Monthly Archives: November 2017

Best of Indian Wildlife- Top Animal Reserves and National Parks in India

Whether it is the Bengal Tiger, Snow Leopard, Asiatic Lion, Black Buck or Nilgiri Tahr, India’s wildlife is among the most interesting and diverse in the world. Featuring more than 150 national parks, sanctuaries and animal reserves, a holiday in the Indian subcontinent is incomplete without a visit to some of these famous parks and reserves. Read on and find out about some of the best known and wildlife rich animal reserves in India!

Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan

Ranthambore-National-Park

Known for its population of Royal Bengal Tigers, Ranthambore National Park is a famous animal protection reserve in India. Situated in the state of Rajasthan, it is home to several other animal and birds species as well. Special tiger tours and bird watching tours to the interiors of the park are offered here to the visitors. Sherbagh, Tiger Den Resort, Vanya Villas Resort and Tiger Villas Resort are some of the accommodation options available close by. Along with the wildlife, Ranthambore Fort and Padam Talao are two of the most popular attractions here.

Kaziranga National Park, Assam

Home to hundreds of one-horned rhinoceros, Kaziranga National Park is one of the most sought after wildlife holiday destinations in India.

Kaziranga-National-Park

Set up in 1908 and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985, this popular park is a breeding base for several animals including wild buffalos, elephants and deer. The months from November to April are considered the best time to visit the park and spot these wild animals. Addabarie Tea Estate and Kakochang Fall are couple of attractions located close to the park.

Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand

corbett-national-park

Established in 1936, Corbett National Park is one of the oldest protected areas in India. Sheltering the endangered Royal Bengal Tiger, over 500 species of birds, 33 species of reptiles and other wild creatures, this place is a major attraction among wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. Jeep safari tours, elephant rides and guided walks to the interiors of the park are available for all. Forest lodges, guesthouses and riverside lodges present convenient and comfortable accommodation options to the guests.

Nagarhole National Park, Karnataka

Located in the district of Mysore, Nagarhole National Park is another prominent attraction among wildlife enthusiasts who fly to India. This 1988 park is home to some of the most fascinating wild animals and birds including a few of the critically endangered ones. Offering comfortable accommodation close to the park are around 10 affiliated resorts such as Kabini River Lodge and The Serai Kabani.

Periyar National Park, Kerala

Nestled amidst the mighty Cardamom Hills, Periyar National Park is a beautiful protected area in South India. Established in 1982 as a step towards the conservation of biodiversity, the park hosts a large population of wild birds and animals including the Royal Bengal Tiger, white tigers and Indian elephants. Colourful birds, such as Nilgiri Thrush, Black-Necked Stork, White-Bellied Blue Flycatcher and Oriental Darter can be spotted here. Besides safari tours and jungle excursions, environment awareness activities, nature education, eco-tourism activities and nature camps are organised for the visitors.

Sundarbans National Park, West Bengal

Sundarbans National Park is another well-known protected area in India. With more than 400 tigers and birds, aquatic animals, reptiles and other mammals, the park is a major attraction among wildlife enthusiasts. Usually the best time to spot the big cat is between December and February. Sajnekhali Watch Tower, Sudhanyakhali Watch Tower, Kanak and Halliday Islands are few of the interesting places to visit near the park.

Sariska National Park, Rajasthan

Established in 1955 with an aim to protect the tigers of the country, Sariska National Park is one of the most renowned wildlife reserves in North India. Surrounded by hills from all sides, this beautiful park hosts a significant population of exotic and endangered birds and animals including Indian Leopard, jungle cat, wild boar, grey partridge and white-throated kingfisher along with the tiger. The months from October to June are generally considered the best to visit the park. Due to its location close to the capital city, it is one of the sought after weekend getaways from Delhi.

Gir Forest National Park, Gujarat

Gir

Home to many families of Asiatic lions and other wild species, Gir Forest National Park remains the most frequented national park in the state of Gujarat. Established in 1965, the park is inhabited by over 500 lions, 300 leopards, 200 birds, and 40 species of amphibians and reptiles. As far as the lodging is concerned, there are many farm houses, resorts and hotels around the park. October to June is the best time to spot these beautiful animals in their natural habitat.

