Katarmal Sun Temple - Almora

Visit here is all joys and a curiosity that how such a mammoth construction took place at this place..

Lanes of Istanbul - Where civilizations merge

Being one of the oldest cities on this earth, Istanbul is a delight to history lovers...

Malana

A place which has been lying forbidden and disconnected from the mainland. Malana still follows their culture and traditions...

Temples at Batesara

Around 350 temples are estimated to have existed here. Excavation work is ongoing to restore temples of a lost era.

Murud Janjira Fort

In 15th century AD, this majestic structure was constructed inside the Arabian Sea to protect the kingdom from the pirates.

Seychelles

Untouched beauty, unbridled love, riot of colours the nature is here and how well the people add to it.

April 15, 2018

Athirapilly: Waterfall of Magnificence

Kerala: It's more than backwaters!
Kerala duly addressed as Gods own country, is a narrow strip of land lying in the west corner of peninsular India. Keeping Lakshadweep sea to its west and Western Ghats to its east, this highly literate state of our country stands proudly for its natural and scenic beauty, from dense ever green forests, diverse flora and fauna, hills and peaks to lakes and beaches, preserving cultural heritage and what not. It is one of the truly blessed place on this planet and we are lucky that India owns it.  
As in current trend there is a shift from seeing to experiencing and those who look for experiential travel, Kerala is a hot destination. Here words won’t be enough and mere picture can’t convey what it feels being there and experiencing every bit of it. From top to bottom, Kerala has a lot to offer to its travellers.
City sight-seeing is too conventional for those who believe in offbeat travelling. Athirapilly waterfall is one such destination in Thrissur district of Kerala, situated on the Chalakudy river, at the entrance to the Sholayar Ranges of Western Ghats. Athirapally falls also known as the Niagara Falls of India, fall down from approximately 80 feet  through numerous parallel streams, painting the canvas in white. These falls were recently seen as the Jal Parvat in the movie Bahubali.

As soon as you reach the location, the noise of splashing water will give you goose bumps. The waterfall is all hidden amongst the green and you can barely spot it from the road. A ticket of Rs. 15 per head is charged at the entry and then a walk of 10 minutes from the gate of the premises, which is maintained by department of Kerala tourism, takes you to the scene- where a calmly flowing river, drops down abruptly making one gigantic waterfall.

Here you can experience the river, the waterfall, the dense green forest, the arc of Western Ghats, all at once without any hindrance, the clear picturesque beauty of nature.

After the top view, it’s time to move down to the plunge pool. It’s a trek of 1km approx. through the dense green and a wet forest. Its bit slippery, so proper footwear and caution is recommended. The noise of waterfall will automatically attract you and without any feeling of hardships you will reach to the most worthy and a never seen before kind of place. The splashes of crashing water will leave you wet and the scene is more magnificent. It seems as if nature is joyously welcoming you, with a touch.
OH MY GOD and WAAOW, that’s the only thing I could scream out of excitement, because I have never felt this close to nature. It was worth the effort.

Though the waterfall is perennial but best experience comes post monsoon. You can visit it on all the days from 8:00AM to 6:00PM, however weekend attracts local rush too. You can enjoy local food and snacks at small eating joints and hawkers outside the premises. While walking to the plateau point or while standing at the bottom of the waterfall, you can get yourself clicked/ take Selfies to inspire your friends for this offbeat voyage. 


If you have time, you can go for Vazhachal waterfall, which is just 5Km from here. It is again a scenic spot and is famous for endemic species found in surrounding forest. One must start returning to Cochin by evening as there are no proper facilities of accommodation in the vicinity.

How to reach?
Athirapilly is 66km from Cochin city and 55km from Cochin International Airport via NH 544 and Nearest railway station is 30km from here in Chalakudy. 

