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5 Splendid Places that can be visited along with Wayanad

5 Splendid Places that can be visited along with Wayanad

Wayanad is a fascinating hill station located in the Western Ghats on the borders of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Perched at an altitude of 2100 m, it is one of the most famous hill stations in Kerala and among the prominent places to visit near Bangalore. Filled with the tantalizing aroma of fresh spices, exotic wildlife, sacred temples, placid lakes, rich history, gushing waterfalls, captivating caves, a serene environment, amazing trekking spots, and luxurious resorts and homestays, this hill town draws thousands of tourists all throughout the year as part of Wayanad Tour Packages. Besides, there are plenty of places that can be visited along with Wayanad that gives you a memorable vacation with interesting sights and experiences.

Kozhikode

Kozhikode, also known as Calicut, is one of the diverse and popular places to visit in Kerala. It was the spot where Vasco-da-Gama first landed in India and established the famous spice routes with the west. Renowned for its historical landmarks, beautiful countryside, calm backwaters, pristine beaches, wildlife sanctuaries, timber industry, and ayurvedic medicines, the city lures hundreds of tourists all throughout the year. Kappad Beach, Pazhassirajah Museum, Dolphin’s Point, Tali Temple, the Jama-at-palli, Beypore, Vadakara, Thusharagiri, Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary are the important Kozhikode tourist places.


Kuruva Island

Also known as Kuruva Dweep, Kuruva Island is a cluster of three islands formed by the delta in the River Kabini and is spread over 950 acres of uninhabited area. It is developed as an eco-tourism project and is one of the popular places to visit in Wayanad. These islands are densely populated with rich flora and fauna. Rare species of birds, orchids, and herbs are the main attraction of the island apart from its breathtaking natural beauty. The main Kuruva Island contains two small freshwater lakes. Visitors can get onto the island via bamboo rafts and walk deep into the island to discover rare species of birds, orchids, flowers, and trees.


Muthunga Wildlife Sanctuary

Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, popularly known as Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary, is another prominent place that can be visited along with the Wayanad trip. Established in 1973 as a wildlife sanctuary, this sanctuary was brought under the Project Elephant in the year 1991-92. An integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, the sanctuary connects Nagarhole and Bandipur parks in Karnataka and Mudumalai in Tamil Nadu. Spread over an area of 345 sq. km, this is one of the best places of wildlife in Kerala as it is home to around 45 species of mammals, over 330 species of birds, over 55 species of reptiles and amphibians, 170 species of butterflies. One can embark on thrilling jungle safaris to explore the park and spot the wild animals here.


Irupu Falls

Situated amidst the thick forest of the Western ghats, Iruppu falls is an enchanting waterfall cascading along the Brahmagiri Mountain Range in the Coorg district of Karnataka. It is one of the renowned waterfalls in Karnataka, and among the most visited places near Coorg, as well as Wayanad. Also known as Lakshman Tirtha, the waterfall cascading down from a height of 170 feet through several stages. The roaring waters of Irupu Falls and the picturesque surroundings make it a favorite picnic spot. It is an unforgettable experience to stand at the bottom of the falls and play in the sizzling waters of the falls as part of Coorg tour packages. Besides its natural beauty, the pristine water of the falls is considered to be holy and has the possessing powers to clean the past sins of the visiting devotees.


Nagarahole National Park

Spread across Mysore and Kodagu districts, Nagarhole National Park, a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, is one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in Karnataka, and among the best places to visit near Wayanad. Originally, the place was the private hunting ground for the Maharajas of Mysore and was later declared as National Park in 1988. Also called Rajiv Gandhi National Park, the park is surrounded by thick forest, small streams, hills, slopes, and valleys. It is one of the popular places to experience Karnataka Tourism for environmentalists and nature enthusiasts due to its rich population of animals including Sloth Bear, Barking Deer, Bengal Tiger, Jungle Cat, and over 250 species of birds. The various safaris running in the park during morning and evening hours can be your best options to explore the flora and fauna of the region as part of Nagarhole tour packages.


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Santhi is an avid traveler and primary contributor to the blogs at Trawell.in. She has explored most of the states in India and gained vast knowledge on tourist destinations in India and abroad. She also contributes content to other travel websites.

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5 Best Resorts in Mahabaleshwar

5 Best Resorts in Mahabaleshwar

Mahabaleshwar is a quaint hill station situated at an altitude of 4500 feet in the Sahyadri Mountain Ranges. It is one of the top hill stations in India, and among the must-include places in Maharashtra tour packages. The charm of this hill station lies in its laid-back luxurious grace, salubrious weather, strawberry farms, evergreen forests, rolling hills, age-old temples, breathtaking viewpoints, serene lakes, and sparkling waterfalls. Besides, this serene hill station of Maharashtra also has some stunning resorts with state-of-the-art facilities and picturesque beauty that make your vacay even more memorable. If you are planning a trip to Mahabaleshwar, here are some resorts that you can consider.

Bella Vista Resort

Our list of best resorts in Mahabaleshwar starts with the Bella Vista, a 4-star resort set in a beautiful lush green landscape on Mahabaleshwar – Panchgani Road.  Set extremely high on a cliff, the resort offers an incredible view of the  Lingmala valley, Wilson Point, and across the hills extending to Panchgani. This style endearing resort boasts traditional, local, and contemporary decor, which creates a spacious, exotic, and calming ambiance.

Designed to suit both couples and family holidayers, the resort comprises 4 types of rooms with balcony views, a swimming pool, sophisticated fitness center, conference room, ayurvedic spa, and a fabulous restaurant that pampers your taste buds with authentic Indian and multi-cuisine. Away from the hustle and bustle of the overflowing streets, this resort provides a complete refreshing experience to the holidaymakers as part of Mahabaleshwar tour packages.


