Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Vivekananda Rock

Vivekananda Rock is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Southern India. Placed in the midst of the ocean, the Rock is just 400 meters from Kanyakumari. Built in the year 1970, Vivekananda Rock Memorial owes its creation to able supervision of Shri Eknath Ranade. It is believed that one of the greatest spiritual philosophers of India, Swami Vivekananda used to meditate here before embarking on the famous and path breaking religious campaigns in India in 1892. The place can be easily reached from Kanyakumari via ferries and boats.

Vivekananda Rock Memorial is not just a spiritual destination for millions of followers of Swami Vivekananda, but it is also a magnificent blend of traditional and contemporary style of Indian architecture. Year 1962 was the birth centenary of Swami Ji and that’s when the idea of making the memorial fist took place. The memorial has a life size statue of Swami Vivekananda. The rock is also known as ‘Sripada Parai’. Considered as a holy rock, the place is routinely frequented by domestic as well as international travelers.

Vivekananda rock memorial is a wonderful place for relaxation and meditation purposes. There are two main structures known as the Shripada Mandapam and the Vivekananda Mandapam. The main sanctum sanctorum is in the Shripada Mandapam whereas the Vivekananda Mandapam has a meditation hall known as Dhyana Mandapam. It is a place for those who want to get away from hustle-bustle of city life. They can come to the memorial, sit, relax and rejuvenate their senses. The perfectly calm and serene atmosphere of the place is truly blissful.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Mahabaleshwar is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the state of Maharashtra. It is situated at an altitude of 1,372 meters in the Satara district of Maharashtra. It’s a very sought after weekend gateway for the residents of Pune and Mumbai because of its proximity. If Pune is just 120 kms away from Mahabaleshwar then Mumbai is approximately 285 kms away. The place will mesmerize with you its natural beauty, valleys, lakes, wondrous mountains and charming waterfalls. The place was first discovered by British who turned it into their favorite summer gateway.

The best part about Mahabaleshwar is its versatility. Tourists can enjoy several different activities. Right from exploring the local tourist hot sports and trekking to indulging themselves in adventurous activities, boating and fishing etc, Mahabaleshwar offers you several choices. If nothing else, you can simply relax in one of many fascinating resorts and relish the calm and serene environment.

Among the major attractions of the Mahabaleshwar, Wilson Point or Sunrise Point definitely takes the cake. At 4,710 feet above the sea level, it is the highest point in the “Queen of the Hills”. You can have a heavenly view of sunrise and sunset from this plateau. Connaught Peak is another popular tourist spot. It is the second highest point at Mahabaleshwar and is totally surrounded by serene, verdant greens on all sides. A feeling of different world altogether.

Elphinston Point is also an attractive tourist spot. It is located 10 kms from Mahabaleshwar. Other popular sports in Mahabaleshwar are Venna Lake, Baghdad point, Kates point and wonderful waterfalls like Chinaman, Dhobi and Lingamala.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Delicious South Indian Cuisine

Foods have always been a great ingredient of any culture. The richness of the food tells a lot about history and sumptuousness of a particular culture and that’s why south Indian cuisine so effectively reflects the glorious tradition of southern India. You will find variety of food items in southern part of the country. Some of the most famous south Indian dishes are vadas, idli, dosas and uttapams etc. All these items are light and low calories in nature. The traditional food of South India is mainly rice based. The cuisine is lip smacking and delicious. Perfect for health, these dishes use very less oil for cooking and that makes them ideal foods for health and diet conscious people.

Most of the south Indian main course dishes have sambhar. Common components of South Indian dishes are sambhar, rasam, vegetable curry and pachadi (yogurt). Rice is lemon flavored and is commonly made of coconut. Rice items are usually made using coconut, curry leaves, urad dal, tamarind, peanuts, chilies, and fenugreek seeds.

One major difference between south India and north India cuisine is use of spices. South Indian dishes do not use much of dried spices except cardamom, black pepper and turmeric. The color, taste and flavor are just perfect for a foodie. South Indian dishes have significant nutritional value. Chutneys are an essential part of South Indian cuisine. Chutneys are prepared using coconut, peanuts, dal, tamarind, fenugreek seeds, and cilantro. South Indians also love to have coffee after having their meals.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Glorious Gangtok

Sikkim is the second smallest state of India. Located in the North-Eastern part of India, Sikkim is a beautiful place that is totally untouched by malice of a modern world. Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim and it is believed to be one of the most soothing tourist destinations in India. The best part about Gangtok is that it is not at all crowded and offers a world of peace, tranquility and spirituality. The place represents a wonderful blend of tradition and modernity. It has fascinating monasteries. A tourist can have mesmerizing views of the Himalayas from Gangtok.

