Friday, December 27, 2013

Mamallapuram, A historical town in Tamilnadu

Mamallapuram
About:
Mamallapuram also known as Mahabalipuram is a land of Sculptures. The city of Mamallapuram is famous for the sculptures. These sculptures express about the Indian Gods especially they tell about the fame of Lord Shiva.

Located at:
East Coast Road of Tamil Nadu of India(Kanchipuaram district)

History: 

Every place has its own History and Geography which makes it more interesting and makes it the best reason for travelling purpose. The history of Mamallapuram dates back to the Pallava dynasty who lived several decades ago. It’s an ancient historic town and it was a busy seaport during the peiod of Periplus and Ptolemy. Ancient Sea traders sailed from the seaport of Mahabalipuram.

During the 8th century a famous poet ‘Thirumangai Azhwaar’ described the place as a Sea Mountain
Geography: Mamallapuram is a small town and the area is quite a rock-terrain area with small peaks in and around of Mamallapuram. There is a long and sandy beach here. These consist of hills and rocks where the pallava dynasty exploited this type of place and made caves, sculptures and temples.

•Local Languages spoken: Tamil & English

Climate: 

The climate is typically hot during the period of April. Best to visit the area is from October to March. Three major seasons are:

Winters: This is the perfect time to plan a tour to Mamallapuram. From November to February. 

Summers: Three are from March to May. The climate is too hot and is not suitable for tourists. 

Monsoons: June to September. It has a humid climate and has quite the downpour.

Tourist Spots: 

Mamallapuram
Beach: The beach gives a quite soothing and peaceful experience where you can take rest. There are many stalls consisting of Shell related jewels and curtains. But take care because they might cheat you by saying the highest possible prize. Beaches are good at the evening times. They are not advisable during Afternoon. Horse rides and several other entertainers are present.

Butterball: Butterball is one of the biggest natural rocks perched on a hillside. The tourists pose with pictures like holding this rock with their hands or pushing them. Also known by the name Krishna’s Butterball.

Mamallapuram
Seashore Temple: The seashore temple is one of the biggest attractions in Mamallapuram. It is named so because it stands as a huge monument looking at the shores of Bay of Bengal. This temple is built with Granite stones during the 8th century. This is one of the oldest stone temples in South India. Entry fee are collected to view the temple from inside. This was a part of 7 Pagodas during the 8th century.

Mamallapuram
Pancha Rathas: Pancha rathas also known as Pandava Rathas are quite the example for Indian monolithic rock-cut architecture. Each of the 5 monuments resembles a ratha (chariot) and each is covered by a single long stone of granite which slopes towards the north-south direction.

• Other places to enjoy are the Kerala Backwaters, Tiger caves, Descent of the Ganges, Lighthouse, Thirukadalmallai & caves like Mahishamardhini cave & Varaha caves.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Canary Islands of Spain


Canary Islands of Spain
Spain is a very beautiful country in Europe. There are many islands which come under Spanish archipelago. The Canary Islands are also one of them. Canary Island is Islas Canarias in Spanish language. This island is located on the northwest coast of mainland Africa. The Canary Island is the farthest island from Europe. There are many big and small islands which are collectively known as the Canary Island of Spain. These Islands are Tenerife, Fuerteventura, GranCanaria, Lanzarote, LaPalma, LaGomera, ElHierro, LaGraciosa, Alegranza, IsladeLobos, MontariaClara, RoqueDelEste and RoqueDelOeste. This island is the only island of Spain where a volcanic eruption is recorded in the modern era.

The beaches, climate and other natural attractions like scenery, sunrise and sunset views are the main attraction of this archipelago. You can reach this exotic island by catching a flight from any city of Europe. On this island, there are two airports on Tenerife and the Gran Canaria Airport. You can reach other island also via flight but that will cost you more. There is a Spanish company known as NavieraArmas, which provides the ferry service and takes about 45 hours to reach the Canary Island. Normally, you have to pay around 45 euros for one way journey.