Saj Resort

If you need to live large on your holiday in Mahabaleshwar, then your best option is the Saj Resort. Covering over an area of five acres of sprawling land along the Mahabaleshwar-Panchgani Road, the Saj Resort pampers its guests in the midst of mountains, still waters, green retreats, and sprawling landscapes. From spacious rooms to a sprawling pool, from a well-equipped gymnasium to a soothing spa and play area, the resort has everything that satisfies its guests. The 78 luxurious and cozy rooms in the resorts are fitted with all the modern amenities for the adventurer who loves traveling and seeks luxury in the heart of the magical Mahabaleshwar, one of the top places to visit in Maharashtra. Saj Resorts has two popular restaurants that serve excellent and mouth-watering cuisine. There is also a thriving greenhouse, recreation room, and banquet hall.


Brightland Resort & Spa

Perched on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Krishna Valley, Brightland Resort and
Spa is the best luxury resort with gardens surrounded by virgin green forests in Mahabaleshwar, among the top places to visit near Mumbai. Spreads over an area of 6 acres, the resort offers everything that you will need for a great vacation such as well-furnished rooms and suites, a fully-equipped fitness center, a solar-heated swimming pool, daily yoga classes, and professional tennis courts. On the property, there a Prana Spa where you can rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul. Besides, the in-built fine dining restaurants will provide you with different cuisines to choose from.


Evershine Resort

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The Evershine Resort is a contemporary 5-star property built with the reason for giving you an out-of-the-world accommodation experience. The resort spread across 8 acres amidst the picturesque, strawberry-shrouded valleys and the rocky, hilly magnificent lands of Mahableshwar, one of the top hill stations near Pune. The Evershine Resort, a mesmerizing amalgamation of old-world charm, modern amenities, is inspired by the magnificent royal palaces of Rajasthan.

Among the best resorts in Mahabaleshwar,  it comprises two types of well-equipped rooms (Executive and Deluxe), along with a swimming pool, wellness spa, gym, indoor game zone, and an outdoor play area. Also, there are rooms for differently-abled people too. This palatial resort is child-friendly as it conducts numerous activities such as movies, magic, or a puppet show. Guests can enjoy early morning bird watching or trekking. The resort specially caters to solo women travelers and the needs of physically challenged guests.


Mango Hotel Valley View

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Situated in the heart of Mahabaleshwar, the Mango Hotels – Valley View is the best 4-star hotel in Mahabaleshwar which gives you pleasure, peace, joy & happiness in their emphatic services during your holiday in Mahabaleshwar, among the top hill stations in Maharashtra. Surrounded by dense forests and verdant hilltops, this resort has 53 well-equipped rooms that are categorized into Duplex Suites, Premium Super Deluxe, Super Deluxe, and Deluxe AC. Featured with an amazing temperature-controlled indoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi, a full-service spa, steam, massage facilities, terrace, and a garden, it is one of the perfect places for those who want to relax and rejuvenate their minds from the hustle and bustle of the city life. Besides, one can also taste delicious food at the Valley View Restaurant.


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Top Things to do in Kufri

Top Things to do in Kufri

Nestled at an altitude of 9000 feet in the lap of the majestic Himalayas, Kufri is a quaint hill station in Himachal Pradesh where you go to lose yourself in the beauty of nature. It is one of the prominent places to visit near Shimla, and among the must-visit places as part of Himachal tour packages. Known for its pleasant climate and picturesque beauty, Kufri is hard to miss if you are a nature lover in search of an unspoilt location to spend a holiday. Home to the oldest skiing slopes in Himachal Pradesh, Kufri is one of the top skiing destinations in India. Besides skiing, Kufri has much more to offer. Check here is the list of some of the top things to do in Kufri as part of Shimla tour packages.

1. Pay a visit to the Himalayan Nature Park

One of the top things to do in Kufri is to visit the Himalayan Nature Park. Popularly known as ‘Kufri Zoo’, it was established in 1992 and the area was used as a Musk Deer Farm since 1965. It is one of the top places to visit in Shimla for wildlife enthusiasts. Spread over an area of 90 hectares, the park is home to a  large variety of animals and birds. Rare sub-species of Hangal, Barking Deer, Musk Deer, Brown Bear, Monal, and other pheasants can be found here. A wide variety of migratory birds also make a pit stop at this park. Besides, one can also enjoy a breathtaking view of the snowcapped peaks of the Himalayan peaks from the park.


Embark on a Thrilling Trek to Mahasu Peak

Adventure travelers must be aware of the fact that Kufri is one of the most popular destinations for hiking & trekking in Himachal. Hiking in Kufri couldn’t be experienced better than the trail of Mahasu Peak, one of the highest points in Kufri. The Mahasu Peak trail passes through the densely packed woods of Himalayan cedars right up to the summit. While hiking, one can get some breathtaking views of the Badrinath and Kedarnath ranges. In winter, the snow-laden slopes of the peak make the hiking experience even more memorable. One can also test your skiing skills here.


Practice Your Skiing Skills on the slopes of Kufri

Whether you’re an amateur or an experienced skier, Skiing in Kufri is one of the most popular things to do during winters as you get to experience the blooming rush while skiing across the icy slopes. Situated at an altitude of 2622 meters, the picturesque hill station of Kufri is a popular destination for skiing enthusiasts as it houses some of the most attractive ski-slopes in India that range from gentle ones for beginners to steep ones for expert skiers in search of a challenge.  The slopes, the heights, and the thick blanket of snow it receives every year make it incredible to try the exciting adventure. Mahasu ridge has the best slopes to ski in Kufri, among the gorgeous hill stations near Shimla. There are state government-run ski courses in Kufri and they also give out equipment on hire.


