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Tuesday, 13 May 2014

THANJAVUR-The place that known by Brahadeeswara Temple

Main entrance of Brahadeeswara Temple
Thanjavur is well-known throughout the world for being the home of the Brahadeeswara temple. Thanjavur rose to glory during the later Chola period between the 9th and 14th centuries A.D. It also flourished later during the rule of the Nayaks and Mahrattas. At present Thanjavur is one of the district headquarters of Tamilnadu State in India. (The name of the district is also known as Thanjavur). It has been the treasure house of art for centuries. It is called the Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu.

Front view of Brahadeeswara Temple
Brahadeeswara temple , the magnificent palace, Rajah Serfoji's Saraswathi Mahal Library, Art Gallery and also for its exquisite handicrafts like the Art Plate, pithwork, bronze icons, Thanjavur paintings and the classical South Indian musical instruments. Brahadeeswara Temple is one of the largest and architecturally important temples in India. The Great king, Raja Raja Chola constructed this temple nearly 1000 years back.  This is one of the World Heritage sites of UNESCO.

How to reach:
Thanjavur can be reached easily by road, rail and air. Tamil Nadu state government runs frequent public buses from nearby Trichy, Chennai, Kumbakonam, Pudukkottai, Pattukkottai, Tirunelveli, Karur, Nagapattinam, Coimbatore,Erode and many other cities in the states. From the state capital Chennai, a National Highway (NH 45-A) linking Chennai with Chidambaram, Mayavaram, Kumbakonam, Thanjavur,Thiruvarur and Nagappatinam provides convenient access to tourists who come to visit Thanjavur and the adjoining towns. There are also several buses operated by private bus operators.
Architectural perfection 
Rail services are run by Indian Railways from many cities across India including Chennai, Trichy, Coimbatore, Erode, Tirunelveli, Madurai and Nagore. The train station is Thanjavur Junction.
Tiruchirapalli Airport is the nearest airport, located 65 km away.
A view from back of the Temple
Hotels are more or less cheap in Thanjavur. Suitable rooms in reasonable rate are available near railway station. Hotel ‘Tamilnadu’ is one of them, which run by Tamilnadu Tourism Development Corporation. Address of this hotel: Gandhi Road, Near railway station, Thanjavur-613001. Ph: 91-76995832.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

ASIA’S Largest Tulip garden opens

Asia’s largest tulip garden on the banks of beautiful DAL Lake in Srinagar, KASHMIR (India) opened yesterday, 5th April 2014 for tourists. According to an official of the Floriculture department “The weather this year delayed the booming of the tulips and delayed its opening”. The garden on the foot hills of Zabarwan spread over 15 hectares has a total of 1.5 million tulips in 120 varieties.

For more information about Tulip visit: and for easy travel to Kashmir, paradise on earth see my previous post “KASHMIR-The Paradise on Earth"

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

PUDUCHERRY -An erstwhile French colony

Pondicherry is a little town, located on southern coast of India. It was a French colony till 1954. The French relations, colonial lay out of the town, the heritage buildings, the spiritual scene, long beaches, back water, a choice of restaurants serving a mélange of cuisines attracts domestic and foreign travelers to here. For detailed map :
 Best time to visit: October to February
Main attractions:
·         Beaches – Promenade, Paradise, Serenity and Auroville beach. The 1.5 km long Promenade running along the beach is the pride of Puducherry.
·        Sri Aurobindo Ashram: This is one of the most well known ashrams in India, with devotees from India and abroad flocking to it for spiritual salvation.
·        Auroville :Idea behind this is to build a city where people of goodwill can live together in peace and harmony, above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities.
·        Temples, churches and mosques: The Church of sacred Heart of Jesus built by French missionaries in the 1700s in a contrasting Neo-Gothic manner, with towers flanking a central gable and stained glass windows on the side.

·        Heritage buildings and Monuments.

·        Museums: Puducherry Museum, Ananda Ranga Pillai Museum, Bharathi Museum, Bharathi Dasan Museum, Children’s museum and Jawahar toy Museum.

·        Back water , Lake and Gardens

·         Arikamedu :Arikamedu, the ancient Roman trade centre is 4 Kms south of Puducherry on the right bank of Ariyankuppam river.  

