Istanbul - Where civilizations merge

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

Puducherry

Neat and clean beaches. French architecture and delightful cuisine options. Puducherry is surly a destination to be explored...

Varanasi

...is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together.....By Mark Twain.

Bhangarh

One of the most haunted place on the planet. Staying after sunset and going before sunrise is STRICTLY prohited by law.

Musical Pillars of Hampi

Musical notes from the Pillars has bought people from around the world to this place.

Mitawali

The Ancient Temple which inspired the design of Indian Parliament House.

January 7, 2016

Balcarka Caves, Czech Republic...

After Vatican City, our friend traveller Rohit  decided to turn an archaeologist and set out to explore caves in Czech Republic, which are believed to be inhabited by early man. Balcarka Caves are situated in the northern part of Moravsky Kras near the city of Brno in Czech Republic.
The underground labyrinth of corridors, fissures and caves has two floors. The entrance portal of the cave is a significant paleontological and archaeological locality. It is a place where bones of Pleistocene animals were found as well as stone and bone instruments and fireplaces of people of the Early Stone Age. Further parts of the cave were discovered in stages in the years 1923–1948. These caves display beautiful and unique colourful stalactite and stalagmite decorations.

No doubts, this should be included in your Eurotrip itinerary.

Contributed by our friend traveller Rohit Sinha...




January 2, 2016

Puducherry - Place of SÉRÉNITÉ..

Puducherry/ Pondicherry, colloquially known as PONDY is a small place in radius nearly 15 km. Pondicherry/ Puducherry is a union territory situated at 90 km from Chennai on shore of Bay of Bengal. It is one of the big attractions in south India for travellers because of it's neat and clean beaches and old French architecture colony and churches.

Once you hit Pondy, just head to Mission road which is 2 Km from the railway station, there you can easily rent bikes/cars and start exploring.

Famous Beaches - Auro/Paradise/Mahatma Gandhi (MG)
Things To Experience : Sun Bath, Heritage Buildings, Water Sports, Night Life.  
Accommodation - one can rent personal  home and hotel and sea view hotel , resort.
In Pondy you have many options to stay .You can get good hotel with in 2 km range from MG beach. some of them have sea view and are pretty economical.

If  you are ready to go outside of city, 5-6 km from railway station, there are many guest houses cum farm house on beaches with all facilities like food, swimming pool and ample greenery. 





These guest houses have all sports facilities to let you start your day on an exciting note.






Paradise beach is one of the pristine beaches of Pondicherry and is punctiliously taken care of. It's better to reach there in the morning. 
To get to Paradise Beach you will have to catch a boat from Chunnambar boat house, which is around 7 Kms away from the city.






Lovely roads en-route to the boat house will keep your spirits lively.








Enjoy the short boat ride from Chunnambar boat house to Paradise beach.







Lovely Paradise Beach welcomes you in a beautiful way. Once you reach at paradise beach you can't stop yourself from taking dip in it.
Changing rooms are available here for men/women. Enjoy the chilled beer at the beach and the snacks at small bakery.
  
Enjoy your day off, relax, play sports or in short - do whatever you want to do here. Or simply chill...


Can try your hands at Volleyball or any other sports too.






Playing and relaxing we forgot that it was evening now - Time to explore the city and try some local food available.







Mahatma Gandhi beach, also known as rock beach, is in middle of the city. People come here to see sunrise and sunset. Couples can spend quality time in evening here. MG road, beside and parallel to the beach, is a lovely road of almost 1 km.
There is a huge statue, 4 meter high, of Mahatma Gandhi on the beach road.







Statue is surrounded by eight granite pillars, which were supposedly brought from Gingee, a fort some 70 km from Pondicherry.











Pondy is known for it old French style churches. There are almost 8-10 churches designed in old French style, some of them are more than 100 year old. Basilica church is very beautiful and calm place for offering prayers. A huge idol of Lord Jesus and bright light makes it utterly soothing for the devotees... 
Eating - Pondy is also well acclaimed for very delicious french cuisine and south Indian food. There are  few very good french bakeries and very good french restaurants, serving authentic French food.

Bakers Street, 123, Bussy St, Puducherry, 605001.
Delicious pastries, mousse, coffee, apple cake, French doughnut, chocolate truffle and many more...!!!