Holidays in Maldives – Top Experiences in the Island Country

The Maldives remains one of the most famous island destinations in the world. Renowned for its sun-kissed beaches, unparalleled natural wonders, romantic charm and translucent Indian Ocean waters, this beautiful island has a lot to offer to anyone who is willing to explore its myriad marvels!

Beaches

beaches

Beaches are undoubtedly the country’s most famous tourist attractions. Hulhumalé, Bikini, Fulhadhoo, Reethi and Lily are some of the top beaches here which are visited by hordes of people. Along with offering the best of sun and sand, the beaches promise a unique culinary adventure to all at the many shacks and eateries that line up some of the beaches here. Moreover, the thrill seekers who fly to Maldives for some excitement and fun are treated to a wide range of water sports such as catamaran sailing, kayaking, snorkelling, kite surfing, jet skiing, scuba diving, banana boat rides, wakeboarding and parasailing.

Food

food

Along with the beaches, it is the food in Maldives that has impressed tourists the most. A flavourful blend of Indian, Sri Lanka and Middle Eastern cuisines, food here is truly special with specialities such as Bis Keemiyaa, Garudiya, Banbukeylu harisa, Mashuni, Thelui Mas, Mashuni, Dhon Riha, Theluli Mas, Roshi and Sa dominating the culinary scene of the country. Besides the restaurants, ‘hotaas’ (cafes) are best spots to savour these tantalizing delights in the Maldives.

Festivals

Home to different communities and cultures, Maldives surely knows how to celebrate! New Year, National Day of Maldives, Ramadan, Kuda Eid, Prophet’s Birthday, Eid-ul-Al’h'aa and Victory Day are some of the festivals and events celebrated with much fervour across the island nation. Be a part of these celebrations to understand the culture and way of life of the locals.

Shopping

Shopping here is more or less restricted to local markets, beachside shops and street side shacks. You won’t find many malls and large shopping centres here, especially in smaller cities; however, you won’t feel the need for them. You can buy souvenirs and gifts from the local markets such as Majeedhee Magu, Island Bazaar, and Chaandhanee Magu.

Sightseeing

sighseeing

Maldives is more than just spectacular beaches and stunning atolls. There is a lot more to see and experience here. The country has some interesting collection of ancient tombs, mosques, minarets and other structures. The Grand Friday Mosque, Maldives National Museum, Islamic Centre and National Art Gallery are some of the attractions that are popular with travellers.

Island Hoping

With over thousand islands and tiny islets, island hopping is a popular activity in the Maldives. Taking you through the different wonders of the country and exploring its hidden gems, guided tours, day trips and excursions are available and operational all throughout the year. Most of these tours and trips enable you to visit and learn about the local communities and experience their rich cultural legacy.

Best Things to Do and See in Sri Lanka

Teeming with pristine beaches, lush forests and green tea gardens and flaunting a cultural flamboyance unlike any other, Sri Lanka is truly a traveller’s delight. Located right in the balmy waters of the Indian Ocean, this fascinating teardrop shaped island has impressed the travellers with its beauty and charm for long. Featuring everything, from natural beauty to architectural wonders, the island is one of the most sought after holiday destinations in the South Asia. Read on to learn more about the island.

Beaches

Beaches

Kissed by the tropical waters and famed for its long coastline along the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is definitely a beach-lover’s paradise. Unawatuna, Bentota, Mirissa, Dickwella, Weligama, Galle, Induruwa, Hikkaduwa, Koggala, Negombo, Uppuveli, Trincomalee and Polhena are some of the must visit beaches in the country. Coral reefs, hot springs, lagoons and shacks are popular attractions on the beaches. Moreover, music festivals and dance performances are quite common on the beaches. Most of beaches in the country are ideal for water sports such as diving, snorkelling, kayaking and wind surfing.

Attractions

Whether it is historical forts, ancient buildings, rock fortresses, cave temples, Buddhist sites, museums or national parks, there is a lot to explore in Sri Lanka. Sigiriya, Galle Fort, Kandy Lake, Adam’s Bridge, Devon Falls, St. Clairs Fall, Haldummulla Fort, Colombo Fort, Fort Hammenheil, Star Fort and Royal Palace of Kandy are some of the most well-known attractions in the country.