About Cochin - While searching online you will come across name "Kochi" as well. Cochin and Kochi are one and same. British used to call Kochi as Cochin. Finally in 90's the name Kochi was declared as official name of Cochin. 
Cochin has been often referred as Queen of Arabin Sea and has been one of the most important centre of Spice trade since 14th Century. Cochin was well known to Greeks, Romans, Jews, Arabs and Chinese since ancient times. Cochin has found references in documentation by travellers like Ma Huan (from China, 15th Century) and Niccolo' Da Conti (from Italy, 15th Century). Spices like Ginger, Cloves, Cardamom, turmeric and black pepper grown in this region are renowned world wide.

Also would like to mention that Cochin International Airport is the world’s first fully solar energy powered airport and it is a perfect blend of nature and technology with heritage and modern architecture. Well connected to other major cities of India, Cochin is now a financial, economical and industrial powerhouse of Kerala. Landing here will give a kick start to your journey of exploring Southern India.

Keep travelling Guys...
(With Contribution from Shraddha Verma)


April 4, 2018

Temple Hopping - Day out in Udupi

Situated in the state of Karnataka, Udupi is a city renowned for its fabulous temples and pristine beaches. Visiting Udupi is full of joy that is ever fresh and full of fragrance.
Millions of people from all around the world come here to experience the divine serenity of these beautiful temples.
Sri Krishna Mutt is the most prominent temple in Udupi. This holy temple is the seat of Lord Krishna and is considered to be one of the holiest places in southern India.
The unique feature of Shree Krishna Mutt temple is that the Lord Krishna (in child form) is worshipped only through a nine-hole window, Navagraha Kitiki. It is the tradition in this temple to worship the Lord only through this exquisitely carved, silver – plated window. 
It is believed that the present statue is the same which was created by Lord Vishwakarma and handed over to Goddess Rukmini (Wife of Lord Krishna). This Idol of Lord Krishna was worshipped at Dwarka by applying sandal paste. With due course of time, the statue got totally covered by sandal paste. But, how this Idol reached Udupi, thousands of miles away from Dwarka (near to Gujarat). Story goes like this:
"---- After Lord Krishna, the city of Dwarka had submerged into the Sea. The Idol too was washed away with the sea waters. Time passed, and sometime after centuries one Sailor found a sandal block and he started using this sandal block as a weight to balance the ship. When this sailor came near to Udupi shore, suddenly his ship was caught in huge storms. That time saint Madhavacharya was near the shore and prayed to the Lord Vishnu to save the ship. Miracle happened, the storm stopped and the grateful sailor thanked saint Madhavacharya and offered him the sandal block as a token of gratitude.
When Saint Madhavacharya started to remove the sandal cover, the statue appeared and through his vision, he realised that this was the same statue of Lord Krishna which was created by Lord Vishwakarma and was worshipped by Devi Rukmini. Overjoyed by this, the saint bought this statue to Udupi, and since then this statue has been kept at the present place. ----"
No doubt the place has immense religious significance and people from far off places come here to seek blessings of Lord Krishna.
It’s not always that only devotees come to worship the God. Lord Krishna had turned the face and created a hole in window to let one of his devotee see him. Story goes like this; in the 16th century, an ardent devotee Kanakadasa, was not allowed inside the temple as he was from a lower caste. So he started worshipping the God from the other side of the wall, outside the temple premises. Pleased by the prayers of Kanakadasa, Lord Krishna created a small hole in the back wall of the temple and turned his face to that hole so that Kanakadasa could see him.
This hole came to be known as Kanakana Kindi. This hole/ small window is religiously worshipped by all the devotees and signifies the true devotion to the God, by heart.
Temple also houses a rare Panchmukhi statue of Lord Hanuman, which signifies faces of five Gods in Lord Hanuman.
When Lord Hanuman went in search of Lord Ram and Laxman, he came to know that the demon Ahiravna can be killed only if the 5 lamps which are placed in five different directions are extinguished all together at the same time. Then Lord Hanuman turned into 5 faceted God: Hanuman, Hayagreeva, Narsimha, Garuda and Varah to extinguish all the five lamps simultaneously and then eventually killing Ahiravan. This was something very few people are aware about.
Legends and stories associated with the temple are also decorated on the temples walls.

