Monthly Archives: January 2015

Top 10 Places to See in the Philippines



Top 10 Places to See in the Philippines

It has 7,107 islands which were neatly scattered like Pearls on the lovely waters. This lovely place is considered as the Pearl of the Orient Seas because of its exotic beauty and charm. This 7,107 islands which are a beauty to behold is known as the Philippines. Having been blessed with rich natural resources, the Philippines are also considered as one of the most beautiful places that you can ever think of. Its beautiful coastlines and adorable beaches which are surrounded by crystal clear waters and silky white sand beaches are one of the country’s special possessions.

Aside from the alluring crystal clear waters which has attracted many people and tourists, it has also many beautiful, breathtaking places which have captivated everybody’s heart. Its natural hills and mountains and virgin forests have provided a splendor to behold.

Over the years the country has preserved its taste of history which can take us a glimpse of what happened many years ago that has affected what we have now.

Over the years the country has grown. Many buildings have now settled and rest on the once green fields and plains. Exotic hotels, shopping malls, schools and universities and other exquisite buildings graced the big cities of the countries. Each building has a unique architectural design and are worth seeing.

All of these natural and exotic spots of the country can capture the heart of many people, the Filipino people’s hospitality has also been known all over the world. Filipinos are hospital and friendly and anybody who has visited the country will always tell the whole world how the Filipinos have welcome and make them feel at home.

There are many beautiful places in the country that all the people should visit. These places are located in the different islands that made up the Pearl of the Orient Seas. Some of these beautiful places should be visited can be reached by plane to give you a chance to catch a glimpse of the aerial view of the country; By ship or boat to make you experienced the total fun and excitement as you cruise on the crystal clear and blue water that surrounds the country. A land trip can also be fun and terrific because as you travel over the hills and mountains you can see the natural beauty of the country; along the busy streets and highways you can see how the country have grown over the years. Some of these wonderful places are:

  1. Manila Bay- Natural harbor in Luzon that extends from nearby regions of Bataan and Cavite. As you visit this place you will experience watching the beautiful sunset. Manila Bay is famous for its beautiful sunset view. Before the sunsets, many people are already gathered in Manila Bay to watch and witness a spectacle of color as the sun starts to set. The bright blue sky turns into the soft glow of orange, then red, yellow until it slowly fades to deep purple. Some artists call Manila Bay as “the place where the sun kisses the ocean.”Manila Bay
  2. Mall of Asia- is one of the largest Mall of Asia, where you can buy almost everything you need. It has complete facilities and can be considered as a one stop shop. It has more than 600 shops and 150 dining establishments. It has an Olympic size skating rink and an IMAX theater that movie enthusiast can enjoy.
  3. Divisoria- is a popular place in the country where you can buy almost everything you need at a very low price. People who really want to experience bargain shopping can just go to Divisoria.
  4. Baguio- is the “Summer Capital of the Philippines” where people who want to escape the summer heat can stay and enjoy a cooler atmosphere. Many people come to this city to be a part of the flower festival called the “Panagbenga” which means “blooming of flowers”.Baguio
  5. Banaue Rice Terraces- is also called “Hagdan Hagdang Palayan”. It is considered as the 8th wonder of the world because of its grandeur. It is already a 2,000-year old landmark which was skillfully carved by the Ifugaos.
  6. Bohol- is known for the famous Chocolate Hills. It has more than 1,200 perfect cone shape hills which have almost the same size. This tourist spot is not made by man, but a natural masterpiece.
  7. Vigan- is a place which has preserved almost everything that can remind the Filipinos how the Philippines look during the Spanish Regime. It has also perfectly preserved the Spanish Architecture. If you want to experience the excitement in riding a “caleza” or carriages, you can just visit Vigan and have a taste of what it is like to live during the Spanish regime.
  8. Cebu- is considered as the “Queen City of the South”. It is filled with exotic beaches and velvety white sand.
  9. Boracay- is considered a paradise where you can see the most beautiful beaches in the world. Boracay has many restaurants where you can have a taste of the real Filipino dishes and a combination of the Asian and European Cuisines. At night the beach is transformed into big party place where you can dance and party until the wee hours of the morning.

    Boracay

  10. Palawan-is a magical place where spectacular formations and limestones can be seen. It is also the place where El Nido, Coron and Amanpulo can be found.

The Best Places in Davao City



The Best Places in Davao City

Davao City is the regional center of the Philippines’ southern regions and serves a hub for businesses, investment, trade, finance and tourism. It is one of the largest cities and Asia and one of the most progressive in the region and in the country. The city has been cited in numerous international newspapers and magazines as one of Asia’s top ten best cities to work, live, invest and visit and the Asian region’s city of the future, which serves as prestigious compliments to this historically significant and culturally diverse city in the larger Davao Region.

Davao City is characterized by a beautiful landscape with rolling hills and green mountains, tropical rainforests, the beautiful Mt. Apo which is a camper and mountain hiker’s paradise, the durian fruit which tastes like heaven but smells like hell, its multi-cultural communities, the city’s diverse gastronomic offerings, the city’s proud people who are called Dabawenyo’s and a host of world class hospitality related businesses supporting Davao’s tourism industry.

This premier city is best described as the best Philippine tourist spot with lots of tourism offerings and 5 star accommodations available at any season all year long. The city’s tropical climate and long sun shiny days are best for recreational activities which happen daily in Davao’s myriad of fascinating sights, sounds and tastes offerings.

To help you and get you started with that anticipated Davao experience we have listed down some of the best places and tourist spots to visit when in Davao City.

mount-apo01

Mount Apo – The Mountain is described as the Grand Daddy of all mountains found in the archipelago as it lays claim to being the Philippines highest mountain, rising at almost 3,000 meters above sea level. Mount Apo is said to have its own unique weather system due to its enormity and grandeur. A favorite among countless mountain climbers and adventurers this world renowned mountain is visited by thousands of local and international tourists year round. Mount Apo is considered as one of Davao’s gems in the city’s tourism industry.