This island is claimed to be the ‘Lost Islands’ of Atlantis by the Ancient legend. North Africans came here first. The ecosystem of this island was based on agriculture and animal farming. But now, the Canary Islands are modern, European and extremely liberal. The largest island of the Canary Islands is Tenerife. On this, you will find the third tallest volcano in the world which is at 3718 meters high and known as El Teide. The capital of the largest island is Santa Cruz de Tenerife. La Laguna is the third largest city of the Canary Islands and also comes in the list of World Heritage Site. There are many museums and monuments on this island.
Gran Canaria is the largest island by the population of the Canary Islands. Fuerteventura is an island which is known as the ‘Windsurfer’s Mecca’. La Gomera Island is known as the Magic Isle –walker’s paradise. This island looks like an orange in shape which has been divided in half and split into segments. El HierroIsland is known as ‘The Edge of the World’.

There are many places on this island for enjoyment and entertainment. There are many modern resorts and restaurants available on different island of the Canary Island. Tenerife Auditorium is famous for its wonderful design which was designed by the famous Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. You can enjoy the events and concerts in this auditorium. There is a Parrot Park known as LoroParque. This becomes the second most attractive place after mount El Tiede. Other than this, you have Tenerife Beaches, Boat trips, Big Game fishing and lots of things to do on this island. Canarian cuisine is a great mix of Spanish, Latin and African cuisines and culture. Tapas Concept is a must try there as it is considered as one of the most delicious ones.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sardinia Island of Italy



Sardinia Island
Italy is one of the most beautiful country in Europe. There are many islands located nearby to Italy. Sardinia Island is one of them. In the Mediterranean region, Sardinia Island is the second largest island. The largest island is of Sicily Island. The capital of this beautiful island is Cagliari which also the largest city of Sardinia Island. The island has a rocky and hilly area that makes the weather non-uniform. Tourists preferably enjoys the warm weather here which generally comes around the month of August. This island doesn’t come under the volcanic region.

Sardinia Island is among the most geologically ancient part of land in Europe. Sardinia Island was ruled by many historical civilizations and dynasties. You can reach this historical island through flights at affordable prices. You will find airports near to Cagliari, Olbia and Alghero. There is a regular flight service from nearby big cities of Europe. From airport to main city, bus and train services are provided at regular frequency as airports are few kilometers away from the main cities. There are many ferry services to Cagliari, Porto Torres and Olbia. You can even hire a car there to enjoy some remote and enchanting places. Companies like Hertz and Avis provides the hiring service in that region.

Sardinia Island has many beautiful cities which you don’t want to miss if you are here. The capital city, Cagliari, Sassari, Alghero which is a medieval town, Bosa, Porto Torres, Olbia are some important cities of Sardinia Island. There are so many beautiful locations like Budoni where you can see the most beautiful part of the Mediterranean Sea. You can also see the wild areas of Barbagia and Ogliastra, seaside resort San Teodoro, the Stagno at Cabras and many more. There are few monuments which you can visit like a castle in Cagliari. You will find a World Heritage Site in Barumini.

On this island, you can do a lot of activities like swimming, boating, windsurfing, hiking and climbing etc. The island is rocky and hilly which makes it perfect for hiking and climbing. You can do scuba diving at Tavolara and Punta Coda Cavallo Marine Preserve which is a very famous place for scuba diving. For swimming, Porto Pino is great as it is known as the Mediterranean Pearl and have superb beaches. Iglesias and Sulcis are some places which hold the undiscovered part of art and sea. Here, you will find some of the most attractive locations like caves, Gelleria Henry, Fluminimaggiore and you can do horse riding too.

This island is more specific and strict in the traditions and habits. Pizza, which is very famous in Italy and other part of Europe, is only available after 7pm in restaurants. Another thing is that you will not find anything between 4pm to 7pm. You will only get ‘Panini’ which is a cold sandwich with ham and cheese. The famous cuisine of Sardinia Islands is Culurgiones, Malloreddus, Porcheddu and StufatodiCapretto. Ichnusa is a very common beer whereas Cannonau is a very strong red wine. Other drinks are MonicadiSardegna, Mitro and Fil’eferru.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sicily Island of Italy



Sicily Island of Italy
Sicily Island is a beautiful island and the largest one in the Mediterranean Sea. This island comes under the province of Italy. This island is situated in the central of the Mediterranean Sea and at the tip of Italy. This island is a very attractive one due to the presence of the most active volcano MountEtna which is at a height of 3,320m. The climate of this island is very similar to the other Mediterranean Island. Sicily is a very large island in size where mostly Italian and Sicilian language is used for communication. Although modern schools teach English to the students here.