If you happen to be at Pondy, Bakers Street, during Christmas - must try their traditional dessert  La Bûche de Noël.

Also Le Club, Which claims to be the first restaurant in Pondy to serve French cuisine is a very popular restaurant in the city to dive in for dinner.

THINGS YOU MUST COVER APART FROM ABOVE ... !!!

French war memorial - the most eye catching monument in Pondicherry. The lighting arrangements on the place magnify the beauty in the night.
last but not least, Auroville (Sri Aurobindo Ashram),- MUST VISIT 

Sri Aurobindo Ashram is a well known ashram, devotees from India and all over the world come here for spiritual salvation. Its spiritual tenets represent a synthesis of yoga and modern science. The Ashram was founded in 1926 by Sri Aurobindo Ghose, an Indian freedom fighter, poet, philosopher, and yogi.
Mirra Alfassa (also known as ‘The Mother’) was one of the followers, born in Paris and was so inspired by his philosophy that she stayed in Pondicherry. After 24 November 1926, when Sri Aurobindo retired into seclusion, she founded his ashram (Sri Aurobindo Ashram), with a handful of disciples. With Sri Aurobindo's full approval she became the leader of the community, a position she held until her death. 
Pondicherry Railway Station - Catch connecting trains to Chennai, Bangalore and major stations from here.







Compelling beaches and one of the most acclaimed places in India is calling.

Keep on travelling  ......

Au Revoir....!!!

" With Contribution from Yogendar Singh "





December 1, 2015

Vatican City...

St. Peter's Square is a moderately large plaza located directly in front of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City, the papal enclave inside Rome, directly west of the neighborhood or rione of Borgo.

The Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican, or simply St. Peter's Basilica, is a Late Renaissance church located within Vatican City. 

You get an amazing feeling out here. The feeling of getting into the details and history is really mesmerizing. The place has great tourist attraction . St Peters is very close to Rome and major attraction in Italy. 






 
Contributed by our friend traveller, Rohit Sinha

After Vatican City his next destination: Hidden and beautiful Balcarka caves in Czech Republic...

Rohit Sinha is a passionate traveller. He loves to travel to different, but interesting places.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

   
 





November 12, 2015

Ethnic stay at Bishnoi Village...

We have stayed in Jodhpur and visited Bishnoi Area for one day. However on visiting the Bishnoi region we realised that we should have stayed in Bishnoi region and should have visited Jodhpur for a day's trip, as all the attractions in Jodhpur can be done in one day trip. Staying at Bishnoi region will also give a chance to experience Bishnoi culture and life in desert. But where to stay in Bishnoi region, we got our answer in Bishnoi Village (www.bishnoivillage.com), situated amidst Bishnoi villages, about 22 K.M. from Jodhpur city on the route of Jodhpur to Udaipur.

Bishnoi village is an ethnic resort designed in traditional Bishnoi spirit of living. The Resort consists of comfortable huts with thatched roof and attached bath room providing running hot and cold water. Huts are made of eco friendly local materials and plastered with cow-dung. The cow-dung is traditionally used as an antiseptic and insecticide. The huts are beautifully painted in traditional style by local women artisans. Its elegantly appointed rooms have their own individual character and furnishings.
 
 
Camp Site Tent (Activities):- The camp is exclusive, consisting of 10 deluxe tents tastefully decorated with attached bathrooms providing running hot and cold water. The Tents are beautifully decorated in traditional style by local artisans.  
Lots of activity is arranged in the resort itself which can be enjoyed/ indulged by the visitors. Likewise Camel riding, birds' watching, spending time with Bishnoi families... 
  
One can also enjoy the local fairs in its most original form. Local artists with their traditions and culture will surely enrich your memories. Resort organises safari (to villages Guda Bishnoiyan, kakani, khejarli)wherein one can see local craftsmen on work, shepherds, farmers and most important Black bucks and chinkaras roaming freely in their natural habitat.


Finding black bucks is very common in Bishnoi region, due to fact Black buck is protected and preserved by Bishnoi people. During the village safari, one can see the Bishnoi way of living very closely and spot Black bucks and even Siberian cranes (winter times) in the water bodies. Black buck fighting is very common in this area, but can be seen only for 2 months during their mating season (month of October and November)
Most important the FOOD, be assured to enjoy authentic Rajasthani meal like Ker sangari ki sabji, kadhi bajare ki roti, dal bati.... Will suggest to try Dal Bati, it is very different from what you will get in other cities, you will fall in love with. Enjoy the food...
 