The Bone Collector Museum – This is probably the most popular museum among Davao City’s good number of museums lined up across the city. A first in the region and touted as one of Asia’s best bone preservation museums, the Bone collector museum showcases an array of well preserved bones of different species numbering to about 200 plus sets. Visitors are awed by the massive display of bone collection from a diverse animal kingdom species which were found in different environments imaginable, from arid plains, to lowlands and mountains, shallow waters, rainforests and tropical jungles the bones best represent the world’s natural diversity and a must see for tourists who are inclined to learn more about our planet and the beautiful species that has come and gone.

The Philippine Eagle Center – The home of the country’s majestic eagle is also one of Davao City’s major attractions. The Philippine Eagle Center is a breeding facility for captive eagles created by the government in a bid to save the critically endangered and world famous monkey eating eagle from extinction. The facility is best known for successfully hatching the first eagle born in captivity which was named Pag-asa or hope. Only a few of these eagles remain in the wild and while most Filipinos are fascinated by their very own eagle specie, unabated hunting for monetary gains continues until this day as the Philippine eagle is said to command a very high black market price dead or alive.

Partoza Durian Farms – Visitors adventurous enough to try the so called fruit that smell likes dung (for lack of a better word, pun intended) but taste like heaven will be surprised at this addition to Davao’s tourism attraction. Unique in its own right, Partoza Durian Farms showcases the fruit which is best associated with the city. Wherever you might see the durian fruit being sold, from supermarkets to your friendly neighborhood fruit stall, you will definitely see a tag that says Durian fruit from Davao. Partoza Durian Farms is one of the pioneers of the Agro-Tourism industry of this city and offers tours around the farm with free taste of the fruit anytime it is in season.

samal-island-beach-davao

The Davao Region Beaches – Davao has a lot of the country’s world renowned beaches extending from one end of the region to the other. It is blessed with some of the most beautiful Philippine beaches acclaimed for having pristine environments and crystal clear warm waters. We have listed down some of the best beaches and facilities in the whole Davao region so you can have an idea where to go sunning and tanning when you visit this world class city.

  • The Pearl Farm Beach Resort. The Pearl Farm Samal is a very popular tourist attraction and hosts thousands of people who visit every year. It is located in a beautiful island an hour away from Davao City and accessible by boat or ferry ride.
  •  Isla Reta Beach Resort. This resort is also in Samal Island and is a favorite among local and foreign tourists. The Isla Reta has clear white sandy beaches and clean and crisp blue waters perfect for any kind of water sports.
  • Olaniban Island. Olaniban Island is located in Saranggani, davao Occidental. Though far from the mainland this island is worth mentioning as it offers the perfect setting for a private island getaway. The hours spent to travel to destination are well worth it as the island is practically uninhabited save for some facilities catering to tourists.

The Leaning Tower Of Pisa, Italy



The Leaning Tower Of Pisa, Italy

the leaning tower

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most popular tourist spot of Italy. It is located in the seaside town of Pisa in the district of Tuscany. Pisa is a city in Central Italy on the banks of the river Arno on the Tyrrhenian Sea. It has about 20 other historic and popular churches. The Leaning Tower is one of the marvellous architectural structures in the city’s Square of Miracles known as Piazza dei Miracoli besides the Duomo (Cathedral), Baptistry and the Campo Santo. It is the third oldest building of Pisa. Its popularity is due to its leaning structure which has become a cause of wonder and attraction all around the world. It is a seven storey building. People can climb through its slanting stairs and enjoy the view of the city from an inclined direction from the top of the building. The tower is affiliated to Roman Catholic Church. It is a bell tower which has become the icon of Italy.

sqare of miracles

The Tower was not initially intended to incline but it did, in due course of time during its construction. The reason behind its inclination is its faulty base. The Tower is built on soft soil thus it kept on tilting towards one side. It finally became stable in the 20th century due to efforts of engineers, architects and mathematicians. The construction of The Tower was done in three phases. The construction of the building had to be stopped many times due to civil wars and various battles that caused a state of turmoil in the country.

 

The construction of the Tower began in 1173. The ground floor was built of blind arcade with no windows. It was a time of military success and prosperity for the province of Pisa. By the time the construction reached the second floor, it was noticed that the building is sinking to one side and is not vertical indeed due to its foundation of loose soil, mud and clay. Thus the structure became inclined because its base couldn’t withstand its weight and was further sinking in the ground. The Tower leaned to the north side from its initial position. Thus, the construction of The Tower was imperfect right from the beginning and the inclination was not planned. The construction was stopped in 1178 for almost a century due to battles and military interventions. During that interval, the soil got a chance to settle such that the structure could become stable or else it would certainly have collapsed if the construction had been continued.

tilt of the tower

In 1198, clocks were temporarily installed in the uncompleted third floor of the building. In 1272, the construction of the Tower was resumed but the Tower was still not done inclining. The process of its inclination continued and this time in the south direction. The structure was under the supervision of the architect named Giovanni Di Simone. His other works include “The Campo Santo”, built in the Square of Miracles. Efforts were made to rectify the inclined structure of the Tower by making the sinking side taller than the other side at the 5th floor. But the workers didn’t get a chance to complete their work and had to be halted in between, in the year 1284. This was the time when Pisa was defeated by Genoaus in the battle of Meloria.

 

The third time, the work was resumed in 1319 and the structure was completed till its 8th floor. A sharp rate of inclination in the Tower was found in the early 14th century. A bell chamber consisting of seven bells was installed in the building with each bell representing each note of the musical major scale. This time the work was under the supervision of the architect named Tommaso Di Andrea Pisano. The heaviest bell of the bell chamber was the 1st bell installed in1654 which weighs 3620 kg and the lightest bell was installed in 1473 which was the 4th bell and weighs 300 kg. The Tower is a classic blend of the Romanesque style of architecture with the Gothic style of the bell chamber.

bell chamber

It was found in the early 20th century that the tower is sinking further and its top is moving at about 0.05 inches a year. Many measures were taken to stabilize the incline of the Tower but all failed and by 1935 the Tower had tilted to about 5.5 degrees. The officials became so worried that the Tower was closed for the general public to enter for almost a decade. Finally the team of architects decided to work on the plan again to save the tower from collapsing. They decided to extract soil from its northern side so that they could pull the tower to vertical position. The method did work to some extend but the Tower is still not completely safe. Even a slightest earthquake in the region could bring the Tower to grounds. But despite all these factors, the officials had declared the building to be safe for another 200 years.