Sicily is a very attractive place and popular among tourists. You can reach here through flights and ferry service. There are many airports in the major cities of Sicily and it is linked with the Italian train network at Messina also. Car and train services are well connected to big cities across the island as well as cities like Rome and Milano. You have to be very careful that public transport is available on weekdays but on Sunday, it is very difficult to find it. Hotels are available in big cities but in the countryside you need to take shelter atAgriturismo. Agriturismo is very small and generally have 3-10 rooms.

There are many beautiful cities which store their own culture. This makes the island rich in culture. The capital of this beautiful island is Palermo. You will find many sights to watch in the capital city. Catania is another very important city which is known as the economic center of the Sicily Island. Mount Etna is situated in this city only. If you are a party lover then this place is for you as Catania is famous for nightlife entertainment. Messina is a very busy city due to its connected service to the mainland. The bus service and train service are connected to the mainland.

You will find many UNESCO World Heritage Site here such as Baroque architecture in Ragusa, Greek ruins in Syracuse and Valle Dei Templi (Valley of Temples) in Agrigento. Other notable cities in Sicily Island are Marsala, Gela, Trapani and Milazzo. Apart from visiting so many cities, there are many things you can do. Trekking in Sicily is a very challenging activity. Due to the presence of many mountains such as Nebrodi, Madonie and of course, Etna volcano which makes it an ideal location for trekking. There is a place known as the Salt Flats in Trapani where salt is made in a traditional way.

Sicily is famous for their cuisines also. You will find one of the best cuisines here. Since it is an island, most of the cuisines are based on seafood only. Spicy food is very popular here and gives a touch of Arabic and Spanish flavors. Sicilians are also famous for their sweet dishes. The famous desserts are Cannoli, Granita, and Cassata which is very famous worldwide. Despite having the most vineyards than any other part of Italy, this island has the lowest rate of alcoholism.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Couple's Guide to Getting the Most Out of Nicaragua

While Nicaragua doesn't seem like the ideal spot for a lover's retreat, this couldn't be further from the truth. The Central American country offers beautiful beaches on both the east and west coasts, watersports, tasty food, and wonderful accommodation. However, the best part may be it's affordability; but don't let cost fool you, Nicaragua is a friendly country with a unique flavor. So gather your spouse or significant other and head off for this Central American gem.

San Juan Del Sur Image

San Juan Del Sur
This town, nestled on the Pacific coast of the country, is the premier destination for couples looking to travel or rekindle the flame. The weather is between 75 and 85 degrees year round, making the beach a perfect place to sunbathe or take a swim. Have a romantic dinner at El Timon, an upscale restaurant that features steamed octopus as its featured delicacy. Check out some of the Nicaraguan hotels in this town, many of which keep the love-stricken couples in mind.

Explore the Volcanoes 

Explore the Volcanoes

When you aren't falling in love all over again, you can indulge your wilder side and explore one of Nicaragua's 23 active volcanoes. Most of the hikes on these volcanoes are easy to moderate difficulty, so traversing them is fairly simple. Once you get to the top, soak in the views of Nicaragua's diverse ecosystem. The best volcano to climb might be Cerro Negro. Not only is the view spectacular, but you can sled or board back down to the bottom, which is worth the trip in itself.

Go to Granada


Go to Granada

Located on Lake Nicaragua, Granada is the oldest city in Central America. Founded by the Spanish in 1524, Granada's architecture is nothing short of spectacular and unique to the continent, such as the Guadalupe Cathedral or Iglesia De La Merced Tower. You can also walk around the town and visit various markets, shops, and restaurants and explore the life of a native Nicaraguan.

Eat and then Eat Some

Eat and then Eat Some More
While it may not be as famous as other Latin American ethnic foods, Nicaragua offers cuisine with distinct flavors and aromas. Although it is a small country, the food differs from coast to coast, with the Caribbean coast incorporating much more seafood. Be sure not to miss Fritangas, which are restaurants that make authentic home-cooked entrees. Enjoy chicken or pork dressed with local fruits, such as plantains, beans, and rice. And sampling the food wouldn't be complete without trying Nacatamal, a Nicaraguan style tamale, Indio Viejo, or Gallo Pinto, the national dish of Nicaragua. Amazingly, these dishes average a price of about $2.