How to reach:
By Air: The nearest airport is CHENNAI, which is about 135 Kms away from Puducherry. Trichi (220Kms), Bangalore (320Kms) and Madurai are other nearest airports. Chennai and Bangalore airports are well connected with domestic airports in India and these have connections to Europe, USA, Middle East and South East Asia. 
By Rail: Though there is railway connection to Puducherry, direct trains are few. Travellors can get down at Villupuram, which is about 30 kms away from Puducherry located on main line from Chennai to Kanyakumari.
By Road: Puducherry is conveniently accessible by road, either by bus or taxi. Almost all towns in south India are well connected to this place.  There are frequent express buses in every 15 minutes from Chennai.( Koyembedu bus stand) reaching Puducherry within 3 hrs.
PARK MONUMENT(Aayi Mandapam)
Hotels are comparatively cheap in Puducherry. Comfortable rooms in reasonable rate are available in hotels near bus stand itself. ADITYA is one among them. In Kamaraj Salai (about 2Kms from bus stand) Hotel JAYARAM is an ideal hotel. A very good vegetarian restaurant is attached with this hotel. For more reliable information visit:
Travel Tips :
§  Puducherry is humid in weather. It is best to avoid thick dresses. During winter take sweaters and jackets.
§  Taxi and Auto drivers would cheat you unless you set the charge before travelling.
§  Don’t miss walk on beach road and a hot coffee from LE CAFE in evening. It is very interesting.

§  Puducherry Tourism Development Corporation conducts sightseeing trips, week end tours and seasonal tours. For information contact: Tourist Information Bureau, Beach Road, Puducherry. Ph:0413-2339497, 2226744 

Friday, 3 January 2014

HAMPI-A destroyed capital city

Ruins of structures
Hampi is a ruined  city of ancient India, situated on the banks of Thungabhadra River in Karnataka State.It was capital city of VIJAYANAGARA empire existed during 1336 to 1565. The ruin of the city was during invasion of the empire by Deccan Sultanates. Ruins of architectural structures and temples beautifully constructed in hard rock spread in about 26 sq Kms are the main attractions of Hampi.The architecture of the ruins makes one wonder at the amazing skill of the artisans!  Now it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 
Virupaksha Temple
Best time to visit: October to February
Kings Balance
Attractions in specific:
·         Virupaksha Temple
·         Idol of Narasimha in Lakshmi Narasimha Temple
·         Vittala Temple
·         The Kings Balance
Chariot at Vitthala Temple
·         Lotus Mahal
·         Elephant Stables
·         Mahanavami Dibba
·         Watch House
·         Tungabhadra River

Partially ruined idol of Narasimha
Attractions around Hampi:
·         Tungabhadra Dam: The Thunga bhadra Dam is construced across the Thungabhadra river , a tributary of Krihna River.The Dam is very near to Hospet.
Tungabhadra Dam at sunset
How to reach:
By Road and Rail:  There are a number of options to reach Hampi. Your gateway town to Hampi is Hospet , bustling town located very close to the Hampi ruins(12 Kms). This is the major travel hub from where you can get the travel connections. There are good road and rail connections to Hospet from a number of major towns and cities.
By Air: Travel by air is not advisable. Bellary (60Kms) and Hubli (170Kms) are the nearest domestic air ports. These airports are connected by domestic flights from Bangalore, Mumbai and other cities in south India. Bangalore is the international airport near to Hampi.
A view of  of Virupaksha temple from upper hill.
Accomadation: There are only a few of hotels at Hampi. More hotels are in Hospet,
Mahanavami Dibba
Elephant Stables

Things to remember:
·         To make visiting Hampi more interesting, acquire some knowledge about the history of Vijayanagara Empire before your visit.
·         Hotels in Hampi are more expensive than that of Hospet. Hospet is only 12 Kms from Hampi.
·         All kinds of transportation are available from Hospet. KSTDC (Karnataka State Tourism Devt. Corporation) also conducts sightseeing trips to Hampi and Tungabhdra Dam from Hospet. The booking office of KSTDC is at KRK lodge, Near Priyadharsini Hotel, Station Road, Hospet.
·         Tungabhdra Dam is very near to Hospet. The garden attached to the dam is very beautiful. So don’t miss it.( The dam site is also included in Hampi trip of KSTDC)   