 

There had been a lot of confusion and debate on the real builder of the monument. One possible builder could be Gerardo Di Gerardo. Another possible candidate is Diotisalvi but he always signs his works and there is no signature of him in the bell tower. Giovanni Di Simone had also been involved in completing the construction of the building.

pisaaerialview

The Leaning Tower is about 183.3 ft.  It has 296 steps which goes spiral in the inside of the Tower. It now leans at about 3.99 degrees. Despite its structural faults, it does not lack beauty and elegance. It had been declared as the UNESCO world heritage in 1987. Many people believe that it might fall one day but despite all odds and challenges it had stood there for about 840 years. It is a beautiful site to visit in a beautiful city.

An Insight into the Mystique and Legendary land Gujarat



An Insight into the Mystique and Legendary land Gujarat

The land of colors- Gujarat! The land of Asiatic lions- Gujarat! The land of royal Rajputs- Gujarat! The land of Harappan history- Gujarat! The jewel of the West- Gujarat! Vibrant and vivacious, it will leave you mesmerized. Gujarat is situated in the west of India, having its southern boundaries contoured by the Arabian Sea. The state is bordered by Rajasthan to the north, Maharashtra to the south, Madhya Pradesh to the east, as well as the Pakistani province of Sindh on the west. Its capital city is Gandhinagar, whilst its largest city is Ahmedabad. Gujarat is one of the most diverse States in India. Its history stretches over a long years from the age old Harappan Civilization to the Mughal period.

gujarat

It is also the home of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the nation and houses several of souvenirs in his fond memory. The beautiful state had also given us the Man of Iron, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel who was the first Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister of the independent India, along with many others who fought the freedom struggle, infusing the qualities of tolerance, brotherhood, non-violence and patriotism into Indians. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, revered in Pakistan as Quaid-e-Azam, the Great Leader or Baba-e-Qaum, meaning the Father of the Nation and first Governor General of Pakistan was from a Gujarati Muslim family in Rajkot. Vikram Sarabhai, considered “Father of the Indian Space Programme” originated from a family of Jain industrialists from Ahmedabad. Dhirubhai Ambani, who founded the Reliance Industries was from Chorvad, Gujarat. Azim Premji, software magnate and chairman of Wipro Limited is ethnically Gujarati, whilst pioneer industrialist Jamsetji Tata, the founder of the famous Tata Group, hailed from a Parsi Zoroastrian family in Navsari, and is widely regarded the legendary “Father of Indian Industry”. With a literacy rate of above 80% Gujarat is amongst the most developed states of the country. It is the most industrialized state of India, and has a per capita GDP above the national average.

The state has a super wide, 72 mm celluloid of views and places and tourist attractions to display. Religious and recreational spots are savoured alike by the people of Gujarat.

akshardham

A major religious magnet is the Akshardham at Gandhinagar. It is one of the largest temples in the state. The temple complex combines devotions, art, architecture, education, exhibitions and research at one place. The monument which is set in a 23-acre plot at Gandhinagar is built in pink sandstone and is 108 feet tall and 6000 tons of stone has gone into its making. A point worth noting is that this modern monument to Hinduism was built as per the injunctions of Vastu Shastra. An interesting fact about the temple is that not a bit of steel has been used.

ambaji

Another famous temple is the Ambaji shrine is the principal shrine of the goddess Amba situated at Gabbar. The Temple of Ambaji is recognized as one of the original Shakti Pithas where, according to the ancient Scriptures, the heart of the goddess Ambaji fell to earth when her body was dismembered. A triangular Vishwa Yantra, inscribed with figures and the syllable ‘Shree’ in the centre, represents the deity.

dwarka

Then there is Dwarka, situated amidst the sea, in ancient Anarta in Saurashtra. It was the capital of Lord Krishna’s terrestrial kingdom. He shifted to Kusasthali which was the old name of the region to escape the harassing raids of Kansa’s father-in-law Jarasandha on Mathura after Krishna had killed Kansa. Kusasthali was Krishna’s ancestral place on his mother’s side. It was founded by Raivata, his Yadava ancestor after he had lost his kingdom to Punyajanas and migrated to Mathura for safety; then he came back to found Kusasthali. Dwarka which was known as Suvarna Dwarka had been very prosperous and hence got the name. The Dwarkadhish temple honours Krishna Bhagwan and attracts thousands of pilgrims from different parts of the country. The Dwarka of Krishna’s time lies submerged under the Arabian Sea. Tradition has it that Krishna’s residence was at Bhentt Dwarka which is just a few kilometers away via sea route from the mainland Dwarka.

 

Apart from the religious attractions, the state hosts a variety of historical monuments as well. One such site is Uparkot, or, the Upper Citadel, in Junagarh where the so very famous Ashoka’s Rock Edicts are located. These belong to 250 BC and, around 14 edicts of the great Hindu turned Buddhist King are located on the route to the Mount Girnar Hills. This rock edict is a huge stone and the carving in Brahmi script in Pali language mention the resistance to greed and animal sacrifice and also moralize the principles of purity of thought, secularism in thinking, kindness and gratitude.

asiatic lion

And not to forget is the Gir National Park. While it is the most famous for its Asiatic Lions, the park is one of the most diverse places in Gujarat, both in terms of flora and fauna. It also houses, other than lions, deers, monkeys, peacocks, several breeds of reptiles, and many many others animal species.

deers

For recreation, there are several other places like, the Nalasarovar Bird Sanctuary, Kankaria Lake in Ahmedabad, et cetera.

 

In the past few years, Gujarat has witnessed many changes and is furthermore developing. It enchants you even in its crudest state. The warm-hearted hospitable people will not let you be homesick throughout your visit. It’s a must visit for once and twice and several times.