Tea Plantations

Introduced by the British, tea is the country’s most famous export item. Sri Lanka stands as the 4th largest producer of tea in the world. Ceylon Tea is the major speciality of Sri Lanka and is loved by people all over the world.

Tea-Plantations

Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Badulla, Bandarawela, Haputale, Galle, Matara, Mulkirigala, Ratnapura and Kegalle are among the key tea growing areas in Sri Lanka. Apart from the beach visits, sightseeing and different adventure sports, exploring the tea plantation sites and watching the process of tea manufacturing is the most popular activity among tourists visiting the island.

Shopping

Be it precious gems, handloom fabrics, batik, tea, handicrafts, ceramics, jewellery or leather products, Sri Lanka has a lot in store for shopping lovers. Traditional masks, Sri Lankan lace, metalwork and lacquerware are picked most by the travellers who look for souvenirs of their trip to the country. Though there are several large malls in the country, shopping from one of the traditional street side stalls, gift shops or beach shacks is a more cultural experience.

Festivals

With a diverse population belonging to different ethnical groups and sections, Sri Lanka’s calendar is packed with a long list of cultural celebrations and events. Most of the famous festivals celebrated here have a cultural or religious side to them. Sinhala-Tamil New Year, Vesak, Duruthu Perahera, Navam Maha Perahera, Maha Shivarathri, Poson Poya, Vel Festival, Pongal, Kataragama and Esala Poya some of the most popular festivals in Sri Lanka.

Food

Exploding with flavours, food in Sri Lanka is one of its most potent draws. Influenced by diverse culinary traditions, Sri Lankan cuisine flaunts a variety of gastronomic delights and delicacies prepared using authentic ingredients and organic herbs. Kottu (godhamba bread stuffed with vegetables, egg or meat), Kevum (deep-fried, sweet Sri Lankan pastry made from rice flour and kithul treacle), Kokis (deep-fried, crispy and sweet dish), Pol sambola (dish made from coconut), lunumiris (sambal paste served as a condiment), Falooda (rose syrup, vermicelli, sweet basil seeds, and pieces of jelly with milk) and Kalu dodol (kithul jaggery, rice flour and coconut milk) are few of the must try dishes on the island. Being an island country, seafood including fish, prawns and crabs, is the biggest hit here.

Temples

Temples

Hindu and Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka are a major tourist attraction. Preserving a major chunk of the religious history of the country are prominent temples like Temple of the Tooth, Dambulla Cave Temple, Thuparamaya, Vajiraramaya Temple, Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara, Isipathanaramaya temple, Sri Kailawasanathar Swami Dev Temple, Koneswaram Temple and Sri Maha Bodhi. Most of these temples host traditional festivals and events on special occasions.

Museums

Collecting and preserving valuables from different ancient eras, museums in Sri Lanka are quite popular and visited in large numbers. National Museum, National Museum of Natural History, The Dutch Period Museum, The Dutch Period Museum, Koggala Folk Museum, The National Maritime Museum, Ehelepola Museum, Archaeological Museum and Tea Museum are among the top ones.

Walk Through the Colourful Cities of the World

Bored with the regular steel and glass skyscrapers? Take a look at some of the planet’s most colourful cities that are incredibly popular with the tourists, encouraging them to capture their bright coloured beauty in their cameras.

Bo-Kaap, Cape Town, South Africa

capetown

A lot to do with South Africa’s reinvention as the ‘Rainbow Nation’, Bo-Kaap is among the oldest and the most fascinating residential areas in Cape Town. Located on the slopes of Signal Hills, this tiny town is known for its beautifully coloured and perfectly decorated buildings and houses. These bright and cheerful colours of the houses are symbolic of the hard earned emancipation from racial discrimination. Owners’ painting their houses in bright colours was a way of expressing their happiness and joy.

Saint John, Canada

One of the oldest planned cities in Canada, Saint John is a popular tourist attraction. Giving the city a distinctive character are the vibrantly coloured row houses and candy coloured structures. Beginning as a local tradition in the early 1970s, these brightly painted houses helped fishermen and sailors spot their houses even through thick fog and bad weather. Most of these multicoloured houses can be found in the ‘Jellybean Row’.