There is also a holy pond, Madhavapushkarni (sort of step well), at the entrance of the temple. Temple in middle of the pond is opened only once in a year, on occasion of Vijaya Dashami.

Lot of devotees live here in the temple premises and many people gather daily for worshipping Lord Krishna. There is single queue for everyone and no special privilege is granted to anyone for priority in offering prayers. The temple daily serves free lunch in the premises, and this is how the wood used for cooking is stored. I mistook this for another temple!

This temple follows a strict dress code, "Male visitors" have to remove the Upper Clothing, Shirts and vests. All the time spent here, we enjoyed visiting other temples without upper clothing and it was an experience when we didn't felt conscious or felt if anyone is watching.


Surrounding the Sri Krishna Matha are several temples, the most ancient being made of basic wood and stone of 1,500 years’ origin. Check this Lord Shiva temple, with a wall painting of Lord Shiva..

Another one with beautiful architecture:

With all the divine ambience and vibes in the air, The Krishna temple at Udupi is also known as the Mathura of the South.
12 km. from Shree Krishna Mutt is another fascination place, The Kunjaragiri Durga temple.

The temple is located on top of a hill and the hill offers some breath taking sceneries of Udupi.

There is also a Parashurama temple nearby. The area of hill is known as Durgabetta, and it is believed that Lord Parashurama is still in deep penance in the cave in eastern side below the Durgabetta even today.
Do not miss out a huge statue of Madhavacharya at the foothills of Kunjarugiri, while on the way to Kunjarugiri temple.

2 km. from Kunjarugiri temple (13 km. from Udupi temple) is another holy place, Pajaka Kshetra. It is the birthplace of Sri Madhavacharya, founder of Dwaita Philosophy.
In the premises there is a small stepwell type pond named Vasudeva teertha. In the childhood days of Madhavacharya, once his mother wanted to have holy dip in four teerthas around Durgabetta. But she was unable to visit due to bad health, so at that time child Vasudeva (Lord Krishna) created this pond and assured his mother that, a dip in this pond is equivalent to dip in all four theerthas.

Exquisitely carved in the Wood, the roofs of this temple are notable.

There is also a university in the premises where students learn divine knowledge of Vedas and Sanskrit.

How much time you want to spend in Udupi temples depends on you only. Continue the feel the divine ambience of Udupi temples in the peaceful atmosphere. 
For convenience: The route to Pajaka Kshetra from Shree Krishna Temple. 


Udupi is not only temples, there are a number of pristine beaches to make anyone fall in love with one beach after another beach. Take a break for lunch and keep exploring Guys.


April 1, 2018

Hidden Hops: A Local’s Guide to Brewery Hopping Through Asheville


Set against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the limitless talents of local artisans like musicians, artists, and designers make Asheville, North Carolina one of the most vibrant and engaging cities in the country.  
If you’re looking for a place to relax while visiting this hilltop haven, try sampling the many local breweries that produce some of the finest product in the county. Offering more than 100 locally-made beers every day, this short guide will bring you up to speed on all this city offers for aficionados.

The Rise of Asheville’s Brewery Scene
Craft breweries started to grow after the consolidation of major American brewing companies in the late 1970s. At that time, the number of small breweries dwindled to 44, and beer enthusiasts worried that it would limit the variety and taste of available brews.
Asheville definitely took this concern to heart, and by 2017, the city had the most breweries per capita in the nation. With a population of only 89,000 residents, Asheville has earned the well-deserved title of “Beer City USA” four times.
The beer district is primarily located on the South Slope, the southern part of the city. Whether you’re looking for a traditional ale or a unique and original flavor, if you can dream it, Asheville has it on offer.

Things to Do
Before hitting the bar, visitors can take a comprehensive tour as an introduction to the Asheville brewery culture. The history of brewing actually dates back to the late 1700s when the townspeople determined that it was too difficult to transport beer to an elevation of 2,216 feet above sea level. The passion and independence for creating craft beer has continued for centuries, and Asheville residents are proud to share their deep and rich beer history over a local pint.