Gangtok is placed at an altitude of 1547 m above sea level. Gangtok is an important Buddhist religious site. There are plenty of tourist spots in this place. Apart from beautiful monasteries, you can visit to Tashi View Point, Ridge Park, Government Institute of Cottage Industry, Sikkim Research Institute of Tibetology, Himalayan Zoological Park, Do-Drul Chorten stupa, Hanuman Tok, Deer Park, White Hall, and Sa-Ngor-Chotshog Centre. That’s not all. Gangtok is also blessed with wide varieties of flora and fauna.

Some of the other places worth visiting in and around Gangtok are, Rumtek Dharma Chakra Center, Fambong La Wildlife Sanctuary, Shri Nalanda Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden, Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary, Saramsa Garden or the Ipecac garden, Water garden, Changu lake, Nathula Pass, and Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary.

If you are planning to visit Gangtok, you can reach the place by road, rail or air. The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal whereas nearest airport is at Bagdogra. Thereafter, you can take bus or private taxis to reach Gangtok.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Jaisalmer Fort

Northern Indian state of Rajasthan is famous for its forts and palaces. The state boasts of rich cultural heritage. Talking about the forts, Jaisalmer fort is one of the oldest and massive forts of Rajasthan. It is located in the remote Thar Desert. Jaisalmer is one of the most renowned cities of Rajasthan since the medieval times. It was well placed on the trade route which helped it in gaining prosperity. The city has countless havelis and palaces and is celebrated for its brave rulers. Jaisalmer is also famous for its aesthetic sense depicted through palaces, sandstone mansions, screen windows, buildings, well designed balconies and sculptures. Among the forts, Jaisalmer fort definitely holds the commanding attention. The fort has 99 bastions and it is two hundred and fifty feet tall.

Old city of Jaisalmer is situated within the walls of Jaisalmer fort. There are many gates through which one can approach the Jaisalmer fort. The entrance gate is Akshya Pol whereas Suraj-Pol is across the road. Hawa Pol is known for its enormous size. It was constructed during the 17th century AD. Jaisalmer Fort is a fine example of Rajput style of craftsmanship. It is one of most striking architectural monument in India. The fort has an intriguing and fascinating five interconnected palaces embroidered with windows and balconies.

One can have the wonderful view of old city and adjoining desert from the walls of the Jaisalmer fort. There is a market called Manek chowk outside the fort. Plenty of houses, shops and temples are based inside the fort. Jaisalmer is the venue of famous desert festivals. The city is easily accessible through rail, road and air.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Somnath Temple

Somnath temple is one of the most famous holy pilgrimages of Lord Shiva, located in the state of Gujarat. Every year, thousands of Hindu devotees make a beeline to have a glimpse of the holy Lord. Considered as the one of the twelve ‘Jyotirlingas’, the temple of Somnath has existed since many centuries. In fact, the holy Hindu scripture Rig Veda also mentions the presence and importance of this temple. It was also attacked by foreign invaders on several occasions because of its wealth. The Somnath temple has been destroyed many times by the invaders yet it has always been rebuilt.

There are interesting legends about the construction of Somnath temple. It is believed to have been made by Moon first then demon king Ravana and even by Lord Krishna. One of the rulers of Gujarat, Bhimdev is also believed to have made the Shiva statue in stone. The temple boasts of amazing architecture and finesse. It is a beautiful example of rich architectural heritage of ancient India. The temple has been constructed in Chalukya style. The skilled artisans of Gujarat have really made the carvings intricate and flawless.

Thousands of Hindus visit this temple every year. The beauty of the temple has not vanished despite the onslaught of changing times. It has stood the test of time and devotion of pilgrims. To reach Somnath temple, one can take a flight to Keshod which is the nearest airport to Somnath. The distance between Keshod and Somnath is 47 kilometers. Somnath is also well connected through road and railway.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Its summer time and people have already started to make plans to escape from heat waves. There is no dearth of tourist places in India but some of them, over the time have witnessed huge rush. This can be a turn-off for tourists who prefer to rest in peace and tranquility. One such tourist destination that despite being hugely popular, still offers you a wonderful opportunity to make the most of your vacation time is Darjeeling. Located in the Shivalik hills on the lower range of the Himalayas, it is an amazingly beautiful place.

