A city with two different faces, Pattaya will appeal to young and carefree people, who looking for bars and nightlife in this coastal destination, but it has also become a place where one can bring one’s family with its attractions and many activities and fun to discover. If you like shopping, culture, temples, amusement parks, dining or nightlife, Pattaya has it all. Continue Reading
Our mind-map of Goa freezes on its beaches … a cliché committed by the Western yearning for sun and sand. However, there is a wonderful landscape in Goa’s interior, populated by interesting characters, a rich and vibrant culture and a gastronomic tradition that is a cuisine with many flavors and cooking techniques.
Let’s start with the oldest Latin quarter Fontainhas in Panjim or Panaji. It lies at the foot of the Altinho hills with springs on the west side, which give it the name Fontainhas. To the east is the ancient Ourem Creek, built on reclaimed land. In Fontainhas, fairy lights glitter at the bistro entrances on the roadside. As you float through the streets, you can hear the soothing sound of violins and accordions interrupted by rattling pelvis while someone beats a rhythm on the drums. The guest houses are old mansions full of carved wooden furniture, lace curtains and scents of wonderful food flowing through the open doors.
The chapel of San Sebastián in the area is a bright white with noise that crosses the street on which it is located. Built in 1818, it contains a crucifix that was in the palace of the Inquisition in Old Goa. In mid-November, the street mass in front of the chapel shows the love of life, laughter, food and Feni. He celebrates the feast of Our Lady of the Law of Livrament. Next to the chapel is a painted fountain, which should fulfill wishes!
As you drive through the winding streets of Goa, you will be amazed by the ceramic facades of the houses. It seems like the walls of the bathroom have been uncovered, but other pretty bungalows with Spanish villa designs redeem the cityscape. The Goanic architecture of churches and ancient buildings reflects the remnants of Portuguese civilization. The bungalows with loft verandas and atypical wrought iron balconies, the patios often with a ringing fountain and tiled courtyards have old world charm. The famous buildings include the famous Basilica of Bom Jesus, the Church of St. Francis, the Se Cathedral, the Church of St. Augustine, the Church of St. Anne and Mary Immaculate Conception.
Shri Mangesh Temple in the village of Mangeshi in Priol, Ponda Taluk, (near Mardol near Nagueshi) is 21 km from Panaji. This temple is one of the largest and most visited temples in Goa. The most famous and most revered singer in India, Lata Manghkar and his family, got their name from this temple. The story of this temple is part of the virulent history of Goa!
The streets of the village are populated by the seller of Vadapav, the coconuts piled in the citadels and the sellers of bananas in the light saris. When it’s the right time of the day, you see women walking on the basket with the basket swinging a tune that only they can hear. The vegetable cart rolls like an impressionistic painting in magnificent colors, with the red tomato as a highlight. Bougainvilleas of all colors climb and crawl along doors, walls and doors, and palms waft in the breeze reminiscent of the sea.
Located near the border between Goa and Karnataka, the Dudhsagar waterfalls are a wonderful sight and can easily be reached by bus and taxi.
The Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is located near Panaji on the Mandovi River. It is a mangrove grove where amazing bird species live. Covering an area of 1.78 square meters, you can take a ferry and a pleasant ride early in the morning to reach the shrine.
The Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary in Mollem is Goa’s largest conservation area. Therein is the National Park of Molem. The Sanctuary has many animals including Gaur, Sambar, Leopards, Spotted Deer, Thin Tori, Jungle Cats, Malaysian Giant Squirrels, Pythons and Cobras. Plan to stay a few days to see the wildlife.
Take a wonderful walk to Surla Falls and discover the deeply satisfying atmosphere of Tambdi Surla Village and Shiva Temple in the thick jungle of Bhagwan Mahavir National Park. This classic 12th century temple with its intricate structure is carved in basalt. Its timeless beauty has survived severe weather conditions, attacks from Portuguese attacks and others. Paved paths and avenue
Hassan, a very old city is known for its monument trail of fabulous Hoysala Temples. The climate is cool and pleasant very similar to Bengaluru.