Asheville Brews Cruise
The Asheville Brews Cruise was the city’s first brewery tour and received recognition in both Southern Living and The New York Times. Depending on the day, visitors can tour four different breweries, spending about an hour at each location.

The breweries on the route include Pisgah, Altamont, Hi-Wire, French Broad, Catawba, Green Man, Twin Leaf, Highland, One World, and the Wicked Weed Funkatorium. The tour price includes 12 four-ounce brew samples along the route. Tickets cost $60 per person, with a 50% deduction for designated drivers.

Amazing Pubcycle
The Pubcycle puts a different spin on brewery touring, requiring the work of ten peddlers and the assistance of a small motor to help during ascensions. The 90-minute tour makes two stops along the way. The 15-minute stops rotate, but the most visited breweries include Ben’s Tune-Up and the Conundrum Speakeasy. 
Tickets are $25 per person. The tour does not provide alcohol, but passengers may bring their own or purchase house brews during their visit to the pub.

Sierra Nevada Tour
Although the Sierra Nevada brand originated in California, Ashville has embraced it for years. Tours of this esteemed brewery vary in theme, price, and duration. The shortest tour is the 30-minute Guided Education Tasting, which focuses on their signature beers.
For those who want in-depth information on the beer making process, they offer a three-hour Beer Geek Tour. The guides also take tourists on a Trip in the Woods, a mile-and-a-half hike and lesson on the nature of North Carolina and how Sierra Nevada conserves natural resources. All tours come with free samples.

Sipping Through the South Slope
After taking a tour, it’s time to hit the pub trail. Starting from the southern part of the South Slope and heading back towards downtown, these locally recommended breweries are ready to entertain and surprise with their original concoctions.

Burial Beer Company
40 Collier Avenue
Burial opened in 2013 and is one of Asheville’s most impressive breweries. The forward-thinking owners Doug and Jess Reiser expanded a one-barrel brewery to a 10-barrel brewhouse with the help of their brewer Tim Gormley. They lean toward Belgian traditions while incorporating local ingredients like wildflower honey into their crisp blonde ales.
The taproom prides itself on its weekly releases, with craft beers ranging from the Bolo Coconut Brown Ale to the Skillet Donut Stout. The brewery is opening a second location, the Forestry Camp Brewhouse, which originally housed workers during the construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway during the Great Depression. 

Green Man Brewery
27 Buxton Avenue
Head north to meet the mysterious Green Man peering through leafy overgrowth on this brewery’s craft beer bottles. Founded in 1997, it is Asheville's second oldest brewery, and it’s one of its best for many reasons.
The Green Man Brewery is environmentally friendly, using high-efficiency equipment and repurposing used grains in cooperation with local farms. Although the Green Man Brewery has shifted its focus from traditional English style brews to American beers, some of the original lineup are still offered to appease their fans.
Popular selections include the Green Man Indian Pale Ale, with hints of fruit and mint, and the Green Man Extra Special Bitter (ESB) for those who prefer malt with a trace of caramel. Or try one of their new American beers like the Snozzberry Wild American Ale aged with fruit in oak barrels.  

Wicked Weed Funkatorium
145 Coxe Avenue
Wicked Weed has three locations: their pub, their brewery, and the Funkatorium. The Funkatorium offers just what the name promises: craft beers with a side of funk. It focuses on barrel-aged sours, which are aged in a wooden barrel to create that signature acidic tang.
Their Serenity won the Great American Beer Festival gold medal in 2013, and their Silencio incorporates vanilla beans and local coffee aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels. Wicked Weed recently sold their brewery to Anheuser-Busch, but the founders assure the locals and visitors that the brewery will stay true to its mission to produce original and innovative brews.

Ben’s Tune-Up
195 Hilliard Avenue
Another great stop is a converted auto shop named Ben’s Tune-Up, Asheville’s only sake and beer brewery. Sake is a Japanese unpasteurized wine made from rice, served hot or cold. Ben’s offers intriguing options like Lemon Ginger and Pineapple JalapeƱo that are refreshing on a hot day.
Ben’s also features an Asian fusion menu to complement their craft beverages. Sample one of their reputed beers and then cleanse your palette with some of their house-made sake. Ben’s Tune Up also has one of the best open-air beer gardens in Asheville and hosts free events featuring local musicians almost every day.