Jicaro Island

Jicaro Island
To truly embrace Nicaragua all by yourselves, the ideal couple should travel to Jicaro Island, which is a resort island in Lake Nicaragua. The rooms offer spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and lake. Each room is its own private two-story building, which will leave you in complete isolation with your love. During the day, you can travel back to the mainland, go kayaking, enjoy the infinity pool and yoga deck, or visit Mambacho nature reserve. It's all here on one tiny island.

Without a doubt, Nicaragua offers an awesome getaway for a couple, young or old. And what better place to spend time with your significant other than a place that offers wonderful food and sights, and even more importantly, the experience of a lifetime. Whether you're planning your anniversary or just a surprise, Nicaragua has what you're looking for.

Sources:

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/nicaragua/southwestern-nicaragua/san-juan-del-sur/things-to-do

http://gocentralamerica.about.com/od/nicaraguaguide/p/Nicaragua_Food.htm

The Aland Islands of Finland



Aland Islands
The Åland Island of Finland is comprised of one mainland and many small islands. The Åland is actually pronounced as “O-land” and despite being a part of Finland, they have their own parliament and runs it independently. This island is located in the Baltic Sea. You will find a combination of Finnish and Swedish culture and language here. The whole archipelago of this island consist of more than 80 inhabited islands and many more uninhabited islands. Most people liveon the main island which is also known as FastaÅland.


The effect of a long dispute between Finland and Sweden can be seen here among the local people. Finnish language is an optional language here but maximum choose not to study this language. You can easily communicate with them in English as it is widely spoken on these islands. From Sweden and Finland, you can reach to this island via ferry services. The cheapest way of entering into this island is by ferries from Helsinki or Stockholm but you may face trouble as docking generally takes place at midnight.

Although, there is a small airport which handles the flight services from nearby main cities of Finland and Sweden.The Åland Island holds a very important position as one of the entrance to the port of Stockholm comes under this island. The capital of this unique island is Mariehamn. You will find some other small communities like Godby and Eckero. The best way to explore the natural beauty of this island is by ferries and by bicycle. The Government of this island puts special attention towards tourism. As a result, you will find cycle paths and special routes for ferries. You can choose routes through the southern and northern archipelago for an unforgettable experience.


The best time to come to this island is during late spring and summer as tourist spots are open during this time. Else you have to visit these spots from outside only. Kastleholm is a castle located in the northern part of the Åland Island. You can learn about the history of this island. There is a museum also near to the Kastleholm. Jan Karlsgarden Open Air Museum has some traditional Aland buildings. You can see the prison museum also but entry is chargeable. You will nice restaurant and cafeteria here. Another important spot is the fortress of Bomarsund which was built by the Russians which was destroyed during Crimean war.Åland’s lighthouses are also a tourist spot. You can experience a different level of energy when you visit these lighthouses.

You can do lots of activities here such as wind surfing, wave surfing and fishing. For fishing, you need to have a fishing license. Here, you will find many golf courses also. Golf Aland is the one which provides good service. The official currency of this island is Euro only but don’t dare to go for shopping here as it is very expensive. You will not find any fast food restaurant here. Main restaurants are located in the capital city only.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Corsica Island of France


Corsica Island of France
Corsica Island is a French Island located in the Mediterranean Sea. This island is surrounded by the border of Italy and France. Sardinia Island is located at the north side of Corsica Island. Generally, most of the land is occupied by the mountains. There are 27 regions of France and Corsica is one of them. Interestingly, the French emperor Napolean Bonaparte was born in the capital city of the Corsica Island. Corsica Island is also known as “Island of Beauty”. This is because of the diversified nature and preservation of natural locations from the aggressive development. This natural island is considered as the pearl of the Mediterranean Sea.

Mostly summer season is the perfect time to come to this island. August month is the busiest month in terms of tourism. So plan in advance if you are thinking to come to the Corsica Island in summer. If you are coming from France, NGV or High Speed Boat is the best medium to reach the Corsica Island. The boat route is preferred as you can enjoy the beautiful seashore and many islands on the way. Though there are four airports available on this island. Only, Bastia airport has a bus service at every one hour interval to reach the main city.