 
 
One can easily plan a 2 night or 3 night stay at this resort. Resort can arrange a pick-up and drop facility to Jodhpur railway station.
Will recommend to try this version of Jodhpur travel itinerary, you will surely feel the difference. Travel Diaries readers are entitled to a 10% discount on their stay at Bishnoi Village. Use the code "Travel-Diaries" while booking directly through the website or by E-Mail for your amazing stay at Bishnoi Village. Contact details are as follows:
Bishnoi Village: http://bishnoivillage.com/ 
Phone : +91 94141 29233
 
Keep travelling Guys...
 
 

 




November 4, 2015

Thotlakonda Buddhist Complex...

Apart from the beaches, ports, steel plant and refinery the place Vizag has been once a flourishing centre for Buddhist culture. It was a surprise for me too till I actually reached this place called “Thotlakonda Caves”.  As I always say Travellers never think of themselves as foreigners, whatever time I could have managed from my schedule I stepped out to relish the soothing ambience at Thotlakonda.
It is believed that Vizag had been once a part of legendary Kalinga Empire and Buddhism flourished here under the patronage of rulers of Kalinga. The place mst have been  flourishing centre around 200 BC  - 200 AD.
 
Thotlakaonda is around 15 Km. from Vizag enroute to Bheemlipatnam. Way to Thotlakonda will be at your left hand side, please be vigilant or ask the locales. Situated atop a hill, Thotlakonda caves make a picturesque site for the visitors and archaeologists too. Caves were discovered during an aerial survey by Indian Navy in 1970's.




Mounds, Stupas, Chaitya grihas and pillared halls indicate that this place must have been a Buddhist monastery/ university for primary students. Check out the largest of the existing Stupa:

Going by the layout of this place, around 150 monks used to stay and study here. Proximity to sea and harbours must have allowed scholars from across the world to travel to this place and vice versa. Monks from countries like Myanmar, Indonesia, Sri Lanka were regular visitors here.
 
The well defined lay out of the rooms is like a hostel and size of the rooms which is pretty small can accommodate no more than 2 students of age group 10-12 years. 




A well equipped kitchen to cater to needs of students and visiting scholars was also operating in this campus.




The set-up here must have been a self sustained one as there are also some rock-cut cisterns meant for rain water preserving.








A Giant Stupa...












Layout of the premises with self explanatory mark up boards...






Some excavated structures.....








There are a few guides also at this place who can explain the various structures and significance of each of these. Good part they do not bargain for fees and accept whatever you will give, but please be reasonable enough as it is their only means of livelihood.
Thotlakonda in Telugu means "Eagle had shaped Hill". One can also enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of the nearby beaches an landscapes. To reach Thotlakonda, Bheemunipatnam from Vizag railway station.


 
Drive on the beautiful Beach Road is really enriching, you will enjoy every moment of it. Take whatever time you get from your busy schedules to savour such delicacies, Keep travelling Guys...






November 1, 2015

Where to book premium budget hotels in India...

Whether it is a quick weekend trip to local destinations or going to some of the unexplored destinations, traveling in India is one such activity that every single person craves for. But you should also remember that there is certain expense you need to spend in order to have a memorable trip. But you can definitely save some penny for yourself by choosing some of the premium budget hotels in India. These are the places where you can book them:

Oyo Rooms:
They have the largest network of all budget hotels in India. You can find excellent cheap price hotels at convenient locations like Delhi, Goa, Bangalore and 100 more places. Though these are budget hotels, you can still find some of the facilities like AC rooms with TV, complimentary breakfast, free wi-fi and best hygienic washrooms. Choosing your favorite hotels is just simple with oyo. You just have to choose the destination, check-in and check-out dates, number of people going to stay and the number of rooms required and the list of the budget hotels will be right in front of you.

Zo Rooms:
Zo Rooms are the best premium budget hotel chain that most visitors have chosen. They have a good connect of more than 500 hotels and 5600 more hotel rooms. Also, they offer friendly, secure and affordable rooms to their customers. They promise to offer similar experience with all the rooms, no matter which city it is.