Situated in the culturally rich state of West Bengal, Darjeeling is a mesmerizing hill resort. Darjeeling first came into prominence when British used it as their summer resort during the colonial era. This quaint travel destination is not just popular among the Indian tourists but also frequently visited by the foreigners. The place is quite popular for its tea plantation. Exported to numerous countries all over the world, its ‘Muscatel Tea’ has always been in huge demand.

There are number of places one must visit in Darjeeling. The place will always impress you with its spectacular scenery, exotic flora and fauna, lush greenery and rolling slopes. Tiger hill is perhaps the most famous place in Darjeeling. One can have a bewitching view of sunrise and sunset standing atop the hill. If you are lucky, you can have a view of Mount Everest as well.

Ghoom is basically a small hillock in Darjeeling that houses one of the most popular monasteries of the hill resort, Ghoom Gompa. A visit to Darjeeling cannot be completed without having a look at its tea gardens. Apart for that, one can visit Observatory Hill that is supposed to be the oldest site in this part of land, Chowrasta for shopping activities, Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park to discover the rich wildlife of Himalayas and museums.

Friday, February 12, 2010


Kodaikanal is one of the popular hill stations in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. When you feel like describing this place, words like ‘beauty and tranquility’ will immediately come to your mind. Located amidst the lush Pali hills, the place is sheer magic. You will be mesmerized with the enormous rocks, twisty lake, forested slopes and cascading waterfalls of the Kodaikanal. It is situated at an altitude of approximately 2133 m and standing on the top of the hill you can truly enjoy the true magnificence of the valley.

Kodaikanal truly represents the grandeur associated with a hill station. Large number of tourists visits this place every year. Kodaikanal is also known for housing reputed educational institutions. There are several places to see in this popular hill station. Right from beautiful parks, soothing lakes to historical museum and massive rock, you can rejoice inherent charm of every facet of nature.

Bryant Park is located on the eastern side of Kodaikanal Lake. Founded by a British Army Officer named Mr. Bryant, this park is basically a botanical garden. You will come across bewitching assortment of various species of flowers. An annual horticulture show is also organized in the park.

The most popular tourist attraction of Kodaikanal is its Lake which is situated right in the middle of the town. You can do plenty of activities here like horse riding, boating, a stroll and indulge in picnic as well.

Kurinji Andavar Temple is another frequently visited place here. Dedicated to Lord Muruga (God of Hill), the temple has been built in Pallava style and is located just 3 km from the Kodaikanal Lake. There are plenty more places worth visiting like Pillar rocks, Astrophysical observatory, Dolphin’s Nose and Coaker's Walk and finally Flora museum.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Manali Tourist Attractions

The northern state of Himachal Pradesh is full of scenic places. Manali is one of those picturesque locations in the state that pulls thousands of visitors every year. Situated amidst the scintillating view of Kullu Valley, Manali is one place every travel loving person would prefer to visit. Manali is an ideal hill station. One will have magnificent views of wooded slopes, soaring peaks, blooming orchards and flowering valleys. Adventure sports lovers will always have one extra reason to visit this place. Manali has wonderful facilities for skiing, paragliding, mountaineering and river rafting etc.

The city also has Beas river that passes through the heart of the town. Tourists with religious inclinations can also witness magnificent temples and monasteries of the place. The beauty of the place is further accentuated by shade of deodar and pine trees. There are several places one can visit in Manali. 3 major temples are Manu temples, Hadimba temple and Vashisht springs and temples.

Manu temple is located in old Manali and one has to cross slippery stone paths to reach there. No less than an adventurous journey! Hadimba temple is definitely one of the most popular tourist attractions in Manali. It is a four storey wooden temple located in the forested areas of Dhungiri Van Vihar.

If you are visiting Manali, you can not afford to miss Tibetan Monasteries. The famous ones are Thekchoking Gompa, which is situated around the bottom of ‘The Mall’ and Himalayan Nyingamapa Gompa. The Mall refers to main market of Manali that houses several shops selling traditional Tibetan, Himachali and Kashmiri handicrafts. Other popular places to visit are the club house, Arjun Gufa and Nehru Kund.