A Day midst the Beauty of Hyderabad



A Day midst the Beauty of Hyderabad

The city of Hyderabad is the capital of Andhra Pradesh, the largest state of southern India. Hyderabad served as a sovereign state during the time of Mughals under the Nizams. Hyderabad has a rich cultural history and was a hub for the arts and aesthetics in southern India. The city is studded with relics of ancient history and culture. At present Hyderabad is a growing IT hub and has offices of all major IT corporations such as Microsoft, IBM, and Infosys etc. Apart from that it is also one of the foremost education centres in the country with institutes such as IIT, IIIT, NIFT, NALSAR, International School of Business and BITS Pilani. Business and trades have also got their roots fixed firm in this city especially the trade of pearl. Hyderabad is sometimes referred to as the City of Pearls.

Hyderabad is located around hills and artificial lakes such as Hussainsagar. The twin cities Hyderabad and Secunderabad comprise of the metropolitan suburbs. This city has the most beautiful weather during autumn where you get brief spells of rain now and then with a cool breeze comforting you throughout the day making it the prime time for tourist visits.

However if you were to have a single day and a single night to savour the beauty of the city, a particular itinerary might be helpful.

Golconda

The day should be begun at the majestic Golconda Fort. The Fort actually comprises of four different forts outlined by a 10 km wall, eight gateways and consists of a number of royal apartments, temples, mosques etc. The main entrance is referred to as ‘Fateh Darwaza,’ Fateh meaning victory. It was named after Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb took over the fort. It is quite a herculean task to visit each and every nook of the fort so it is advisable to follow the main trail if you are short on time. The fort houses a room where once the world-famous diamonds such as Kohinoor was stored. There are two pavilions located outside the fort are peculiarly attractive. As you travel your way up the fort you can see the entire city spread across like a painting. The weather also starts to please you as you move up the fort; it gets windy as you go up. It is also believed that there is a secret tunnel to the Charminar. The Golconda Fort is a beautiful example of the architecture predating the advent of Islam in India. This visit will take you over three hours.

Hyderabad-Snow World-1

The next stop is Snow World. It is an amusement park of its own kind. Imagine freezing temperatures, artificial snowfall, a DJ, a dance floor, a giant ice-slide and a small beverage joint located in the same hall. The Snow World is beside the Indira Park. The place promises you tonnes of snow, a chilling experience where the temperature falls gradually to sub-zero temperatures and a hot cup of soup so that you can accustom your body temperature to the freezing environment. You can play snow wars, go down the sleigh slide and groove to the music.

Sure you are starved by now and the right fuel for your body will be the classic ‘Hyderabadi’ Biryani by Paradise. Paradise is the name synonymous to Biryani in Hyderabad. The first restaurant established in 1953 has flourished since then owing to their special preparation and the diversity of dishes offered. You can’t leave Hyderabad without a mouthful of a Biryani from Paradise.

birla mandir

 

The next stop is the Birla Temple built on an 85m hillock at the ‘Naubath Pahad.’ This Hindu temple took 10 years of construction. The architecture of the temple comprises the Dravidian, Rajasthani and Utkala styles. The presiding deity Lord Venkateshwara’s statue is about 3.4 metres and has a carved lotus umbrella on top. There are no bells inside the temple to create a conducive environment for meditation. Apart from the main shrine there are other shrines of various Hindu gods. The trip is not just about witnessing the shrine but the journey to it. You climb the hill which will take you a long time and then walk your way to the various levels of the temple pondering over the beauty of the temple until you reach to the topmost where the main shrine is placed.

Lumbini park

 

Near the Birla Temple are two parks namely Lumbini Park and NTR Park.  The Lumbini Park provides boat rides to the statue of Buddha located in the Hussainsagar Lake. A casual stroll along the necklace road is refreshing. The street is studded with various eating joints on one side and the lake on the other. A short walk will take you to the Eat Street, a food-court comprising of all the major chains.

char minar

For our final visit we will discover the interiors of the old city of Hyderabad. We get to the global identity of the Hyderabad-The Charminar. It is structured like a square with four arches acting as gateways to four-streets. At each corner there is a minaret with steps leading the way to a double balcony. There are other monuments nearby such as the Makkah Masjid. The Charminar has an eccentric market where you could buy artificial jewellery specially bangles. The aroma of delicious street-food will strike your nostrils from all directions. One must have the famous Irani Tea while one is in Charminar.

This would be a perfect way to end a one long day marvelling at the beauty of Hyderabad.

The Land of Igloos – Greenland



The Land of Igloos – Greenland

Located mostly in the Arctic region in the far northeast of North America, Greenland is the world’s largest non-continental island. It has the lowest population density in the world. The fact that the place is mostly covered in snow, should not, however, deter anyone from planning a trip to the awesome place. The place offers every form of entertainment and adventure ranging from mountaineering, hiking, sledging, and skiing to fishing, sea gliding, kayaking and hunting. Not to mention the heavenly sightseeing and the cuisine. You can reach Greenland either by air or the sea. Air Greenland offers quite regular flights from Denmark, Iceland and Canada, which will take you to Nuuk, Kulusuk, Narsarsuaq and Ilulissat. However, the sea route is not much well developed, because of which, more and more shipping companies are trying to get into the tourism business by making passenger ships available to the coast of Greenland.

greenland

For the purpose of travel, it is best to chalk out the country into eastern, western and southern regions. East Greenland is one of the remotest parts, where one can spend some quality time in Tasiilaq, watching the lifestyle and culture of the Greenlanders and midnight hiking to Ammssalik Island. A helicopter trip over the beautiful village is exciting, and can offer much to lift up your spirits for the rest of the trip. The best way to visit the famous Knud Rasmussen Glacier is through kayaking along the stunning Ammassalik fjord, which is surrounded by high mountain walls. West Greenland offers a better taste of the Arctic environment. The Icefiord, near Ilulissat, a UNESCO’s World Heritage site, calves the most impressive icebergs of the northern countries. South Greenland, on the other hand, presents a contrast between the green of the landscape and the blue colours of the ice calved from the ice caps. The settlements here are closely spaced and one can easily hire a boat for nearby trips. Some of the places that one must visit include the Nuussuaq Peninsula, Mara Mountain, Sarqarput Strait, Jameson Land and Maniitsoq.

