Finally, the Jatayu Earth Centre Nature Park is open for travellers. Built over 4 hills at Chadamangalam, Kollam, it is nearly 40 km away from the capital city of Kerala, Trivandrum. Spread over an area of 65 acres, the site offers adventure sports like rock climbing, trekking and paintball. Adventure training sessions are also conducted here, and thus the Jatayu Nature Park is the first of its kind in Kerala providing the same. Cable Car, Virtual Reality Museum and Hele-Taxi are some of the other entertainment options for the visitors.
The major attraction of the park is the massive sculpture of the mythical bird Jatayu. It is rapidly gaining attention from travellers. This sustainable tourism site is built exactly at the point where the Jatayu fell down dead fighting the demon king Ravana, as said in the Indian epic Ramayana. The Jatayu sculpture is 200 feet long, a 150 feet wide and 70 feet tall. There is also a rainwater harvesting reservoir within the premises with a capacity of holding 15 lakh litres of water.Another great addition to this initiative is the Siddha Healing centres inside caves within the nature park. Moonlight dining is another spectacular option for, where visitors can dine right under star-studded moonlit sky.
Rajiv Anchal, a film director, an artist, humanist and a sculptor, is the one behind the initiation of this huge project. His idea was to mix up technology, mythology, nature, wellness and culture to bring up a positive impact on humanity as a whole. The construction is in its final phase and it is expected to fully function by April 2018.
This was coming! Vizag, previously known as Vishakhapatnam, has recently gained popularity among the travel community and is the next hotspot in travel. Situated in Andhra Pradesh and one of the largest city in the state, the port city of Vishakhapatnam houses the oldest shipyard in India. Vizag has a lot to offer its visitors. Starting from the exotic beaches of Rushikonda and Ramakrishna to the ancient Borra caves and the blissful hills of Arakku valley, if you are planning for a Vizag tour? Do not think twice, just set off a journey to enjoy a one of a kind travel experience.
Below I am listing out the top tourist places in Vizag to visit-
Arakku Valley definitely tops this list of “Best tourist places in Vizag” owing to its rich greenery, stunning hills and awesome weather which every traveller craves for. A Vizag tour is never complete without making a visit to this paradise. It is nearly 1000 meters above the sea level and 120 kms away from the city of Vishakhapatnam [Vizag]. A day is not enough to see all places in Arakku Valley, it would take at least 2 to 3 days to fully enjoy Arakku. There are numerous spots to explore such as the Dumbriguda Waterfalls, tribal museum the Matsyagundam [Fish pool], the Tyda Park and more. Stroll through its lush green coffee plantations, spend time at the mountain tops, or get wet beneath the roaring waterfalls at Arakku Valley. The tribals of Arakku make one of the best varieties of organic coffee. The train ride to Arakku Valley from Vizag is pretty famous among travellers. It is the only train in India which reaches the highest point in the Eastern Ghats. The 4 hour train journey exposes you to some breathtaking sceneries of Nature.
Located 88 kms from Vizag and 36 kms from Arakku Valley, the Borra Caves hold the title of the “Biggest Caves in India”. It was unknown to the outside world until 1807. Geologists date these limestone caves to be more than 150 million years old, YES! You heard it right, it is indeed 150 million years. At a height of 1400 meters above the sea level, the Borra Caves is a pure natural wonder. If you are into some adventure and love trekking, you would definitely enjoy the trek route up the Borra Caves. As you reach the caves, it would be a whole new world for you, you feel as if you have travel back in time. The air inside, the rocks, small waterfalls everything feels ancient. A visit to Borra Caves is not to be missed while exploring Vizag.
Are you a beach lover? Then Rushikonda is your next love. It is the most famous beach in Andhra Pradesh. Imagine the sight, golden sands clubbed with verdant coconut trees, sea waves hitting the rocky shoreline and the mouth-watering seafood. Do you love Adventure water sports? Surfing? Skiing? Yes? Rushikonda is for you. There are plenty of water sports options for you to get engaged and entertained with. Make a visit to Rushikonda Beach for a perfect beach holiday. Located just 40 km from Vizag it is easily accessible.