Exploring the beautiful trails on Horsebacks & Yaks

One of the most unique and interesting things to do in Kufri is to take a yak ride or Horseback ride to explore the town of Kufri, one of the top places to visit near Delhi. Taking a horse ride to Mahasu Peak is a must-try in Kufri as horseback riding is combined with a thirst for exploration. Also, Kufri is one of the few places in India where Yak rides are possible in which one can enjoy galloping through the beautiful mountain and forest trails that gives you an unforgettable lifetime experience. With this thrilling ride, one can almost go back to a time when nomadic tribes plodded on yaks through the cold mountains in search of fertile soil and warmer climes.


Try Various Adrenaline-Pumping rides at Kufri Fun World

Perched atop the Mahasu Peak, visiting the famous Kufri Fun World is one of the most entertaining activities in Kufri, among the scenic hill stations near Chandigarh. Situated at about 9,000 feet, the amusement park is dotted with several adrenaline-pumping rides that can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike. Home to a plethora of swings and rides, it is lauded most for its iconic go-karting rides, as it has one of the world’s highest go-karting tracks. As you take the roller coaster ride, you can feel the thrill as the rides go up and witness the beauty of nature from the apex and also get a splendid view of the encircling landscape.

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5 Best Places to Visit in Agra Apart from the Taj Mahal

5 Best Places to Visit in Agra Apart from the Taj Mahal

Situated on the banks of the River Yamuna, Agra is one of the most stunning places of heritage in India as it houses many ancient temples, mosques, forts, mausoleums, tombs, and historical monuments. Of these, the Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is the most prominent one. This white marble mausoleum was built between 1632 and 1653 by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Begum. It is regarded as the best example of Mughal architecture worldwide and is called the “Jewel of Muslim Art in India”. Besides the Taj Mahal, there are quite a few worthwhile places to visit as part of Agra tour packages.

Check here is the list of 5 interesting places in Agra apart from the Taj Mahal by Trawell.in.

1. Agra Fort

A UNESCO world heritage monument, Agra Fort, also known as the Lal Qila or Red Fort, is one of the prime places to visit in Agra after the Taj Mahal. It was originally a brick fort known as Badalgarh, held by Raja Badal Singh, a Hindu Rajput king (1475 AD), and was reconstructed by the third Mughal emperor Akbar on the remains of Badalgarh in 1555 CE. Spread over a gigantic area of 3,80,000 sq. m, this semi-circular fort is surrounded by a 70 feet high fortification wall. History unfolds in front of your eyes as you walk through the many structures inside the fort, like Shish Mahal, Khaas Mahal, Diwan-i-Khas, Diwan-i-Aam, Moti Masjid, and Nagina Masjid. Another attraction is the sound and light show in the evening that recreates the history of Agra Fort.


2. Tomb of Itimad Ud Daulah / The Baby Taj

Located on the western bank of the Yamuna River, the Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah is a Mughal mausoleum built between 1622 and 1628 by the Queen of Jahangir, Nur Jahan as a memorial to her father, Mirza Ghiyas. It is also known as the Jewel Box or Baby Taj as it is believed that this tomb was the inspiration behind the construction of the Taj Mahal, among the most famous heritage sites near Delhi. The Tomb represents the perfect blend of Mughal and local architectural styles, and is the first monument in India built entirely with marble. The tomb stands 21 m high and features 12 m tall dome-roofed octagonal minarets at each corner along with a central hall, which houses the tomb of Mirza Ghiyas Beg and his wife Asmat Begum.


3. Akbar’s Tomb – Sikandra

Besides the world-renowned Taj Mahal, Sikandra is one of the most prominent historic places to visit in Agra as it houses the mortal remains of the greatest Mughal Emperor Akbar. This deep red sandstone structure is an outstanding Mughal architectural masterpiece built-in 1605-1613. Located in a place called Sikandra, the construction of Akbar’s Tomb was started in 1600 by Emperor Akbar himself but was completed by his son Jahangir in 1613 after the death of Akbar in 1605. Entered through an elegant southern gateway similar to Buland Darwaza in Fatehpur Sikri, this five-storey tomb is pyramidal and stands beautifully in the center of a Charbagh style garden.


4. Fatehpur Sikri

One of the top places to visit in Uttar Pradesh, Fatehpur Sikri is another UNESCO world heritage site that one must visit in Agra apart from the Taj Mahal. This abandoned fort city was commissioned by Emperor Akbar in 1569 AD and was served as the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1571 till 1585 AD. Bounded by a 6 km long wall, the fort complex of Fatehpur Sikri was built with an amalgamation of Indian, Persian, and Islamic architecture, and is considered one of the best-preserved collections of Indian Mughal architecture. Jama Masjid, Buland Darwaza, the tomb of Sheikh Salim Chisti, Khas Mahal, Panch Mahal, Khwabgah, Diwan-i-Khas, Anup Talao, and Diwan-i-Am are the prominent places to visit in Fatehpur Sikri.


5. Jama Masjid

Jama Masjid, popularly known as the Jami Masjid or Friday Mosque, is situated just opposite the Red Fort, Agra, among the must-include places in Uttar Pradesh tour packages. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan for his daughter Jahanara Begum in 1649, it is one of the biggest mosques of India, and among the well-known Agra tourist places. This gigantic red sandstone mosque is known for its intrinsic designs and unique architecture. Built in the typical Mughal style, the mosque consists of a spacious elevated courtyard bordered by arched porticoes to the north and south, with a fountain at its center. The prayer hall of Jama Masjid occupies the western end of the courtyard which can easily accommodate up to 25,000 people to pray at a time. The lofty dome, imposing archways and stunning tapestry lends an aura to this place.


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Santhi is an avid traveler and primary contributor to the blogs at Trawell.in. She has explored most of the states in India and gained vast knowledge on tourist destinations in India and abroad. She also contributes content to other travel websites.

