green lush hills all around, the glittering waterfalls just raises the charm of the place to a different high. The place is so beautiful and has munnar is aptly said as Kashmir of south. The beautiful giant watefalls in monsoon is the best place to visit in Munnar.attukal waterfalls

Tata tea, recently have opened a tea museum for the visitors and tourists to showcase the tradition of tea plantations in Munnar. Tea museum showcases on the process of tea plantation and the various stages of it. Museum also has a tasting room which demonstrates with the various types and flavors of the tea. It’s a must watch once in Munnar.tea museum munnar

Echo point is another scenic spot near Munnar with its beautiful views all around. The place is famous for its natural echo phenomenon.

Photo point of Munnar is a beautiful photogenic place with small stream and woods around the area. The place has beautiful gardens with flowers and with the tea estate in background, one can take amazing photos and thus the place is a beautiful picnic spot and is known as photo point.

photopoint, munnar

There are various other tourist points and activities to do in Munnar. With ample of activities to do around like elephant ride, trekking, boat rides etc.

There are many beautiful hotels available for accommodations. As the best tourist place, there are many good hotels all around Munnar. Few of the famous hotels are Club Mahindra Munnar, Mountain club, clouds valley hotel, Hotel Fort Munnar, Misty mountain resort, Ambady estate, Aranyaka resorts etc.

Munnar is accessed by cars or any private vehicles or busses from the nearest stations and airport. Kochi is the nearest airport and munnar is 130 km from Kochi. Nearest railway stations are Aluva, Ernakulam and Madurai. Minimum of 3hrs of time it takes to reach Munnar from any of the railway stations or airport. The Roads to Munnar are very narrow with lots of twists and turns, though they are smooth. There are beautiful waterfalls along the sides of the roads and beautiful scenic views which will keep anyone refreshed to the journey of Munnar.

anamudi peak

Munnar thus reflects the traditional beauty of nature with its beautiful lush green picturesque view and beautiful lakes and dams around. The place with the legendary importance is thus a must to visit once in Kerala for holidays. The lush green hills all around thus reflects the color of emerald and Munnar is thus like a beauty of Emerald to the South India. munnar2

OF DAMAN BEACHES AND PORT



OF DAMAN BEACHES AND PORT

Daman

Daman is a part of India’s Union Territory which is known as Daman and Diu. Located in the Indian state of Gujarat, Daman is a less known tourist destination. The place reflects lots of Portugal culture and architecture as Daman was under Portugal for a long time from year 1539 to 1961. Since it is located on the western coast of India, it has a beautiful coastal region and thus marks as a picnic and tourist stop for people around Daman. Daman is more famous for its port and beaches. The calmness of the place along with the beautiful serene and beaches attracts lots of visitors looking for peace.

Daman is a place where u can stroll along the silvery beaches and can drink alcohol as it permitted and so can party all day and night Daman is divided into two parts by the Damanganga river. Nani Daman in the north and Moti Daman in the south are the two parts Daman is divided in. Both the places are connected with a bridge. Both Nani Daman and Moti Daman has many places to explore. There are many forts, churches and heritage structures of Portugal times.

The Sao Jeronimo Fort is the famous tourist spot of Daman. Standing tall and facing the Damanganga river, the place is the jewel of Daman.

forts in daman

Moti Daman fort, a most massive fort known for its ten bastions and two gateways, this fort is the heart of Moti daman and again a popular attraction for visitors and tourists. The fort includes a garden named Parola which is built in the memory of the Portuguese soldiers who died in the liberal of Dadar and Nagar haveli. The fort has great Portugal architecture to showcase.moti fort daman

Devka beach is another hotspot of Daman. Devka beach offers one a beautiful view of sun settling in the sparkling water. Located in Nani Daman, the beach has charmed its visitors its serene beauty.

devka beach stroll

11There are many beach side amusements for visitors specially for kids. The amusement park offers lots of rides, merry-go-rounds, restaurants, ice cream parlors etc. the multicolor fountain adds to the beauty of the park and the beach. A small walk along the beach can soothe the soul with a cool breeze and the calmness with a beautiful serene. There are many good hotels along the beachside.

devka beach

Church of Bom Jesus located in Moti Daman is an ancient church constructed centuries ago, the structure of the church is the perfect example for beautiful architectural skills and hard work of designers during those times when the place was under Portugal. The place is beautified with gold painted wooden altar, beautiful carvings, amazing doorways, rococo interiors, attractive ceilings and works in rosewood. With beautiful sculptures all around, one can’t stop praising the ancient church for its beauty.church of bom jesus

Jampore beach is another beach in the vicinity of Moti Daman. With casuarinas plantations all around the beach along with the soft sand, the serene of the beach is just pleasing. Jampore beach is safe for swimming and walking along the beach. The beach has a long stretch and is a perfect spot for weekend picnics or partying as drinks are not prohibited in all of Daman and its beaches.jampore beach

The town of Daman also has a port, located at the mouth of the Daman river. Alcohol from the port of daman comes duty free abd thus whole region of Daman enjoys the duty free drink. All because of the Portugal government, the alcohol comes duty free. Thus drinks are the most common things visitors buy or enjoy at the place.

DUTY FREE ALCOHOL DAMAN

Daman has a great history as the place is evolved with various civilizations. During the ancient period the place was under the Kushana emperors and during the medieval time the place was under the Chalukya’s rule. Later in the 15th century the place was under Portugal rule. Thus in Daman, the history still reflects with the architecture and forts and other culture.

There are many hotels all over Daman specially along the beaches of Devka and Jampore which provides accommodation. Cicade de Daman is the most famous hotel in whole Daman. It’s located on the shores of devka beach, Nani Daman. Other good hotels along the coast of Devka beach are Dairya Darshan hotel, The Deltin, The Gold Beach resort, Silver Sand beach resort, hotel ocean panaroma etc. there are many hotels near Jampore beach as well. Hotels like the emerald hotel, royal garden hotel, sagar sun hotel, sagar presidency etc. Daman provides excellent gujurati food and Portugal cuisine.

Daman is easily accessed by roads, airways and railways. Daman has a local airport in Nani Daman. The nearest railway station to Daman which connects through other train all over Gujarat and India is Vapi, Daman is around 12km away from Vapi and from the station any local buses, cars or rickshaws can take one to Daman. The roads from Mumbai to daman are excellent and provides a pleasurable journey. Daman is well connected by roads with a good system of roads.

People from nearby cities prefer Daman for a short weekend holidays, partying and for relaxing as there are many good hotels along with the beaches and cheaper alcohol.