The places in Greenland usually have two names – the official Greenlandic and the non-official Danish, which can get confusing at times. The people out there are very hospitable and one need not think twice before asking for directions from a local inhabitant. Most places are too small to put up signboards for directions, and the people know every nook and corner fairly well. So, do not be surprised if you bump into a grey factory-like building in the middle of nowhere, only to find a fully equipped supermarket inside!

The Northern Lights

aurora

Due to the geographical location of the country, the tourists may easily experience the midnight sun, depending on the season and location. Far north of the Arctic Circle, Midnight Sun can be experienced for a period lasting from one day to five months. For enhanced experience, the best time to visit is between May and July, during which, the soft, warm rays from the low-lying sun make the surrounding scenery appear ethereal and dream-like. Icebergs and hilltops, in the Disko Bay glow in a colourful bath of pink, purple, yellow and red light, which presents a breathtaking sight. But, above all, be sure to experience the “Aurora Borealis”, the biggest light show on earth, which occurs due to a natural geographical phenomenon. The best time to watch the northern lights is between November and March, though December through February are the best months to see the lights because nights are clearer. Qaqortoq (south Greenland), Ittoqqortoormiit (east Greenland) and Kangerlussuaq (west Greenland) are some of the best spots to observe the lights from.

Arctic wildlife

polar bears

The fauna of the place primarily consists of the polar bear, the arctic dogs, reindeer, musk oxen, the white-tailed eagle and the whales, which can be spotted all the year round. The best way to experience Greenland’s Arctic nature is usually on a sledding tour or snowmobiling excursion. If you happen to be during the summer, then you can also take a whale watching tour between the Fjords and the melting icebergs along the coastal towns of Nuuk, Qeqertarsuaq and Aasiaat. During the summer months, you can see Humpback, Minke, and Fin whales in Greenlandic waters, while, during the winter, Beluga, Narwhal, or Bowhead whales are the most spotted ones.

The Eskimos

norse colonies

When it comes to Greenland, the first things that comes to mind are the Eskimos and their Igloos. The Sermermiut settlement in Greenland has some of the best preserved remnants of Eskimo indigenous cultures in the Arctic region. You can get a taste of the history of the country from the colourful colonial buildings and cute wooden churches in the towns located along the west coast of Greenland that offer a nice glimpse into Greenland’s Danish past. When you visit south Greenland, you can see the remnants of Eric the Red’s one thousand year old Norse colonies and Viking ruins, which include the Hvalsey Fjord Church and Brattahlid ruins located near the town of Qassiarsuk.

Ice Hotels

Greenland_Kangerlussuaq ice hotel

Greenland offers some of the best places to stay and enjoy, combines with exquisite mouth-watering cuisine. One may stop at the Arctic café, which offers much more than just coffee and cupcakes. The food tastes better, when taken with the waiters’ appropriate wine combination suggestions. To one’s surprise, Greenland also has a plethora of hot springs where one can enjoy a warm relaxing soak, the most popular of them being the Uunartoq hot springs in the island of Uunartoq (east Greenland) and Disko Island’s hot springs, which are just a short boat ride from the town of Ilulissat. The country also provides a unique accommodation in the form of Ice-hotels that is bound to make your trip memorable. It is a hotel, make completely out of snow and providing living facilities according to the environment. One can get a room in an Ice hotel at Kangerlussuaq, where the rooms are actually in the form of small igloos. Therefore, it really does not matter if you are an Eskimo or not, you can always get an igloo for yourself!

Museums

nuuk mummy

Housed in a spacious warehouse, the Greenland National Museum some of the world’s oldest rocks from the Nuuk region, highlighting the geological changes that took place over the ages. However, the main attraction is the spooky display of the mummies of two 15th-century women and a very spooky six-month-old child, whose cause of death remain uncertain, dressed in beautifully embroidered fur clothes and kammiks.

Paamiut Museum is a spectacular house, constituting of a circle of five historic stone-and-timber buildings around a turf-ringed well house. Among its various geological collections, it has a whaling exhibition that includes a very rare sealskin diving suit, a reproduction of an original sold in 1913 and now in St Petersburg.

Technology enthusiasts might also pay a visit to the Tele-Museum that traces Greenland’s role in the development of transatlantic communications. It has many mechanical curiosities like the 1900 telephone-switching table, which, although already archaic in Denmark, was sent for use in Nuuk in the 1950s.

You can also drop by the Qasigiannguit Museum to discover an excellent, well-preserved collection of finds dating from the Saqqaq culture to the present Inuit culture, which gives a detailed picture of life in Greenland’s earliest Stone Age culture. Things available for display include a large collection of tools and the northernmost discovery of the now extinct great auk. The Emanuel A Petersen Art Museum, offers an exotic collection of Greenlandic landscapes, mostly the works of the eponymous Danish artist, Petersen.

The Qaqortoq Museum, housed in a tar-blackened building, dating back to 1804, hosts the works of explorer Knud Rasmussen when he was preparing his later expeditions and that of the famous American aviator Charles Lindbergh when he was scouting sites for a Pan Am stopover airport.

The Harmandir Sahib: The Golden Temple, Amritsar



The Harmandir Sahib: The Golden Temple, Amritsar

harmandir

INTRODUCTION

The Golden Temple also known as The Harmandir Sahib is a symbol of unity, equality and human brotherhood. The Golden Temple is located in the city Amritsar, Punjab. It was built by Guru Arjan, a Sikh guru in the 16th century. The Golden Temple is known for its unique Sikh architecture but still maintaining its secular policies. People irrespective of their differences based on cast, creed or race are allowed to seek the blessings and spiritual solace. This is depicted by the four entrances to get into the Temple symbolizing the openness towards all people irrespective of their religion. Guru Granth Sahib the holiest text of Sikhs is the soul of this temple and is always present inside the Gurudwara. The Harmandir Sahib’s main purpose is to serve as a place of worship for both men and women from all walks of life and serving its purpose more than one lakh people visit the holy memorial every day. The Gurudwara in its divine state teaches us the lessons of humility and impartiality.

HISTORY  

Amritsar literally means “ Pool of the Nectar of Immortality “. It is believed that Guru Ram Das the fourth guru of Sikhism excavated a tank in the 16th century which consequently was called as Amritsar, giving the same name to the city that grew around it. The Harmandir Sahib means “ The Domicile of God “. It is believed that in due course this Sikh edifice, The Harmandir Sahib rose in the middle of this tank which further lead to this place to become the ultimate centre of Sikhism.