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Top Things to do in Wayanad

Top Things to do in Wayanad

Located at an altitude of 2100 m in the Western Ghats, Wayanad is one of the picturesque hill stations in Kerala that has touched the hearts of many with its verdant green surroundings, scenic views, exotic wildlife, stunning waterfalls, rich history & tantalizing aroma of fresh spices. This is the best place to experience nature and serenity as part of Kerala tour packages. Therefore, Wayanad is a diverse tourist destination, offering various activities for nature lovers, adventure enthusiasts, history buffs, and laid-back travellers.

Check out the top 10 amazing things to do in Wayanad here.

Spot the Wildlife at Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary

One of the top things to do in Wayanad is to visit the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, among the prominent places of wildlife in Kerala. Spread over an area of 345 sq. km, this sanctuary was established in 1973 and was brought under the Project Elephant in 1991-92. It consists of two wildlife sanctuaries – Tholpetty in the north and Muthanga in the southeast. An integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, the Sanctuary connects Nagarhole and Bandipur parks in Karnataka, and Mudumalai in Tamil Nadu.  Wayanad Wildlife sanctuary is home to around 45 species of mammals, over 330 species of birds, over 55 species of reptiles and amphibians, 170 species of butterflies. While elephant sightings along with glimpses of tigers, panthers, and peacocks, etc. are common, one can also embark on thrilling jungle safaris as part of Wayanad tour packages.


Relive the History at Edakkal Caves

Comprising an area of 2,132 sq. km, Wayanad has a powerful history. As per the historians, the organized human life existed in these parts, at least ten centuries before Christ. If you are a history buff and want to explore the rich history of Wayand then make a trip to the Edakkal Caves. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Edakkal Caves, situated at an altitude of 4000 feet, are dates back to 5000 BC, and among the most prominent places to visit as part of Wayanad tour packages. The walls of these pre-historic caves are adorned with intriguing carvings that will take your breath away, and archaeology enthusiasts will love the intricate designs and elements of this creation. The history of Wayanad and even the entirety of Kerala is said to have been covered in these beautiful carvings.


Trek to Chembra Peak

Located at an elevation of 2100 m above sea level, Chembra Peak is the highest peak in Wayanad & the third highest peak in South India. Nestled amidst the beautiful Wayanad hills and the adjoining Nilgiri hills, Chembra Peak is one of the top trekking places near Bangalore. As it is certainly a rejuvenating affair. It is a moderately difficult task and is recommended for trekkers with good physical fitness. There is a heart-shaped lake on the way to the top of the peak, which is believed to have never dried up. The actual trek starts from the watchtower at the foothill of Chembra Peak which is about 7 km from Meppadi. The peak is about 4 km one way and takes about 2 hours to trek (one way). Earlier, the trek used to be till Chembra peak. But, now visitors can only trek to the heart-shaped lake.


Visit Asia’s Second Largest Dam

If you are looking for some adventure during your Wayanad Trip then head out to the Banasura Sagar Dam. Placed in the foothills of Banasura hills, the Banasura Sagar Dam built across Karamanathodu River, a tributary of Kabini River,  is considered to be the largest earthen dam in India and the second largest in Asia. With its scenic beauty and soulful surroundings, this dam has become famous for boating, thrilling trekking trails, comforting boating experience, and picnic spots close to the precious stone waters which are among the top things to do in Wayanad.


Unwind at Various Waterfalls

Nestled in the Western Ghats of Kerala, Wayanad is a magnificent hill station blessed with scenic surprises like placid lakes, hidden valleys, misty hills and expansive tea and spice plantations. Besides, this charming hill district also houses some of the gorgeous waterfalls of Kerala. When you visit these waterfalls, one can hear their gushing water plummeting through the hills, or even feel their soothing mist on your face. Soochipara Falls, Kanthanpara Falls, Meenmutty Falls, Palchuram Falls, etc., are some of the amazing waterfalls to visit in Wayanad. Known for its narrow paths, rough terrains, and rocky slopes, some of the waterfalls are reached only through trekking which gives you a memorable experience.


Enjoy Bamboo Rafting at Kuruva Island

Also known as Kuruva Dweep, Kuruva Island is a cluster of three islands formed by the delta in the River Kabini and is spread over 950 acres of uninhabited area. It is developed as an eco-tourism project and is one of the popular places to visit in Wayanad. These islands are densely populated with rich flora and fauna. Rare species of birds, orchids, and herbs are the main attraction of the island apart from its breathtaking natural beauty. The main Kuruva Island contains two small freshwater lakes. Visitors can get onto the island via bamboo rafts and walk deep into the island to discover rare species of birds, orchids, flowers and trees.


Stroll Amidst Beautiful Tea Estates

If you’re wondering what to do during your Wayanad, then a Tea Estate tour is the perfect answer for you. Imagine walking into a picture-perfect tea plantation and inhaling the sweet aroma of your favorite morning drink followed by a piping hot cup of masala tea! Wayand district is popular for producing some of the best blends of tea in the country and take a long walk through these lush tea gardens is the most ideal way to get acquainted with the popular tea culture of Wayanad along with the lives of local people. One can also visit Rippon Tea Factory, and see the entire processing method right from the freshly plucked green leaves to its packaging at the factory


Spiritual Awakening at Thirunelli Temple

Thirunelly Temple is a 3000 years old temple located in a beautiful valley beneath the Brahmagiri hill in Kerala. It is one of the most ancient places of pilgrimage in Kerala, and among the most popular religious places to visit in Wayanad. Dedicated to Lord Maha Vishnu, the temple is surrounded by mountains and beautiful forests. People believe that Lord Brahma worships Perumal in the temple in the wee hours every day, hence the head priest of the temple leaves a fresh quantity of worshiping materials required for puja in the Thirunelly Temple before closing the temple at night. The temple draws pilgrims from all over Kerala primarily for ancestral rites.