Asheville Brewing Company
77 Coxe Avenue
The Asheville Brewing Company dates back to 1998. This brewery has three locations: North Asheville, downtown, and South Asheville. The original northern location includes a dine-in movie theater, where movies cost $3 per person and feature classics like Jaws or Spaceballs.
Try the Fire Escape Ale made with jalapeƱos or the Rocket Girl Lager, which is popular with the locals. The brewery also offers a full menu with many delicious pub favorites.

Final Thoughts
Asheville offers a vast array of beer for any connoisseur, from hoppy IPAs to classic English dark stouts. Asheville was first named Beer City USA in 2009, but this town has kept the beer flowing like mountain water for many years before they cinched the coveted national title.

(Contributed by Harry Parsons). 



March 29, 2018

Book review: Super Women, Super Couples

Prachi Garg sheds light on success stories from round the corner.


In life there is so much inspiration around that sometimes in quest for a big one we often ignore the nearby smaller ones. After all not every inspiration needs to be the ultimate rags-to-riches story. Be it the 20 women entrepreneurs of Super Women or the 19 couples of Super Couples, Prachi Garg successfully brings the lesser-known success stories of entrepreneurial innovations and brilliance.
In the former, if some stories are about pure business acumen at display, some talk about women who successfully merged a social cause with their respective careers. Their ventures range from empowering rural artisans, providing online counselling to depressed and more, supporting victims of acid attacks, skin care solutions, making lingerie shopping easier for women, image consulting, house hunting to making religious ceremonies simpler.
The author not only tracks these women’s successes but also effectively dwells into the road before. Like a friend’s depression inspiring Richa Singh to lend an ear to all those going through tough times with her enterprise – Your D.O.S.T. Then there is Richa Kar who helped women by making lingerie shopping an enjoyable experience with her online retail store – Zivame, rather than a taxing or taboo one in many cases. While for some of these women, support and motivation from people in their lives came logically, some, obviously and expectedly, had to prove themselves to many raised eyebrows and doubting mouths and minds.
Written in simple and familiar newspaper article or feature style, with quotes from the subject, this 150-page book clearly shows how a dream, irrespective of its size, is the only thing you need to kick-start something fabulous in life. It is, however, when you reach a para claiming the person concerned is from ‘one if the best institutes of the country’, your curious mind automatically wants to know which one, something the second book also does to you sometimes.
Prachi’s Super Couples, gives us sneak-peek into the lives of people coming from different backgrounds to defy the age-old yet questionable wisdom of ‘don’t mix personal life and work’. These couple have not only shown to have brought out the best in each other, but it seems that the struggles that went through together en route to establishing their businesses. Their enterprises providing services in ecommerce, innovative gifts, eco-friendly products, health care solutions, social responsibility ventures, event management, digital solutions and many others, are also stories in love, sticking by each other’s side through thick and thin, mutual and individual goals, hardships and achievements.
Be it Meenakshi and Jey literally painting the towns red (travelling across the country to paint their message of love and peace), Smriti-Sameer selling flowers across the country or Mudhurita and Yuvraj doing their bit to help animals, these couples chose to go the unconventional way and become more of soul mates than they could have been otherwise.
Super Women
Paperback, 192 pages
Srishti Publishers & Distributors
₹ 175
Super Couples
Paperback, 168 pages
Srishti Publishers & Distributors
₹ 195

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March 18, 2018

Malpe Fish Market

Around 2 km. from the Malpe beach is the Malpe Fish Market. Unlike not so known beaches of Malpe, this fish market is in fact one of the most important fishing port in not only Karnataka, but in India. With hundreds of boats parked at any time during the day the visit to Malpe Fish Market is not less than like a carnival for tourists as well as explorers like us.