CONSTRUCTION

golden temple

Guru Arjan Sahib is the architect of Sri Harmandir Sahib. He visualised the initiative of constructing a central hub of worship for the Sikhs. It is believed that the construction work on the tank started around 1570. It is a common fallacy that the foundation stone for this monument was laid by the Sufi saint Mian Mir but the truth is that the foundation stone was laid by the architect Guru Arjan Sahib himself. Sri Harmandir Sahib has Four entrances and the Temple is relatively lower level than the surrounding ground level so that devotees would have to step down in order to enter into the temple which is contradictory to the usual practice of building temple on highlands. The complete construction of the Gurudwara was completed in 1604. Further The Guru Granth Sahib was installed in it by its architect Guru Arjan and Baba Budha was appointed as the first reader also called as Granthi. History says that the Golden temple was attacked by the Afghans and was significantly rebuilt in the 1760’s.

 

THE HARMANDIR SAHIB

kitchen

The main Temple is encircled by a holy tank known as the Sarovar which contains the holy water called as “ Amrit ”. There are many memorials to past Sikh gurus inside the temple complex. Dedicatory inscriptions of all the Sikh soldiers who sacrificed their lives during world wars I and II and many other memorial plaques are also present inside the temple complex as a token of honour. Three holy trees also called as “ bers ” are present inside the temple complex each signifying a historical event or Sikh saint.

There lies no restriction based on religion, colour, creed or gender keeping with the rules observed at all Sikh Gurudwars. But when it comes to the behaviour of the visitors the Harmandir Sahib has few restrictions. Prime importance is given to the maintenance of purity of the sacred place. Visitors are expected to remove their shoes, wash their feet in the small pool of water and wear a head scarf as a symbol of respect. The Harmandir Sahib more than a place of religious importance runs one of the world’s largest free kitchen. It serves more than one lakh people on average every day. Flat bread and lentil soup is served in the meal. First time visitors before proceeding to the main temple complex are advised to begin their visit at the information centre.

The Harmandir Sahib has both fascinating as well as a violent history attached to it. Down the years the temple experienced attacks by afghans, Mughals and even Indian army during Blue star operation.The coating of gold over the temple was severely damaged during the Blue Star operation. These tragedies left the temple in need of reconstruction. The ladies of Sikh community voluntarily contributed their gold ornaments for renovation of the damaged areas. Another feature which attracts the entire visitors is the service mind of the Sikhs. The services like cleaning of the temple and surroundings, safeguarding the foot wears of the visitors, cleaning of vessels are being carried out by the devotees. While coming to the temple all the devotees are happily making them involved in such services for some time without the command or request of anyone, considering it as a part of their worship. A museum functioning in the Temple helps a new visitor to have a general idea about the Temple and its history.

The historical place Jalian Wallah Bagh, the monument of one of the very disastrous massacre during the Indian Independence War, is in close proximity to Golden Temple. Another prominent place where one can find a pulse brimming patriotism and a transformation from devotion to nationalism which is about 40 km from the historical monument is “The Wagah Border”, the frontier of India and Pakistan.

ARTWORK AND SCULPTURES

arts and sculptures

The canopy of the Harmandir Sahib is made with gold and decorated with precious stones. Almost most of the present decorative trimming and the marble works in the temple dates back to the 19th century. All these eminent works were conducted under the patronage of Emperor Ranjit Singh, Hukam Singh Chimni and Emperor Ranjit Singh. At the beginning of the causeway to the Harmandir Sahib there stands an arch by name “The Darshani Deorhi arch” which is 203 feets high and 20 feets wide. The gold plating on the Harmandir Sahib was begun by Ranjit Singh and was finished in 1830. Maharaja Ranjit Singh is affectionately remembered as a major patron of wealth and resources for the shrine including the gold plating on the Harmandir Sahib.

CELBRATIONS

celebration
 “ Vaisakhi “ is the most prominent festival celebrated in the second week of April. This festival is usually celebrated on 13th of April with passion and dedication in the Harmandir Sahib as a tribute to the founding of Khalsa on this day. Other important occasions such as Guru Nanak’s birthday, martyrdom of Guru Teg Bahadur are also celebrated with religious importance. The Harmandir Sahib is beautifully illuminated with lamps on these occasions thus adding its beauty.

The Real World Animal Planet – Ocean Park, Honk Kong



The Real World Animal Planet – Ocean Park, Honk Kong

Ocean Park

WOW! It’s my Park. This theme park is really one of its kinds and will definitely make you say their tag line at the end of the day. Ocean Park is an elephantine amusement park. Situated in Wong Chuk Hang, a southern district in the Honk Kong city, the park comprises of an animal theme park, marine mammals exhibit, an adventure zone with roller coasters and so much more. Opened in the year 1977, by Sir Murray MacLehose (the then Governor), this park has made it to the list of the top 50 tourist attractions in the World. The entire park is divided into two parts on a broader scale, namely, the Summit and the Waterfront. The Summit is the dry rides and adventure zone area, while the Waterfront is the area where all the marine animals are displayed. The two parts of the park are connected by a cable car for the convenience of its visitors. It not only has aimed at enchanting their audience, but also, at intertwining fun and education. This has made them bag one of the most esteemed awards of the industry, the biannual Applause Award.

The Summit

Sea jelly spectacular       Pacific Pier OP

The highlands or the peak of the mountain encompasses the perilous rides of the park. With an astounding view and immense height the summit perfectly makes your eyes pop out of joy, excitement and thrill.  This section is further split up into five subsections; The Marine World, Thrill Mountain, Adventure Land, Polar Adventure and the Rainforest. Full of mind boggling things and escapades, this place makes you laugh and yell out simultaneously. The Sea Jelly Spectacular leaves the public awestruck with its large collection of jelly fish from all over the world and the atmosphere created with the soft music, lighting and special multimedia effects. The Pacific Pier takes you to the rocky mountain like habitat where in you can take a peek at the life style of the sea lions and seals. Interested in aquariums? Well then you found the right place; because this section has one of the largest fresh water aquariums (3500 sq. m.) which houses the rare Chinese sturgeons.