Just 24 km from Vizag, this is yet another great seaside at Vizag. Bheemli Beach is of great historical importance. It was one among the major Dutch Settlements in the 17th Century and a major trading hub for the British East India Company later. A 16th century Dutch Cemetery and an 18th century lighthouse are the major attractions at Bheemli.
Thotlakonda Buddhist excavation site
Located 20 kms from Vizag on the way to the Bheemli Beach is this ancient Buddhist site named Thotlakonda. It comprises of the ruins of a Buddhist monastery and an advanced center for learning where monks within India and from China, Burma used to reside and learn Buddhist teachings for months. The Thotlakonda Hills are clustered with Buddhist stupas, pillared prayer halls, meditation rooms, stone pathways and many water wells. Archaeologists state the area was active during the period BC 200 to AD 200. Thotlakonda is of huge spiritual importance for the Buddhists and definitely an entertaining site for the history fanatics who love to get deep into the history books. It is a must visit if you are in for a Vizag tour.
90 kms away from Vizag and 7 kms from Borra Caves is this spectacular waterfalls named Katiki, also known as Katika. It takes a short trek of likely 25-30 mins through dense forest and hills to reach the falls and the trek route is simply beautiful and pleasing. This 100 feet cascading waterfalls is a delight for family travellers and offers many other exciting trekking routes for the adventure junkies and nature lovers as well.
INS Kursura Submarine Museum
The INS Kursura Submarine Museum is one of the very few submarine museums which retain authenticity and definitely a must visit spot in Vizag. The INS Kursura [S20], Kalvari-class diesel-electric submarine was India’s fifth submarine. It was of great use during the Indo-Pak war of 1971. The submarine was decommissioned in 2001 after which it is preserved as a museum for the public.
Tyda Nature Camp
Tyda Nature Camp, also known as the Jungle Bells Nature Camp is an eco-tourism project at a small tribal village known as Tyda. Set amidst the hills of Eastern Ghats, Tyda is located 70 kms from Vizag on the way to Arakku Valley. Established by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Department and the Forest Department, it offers camping, rock climbing, trekking, bird-watching and many other exciting activities. Log huts and tents are available at the Camp. It is a perfect getaway for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.
So, there you have it, the Best tourist places in Vizag!
Well! There are numerous tourist spots in Karnataka and you probably get confused which destinations would suit your style and interests. There are hill stations, historical sites, exotic beaches, ashrams and a lot more. So while you plan your Karnataka tour, do take your time and research on which destinations in Karnataka would entertain you. For some, hills are their favourite haunt and then there are some who are fond of ancient monuments and temples which please their curious minds.
Let us help you sort out and plan your Karnataka Tour.
Ok! So here we are going to give you a skeleton plan of certain popular tour plans covering various destinations spread throughout the Karnataka state.
Plan 1: Short Karnataka tour
Bangalore- Mysore- Coorg- Mangalore
Day 1: Bangalore
Day 2: Bangalore Sightseeing
Day 3: Drive from Bangalore to Mysore [140 km] and Mysore sightseeing
Day 4: Mysore to Coorg [120 km]
Day 5: Coorg Sightseeing
Day 6: Coorg to Mangalore [160 km] Departure
Plan 2- Short Heritage tour
Day 1: Bangalore
Day 2: Bangalore Sightseeing
Day 3: Drive from Bangalore to Mysore [140 km]
Day 4: Mysore to Hassan [120 km] and visit temples at Belur and Halebid
Day 5: Hassan to Bangalore [Departure] [200 kms] via Shravanabelagola
Plan 3- Long Heritage Tour
Day 1: Bangalore
Day 2: Bangalore Sightseeing
Day 3: Drive from Bangalore to Mysore [140 km] and Mysore sightseeing
Day 4: Mysore to Hassan, visit temples at Belur and Halebid
Day 5: Hassan to Hampi
Day 6: Hampi sightseeing
Day 7: Hampi to Badami [180 kms], Visit the monuments at Aihole and Pattadakkal
Day 3: Coorg- Nagarhole Wildlife Sanctuary [Enjoy Jungle Jeep Safari]- Back to Coorg
Day 4: Coorg to Chikmagalur [170 km]
Day 5: Chikmagalur
Day 7: Chikmagalur to Agumbe [120 km], back to Chikmagalur
Day 8: Chikmagalur to Shimoga [110 km]
Day 9: Shimoga to Murudeshwar via Jog Falls [200 kms]
Day 10: Murudeshwar to Mangalore [Departure]
Are you ready for your Karnataka tour?