This fishing harbour not only caters to state of Karnataka but is also a selling point for fishes arriving from the neighbouring States of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

The variety of fishes coming here is just amazing; with hundreds of thousands of local fish as well as squid, cuttlefish, shellfish and along with mackerels, sardines, prawns, crabs, lobsters, sharks, stingrays and practically whatever you want. 

There were tons and tons of fishes all around, and more were being continuously unloaded from the coming fishing boats.

Fishes are unloaded from the boats into the boxes, sprayed with fresh sea water and stored on ice for subsequent selling to interested buyers.

There are two systems to sell the fish here: one is on the basis of the number of boxes the buyer wants and the other is through an auction that takes place at the harbour itself. The fish is auctioned and sold on the spot to the highest bidder before the next lot of fish is unloaded.

Fishes were present everywhere. Being a strict non-eater of fishes, the smell of fishes was trying its level best to drive me out of this place. However, excitement of visiting the fish market for the first time in my life, kept me going. Nice surprise to see the ladies playing the prominent role in trading the fishes with buyers. At times we got a few critical looks from the women traders, probably they have judged that we are no-buyers of any type of fishes. You need to be very quick in order to buy fish for yourself as the auction finishes much before you may think of putting your bid.

Refrigerated trucks/ containers are always waiting for their turn to get loaded with the fresh fishes to supply throughout the country.

Next time whenever I will see a fish being served anywhere, probably I will recall this visit to Malpe Fish Market and the eco-system which starts from early morning to ensure non-stop supply of fresh fishes to all fish lovers.
Keep exploring Guys...


March 17, 2018

11 Best Things to do in Singapore

Singapore is a paradisiacal island loved by everyone who visits it. For those who haven’t seen it personally wish to visit there for its magnificent attractions. After all, how often do you see the rags to riches story come true for a country? An island country marred by invasions and tortures rose to become the world’s favourite travel destination all by the hard work of its people and their warmth, Singapore is every bit worth your travel bucket list.

While on your next trip to Singapore, here are the 11 best things to do you must experience.

1.       Take a tour of Tiong Bahru

The most happening hoods of Singapore, the Tiong Bahru is lined with row after row arts and decorative shop-houses. It is a residential estate crowded with some of Singapore’s best food and lifestyle establishments. You can also visit the heritage-rich places to know more about the cultural side of this island city. Filled with restaurants, bars and shop houses rest assured you are spoilt for choices here. Don’t forget to try chwee kueh (rice cakes steamed to perfection with preserved radish toppings) and lor mee (braised noodles), the specialities of Singapore.

2.      A Visit to the Marina Bay

No trip to Singapore is complete without visiting the majestic Marina Bay area. With the rise of Singapore to a cosmopolitan city-state, the Marina Bay has seen changes of gigantic proportions. The Marina Bay Sands- a $5.5 billion complex is the focal point of the bay with almost a world-record holding structure and grandeur. With amazing options such as the Science Museum, Casino, dining options, shopping and nightlife choices; there’s no way you should miss out on spending an enjoyable evening at the Marina Bay.

3.       Universal Studios Singapore

A one-of-a-kind theme park in the South-East Asia, Universal Studios Singapore, has more than 20 attractions in themed zones like the Hollywood, Ancient Egypt, Madagascar, New York, Far Far Away, and the Lost World. There are two water themed rides and five thrilling roller coaster rides to give your heart and adventurous pace. The glamourous world of movies, enchanting rides and slides, and the straight from the movie tale characters are there to offer you a time of your life. It is nothing you would have imagined and every bit perfect for the complete entertainment of your family.

4.      Singapore Night Safari

Take a trip to experience the journey of world’s best nocturnal animals at one-of-its-kind, The Singapore Night Safari. This nocturnal animal kingdom is not only a tourist haven but also a research and conservation centre in Asia. With more than 1000 animals and 59 exhibits, there’s plenty to keep everyone excitingly awake during the night tour. The nocturnal animals include one-horned rhinos, gazelles, Himalayan vultures, wilder beasts, jackals, hyenas, elephants and many more. The trip also includes a special Creatures of the Night show for your entertainment. With animals sourced from various parts of the world such as Asia, Europe, Africa, and America, this place is considered to be the most family friendly destinations in Asia.