Monday, 30 December 2013

GOA-The beach paradise

Goa is a tourist resort known by its renowned beaches. It is the smallest state of India located in western coast bounded by Maharashtra to north and Karnataka to east and south. Goa was a province of Portuguese till 1961.So the influence of Portugal culture still exists.
A different face of Donapaula
Best time to visit: October to February
Attractions:            Goan beaches known as Anjuna, Agonda, Arambol, Baga,Betul, Calangute, Colva, Donapaula, Miramar,  Palolem, Polem and vagator, Goan Museum,Forts,Churches ,Temples , Mosque and Aquarium.
Miramar Beach
How to reach:
By Air:   Goa is connected by domestic flights to major cities of India. The Airport of Goa is at Dabolim near the port town, Vasco-da-Gama and 30 Kms away from Panaji, the capital city of Goa. The national airline Air India operates a few international flights, especially from the Gulf countries.  Besides  Air India,  Air Arabia and Qatar Airways also operate international flights to Goa.
A view in Goan Aquarium
By Rail: The railway network connects Goa with major cities of India especially New Delhi in north and Trivandrum in south. The high speed Konkan railway has daily trains from Mumbai to Goa which takes only 8-9 hours. The major railway stations in Goa are Madgaon and Vasco-da-Gama. For advance booking and other details please visit:
By Road: Goa is connected with all the major towns in India via the National Highways NH4A, NH17 and NH17A. In most places along the way, the highway roads are in excellent condition and motorable at fairly good speeds. There are bus services operating from Goa to most towns and cities in neighboring states, such as Mumbai, Pune, Belgaum, Hubli, Bangalore, Mangalore etc. at fairly regular intervals throughout the day.
Shanta Durga Temple
Goa Tourism department provide comfortable and safety accommodation on reasonable rate. For booking online visit: Many private hotels and guest houses are in Goa with luxury and comfortable rooms to suit your budget.
Se Cathedral
Basilica Church

Things to remember:
Ø The peak season in Goa is between October and January. It is also the time when Goa is most crowded. Hotel tariff is high during this time.
Ø  The south and north Goa trips of GTDC (Goa Tourism Development Corporation) almost cover Goa in full.
Ø Do not concentrate only on the more famous beaches such as Calangute and Baga. Goa has a number of relatively less crowded beaches which will give you more privacy and even more pleasure. The seas in Goa are often rough on certain beaches especially around the monsoons.
Ø Cuisine in Goa is not limited to just the Goan variety. In most places you can find everything from Continental, Chinese, Tibetan, Indonesian, Thai, Portuguese and even Mexican dishes on the menu. Fresh seafood dishes are probably the safest and tastiest bet in most small restaurants that you will visit.
Ø If you are a foreign national (probably coming for the first time), be warned that you will be quoted some truly exorbitant prices for most things that you ask for, right from household goods to taxi rates etc. However always check around with a number of sources for an approximate reasonable price before striking a deal. Always be ready to bargain in most small establishments. As a thumb rule offer 20% of the asking price, and be prepared to pay 35-40% % of the original asked price.
Ø Shop at Government emporia/handicraft centres for quality products at reasonable prices.
Ø Guides may be hired from Government approved agencies. For verification, you may ask for identity card.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