Try Boating at Pookode Lake

Surrounded by evergreen forests and rolling hills, Pookode Lake is a freshwater lake located close to the Kalpetta – Kozhikode main road in Wayanad, among the top hill stations near Bangalore. The Panamaram stream, one of the main tributaries of the Kabani River, originates from Pookote Lake. Spread across an area of 13 acres, the lake has an abundance of blue lotuses and freshwater fishes. The lake offers a boating facility with pedal and rowboats. Shaped like India’s map, boating in the serene waters of Pookode Lake is a fun activity for all as the serenity experienced while in the middle of the lake is a divine feeling.


Wonder at Beautiful Sights from Lakkidi Viewpoint

Often referred to as ‘the gateway of Wayanad’, Lakkidi is a small hill station located at the crest of the serpentine Thamarassery ghat pass, which features over 9 hairpin curves that start at Adivaram (downhill). The 12 km long ghat road from Adivaram to Lakkidi passing through thick forest leaves a wonderful experience. The lush green hills, gorges and streams on both sides of the passage up the hill are breathtaking sights to the visitors. Form Lakkidi, one can get dazzling views of the surrounding cliffs and valleys. Lakkidi is also famous for the Chain Tree, which is a large ficus tree bounded by a chain.

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Santhi is an avid traveler and primary contributor to the blogs at Trawell.in. She has explored most of the states in India and gained vast knowledge on tourist destinations in India and abroad. She also contributes content to other travel websites.

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5 Opulent Palaces of Jaipur that You Must Visit Once

5 Opulent Palaces of Jaipur that You Must Visit Once

Popularly called the Pink City, Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan, is one of the popular places to visit in India. Rich in culture and heritage, Jaipur boasts of a rich lineage of kings and is synonymous with royalty and splendor. The magnificent forts and palaces in Jaipur are a livid example of stunning architecture and the grandiosity of the various Rajput dynasties. Some of these forts and palaces have completely been transformed into heritage hotels while some are still occupied by the newer generations of the original royals. So what are u waiting for? Pack your packs and visit these opulent royal palaces of Jaipur as part of your Rajasthan tour packages.

Check the list of exotic palaces in Jaipur
here.

City Palace

Built-in 1732 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, City Palace is one of the most treasured palaces in India, and among the st-visit tourist places in Jaipur. Boasting European, Rajput and Mughal architectural styles, this palace spreads over a large area which occupies one-seventh of the walled city and features an array of gardens, temples, and pavilions. Chandra Mahal, Maharani’s Palace, Mubarak Mahal, Shri Govind Dev temple, Diwan-i-Aam, and Diwan-E-Khas are the prominent structures inside the City Palace complex. At present, most of this palace is the residence of the descendants of the former rulers of Jaipur. Only the ground floor is allowed for visitors where the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum is located that displays carpets, manuscripts and other items that belonged to the royal family.


Samode Palace

About 40 km from Jaipur, Samode Palace or Samode Haveli is a heritage monument built 175 years ago as a residence of the rulers of Samode. Initially, it was built as a Rajput Fort, but it was converted into an exquisitely designed palace in the early 19th century, under Rawal Barisal. Spread over an area of 20 acres, it is one of the lavish royal palaces in  Rajasthan, and among the prominent places to visit near Jaipur. Samode Palace is a brilliant example of European, Rajput & Mughal architectural designs. It was built using sandstone at the foot of Aravalli hills with a fortress-like setting. The Palace encompasses the Durbar Hall, Sultan Mahal, and Sheesh Mahal. The interiors of the palace are composed of marble floors, intricately ornamented pillars, mosaic walls decorated with old wall paintings. In 1987, it was converted into Samode Palace Heritage Hotel.


Hawa Mahal

One of the most important landmarks in the city of Jaipur, the renowned Hawa Mahal or the Palace of Winds was constructed in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh as a continuation to the stunning City Palace. The main architect of this palace is Lal Chand Ustad and the palace is believed to have been constructed in the form of the crown of Krishna, the Hindu God. The palace is constructed of beautiful red and pink sandstone and it looks like a five-storeyed Pyramid. Its unique five-storey exterior has 953 small windows called jharokhas decorated with intricate latticework. The original intention of the lattice was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life in the street below without being seen. The interior of the palace is very elegant. The upper floors of the palace can be reached by climbing the narrow ramps. There are no stairs inside the Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, among the top heritage sites near Delhi.


Jal Mahal

Standing tall in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake, Jal Mahal or Water Palace Jal Mahal was built in the 18th century by Sawai Madho Singh I as a summer resort. The palace was renovated and expanded in the 18th century by Madho Singh II. It is considered an architectural marvel built in the Rajput and Mughal styles of architecture. It provides a picturesque view of the lake from the Man Sagar Dam and the surrounding Nahargarh hills. Built using red sandstone, it is a five storyed building out of which four floors remain underwater when the lake is full and the top floor is exposed. The palace looks mesmerizing in the evenings when the entire structure is immersed in flood lights. One can see many migratory birds around the Jal Mahal during winters as part of Jaipur tour packages.


Rambagh Palace

The Rambagh Palace is another opulent palace situated in Jaipur. The palace was originally built in 1835 for the nurse of Prince Ram Singh II. Later it has gone through many royal transitions from the home of the queen’s favorite maiden to royal guesthouse and hunting lodge, and later as the residence of the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II. Spread over an area of 47 acres, Rambagh Palace presents a fine blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture. Now, it is a heritage hotel run by the Taj Hotels and resorts which has been playing gracious host to many dignitaries from India and abroad like Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. It is one of the best heritage places to visit in Rajasthan.