Thrill mountain    Garden of joy

As against these sections which sooth your soul, these other sections are made to freak you out to the core. The Dragon roller coaster; well the name says it all! It is a huge roller coaster which makes your soothed soul go bonkers. Then there is this Crazy Galleon, a ship that sweeps you to heights that you feel as if you are really floating in the air. There are many more rides like the Abyss, the Flying Swing etc. which help you feel light in your head. And all this while when you are crying out loud, your parents and folks who are not interested in doing the same can have a gala time at the Garden of Joy wherein, a landscaped sitting area is provided with lush green gardens, streams with multicolored Koi fish, and bridges.

polar adventure       rainforest OP

The Polar Adventure brings you to the Earth caps so as to witness the surreal and solitary world of the pacific walruses, spotted seals, snow owls and sea lions of the North Pole; and the penguins and arctic fox from the South Pole. The Rainforest section invites you to visit the phenomenal species of green anaconda, aracari, capybara etc. from the sub-tropical regions of the world. All in all, the Summit really takes you to the peaks of exhilaration and mirth.

The Waterfront

Grand aquarium OP   old honk kong

Suiting its name to a T, this zone ensures splashes of water all around you. The Waterfront splits up into three sections, Aqua City, Amazing Asian Animals and Whiskers Harbor. The superlative form of aquarium has the largest viewing dome of the world. Grand Aquarium shelters more than 4000 varieties of fish where one can take a walk through the Reef tunnel and Panaromic Ocean and admire its grandeur. Apart from the aquarium, the section also has a place called the Old Honk Kong. It features the culture, lifestyle and cuisines of Honk Kong from the 1950s to 1970s. it exhibits the replicas of the then famous tong-lau style architecture of the houses, tram cars, local street food and beverages and also the Edinburgh Place Ferry  Pier’s clock tower. The Sea Carousel and Waterfront Plaza are also one of its kinds and surely deserve a visit.

arctic fox    panda

The Amazing Asian Animals is very popular for the pandas that it houses. When you come here, do not forget to greet the park’s oldest two pandas An An and Jia Jia along with two monkeys Hu Hu and Le Le from Sichuan. Amazing Asian Animals also present you the striking species of gold fish, alligators, birds and small clawed otter.

Whiskers harbour op

Whiskers Harbor, I bet, is the most adored place of all the parents as they can let their kids enjoy and have some time for themselves. The tailor-made fairyland place for kids, the Whiskers Harbor has fun games for your little ones. Merry go round, Story corner, Clown a Round and so many more that the kids forget to cry that day! Don’t miss out on the Symbio, the world’s one and only 360 degree water screen.

Symbio Ocean Park

So, for spending your leisure time in a completely energy packed and invigorating way, I would advise you to visit this splendid park. A place for all age groups to get intoxicated, Ocean Park really makes you meet your extreme emotions of joy, fear and anxiety. Truly a superb experience of a lifetime!

Beijing Bites, Bangalore



Beijing Bites, Bangalore

beijingbBeijing Bites is a flourished restaurant located in the capital city of Karnataka, that is Bangalore or even known as Bengaluru. Beijing Bites gets its name after the capital city of China which is Beijing. It is an excellent value for money restaurant as it takes the pride of being the only Thai and Chinese cuisine in Bangalore and has flourished itself all over prime locations of the city. It is one of the largest chain restaurant in Bangalore and it has 36 branches all over the city and is continuing to spread even more over the period of time.

Beijing Bites is an affordable restaurant which offers and is inspired by Chinese and Thai cuisines. They serve contemporary styles of Chinese and Thai cuisines cooked to its perfection by the finest chefs in the country available. They provide their customers with a wholesome, healthy and the pureness of authentic food. This quality of Beijing Bites is the cornerstone of their chain of restaurants.

chicken steamed

The restaurant, Beijing Bites have been serving the citizens of Bangalore since last twelve years with their delightful delicacies from far-east and because of which in today’s era it is known for its detectable pan Asian Flavors offered and served. This restaurant is Bangalore’s leading Chinese and Thai cuisine restaurant with its in all 36 outlets in the city’s prominent areas and it has established its presence at major malls and tech-parks. As this restaurant being in almost every neighborhood of Bangalore, Beijing Bites is always and forever loved by all the sections of the city’s society. Keep the choice, wants, tastes and preferences of the customer’s choice and satisfaction in mind, all the dishes prepared in here are set to perfection and served with great care and dedication to quality. They would never compromise on the quality of the food which is to be served as all the ingredients used for the preparation of the dishes is of superior quality and are sourced from the best vendors.

Beijing Bites at mallsAt Beijing Bites, they not only provide the visitors with a range of oriental cuisines but also attach a great value for money which offers affordable and nutritious dining offers with variety of options attached to it. As this restaurant is very much affordable a meal for two can be accomplishes within 200-400 Indian rupees. The operating time for this restaurant is 11.a.m. to 3.30.p.m. and 7.p.m. to 11.p.m. whereas in malls and tech-parks the timing varied from 11.a.m. to 11.p.m.

beijing_bitesIts pride itself is it being a  New age Chinese and Thai cuisine restaurant due to its simple and yet a pleasing decor. The ambiance of the restaurant is very much authentic. Its cozy ambiance consists of soothing blue upholstery and filled with Buddha figurines which helps to have a sigh of relief from the madness and raging crowd of the city. The good food and excellent service at Beijing Bites is extremely popular among the young crowd as it is prompt and doesn’t let the hungry lads pang their thrive for a long time. It is cheaper to the pockets and very much affordable to all.

chili basil chickenThe specialty dishes of this restaurant includes the steamed dishes, Chopsueys and Chowmeins. It even includes fried prawns, Lemon Basil chicken, the Thai red curry, Crispy Peking Lamb, Hunan Tofu, Dragon rolls with garlic sauce, Chili chowmein, Stir fried Broccoli, Mafu Tofu, Phad Thai, Mixed Fuyong, Spinach chicken, chicken steak in Szechwan sauce, dish in picked chili sauce, prawn Koi Thai and lots of other dishes are offered in the menu over here as the specialty dishes. Whereas Lemon Basil Chicken and Thai curry are the signature dishes.

beijing_bites_vijay_nagar1The restaurants is air conditioned and takes reservations and bookings for the table in advance. They even welcome walk-in visitors in the restaurants. This restaurant serves not only vegetarian but also non-vegetarian food but they also offer an option of pure vegetarian restaurants at some its branches. It even offers variety of beverages and desserts as well. They have the facility of parking for the visitors with vehicles. This place is termed to be the best for young groups and kids who would like to treat their friends for lunch or dinner. It is even advisable for birthday parties and celebration of various occasions. They even provide take out and home delivery services. Beijing Bites s own catering service scheme for big parties and occasions.