DELHI-The capital city of India

Delhi is the traditional and present capital of India. Delhi stands in a triangle formed by the river Yamuna in the east and spurs from the Aravali range in the west and south. Delhi is not only the largest commercial centre in Northern India, but also the largest centre of small industries. Delhi has two faces known as old Delhi and New Delhi. For map visit!q=Delhi&data
Best time to visit: October to March
Attractions:  Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb, Firozshaw  Kotla, Quatab Minar, Rajghat, India Gate, Purana Qila, Lotus Temple, Teen Murty Marg, National Museum, Jantar Mantar, Dilli Haat, Rashtrapathi Bhavan and Parliament House
How to reach:
By Air: Delhi is well connected with domestic and international flights, to all the major cities within and outside India. Almost all the major airlines have their flights operating from Indira Gandhi International Airport at New Delhi. Domestic Airport connects Delhi to the major cities in India. Visit
By Rail: The railway network connects Delhi to the all major and, nearly, all the minor destinations in India. The three important railway stations of Delhi are New Delhi Railway Station, Old Delhi Railway Station and Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station. For booking and enquiries visit
By Road: Delhi is well connected, by a network of roads and national highways, with all the major cities in India. The three major bus stands in Delhi are Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT) at Kashmiri Gate, Sarai Kale-Khan Bus Terminus and Anand Vihar Bus Terminus. Both the government and private transport providers provide frequent bus services. One can also get government as well as private taxis here.
Accommodation:  Many hotels and guest houses are in Delhi with comfortable rooms to suit your budget.
Things to remember:
Service of pre-paid taxis (A/C and non A/C) is available in air ports and railway stations. Don’t   hand over cash receipt received for pre- payment to taxi driver before reaching the place.
Before booking hotels ensure facilities and you should know the check in/check out time. Remember some hotels management is not honest.
Delhi metro rail net work is very useful for tourists. Experience the same maximum in journey within the city.
For city sightseeing, use flexible HOHO (Hop-On/Hop-Off) a/c buses operating by the DTDC (Delhi Tourism Development Corporation).( These tours are conducted in specially designed buses which move continuously along a route, allowing tourists to board or alight at any of the pickup/drop off points. The route of these buses covers monuments, museums, galleries, gardens, shopping malls, hotels and bazaars)
Agra, the city of TAJ MAHAL is only 165Kms away from Delhi. So don’t miss it. DTDC conducts trips to Agra on every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Though the private tour operators conducts trips on every day, DTDC trips are better.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

MUMBAI-Sleepless city


Mumbai is the commercial and financial capital of India. The city is always active. It never sleeps. It was originally a cluster of seven islands which have been linked through successive reclamations. The name Mumbai is derived from “Mumbadevi” the Goddess of earlier inhabitants of these islands. The city is considered as gateway to India
Best time to visit: November  to February.
Main attractions: Gateway of India, Elephanta caves( 9 Kms from Gateway of India by boat), Chhatrapathy Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya ( Known as Prince of Wales Museum), Victoria gardens (Veermata Jeejabhai Bhonsele Udyan), Nehru Planetarium and Nehru Science centre, Film city, Marine drive, Nariman point, Bandra-Worli Sea link or Rajiv Ghandi sea link, Juhu beach, Indira Priyadharsini Park.
How to reach:
By Air: Reaching Mumbai by air is easy. Several international and domestic flights are available to Mumbai. Mumbai International Air port is 30Kms away from centre of the city. The airport is Chatrapati Shvaji International Airport formerly known as Sahar Air port. Domestic terminal named Santa Cruz is at a distance of 4Kms from here. Both the International and domestic air ports have facilities like tourist offices, restaurants, duty free shops, car rentals, pre-paid taxies ,money exchange and hotel bookings.
By Rail: The city is connected massively by rail. Super fast luxury and passenger trains connect the city with all prominent towns of India like Delhi, Culcutta, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Cochin.
By Road: Mumbai is well connected by road with rest of India. All kinds of buses like luxury, semi-luxury and ordinary buses are plying between Mumbai and other towns in Maharashtra and adjacent states.
Entrance to CST

Large number of hotels is in Mumbai with comfortable rooms to suit your budget. MTDC (Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation) also provide accommodation on reasonable rates. For details of MTDC visit .Some state governments have their own guest houses in Mumbai. These guest houses are also available for stay. For booking rooms in these guest houses you can visit concerned websites.
Prince Wales Museum
Things to remember 
Pre-paid taxis are available in Aerodromes and railway stations. Don’t hire taxis from outside. Service of Autoriksha is not available within the city limit of Mumbai.(CST, Mumbai central, Church gate, Dadar etc.) However it is available in northern areas like Andheri, Sion and new Mumbai (Eastern part).
Airport authorities operate buses between international and domestic airports for their passengers.
Travel by suburban railway is cheaper and time saving. Avoid travel during rush time ie., from 8 to 10.30 hrs in morning and 4 to 7 hrs in evening.
 MTDC (Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation) do not conducts sightseeing trips in Mumbai. So tourists are forced to depend on private tour operators. Try to choose best of them. Avoid tour operators like “MUMBAI DARSHAN”.

For visiting Elephanta caves no need of tour operators. Boats are available from Gate of India on payment of required charges.