Magic of Hassan
1. Chennakeshava Temple
Chennakeshava Temple completely overwhelms any traveler thanks to the beauty it emotes. It’s a magnificent work of art and a stunning example of the temple architecture and have been proposed under UNESCO’s World Heritage sites.
2. Manjarabad Fort
Manjarabad Fort is a star shaped, beautiful fort enveloped by dense greenery in the Western Ghats. The drive up to the fort, through deep forest, is as mesmerizing as the destination. Manjarabad Fort is a well-known destination for weekenders and travelers keen on hiking and trekking.
3. Shettihalli Church
Shettihalli Church was named after the village and now it stands derelict reminding us of the past colonial days. During the onslaught of monsoon, the river rises, submerging the Shettihalli Church with only the topmost spires being visible. It is not a well-known destination at all and remains tucked up, enjoying its anonymity.
4. Gomateshwara Temple
Gomateshwara, the monolith statue of Lord Bahubali, situated on the top of Vindhyagiri Hill is located in Sharvanabelagola. The world’s only monolithic stone statue of this proportion has been carved out of a single stone preserving its proportions and expression. It’s an awe-inspiring sight to stand at the base of the statue which overlooks the plains below Chandragiri and Vindhyagiri hills.
5. Eshwara Temple
Eshwara Temple in Arsikere is a dedication to Lord Shiva in a modest and much smaller dimension than most of the grand temples strewn all across the region. Though smaller in size, it is known to be one of an exquisite example of Hoysala temple architecture.
While the tour is considered a daily activity, the night owls are not all lost. There are many monuments in our country that are open at night. In addition, their appeal is more intense and the charm of the sunset and the darkness even more accentuated.
6 Indian Monuments that lure at night
Temple of Somnath, Gujarat:
This temple in Somnath is one of 12 Jyothirlings of India. Freely translated, Jyothirling means the radiation of Shiva Linga. A famous religious center, the Temple of Somnath, stands out at night during the Arathi evening. A show of light and sound, “Jay Somnath,” depicting the journey of the Temple of Destruction by the Persians to their present restored state, follows the Arathi.
Victoria Memorial, Calcutta:
This colossal white marble building on the shores of the Hooghly River, with its lush gardens built by the British, has a different aura at night. When illuminated by lights, the building looks ethereal with the gentle reflection of the Hooghly River.
Mysore Palace, Mysore:
This Taj Mahal from Mysore will definitely come out more when the lights are on. Come on Dasara, the shine rises with more than 96,000 lights used for about two months.
Golden Temple, Amritsar:
In Amritsar one has the impression that the golden temple never sleeps. It still sounds sacred prayers and resonates with a liveliness you can never beat. It opens at 2am, but this time may vary by month.
Amber Fort, Jaipur:
The Amber Fort lies in the hills and is a manifestation of the Rajputs and their manners. The beauty of the fort is awakened by the lights at night. As a bonus, a show of light and sound, written by the famous lyricist Gulzar, takes place near Lake Maota of the Fort.
Fort Jaisalmer, Jaisalmer:
Another fortress that attracts during the day, but still attracts attention at night, is the Jaisalmer Fort. The vision of the fort, shining with the light under a clear night sky, remains in the memory of eternity.
Yes, the night attracts with many monuments to visit. To replace these sunglasses with a jacket, the night is young!
51 Things to do in Chennai
1. Make a beeline for the Marina Beach, Chennai’s most popular tourist attraction; it is the second longest beach in the world! You can’t leave without enjoying the vast expanse of sea, sand and sun. And try to catch a sunrise on the beach; it’s a mind-altering experience!
2. Eat hot bajjis on the beach – crisp onion, chilli, potato and raw banana fritters freshly fried. Nothing to beat the feeling of hot bajjis eaten on rickety chairs on the beach as the wind whips your face.
3. Alternatively, try out the local favorite – sundal, boiled chickpeas, seasoned with mustard seeds and coconut.
4. On the subject of beaches, Elliots Beach in Besant Nagar is quite a happening place with beachside restaurants, ice cream joints and fast food.