The payment option offered here in the restaurant can be done with the help of hard cash. Even the option of Visa, MasterCard is open for the payment of bills. The customers can use the facility of AMEX, coupons, food coupons, debit cards and other category of cards in their convenience as is convenient for them. Thus the restaurant is proved to be flexible as well in terms of payment issues.

beijing bitesThe basic goal of this restaurant is to keep the customers happy and they would end up coming back again and again. If someone happens to be a Chinese lover than this is the best place to be suggested to visit in Bangalore. Being a socially aware and established restaurant it likes to keep a check on the impact of their business on the environment and they are committed to using environmentally viable methods. This restaurant can be proved as an ultimate experience for the consumption of authentic Chinese and Thai cuisine in Bangalore.

Deep Dish Pizza from Chicago



Deep Dish Pizza from Chicago

Pizzeria_Uno_Chicago-style_deep-dish_pizzaChicago style deep dish pizza is one of the tourist attraction in Chicago. It has taken over all the eatery and is flourishing all over the place. This includes several varieties of different styles of pizza which were developed in Chicago itself. Chicago style deep dish pizza has a crust up to three inches tall on the side edges so that the fillers can be filled in exclusively which includes large enormous amount of cheese and huge chunks of tomato sauce into it. Not only the deep dish style but also the stuffed style pizzas are very famous in here. Most of the pizzerias in Chicago serves thin crust pizza. The Chicago style pizza is commonly known as the deep dish style pizza outside Chicago.

Pequod's pizza with pepperoni, giardiniera, and garlic.This Chicago style deep dish pizza was actually invented at Pizzeria Uno in the year 1943 and the owner of this fascinating place was Ike Sewell but however it was said that the original pizza chef Rudy Malnati developed this recipe and made it famous worldwide now. He discovered this unique style of pizza creation which was kind of a combination of a regular and stuffed pizza. The basic difference between a deep dish pizza and most of the other pizzas is that the crust of other pizzas are comparatively very thin than that of the deep dish. The deep dish style resembles more of a pie like character than a flatbread which is the basic for of pizza bread offered earlier. Although the deep dish altogether is very thick but in traditional Chicago style deep dish, the crust is very thin on its own to medium thickness but it is not to be confused with the other style of pizza created outside of Chicago which uses thicker crust and is usually known as a pan pizza which is totally different than that of deep dish pizza.

The basic deep dish style pizza is authentically baked in a round steel pan that is more similar and familiar to pie pan or a cake tin. The pan is oiled in order to allow the fried effect to it. The thick layer of toppings used in deep-dish pizza requires a longer baking time eventually which could burn cheese or other toppings if they were used as the top layer of the pizza as usual. Due of this process the toppings are assembled upside-down from their usual method of cooking the pizza. The crust is covered with cheese known as mozzarella which is commonly and generally used on the top of the pizza, followed by various meat options such as pepperoni or sausage.

The various places and restaurants in Chicago where the famous deep dish pizzas can be available.

deepdishPizzeria Uno
29 East Ohio Chicago,
IL 60611
P: 312-321-1000.

Pizzeria Uno was initiated by the owner of the place Ike Sewell and this was the very first place where the Chicago style deep dish pizza was invented and slowing took a step forward in flourishing itself and becoming famous all over the place.

pequodPequod’s Pizza
2207 N. Clybourn Ave
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 327-1512.

In 2011,It was said that Pequod’s pizza produced the best pizza in Illinois and praising the pizzeria for using cast-iron pans lined with a dash of mozzarella on the top that gives a glazing effect to the pizza and a crust of crispy, salty, caramelized cheese which is delicious. The crust is not heavy or doughy and it contains a pie that is neither too soupy nor too cheesy. It is recommended over there that ordering a plain cheese pizza in here by saying that toppings are an unnecessary distraction to the pizza’s perfection.

aop.11.0219.facade

The Art of Pizza
3033 N. Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 327-5600.

The Art of pizza’s is owned by Art Shabez which is on the North Ashland Avenue near Lincoln and Belmont. Art of Pizza is named the No. 1 provider of deep-dish pizza in Chicago as the virtues of its near-perfect is observed and golden-brown crust and the nice, hereby flavors of the sauce. Diners can choose from 21 different toppings or try one of Art’s special pizzas like Art’s Meaty Delight, which comes topped with sausage, bacon, ground beef, pepperoni and sliced beef and many more but these are the famous ones which are in high demand.

Bacino’s
2204 N. Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 472-7400.

this place is consistent in creation of great deep-dish pizza which is why this place is an excluded restaurants with dozens of locations, like Giordano’s and Lou Malnati’s. Dan Bacin initiated the first Bacino’s 30 years ago, and while there are now four locations so far he has been able to maintain a high standard of quality at all of them and which cannot be differentiated or compared. All quality ingredients is everything freshly used and made from scratch offering the freshness of the products which makes the visitors as they leave the restaurant with a big smile on their faces.

pizano

Pizano’s
864 N. State St
Chicago, IL
(312) 751-1766.

Rudy Malnati Jr. is the man who opened the first Pizano’s in 1991 by using the knowledge handed down from his father, Rudy Sr. who founded Pizzeria Uno way back in 1943. The younger Malnati continues to get deep-dish right at all four of his local locations. Visitors and reviewers also praise the other menu items, including traditional Italian pasta and chicken dishes which are available in here.