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To customize your Karnataka tour as per your travel style and budget- log on to South Tourism
Our expert tour consultants help you with all aspects of your tour starting from your transport, your accommodation, your sightseeing, and a perfect knowledgeable- courteous driver whom we call our Captains.
Book your Karnataka tour with us and leave rest to us. Pack your bags and start exploring Karnataka.
You might be planning for the New Year Eve, do you wonder where to go? Well! There are lots of great places in South India to celebrate the New Year. We have some recommendations to make it easy for you.
Here are our top 5 places in South India to celebrate New Year 2018
Well! There is no doubt on Bangalore topping this list. It is the celebrated “PUB CITY OF INDIA” and known all over the country for its incredible nightlife. So yes! Bangalore is definitely the best choice in South India to celebrate the New Year 2018. The energy and overall ambience of Bangalore are perfect for the New year celebration. There will be numerous other shows and events held on the New Year’s Eve at Bangalore. Check out the cafes, pubs and resorts website for their main event on New Year’s Eve and try booking your spot beforehand.
Yet another metro city like Bangalore, Chennai is for sure a great pick for your New Year celebrations. Pubs, stage shows, road festivals and a lot more. The Basant Nagar Beach and the Marina beach sees a lot of crowds celebrating New Year, singing, dancing and enjoying to the core. There are a lot of events and shows organized by cafes, resorts etc, which you could catch up as well.
Fort Kochi, Kerala
Fort Kochi in Kerala gets live and loud during the New Year with its famous “Cochin Carnival” when tens of thousands of people gather to celebrate and to welcome the New Year in style. The Cochin Carnival is held during the last week of December. Not just the carnival, the Cochin city offers a lot of great resorts and café’s as well to make your New Year special.
Now, this needs no introduction. Pondicherry is much like Goa in the South for many. Head out to Rock Beach where a lot of concerts and parties are held during the New Year eve. Paradise Beach is also a great option to spend your eve. You could also indulge yourself in adventurous water sports to make the new year more exciting. If you would like to have a peaceful and calm New Year celebration, head straight to Auroville, an ideal town for a serene getaway. Gather some info before you leave to Auroville, and see if it is your type of destination to spend your New Year. Overall Pondicherry is a one-stop destination to celebrate your New Year.
Another “Goa in Making”, the cliff side beaches of Varkala is getting international fame day by day. It is a hippie paradise and the beaches would be in a festive ambience on the New Year’s Eve. You have plenty of options here to celebrate. Catch a seat at some café [I would suggest the RockNRoll café], enjoy the ambient music and the mouth drooling seafood. Chill out at the Varkala Beach and say hi in style to the New year 2018.
So that was our picks for Top 5 places in South India to celebrate New Year 2018
Still waiting? Plan your New Year celebration soon before all the spots get booked.
If you are planning a New year holiday, we can help you.
December is coming and you might be wondering where to head to? Well! If you ask me I would definitely say South India. If you have been there already but it was not in November- December, I would recommend try South India one more time and this time during December. Why? Because there are lot of things happening during December, from festivals to the awesome weather, it is the best time to visit South India. The winter months are when the whole South India is welcoming and ready to entertain its visitors. There are lot of places in South India to visit during December, however some destinations stand out. Below i have listed our recommendations on Best places to visit in South India in December-
Here are 5 of our top picks-
The annual Chennai music festival is held during December. Need more reason to travel to Chennai? I guess not, especially if you are into music. Six weeks of Carnatic music, instrumental and Hindusthani vocal music accompanied by rhythmic classical dance makes the Chennai Music Festival a “never miss” event in South India. Therefore Chennia heads the list- Best places to visit in South India in December. The festival is not just the reason you must add Chennai in your December travel bucket, you have the Marina Beach, the world’s second longest beach, the Kapaleeswarar Temple, the Govt. museum of Chennai and much more.