Goibibo:
The Goibibo is a famous name amongst most of the travel freaks. In fact they rank top amongst the notch online travel services. You can get up to 67% discount on the hotels. Also they have a lot of budget hotels in busy places like Goa, Munnar, Manali and many more. The best part about the website is they have 50% off during the end of month, and one should not miss this at all.

Yatra:
It is a great travel search engine and an Indian online travel agency with best budget hotels. You can opt to choose from a wide array of budget hotels across any destination in India. By staying in these budget hotels you can really figure out the real value of money as long as you stay. It is an ideal retreat for budget travelers as well as contemporary business travelers.

Hotels.com:
As the name suggests, Hotels.com is meant for booking the best hotels online. They deal with all kind of hotels which range from the international chains, resorts to domestic budget hotels. You can actually refer to them as new age budget stay brand. You have all the information needed about the hotels to book a perfect stay.
You can enjoy the holiday tours with your friends and family by opting out for the best and suitable budget hotels at your selective destinations from any of these online travel portals. Along with hotels you can also look for airline ticket booking, restaurants, rental cars and much more at affordable prices. It is better to keep yourself updated about the latest offers so you can make your trip cheap and memorable too.
 
Contributed by Shahid Ali...




October 19, 2015

5 Surreal Places To Get Engaged...!

“All the world’s a stage” said William Shakespeare!
Why...? If you have to decide as to with which person you are going to spend your whole life and are now ready to pop that question, do not just do it any place! Take your world really as a stage and propose to your partner at a location coupled with your surprise plans so that the memory becomes unforgettable. If budget isn’t your problem and you are all set, here is a list of places which will make all this a magical experience:
 
  • Eiffel Tower, Paris:
-      The most visited attraction in Paris, Eiffel tower is without a doubt the best place to propose to your partner. Paris is known as the most romantic city and its Eiffel tower is just the ideal place where you will find your nervousness calming down. Choose the sunset time where Eiffel tower is glittering like stars and the dreamy surroundings become all the more surreal. Just look at the scenic place! Doesn’t it make you skip a heartbeat? Make your plans, pack your bags, book your ticket at a discounted price using Makemytrip coupons via CashKaro.com and fly to this romantic place with your partner. Wait no more!
 
 
  • Oberoi Amarvillas, Agra:
-        A hotel room with a view of the one of the seven wonders of the world i.e. the magnificent Taj Mahal! And all along you thought that you might have to overspend and travel outside India to make way for an extraordinary proposal memory! TajMahal is considered as the epitome of love and the truly romantic story behind it makes it an iconic building. You can plan your proposal in the hotel balcony which has a view of this beautiful monument! Since it’s a luxury hotel, it will cause a hole in your pocket. But by using these goibibo coupons present on CashKaro.com, you can cut down on your travelling expense to a good extent. 
 

  • Santorini, Greece
-        They say if you want to visit heaven on earth, travel to Greece! Travel to this heavenly place blessed with the most surreal surroundings to pop out that question. Be it the splendid hotels or scrumptious cuisines, breath-taking views or marvelous sunsets, this magical island is sure to woo you. Santorini is mostly known for its calming and colorful sunset. You can take a sunset cruise and when the time comes for the sun to sink in, you can propose under the beautiful sunset. You can even take long walks with your partner from Fira to Oia where you will come across housesladen with beautiful houses, flower laden roads and cafes with a splendid rooftop view where you can drop the question!It will be sudden and simply unexpected!
 

 
  • Las Vegas
-        If your style is not cheesy and overly romantic, Las Vegas should be your ideal choice! Las Vegas is not just known for its energetic vibes but also for its romantic nature. You can opt for a flash mob marriage proposal where you can select the location. The mob will perform in such a way so that you get the perfect timing to propose to your partner. Or you can also go for a photo tour proposal. A photographer will be following you and your partner and would be taking your photographs. When your selected location comes, bent down at your knees and propose! There would be someone to capture that perfectly timed moment and those surprised expressions!
 
 
  • Neuschwanstein -Schwangau, Germany:
-        Planning a wedding proposal in this fairy-tale like place will be no less than magic! Just have a look at it! Doesn’t it spellparadise? The Neuschwanstein Castle is situated in Southwest Bavaria in Germany. The castle has been inspired from Disney’s Sleeping beauty which lends it that dreamlike touch. Treat the princess of your life to this place where she will say ‘yes’ instantly! 

Contributed by Neha Chaudhary