5. Tie mallipoo (jasmine) in your hair. It beats buying a bottle of Kenzo any day.
6. Head off to Mamallapuram (fondly known as Mahabs) and soak in the beauty of the Shore Temple and all the lovely monuments.
7. Mahabs is dotted with shops selling stone carvings, woodcarvings, soapstone figurines, handicrafts and seashell jewelry. And yes, you can bargain at almost all of these shops.
8. Enjoy a picnic in the shaded environs of Tigers Cave, on the way to Mamallapuram.
9. Gorge on seafood at Mahabs – fresh catch is dished up in many delicious ways.
10. If you come in January, you can catch the dazzling spectacle of the Mamallapuram Dance Festival and get to see various art forms performed in gorgeous surroundings.
11.From Mamallapuram, keep going till you reach Pondicherry. You can shop, sightsee and eat at one of the many lovely restaurants in this charming town. This former French Colony is a one-hour drive from Mahabs. And, don’t forget to visit Auroville.
12. Spend a day at Dakshinachitra on the East Coast Road and learn about South Indian culture. The centre showcases the living traditions of art and culture, folk performing arts, crafts and the architectural traditions of South India.
13. Enjoy soft fluffy idlis and filter coffee at Murugan Idli Shop. You will get four varieties of delicious chutney and sambhar; you can also ask for podi (powder) and oil.
14. Try out fiery Chettinad food at the many Chettinad restaurants that dot the city.
15. Spend a day at Kalakshetra School of Dance, which was founded by Rukmini Arundale. Soak in the lovely ambience – gracious architecture and the verdant campus – and get to see Bharatnatyam and other dance forms performed by lovely, graceful dancers.
16. Schedule a stop at the Madras Crocodile Bank and get entranced by hordes of crocs! A fascinating place to visit, one can see several species of Indian and African crocodiles and alligators bred in captivity and kept here in open pools. There is also a small snake farm that conducts demonstrations of venom extraction. Not for the squeamish!
17. Pay a visit to the Madras Snake Park and learn about these slithering reptiles. The Guindy National Park is adjacent to it and you can enjoy the beauty of natural surroundings bang in the heart of the city.
18. Spend a day at Vandalur Zoo and catch a glimpse of the many exotic animals that are there.
19. Head to St. Thomas Mount; sit atop the serene hill and be enthralled by the sweeping view of the city and the airport. The quaint church too is where St. Thomas was martyred is worth a visit. Its serene ambience will calm and soothe you.
20. for a thrilling catamaran ride with the local fisherman. Be warned…you need nerves of steel!
21. Check out the local sabhas for Carnatic music kutcheris and Bharatanatyam dance performances.
22. Amuse yourself at one of the many amusement parks like VGP, Kishkinta and MGM Dizee World
23. See artists at work at the Cholamandal Artists Village. This peaceful artists’ colony on ECR is a must-visit for art aficionados.
24. Admire the beautiful Kapaleeswarar Temple in Mylapore with its magnificent gopurams and traditional South Indian architecture.
25. Take a walk down the crowded by-lanes of Mylapore next to Kapaaleswar Temple; the aroma of freshly filtered coffee and hot, spicy bajjis, frying in ladles of bubbling oil permeate the air. Little roadside stalls sell an array of products from strung jasmine and marigold to slippers, an amazing range of bindis to bangles and costume jewelry.
26. Take a walk down history lane with visits to the Government Museum in Egmore and Fort St. George, which is where the British originally settled in 1640.
27. The Fort is also home to one of the oldest British churches in India – St. Mary’s, built in 1680. The highlights of the church are the altarpiece and a striking painting of ‘The Last Supper’ done by Raphael.
28. Pig out on South Indian food at Saravana Bhavan. They have outlets all over the city and their dosas, sambhar rice, curd rice, tamarind rice and thalis are just yum.
29. Add some stunning kanjeevaram and chungdi saris to your wardrobe. They come in a dazzling variety of colours and designs at the many shops that dot the city. T. Nagar and Mylapore have many lovely sari shops.