Oh! The hills, of course. Hill stations are every travellers favourite and a holiday is incomplete for many without spending at least a night atop the hills. I pick Coorg for December, the so called “Scotland of India”. The weather is simply fantastic in December as it gets chilly and the slight drizzles makes it even more adorable. Simple stroll around the mountains, coffee and tea plantations, enjoy waterfalls and yes, a good big hot cup of coffee. Relax and rejuvenate your mind and body at Coorg. The cool breeze, lush green surroundings and coffee would definitely help you with it.
Kannur is a northern district in Kerala, famous for the Thalassery Biriyani and Theyyam festival. These 2 things are enough for you to make a visit to Kannur. Theyyam is an energetic dance form of Kerala which has been a part of Kerala culture for more than a millennia. It is performed during November- March at small shrines spread across Kannur and Kasargod districts of Kerala. The performance is pretty intense where the artist undergo an elaborate make-up and dance to the rhythmic beats of Chenda [local percussion instrument] and other instruments. It is believed that the artist is possessed by god and get into a trance like state when he starts performing. There are nearly 400 different forms of Theyyam, however the most popular are the “Pottan” Theyyam, the “Muchiloottu Bhagavathy Theyyam” and the “Raktha Chamundi” Theyyam.
It is a must experience for any traveller. Also do remember to catch the Thalassery Biriyani, a rice and meat based dish famous in Northern Kerala. Muzhapilangad Drive- in beach is another famous attraction at Kannur which is the only drive- in beach in Kerala with 4km long coastline.
Rushikonda Beach, Vizag
Named the “Jewel of the East Coast”, Rushikonda is one of the upcoming beach destinations which not many are aware of. Its pristine waters and virgin Greenland are attracting travellers for a quiet peaceful getaway. This December, head to Rushikonda if you like to go for a beach holiday and also, if you are into water sports, don’t think twice, you will be served at Rushikonda. Jet Ski, surfing, motor boating, options are plenty here.
Arakku Valley, Vizag
A serene hill station, untouched and unexplored, the Arakku Valley at Vizag [Vishakapattanam] is a perfect spot for a holiday in December. Located 1300 meters above the sea level, Arakku Valley offers some of the most beautiful vistas of nature. It is popular for its abundant coffee plantations and the Araku Emerald brand of coffee, which sells globally. There are spectacular waterfalls to enjoy in and around Arakku namely the Arakku Falls, the Duduma Falls, Tadimada Falls and the Katiki Falls. This definitely goes in to the list- Best places to visit in South India in December.
So that is it! My 5 top destinations in South India to visit in December.
For sure there are many other tourist places to visit in South India you know about.
Please comment your favourite destinations in South India to travel this December 2017!
The two month long Sabarimala pilgrimage begins as the temple opens for devotees today evening. One of the most revered temples in India, the Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple sees millions of pilgrims from far and near climb up 1000 meters to reach the hilltop temple and offer prayers to Lord Ayyappa. The main sanctum will be opened tomorrow, the first day of Malayalam month “Vrischikam”. The eagerly awaited day of “Makaravilakku” will be held on January 14, 2018.
Located amidst the mighty Western Ghats, the Sabarimala Temple is dedicated to lord Ayyappa, son of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu [Mohini Avatar]. Devotees take a bath at the holy River Pampa situated down the hill and start a 4km climb uphill, which take them to the Sabarimala Temple. This year Kerala Government has ensured more facilities for the pilgrims which include the State-of-art-hospital at the temple and more lavish dining area which can accommodate 5000 people. The temple security has been tightened to maximum as well.
How to reach?
It is just 150 kms from the city of Cochin and 100 kms away from the capital city of Kerala, Trivandrum. Both the cities are easily accessible by land, rail and air. Catch a flight or train to either of the two cities and hire a taxi to reach Sabarimala.
Enjoy a limited period offer by Air Asia India of “base fares as low as Rs. 99 and Rs. 444” for Domestic flights and International flights respectively. The Malaysian air carrier announced this discount sale on Sunday, 12th of November 2017. The offer applies only on flights operating between May 2018 and January 2019. Bookings are open till November 19. Bengaluru, Kochi, Hyderabad, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, New Delhi and Goa are among the Domestic destinations Air Asia operates.