Corsica Island is divided into two regions – Upper Corsica and South Corsica. Ajaccio city is the capital of this beautiful island. The important cities of the Corsica Island are Bastia, Bonifacio, Calvi, Corte and few more. Corsican Island is famous for their trails. The world famous GR 20is one of the most difficult trails among Grande Randonnee trails. This is the most adventurous activity you can do on the Corsica Island. If you try to go by traditional waypoints, then it will take around 17 days to complete the trail.

The most dangerous thing about this trail is the intense summer storms with lightning. There are other trails also, which are less dangerous than GR 20. There are two Mare e Mare which means Sea to Sea trails. This trail crosses the island. Since the mainland is mostly covered with Mountains, trails between sea and mountain is also present here. The beaches of the Corsica Island offer sunbathing, swimming and snorkel facility. You will find restaurant and bars near beaches which you can enjoy after sunset. Sightseeing is also a good thing to do. Scuba diving is also available but only in selected beaches with proper facility.

Cuisine of the Corsica Island is influenced by French and Italian taste. Despite the influence, you will find many unique dishes such as the chestnut. Chestnut is the Corsican’s main food from which many meals and desserts are prepared. Seafood and fish dishes are common on this island.Though it is very difficult to find a restaurant which offers true Corsican dishes. There are many varieties of beer and wine available. ‘Colomba’, ‘Pietra or ‘Biere Torre’’ beer is the most recommended beer to try whenever you visit the Corsica Island.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Rhodes Island of Greece


Rhodes Island of Greece
Rhodes is one of the important islands of Greece. This beautiful island is located in the Aegean Sea near Greece. This island is a superb combination of beaches, site and the large number of medieval towns. This island counted as one of the islands of the Dodecanese, but it makes a different place for itself. The climate is mild and sunny throughout the year and hence makes it a perfect destination for tourist.Though Greek is the native language of this Island but due to extensive tourists visit, English and German is also spoken by many.

How to Reach Rhodes Island

You can reach the Rhodes Island very easily by any mode of transportation. By road, Rhodes Island is well connected to the nearby airport and cities. Rhodes-KamirosProvince Avenue, Rhodes-Lindos National Avenue and a few more are some popular routes by road. There are two airports in Rhodes - Rhodes International Airport in Diagoras and Rhodes Maritsa Airport. There are regular flight service between Rhode Island and big cities like Athens and Thessaloniki.

If you want to reach the Rhode Island by sea then you can hire a ferry or a Cruise Ship. There are five ports out of which three are in the Rhodes city. The ports are Central port, Akandia port, Lardos dock, Kolona port and KamiroSkala Dock.

Beaches

There are many beautiful beaches on Rhodes. The eastern part of the island has continuous sandy beaches with tranquil waters. Beaches on the west are mostly stony. The wind arrives from the west and the sea is also rougher to the western part. So, that side of the island is better suited to surfing or kite boarding.There are numerous beaches on Rhodes, which attracts the tourists and also increases the beauty of the island. Some of the popular beaches on Rhodes are Lindos, Rhodes town, Kalithea, Ladiko beach (Anthony Quinn Bay) and others.

You can do lots of activities on this Island. Swimming, Sunbathing, Diving, Surfing/Kite Surfing and also climbing the Mount Attavyros. The challenging climbing of this mountain is of 2-3 hours after this you will reach the highest point on this Island which is 1215m above the sea level.

Places to Visit in Rhodes Island

There are many cities which you don’t want to miss while staying in Rhodes Island. The capital of Rhodes Island – Rhodes city is the largest city on the island. A very beautiful city with lots of importance. You will be surprised to know that there is a golf course on this Island. The golf course is in the village Afandou, which is one of the biggest village on the Rhodes Island. Faliraki is known as Rhodes’ Action Resort. You will find peace in this location. Very calm environment which is ultimate if you are coming with family.

Since, Rhodes Island have a very rich history, it is obvious to find many castles here. There are many castles who are very old. Castle of Monolithos which is located on a 240m high rock. You can experience the beautiful views from this location. Other notable castles are the Castle of Kastellos, Castle with Acropolis over Lindos and Castle of Kalki which is inthe north-west.