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Top 5 Places to See at Least Once

Top 5 Places to See at Least Once

Deciding where to spend your hard-earned vacation time can be difficult. The problem of choosing a destination is usually a matter of picking from among many attractive options rather than coming up with anyplace at all. Some countries, however, take precedence over others because of the sheer beauty of their cities, culture, and cuisine. Here are the top five places you should visit at least once.

1.Paris, France

The City of Light has been hailed as the height of civilization due to its long history, beautiful architecture, and cozy cafes. If you could take only one more trip during your
lifetime, you would be smart to make it to Paris.

The three must-see attractions in Paris are the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and Notre Dame. You could fit all three sights into one day, but you really ought to designate one entire day to explore the wonders of the vast Louvre Museum. Don’t forget to start your day with a pain au chocolat and to relax at the end of the day by enjoying one of Paris’s famed brasseries. Taking cruises from San Diego is also fun.


2. Rome, Italy

The Eternal City is at once the capital of Italy and also the seat of the Roman Catholic Church. Rome has a history going back almost three millennia and has been led by emperors, barbarians, and popes. As you walk through the streets, modern apartment
buildings are interspersed with ruins from the first century. The sense of time
is palpable.

Make time to visit the Vatican with Saint Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. The Colosseum and the Pantheon should also be on your agenda. In between visiting historic sights, sample one of Rome’s signature pastas such as carbonara or cacio e pepe.


3. Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is made up of two communities on either side of the Danube river, Buda and Pest. Together they form a modern city with a rich past. On the Buda side of the river, you will find Buda Castle and the Budapest History Museum.

Both of these sights are at the top of a hill, and if you’re feeling strong, work your way up through narrow staircases and hidden walkways to get to the Old town. You’ll be
rewarded with an incredible view of the city.

On the Pest side, dodge students and explore the boulevards that have been compared to Paris in the 1950s. For an authentic taste of Hungary, indulge in a savory goulash and a glass of sweet tokaji wine.


4. London, England

Once the capital of the British Empire, London is still one of the most powerful cities in the world due to being a financial center. All of this wealth has made London a glamorous
and expensive place to visit. Don’t be discouraged, however, because there are
plenty of things to do for every budget.

Start your day with a true English breakfast of eggs, sausage, beans, bacon, mushrooms, and tomatoes. This hearty meal gives you the energy to make your way from the British Museum to the Tower of London to Buckingham Palace to Big Ben.

Don’t forget to take a break for tea time, during which you can contemplate all the history that this small island in the North Atlantic has witnessed.


5. Dublin, Ireland

Dublin is beautiful, known for its parks, bridges, and colorful doors. The Irish capital is also known for the literary giants of James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, and Samuel Beckett. Walking
tours are available that take you through the locations described by these
great authors.

The top sights to see are Dublin Castle, St Patrick’s Cathedral, and Trinity College, where you can see the Book of Kells, an impressive illuminated manuscript. After a long day getting to know the city, sit down in a pub, raise a pint of Guinness and toast yourself for your travels.

You only have so much time away from work, so you should make it count. If you’re willing, trust the advice of those who have gone before you on where to go. You won’t be disappointed.


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Santhi is an avid traveler and primary contributor to the blogs at Trawell.in. She has explored most of the states in India and gained vast knowledge on tourist destinations in India and abroad. She also contributes content to other travel websites.

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5 Popular Temples in & around Mysore

5 Popular Temples in & around Mysore

Acknowledged for its rich history, cultural heritage, and picturesque surroundings, Mysore is one of the most famous tourist destinations in South India, and among the must include places in Karnataka tour packages. Often called as ‘Cultural Capital of Karnataka’, Mysore was the capital of the Wodeyar dynasty and also the home of the famous Tipu Sultan. Given its royal past, the city houses magnificent palaces, gardens, ancient temples, and monuments. However, one of the most beautiful aspects of this palace city is its varied list of exquisitely built temples including the ancient as well as more recent ones, each temple around Mysore is unique in its own way.

Here is the list of some famous temples in and around Mysore.

Chamundeshwari Temple

Perched atop the Chamundi Hill, Chamundi Hill Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Goddess Chamundeswari, an incarnation of Goddess Parvathi who took this form to destroy Mahishasura. It is one of the major places of pilgrimage in Karnataka, and one of the oldest temples in the palace city of Mysore. Also known as Krouncha Pitham, Chamundi Temple was built in the 12th century CE, and is one among the 18 Maha Shakti Peethas representing the hair of Sati Devi. The temple is one of the must-visit places as part of Mysore tour packages. The most striking feature of the Chamundeshwari temple is its intricate and ornate architectural style and carvings, reflecting the profoundly artistic culture of Mysore.


Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple, Srirangapatna

About 19 km from Mysore, Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple is a famous temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is one of the most important Vaishnavite temples in South India. The temple is considered as one of the Pancharanga Kshetras, the other four being Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple of Srirangam, Sarangapani Temple of Kumbakonam, Appakudathan Temple of Trichy, and the Parimala Ranganathaswamy Temple of Mayiladuthurai. Located inside the Srirangapatna Fort on the banks of the Kaveri River, it is one of the largest temples in Karnataka, among the most popular places to visit in Srirangapatna. With a blend of Hoysala and Viyanagara architectures, it consists of a Mahadwara with a huge tower followed by a mukha mandapa, maha mandapa, and Garbhagriha.  Also known as Aadi Rangam, the idol of Vishnu in the sanctum is reclining on the seven hooded Adishesha with his consort Lakshmi at his feet. This shrine is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India as a monument of national importance.