5.      Relax in Sentosa

Sentosa is an island dedicated to extreme fun and entertainment for people across all ages. Sentosa has Universal Studios Singapore, SEA Aquarium, and Adventure Cove Park. If you want to feel adrenaline rush, enjoy The Flying Trapeze, iFly Singapore, and Mega Adventure. Don’t forget to enjoy the sandy shoreline of Palawan Beach at the southernmost tip of Continental Asia.

6.      Gardens By the Bay

This huge futuristic park in the bay area of Singapore is colourful and majestic. Take a stroll in the impressive skywalk offered by the famous tree structures to experience what natural may mean in the future. The sea-shell shaped green houses recreate the atmospheric condition of chilly mountain climate which allows a number of exotic species to grow and blossom. This place is the perfect mix of mother nature and the modern life of metropolis. The crowd favourite, Cloud Forest is 114-feet-tall and features a mini mountain and the world’s tallest indoor waterfall.

7.       Visit the beautiful Birds at Jurong Bird Park

A haven for bird watchers spread over 49 acres, Jurong bird park is at the highest point in the Jurong Hill. It includes an African waterfall with the largest Aviary that includes over 600 free flying birds of more than 50 species. There is a corner named as Dinosaur Descendants that includes all the flightless species of birds such as ostriches, Emus, cassowaries, and rheas. The Wings of Asia section has over 200 species of Southeast Asian birds that you can view and enjoy. At noon each day, a thunderstorm is simulated and is followed by a light drizzle to give the birds a natural environment. The ambient is made similar to rainforest and a special nectar mix is available for the visitors to offer to the lories. The Penguin Coast section is a house to penguin species such as Humboldt, macaroni, rockhopper and king penguins. You can also see cape shelducks and gulls.

8.      Go on a Shopping Spree at China Town

An iconic landmark of Singapore Chinatown is famous for shopping, and a feel of little China in Singapore. A perfect place for low-priced souvenirs, Chinatown is ideal for foodies too. With countless food hawkers and restaurants to choose from you are spoilt for choices in the Chinese cuisine. If you want to learn more about the history of Chinatown, visit the China Town Heritage Centre at the Pagoda Street. It will take you through the memory lane of how immigrants who migrated to China lived a hard life and were the main people who founded Singapore. Other famous attractions included the Thian Hock Keng Temple, Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, and Maxwell Road Food Centre.

9.      Singapore Flyer

The Singapore Flyer is the one of the largest observation wheel in the world. It beats the London Flyer by over 100 feet and moves at a speed of 0.21 m per second. With a 360 degree panoramic view, the scenery from the top looks stunningly different during night and day. You can view the amazing  Raffles Place, Empress Place, Padang, Marina Bay and the Singapore River from this observation deck.

10.  Visit Little India

If you want a little piece of India during your visit to Singapore, go to the Little India. The authentic Indian cuisine served in the hole-in-the-wall restaurants gives you an idea of rich Indian food and culture. You can also visit temples, the bountiful Indian food markets and take part in the festivities that is a common routine throughout the year.

11.    Go to the Singapore Botanical Gardens

Initially, an unused plantation, the Singapore Botanical Garden is spread over an area of 60 acres and is the world’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. This garden played a significant role in developing agriculture in Singapore and the surrounding region. With more than 150 years of rich history, this garden is a part of the success story of Singapore. Scholarly Botanists and casual visitors can be seen in this garden throughout the year. As beautiful as it looks, the National Orchid Garden is famous for the wide variety of species and spectacular colors to help you relax your senses.

Conclusion
There can be an unending list of the best things to do in Singapore. There are backpackers living in the country since so many years and still don’t feel like leaving the place as they are still exploring it. Singapore is a place that grows on you and is definitely a worth visit for every traveller.

(Contributed by Neha Singh)