30. Pay a visit to the Theosophical Society in Adyar. Not only can you learn more about the Society you can also enjoy the beauty of nature in its lovely verdant campus. It’s an oasis within the city.
31. The banyan tree at Theosophical Society is supposedly 450 years old and sprawls across approximately 40,000 sq.ft.
32. A visit to Nalli is a must; their selection of saris, for which they are legendary, is awesome.
33. Buy temple jewellery; it’s unique, it’s beautiful. From earrings, studs, chains, pendants to hair ornaments, there’s a stunning variety. Originally, temple jewelry was made in gold, studded with uncut diamonds and rubies, and emeralds, sapphires and pearls but today you will find more affordable pieces.
34. The gypsies have set up roadside stalls in Besant Nagar and they sell lovely, colorful beaded jewelry at virtually throwaway prices. A great bargain.
35. For fabrics of every hue, texture and design, visit the pavement stalls off Pantheon Road. You can pick up material for curtains, upholstery and clothes at great prices. Remember to hone your bargaining skills!
36. For handicrafts pay a visit to Poompuhar or Victoria Technical Institute and pick up traditional artefacts.
37. Need some retail therapy? Head to one of the malls – Express Avenue, Phoenix Mall or Citi Center. Window shop, choose from a mind-boggling variety of foods at their food courts, and just wile away the time.
38. Sathyam Cimemas, the multiplex, is a great place to go if you have nothing to do. Catch a movie or eat sinful desserts at Ecstasy.
39. If you are adventurous, check out one of the Tasmac liquor shops. Be prepared to push and shove your way through drunken hordes to get yourself liquor; chances are you won’t get the brand you want, very rarely will you get a full bottle (you will have to cart back an annoying collection of quarter bottles).
40. Grand Sweets and Snacks is not to be missed. It is a veritable institution here and their sweets and savories are freshly prepared and delicious. Don’t worry about the calories!
41. The legendary Mysore Pak at Shri Krishna Sweets (which has branches all over the city) is to die for – sinfully rich, soft and absolutely melt-in-your mouth.
42. Chennai’s Mass Rapid Transport System (MRTS) is one of a kind. Want an elevated tour of the city? Hop onto one and spend a morning or afternoon travelling through many parts of Chennai.
43. If you’d like to do a spot of boating, drive down to Muthukadu Lake, which is on the way to Mamallapuram. There are speedboats, rowboats and pedal boats. In summer, the heat can be scorching though.
44. If you care about the environment, from November to April, you could take part in the Turtle Walks that kick off on Besant Nagar Beach. If you’re lucky, you might spot an Olive Ridley turtle laying eggs.
45. A walk down T. Nagar’s crowded shopping areas in Pondy Bazaar and Panagal Park are a must. You will have to jostle your way around but it’s fun, and when you get tired of it, just pop into one of the air-conditioned sari or jewellery shops!
46. For haute fashion, a trip down Khader Nawaz Khan Road, Chennai’s very own ‘Fashion Street’ will leave fashionistas happy and sated!
47. Erected over the tomb of the apostle St. Thomas, the San Thome Basilica is a significant pilgrimage centre. Its graceful spire, the majesty of its structure and the exquisite stained glass windows and its Neo-gothic structure make it one of Chennai’s most elegant landmarks.
48. Chennai is famous for its filter kaapi – made with freshly ground coffee beans that exude a tantalizing aroma; this is an experience not to be missed. Nothing like a steaming glass of coffee served up in the traditional stainless steel tumbler.
49. And of course, don’t forget to eat a sumptuous thali meal complete with mounds of fluffy rice, sambhar, rasam, porial (vegetables), applam and pickle followed up by a delicious payasam.
50. In the heat of Tamil Nadu’s scorching summers, a refreshing plate of the ubiquitous thayir saadam (curd rice) with a dash of pickle will leave you feeling cool and satiated.
51. The best time to come to Chennai is between November and February. Not only is the weather wonderfully pleasant, December is when the music season is on and everyday you can catch concerts and performances at the various sabhas and also get to taste authentic local food.