Melukote Temples

Melukote is a historical town located at a distance of 50 km from Mysore and 133 km from Bangalore. Also known as Thirunarayanapuram, it is one of the popular pilgrimage places in Karnataka and also one of the best places to visit near Mysore. The town is home to two popular temples, one is Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple and the other one is Yoga Narasimha Swamy Temple. The main temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu known as Thirunarayana or Cheluvaraya. The temple has been under the patronage of the Mysore royal family and is endowed with valuable jewellery given to the lord by the Wodeyars. The Vairamudi festival held in March – April is the main festival of Sri Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple and is attended by more than 400,000 people.

Built on a hillock, Yoga Narasimha Swamy Temple is another major temple in Melukote and is dedicated to Lord Narasimha. The main deity is in a seated posture with the Yogapatta. It is believed that the idol of Lord Yoganarasimha was installed in the temple by Prahlada. The temple is considered to be one of the seven holy centers devoted to the worship of Narasimha, and among the major places to visit on the way to Mysore from Bangalore. There is a Sanskrit Pathashala inside the temple that dates back to 1853. One has to climb nearly 400 steps to reach the temple from the foothills.


Shreekanteshwara Temple, Nanjangud

Situated on the banks of River Kapila, Nanjundeshwara Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is known as Nanjundeshwara or Srikanteshwara here. Built-in the Dravidian style, it is one of the popular religious places to visit near Mysore. The temple was constructed during the reign of the Ganga dynasty while the renovations were also done by the Hoysalas. That time the deity was called ‘Hakim Nanjunda’ that was being suggested by Tipu Sultan when his elephant got cured through the prayers offered to the deity. It houses three main deities, Lord Nanjundeshwara, Goddess Parvathi, and Lord Vishnu with Sridevi and Bhudevi. It is one of the most prominent pilgrimage sites near Bangalore. The temple witnesses maximum footfall during the “Dodda Jaathre”, a 3-day chariot festival held every year by the end of March.


Talakadu Temples

Talakadu is a historical place situated on the banks of the Kaveri River in Karnataka. About 49 km from Mysore, and 139 km from Bangalore, it is one of the popular Mysore tourist places, and among the famous weekend getaways from Bangalore. Talakadu had over 30 temples, most of them are buried in the sand today. Some of these temples have been excavated and are open to the public. Dates back to the times of the Ganga and Woedyar dynasty, these ancient Hindu places of worship have been constructed by different South Indian rulers and dynasties. There are five temples dedicated to Lord Shiva – Pathaleshwara, Maruleshwara, Arkeshwara, Vaideeshwara, and Mallikarjuneshwara Temple. The Keerthinarayana temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu is a beautiful site with wonderful carvings. A famous festival called Pancha Linga Darshana is celebrated here once in 12 years. It is held on new moon day in the month of Karthika when two stars conjoin, the stars of Khuha Yoga and Vishaka.

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5 Popular Museums in Pondicherry

5 Popular Museums in Pondicherry

Placed along the Coromandel Coast of Bay of Bengal, Pondicherry or Puducherry is a city and capital of the Union Territory of Pondicherry. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South India, and among the prominent places to visit near Chennai. Also called as ‘The Europe of India’, the place boasts of a unique blend of rich heritage, and culture that comprise statues, museums, and colonial buildings. The museums in Pondicherry are the powerhouses of art and culture having an unusual collection of things that were uncovered from the Arikamedu site near Pondicherry. Also, a few other museums have been restored from the homes of ancient royals and artists. In addition, these museums are a house to the culture and traditions that prevailed during the reign of Pallava & Chola dynasties, colonial years and the times of trade during the pre-Christian age.

Here is the list of popular museums in Pondicherry that one should not miss during your Puducherry Trip.

Pondicherry Museum

Also known as Pondy Museum, Pondicherry Museum is one of the must-visit places as part of Pondicherry tour packages for all the history and culture lovers. Situated in the former Law Building on Saint Louis Street, this museum has a rich assortment of some rare and finest stone and bronze sculptures belonging to Cholas and Pallavas rule of Pondicherry and Karaikal. Besides, this place displays a plethora of artifacts reclaimed from the Arikamedu Roman settlement. Burial urns, French furniture, terracotta figures, crockery, guns, swords, paintings, mirrors, and several other things dating back to different periods are preserved here. The Pondicherry Museum also has a wide collection of snail shells collected from the beaches near Pondicherry.


Bharathidasan Museum

Bharathidasan Museum is another popular museum, that also serves as a research center in Pondicherry. Named after the great Tamil poet and scholar Kanaka Subburatnam, the museum displays the poet’s spectacular life and work. It is one of the famous places to visit in Pondicherry. It has been used as the abode of the noteworthy poet and was converted into a museum after his death. Owing to his devotion to Subramanya Bharathi, he became more famous as Bharathidasan, which translates to ‘Disciple of Bharathi’. The house conserves his finest literary work that serves as a motivational source for visitors. Some of the scripts which he wrote for women empowerment are also found here. Apart from the manuscripts and literary works, this famous museum in Pondicherry also displays several items used by Bharathidasan like his walking stick, spectacles, shawl, clipboard, watch and diary.


Jawahar Toy Museum

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Although one may not find Jawahar Toy Museum on many bucket lists, Jawahar Toy Museum is certainly worth a visit during your Pondicherry Trip. It is one of the rarest museums in India and is extremely popular among children. Situated close to the old lighthouse on Goubert Avenue, the museum displays around 120 toys that have been collected from several states of the country including states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Assam, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Punjab. Another attraction of this museum is a little fairyland that is showcased with a small-sized idol of Lord Ganesha that is positioned in a way that looks as if he watches over the procession.