La Boca, Argentina

As colourful as a rainbow, La Boca is a tiny town located in the capital city of Argentina, Buenos Aires. Famed for its traditionally coloured wooden houses, the city is a popular tourist attraction in the country. The city got its “colours”, following the age old tradition where the ‘poor’ dock workers would build their houses using cast away ship building materials and painting them using the leftover paint. Today these painted houses act as the identity of the owner.  Most of these buildings also have cardboard cut outs and paper made statues of prominent figures hanging out from the windows and balconies.

Burano, Venice

A tiny archipelago of four islands connected by bridges, Burano is a classic example of fascinating city decor and architectural wonder.

Burano-Italy

A former fishing village, the city is adorned with some beautifully colourful houses and buildings believed to have painted in different colours by fishermen to be able to spot their houses even in thick fog. It is this stunning, eye catching colour scheme of the houses in the city that distinguishes Burano from its not so vibrant neighbours. Murals and other wall paintings in the city are quite impressive as well.

Trinidad, Cuba

Featuring buildings and structures dating back to the early 16th century, Trinidad has a beautiful array of different hues and shades picked straight from a rainbow. Largely reflecting the colonial architecture and design, most buildings in the city are painted with bold and contrasting colours. Conveying the identity of the owner, houses here are mostly coloured in shades of indigo.

Willemstad, Curacao

A popular Dutch Caribbean Island, Willemstad is yet another rainbow city. It features a row of bright and colourful buildings and houses nestled along the waters. These beautifully painted houses trace their origin to the early 19th century when the locals in the city were said to be suffering from migraine looking at the pale white buildings! By the order of the then Governor General, every house was painted in a different colour.

Charleston, South Carolina, USA

South-Carolina,-USA

Famed for its popular Rainbow Row, Charleston is one of the most beautiful cities in South Carolina. This beautiful array of colourful historic houses painted in different bright hues is a popular tourist attraction in the state. The prime reason behind colouring the walls of the houses was to help the drunken soldiers spot their homes during foggy winter nights. Apart from the coloured houses, wall painting, graffiti and murals are other attractions for the visitors here.

Wroclaw, Poland

With rich history and a majestic charm, Wroclaw is one of the most vibrant cities in the south-western part of Poland.

Wroclaw-Poland

Majorly build during the early colonial era, the city is adorned with some beautifully painted rainbow coloured buildings decorated with murals and wall art. Apart from the homes, cages, shops, ancient complexes, bridges and other structures in Wroclaw are painted with different colours.

Valparaiso, Chile

Valparaiso is a popular tourist destination in Chile. Situated close to the port, the city is famous for its delightfully painted houses and buildings alongside stunning murals and wall arts. Traditionally painted to help sailors and merchants spot their homes in the night, these buildings are major attraction in the city.

Best of Malaysia! Popular Places to Visit in the Country

A perfect mix and match of ancient cultures, traditions and modern innovations, Malaysia is truly a travellers’ delight. Famed for its buzzing cities, idyllic beaches, beautiful islands, wildlife-packed rainforests, hidden reefs, skyscrapers, minarets, and urban adventures, a trip to Malaysia is certainly an experience you can never forget. Read on to find out about the top rated travel destinations in the country.

Kuala Lumpur

Boasting colonial architectural marvels, natural wonders and gleaming skyscrapers, Kuala Lumpur is a major holiday destination in the country. The capital of Malaysia, the colourful city is packed with numerous interesting engagements including interesting sightseeing, water sports and other recreational activities. Petronas Towers, Menara KL Tower, Batu Caves, Sultan Abdul

Kuala Lumpur

Samad Building, Sunway Lagoon Theme Park and Islamic Art Museum are among the top attractions in the city. Don’t miss a visit to the famous Chinatown and Central Market if you are looking for gifts or souvenirs. Street food like Bak Kut Teh, Chee Cheong Fun, and Clay pot Loh Shu Fun can be tried while roaming around in Kuala Lumpur.