Bharathiyar Museum

The Bharathiya Museum is one of the popular museums located in Pondicherry
and among the best places to visit during your Pondicherry Trip. The museum
got its name from the renowned Tamil poet, and patriot of the past Subramanya
Bharathi, who arrived in Pondicherry as a fugitive from British India in 1908. It
earlier used to be the home of the poet and is now revered as a pilgrimage site
for the present-day Tamil people who consider him the pioneer of modern Tamil
poetry. Comprises 3 rooms, the first room showcases photos of all those people
who have influenced the life of Bharathi. The second room exhibits all those
journals that the poet has written and all his articles that got published. And
finally, the third room is the largest of all that exhibits an oil painting of
Bharathi along with pictures of his family members and also his patriotic poems
and letters that he wrote to prominent freedom fighters of that time.


Ananda Ranga Pillai Museum

Ananda Ranga Pillai Museum is one of the oldest buildings located in Pondicherry, among the most popular tourist places in India. The mansion was erected in 1735 and was named after Ananda Ranga Pillai, who was the courtier of Governor Joseph Francois Dupleix. Also known as Natives Quarters, this museum is a treasure house to understand the French colonial period in Pondicherry as documented by Pillai in his diaries. Besides, the museum was one of the few buildings to survive the British invasion and has been recognized by the Puducherry government as a heritage building and one need to require special permission to visit this mansion-cum-museum.

 

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6 Splendid Waterfalls in Ooty

6 Splendid Waterfalls in Ooty

Located at an altitude of about 7400 feet, Ooty is a picturesque hill station in Tamilnadu, and one of the popular honeymoon destinations in India. Often called as ‘Queen of Hills’, Ooty is home to majestic mountains, pristine lakes, and sprawling tea estates which are perfect retreat for travellers who wish to spend some time amidst nature as part of Tamilnadu tour packages. Besides serenity and natural beauty, there are several number of gorgeous waterfalls in Ooty where the water is falling down from the several feet above the sea level and thus makes it a perfect place for a day out to relax, rejuvenate or just to spend some time in solitude.

Here is the list of some enchanting waterfalls in Ooty.

Catherine Falls

Catherine Falls is a beautiful waterfall situated near Kotagiri in the Nilgiris district of Tamilnadu. It is the second largest waterfalls in the Nilgiris and one of the must include places in Ooty tour packages. Cascades down from a height of 250 feet, the stunning Catherine Falls is a double-cascaded waterfall located at Aravenu. The River Kallar descends down the rocks as Geddhehaada Halla stream, to form the Catherine Falls. Also known as Geddhehaada Halla by locals, this waterfall is surrounded by beautiful views of forest, tea plantations and the Mettupalayam plains. The falls is clearly visible from the top of Dolphin’s Nose, among the prominent places to visit in Coonoor. The journey to Catherine Falls itself is an unforgettable experience as one has to drive through the pine forests and lush green tea gardens of Nilgiri Hills.


Pykara Falls

Pykara Falls is a picturesque waterfall situated in Ooty. Situated on the Ooty – Mysore road, this is one of the best waterfalls near Bangalore, and among the most popular Ooty places to visit. Nestled amidst the dense forest, the waterfall is formed by the Pykara River. It cascades down into two sections with a height of 55 m and 61 m through multiple layers on the rocky bed providing a unique beauty to the stream. It is one of the must-visit places for honeymoon couples and nature lovers as part of their Ooty trip. The falls can be seen in full bloom during the rainy season that draws a huge number of tourists.


Law’s Falls

Located on Coonoor – Mettupalayam Road, Law’s Falls is a beautiful waterfall situated near Ooty. It is one of the popular waterfalls in the Nilgiris, and among the must-visit places as part of Coonoor tour packages. The beautiful Law’s Falls is set inside the Coonoor forest range with vast stretches of undisturbed nature around. Named after Col. Law, who constructed the new Coonoor ghat, this waterfall is formed by the Coonoor river. The height of the waterfall is about 30 feet through multiple cascades. This small & pretty waterfall attracts a huge crowd, especially during post-monsoons. Ooty & Coonoor cna be visted along with Mysore tour packages.


Kalhatti Falls

Kalhatty Falls is an attractive waterfall situated on the Ooty – Mysore Road or Sigur Ghat Road. Also known as the Kalahasti Falls, it is one of the top places to visit in Ooty, among the popular weekend getaways from Bangalore. Set amidst the wonderful surroundings of the Sigur Plateau, the waterfall cascades down the verdant Nilgiri Mountains from a height of about 120 feet, and is considered to be an ideal destination for trekking in Tamilnadu. One can reach the falls through a private tea estate from the main road. Also, there is a viewpoint that offers a far view of the falls and also one can walk down through a narrow path from the viewpoint to get a closer view. Besides, the Kalhatty-Masinagudi slope is rich in wildlife such as Panthers, Bisons, Wild Buffaloes, Wild Dogs, Spotted Deers, Sambars and different types of hill birds.


Kolakambai Falls

Kolakambai Falls is a magnificent waterfall located near Kolacamby, Tamil Nadu. Also known as Kullakamby Falls, it is one of the highest waterfalls in Tamilnadu and among the must visit Ooty tourist places. Standing tall at a height of 400 feet, this is the highest falls in the Nilgiris mountain range. It descends from the northern side of Kolakambai Hill, which is an important peak of the Nilgiri Hills range. A visit to these falls during the monsoon season can be quite breathtaking. The way to this falls is popular for hiking, trekking, and biking through the wild area full of natural flora and fauna that is typical of this mountainous range.


Katary Falls

Katary Waterfall is an enchanting waterfall located at Adikaratti village near Ooty and is the third-largest waterfall in the Nilgiris. Gushes down from a height of about 130 feet, it is a 2-tiered waterfall that forms a pool at the base. Also, it is the site of India’s first hydroelectric power project, the Katari hydroelectric system which generates 1000 KW electricity from the mechanical energy of the falling water from the Katary Falls. During rainy season, the waterfall looks mesmerizing with all its full glory amidst lush green woods enveloped in mighty mountains that flocks huge number of tourists as part of Ooty – Coonoor Tour Packages.

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