Langkawi

Comprising of dozens of islands and several tiny islets, Langkawi is a stunning archipelago on Malaysia’s west coast. Famous for its turquoise blue ocean waters, picturesque paddy fields and powder fine sand, the island is perfect to enjoy the best of sun and sand. Langkawi Sky Bridge, LangkawiEagle Square, Underwater World Langkawi, Gunung Raya, Langkawi Wildlife Park and Bird Paradise, Palau Payar Marine Park, Langkawi Arts in Paradise 3D Museum and Taman Lagenda Langkawi are some of the popular attractions on the island.

Penang

A beautiful kaleidoscope of different cultures, customs and traditional practices, Penang is another well-known travel destination in Malaysia. Situated on the northern side of the country, the island is famous for its Chinese shophouses, exceptional art scene, ancient forts, minarets, free spirited carnivals, historic temples and other architectural wonders dating back to the early colonial years. PenangPopular attractions on the island include Kek Lok Si, Khoo Kongsi, Penang Botanical Gardens, Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Batik Painting Museum, Dhammikarama Burmese Temple and Wat Chaiyamangkalaram. While in Penang, you must enjoy dishes such as Nasi Kandar, Laksa, Char Koay Teow and Hokkien Mee.

Kota Kinabalu

A melting pot for different customs and traditions, Kota Kinabalu is a beautiful coastal city in Malaysia. Adorned with stunning beaches, tropical rainforests, broadways, bustling markets and a cosmopolitan culture, the city is home to some of the best architectural wonders and national parks.Mount Kinabalu Mount Kinabalu, Kinabalu Park, Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, Manukan Island, Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu City Mosque, Atkinson Clock Tower and Menara Tun Mustapha are some of the must visit sites in the city. Prepared using traditional flavours and authentic spices, delicacies like Ikan Bakaris, Bak Kut Teh, fish noodles, and streamed prawns are quite popular in Kota Kinabalu.

Kuching

Kuching is another must visit holiday destination in Malaysia. With pleasant colonial vibe as well as an old world charm, the city is home to some of the most stunning Chinese temples, South Indian mosques, modern structures, Buddhist sites and several other interesting sites to visit. Bako National Park, Kuching Cat Museum, Sarawak State Museum, Chinese History Museum, Kuching KuchingWetlands Chinatown, National Park and Textile Museum Sarawak are among the famous tourist attractions in the city. Narrating the story of the rich past and bygone era, villages like Sarawak Cultural Village are must visit places in Kuching. Kuching Festival, highlighting the spirit of the people, is a major event celebrated with much pomp and show in the city.

Malacca

Malacca is a beautiful quaint city located in the south of Malaysia. Known for its various cultural riches, the city is home to some stunning architectural wonders including A’Famosa Fort, Christ Church, The Stadthuys, St. Paul’s Church, Melaka Sultanate Palace and Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum. Make your way to the famous Malacca Butterfly and Reptile Sanctuary to spot koi fish, snakes, lizards and crocodiles. Those who enjoy shopping, the vibrant night market located on Jonker Street is just the place to be. All over the city you’ll find several football stadiums and golf courses.

George Town

With a colourful influence of different cultures, George Town remains one of tourists’ favourites in Malaysia. Known for its unique styled colonial buildings and forts, the city is a great place to discover and learn about the bygone era. Apart from the ancient forts, minarets and royal complexes, temples are other impressive attractions in the region. Dhammikarama Burmese Temple, Wat Chaiyamangkalaram, Khoo Kongsi and Kek Lok Si are some of the most prominent temples in the city. George Town Festival, an annual celebration of arts, culture and heritage, is a major event loved by the travellers.

7 of the Top Rated Restaurants in Dubai

Catering to extravagant tastes and offering practically every cuisine under the sun, Dubai is a paradise for food lovers. A perfect combination of Iranian, Lebanese, Arabic and other flavours from across the world especially Middle East, Emirati fare is quite fascinating.

restaurant

Offering a memorable dining experience are few of the interestingly themed and wonderfully located fine dining restaurants in the royal emirate. For those who love to try new cuisines and like experimenting with different dishes and delicacies, here is a list of must visit restaurants in Dubai.

At.mosphere

Sitting on the 122nd Floor of Burj Khalifa, At.mosphere definitely offers a memorable dining experience. Boasting an exquisite array of culinary delights and gastronomic wonders prepared by top chefs from across the world, food in this one of the world’s highest restaurant is surely a delight. At.mosphere is best to savour some wonderful dishes alongside enjoying the panoramic views of the city and its stunning skyscrapers. Cupped oysters, 11+ Japanese Wagyu Sirloin, Hot Seafood Platter and Hand Dived scallops are a few of the must try dishes here. Reservations recommended.

Ossiano

Taking fine dining to another level altogether, Ossiano is one of the most visited restaurants in Atlantis, The Palm. Famed for its sophisticated golden colour scheme and aquarium walls, this place is ideal to enjoy international delicacies. Harvest salad, market fish tartar, maritime lobster bisque, grilled ceaser salad, roasted beet salad, chilled U6/8 Shrimp cocktail, grilled calamari, grilled Spanish octopus, grilled shrimp with piri-piri, Icelandic cod and fresh mint crusted rack of lamb are among the popular dishes served in Ossiano. Signature dishes and cocktails prepared by Fernando Rodas should not be missed.

Tribes

A beautiful African themed steak house, Tribes is another famous restaurant in Dubai. Located in the Mall of the Emirates and The Dubai Mall, this uniquely designed place is best to enjoy and explore everything about Africa through its music, art and cuisine. Infused with traditional spices, mixed with international flavours and served in classic Arabic style, a visit to this wonderful restaurant in the Emirate is a delightful experience. African Lamb spring roll, cheesy meatballs, Mozambique Prawns, West coast calamari and Hakuna Matata Platter are some of the favourites at Tribes. African tribal dance shows and live folk music performances are frequently organised at the restaurant.

Pierchic

Overlooking the breathtaking views of the sea, Pierchic is a beautiful restaurant located in the popular Al Qasr at Madinat Jumeirah. Famed for its tantalizing seafood menu prepared by top chefs, food served at this place is simply amazing. ‘Pierchic Lounge’ and ‘Pierchic Bar’ are great places to enjoy some refreshing cocktails crafted by talented mixologists. Spicy Red Curry Bouillabaisse, Seared US Diver Scallops, Spanish Carabineros Prawns Tagine, Milk-Fed Spanish Lamb Trio, Seared US Diver Scallops, Shellebration Platter and Pierchic Seafood Tower are among the must try dishes here.  Music shows and folk dance performances are organised here regularly. In fact, this restaurant is also a popular wedding venue in the city.

Al Hadheerah

Offering an authentic and luxurious Arabian dining experience, Al Hadheerah is must visit restaurant to enjoy Emirati cuisine in Dubai. It features an exquisite buffet menu featuring popular Middle Eastern dishes alongside a wide range of amazing cocktails and beverages. The place is particularly loved for its range of dessert and seafood. Live music and belly dance performances can also be enjoyed here. The Emirati Heritage Museum, located close to the restaurant, is a well-known attraction of the area.

Aprons & Hammers

Best known for its seafood and Arabian dishes, Aprons & Hammers is one of the most loved restaurants in Dubai. Located right on the beach, this amazing eatery is among the few places where you get to enjoy the authentic taste of Emirati spices and other traditional flavours of the UAE. Among the others, classic crispy calamari, steamed black pepper clams, grilled oysters, ceaser salad, blazin’ hot wings, chef’s cold catch, surfsides, traditional lobster thermidor, tamarind seafood curry, grilled salmon fillet, seaside seafood platter, tiramisu and lobster roll are must try in here. Aprons & Hammers Paella is a speciality and a signature dish of the restaurant.

Al Dawaar

A beautiful revolving restaurant and lounge, Al Dawaar is a rage among food lovers. Situated on the 25th floor of the famous Hyatt Regency Dubai, this place is ideal to enjoy some tantalizing dishes alongside the scenic views of the surrounding. The entire restaurant takes almost 90 minutes to rotate 360 degrees giving you ample time to admire the stunning architectural wonders of the city. The live fish and roast beef stations are perfect for seafood and meat lovers. Apart from seafood, Arabic and Middle Eastern cuisines are major hits with the crowd.