International offer sale applies on flights to the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur from Tiruchirappalli, Kochi, Delhi, Bhubaneswar, Jaipur and to Bali from Mumbai & Kolkata, Bangkok from Jaipur, Kolkata, Kochi, Chennai and Bengaluru. Apart from the same, the offer is also valid for flights operated by AirAsia Berhad, Indonesia Air Asia X, AirAsia X Berhad, Indonesia Air Asia and Thai AirAsia.
Kerala is all about greenery, exotic beaches, shimmering backwaters and wildlife. It would take a month at least to explore all the travel gem spots spread throughout this so-called “God’s own country”, however you could have a taste of Kerala in a week and it is all about panning it rite.
Let us help you with the best plan!
In a week you could cover Cochin, Munnar (Hill station), Thekkady (Wildlife), Alleppey (Backwaters) and Kovalam (Beach).
Do remember to book a morning flight on the first day and an evening flight on the last day of your Kerala tour so you would get more time to enjoy yourself.
Do local sightseeing of Fort Cochin which includes the Dutch Palace, the Jewish Synagogue and the Fort Kochi Beach. Do some shopping if you wish at the local markets of Cochin.
Stay in Cochin.
Day 2: Cochin to Munnar [140 km, 4.5 hours]
Morning drive to the princess of hill stations, Munnar. On the way visit the Cheeyappara and Valara waterfalls. On reaching Munnar spend some time walking through the verdant grasslands and tea plantations of Munnar. Visit the Tea Museum and the Eravikulam National Park as per the time available. If not, cover the same next day
Stay in Munnar
Day 3: Munnar
Today enjoy sightseeing at Munnar. You could visit the Top Station, the most beautiful location in Munnar Hills as per the travellers. On the way, you would come across the Mattupetty Dam, where you could opt for boating along the Mattupetty Lake.
Stay in Munnar
Day 4: Munnar to Thekkady [110 km, 3.5 – 4 hours]
Today morning head to Periyar, which would take nearly a 4 hour drive through lush green mountains. As you reach Periyar visit the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, home to a lot of species of flora and fauna. Opt for a boat ride along the artificial lake inside the sanctuary. You have plenty of other adventure options as well, such as Bamboo Rafting, Night Trekking, Tiger Trail and many more.
Day 5: Thekkady to Alleppey [140 km, 4- 5 hour drive]
Today morning, drive towards the world’s most beautiful backwater destination, Alleppey. As you reach, hop on a houseboat and enjoy your houseboat cruise along the backwaters of Alleppey. Float through narrow canals, witness the local life of Alleppey people, enjoy the local Kerala style food prepared for you on board by the houseboat crew. Sit back, relax and enjoy the Alleppey sights.
Overnight stay in the houseboat.
Day 6: Alleppey to Kovalam [180 km, 4 to 5 hour drive]
Morning, disembark from your houseboat and resume your tour with a drive to Kovalam, a spectacular beach destination, often called as the “Goa of the South”. On reaching Kovalam, relax by the Hawa beach and enjoy rest of your day at peace. Enjoy the beautiful sunset from this part of the world. At night you could try the popular seafood at various food stalls by the Light House Beach.
Stay at Kovalam
Day 7: Kovalam to Trivandrum Airport [20 km, 20 mins drive]
Morning, engage yourself in a sunbath at the Hawa beach or get wet hitting the waves. Later as per your flight schedule, leave to the Trivandrum International airport or if you wish to do sightseeing at Trivandrum, leave 2 or 3 hours early than planned and visit the Padmanabha Swamy Temple, the richest temple in the World, the Napier Museum and the Kuthira Malika [Horse Palace]. Then drive to the airport and board your flight home.
So this is it! You have your Kerala trip plan for 7 days.
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Just pack your bags, sit back and enjoy your tour to the blissful land of Kerala.
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It is a great achievement for the Kerala Government, as Kerala Tourism bags the award for the “World’s best responsible tourism project” at the World Travel Mart 2017 held in London. Mr. Kadakampally Surendran, the tourism minister of Kerala received the award for Kerala’s responsible tourism project at the backwater destination, Kumarakom. Kerala Tourism has done a fantastic job implementing responsible tourism in style, safeguarding the interests of local people and the conservation of environment. The project has been successful in providing lot of job opportunities for the local people while preserving their traditional way of living and bringing it live for the winged tourists, a real Indian village experience.
This prestigious award joins the lot, of numerous other national and international awards bagged by Kerala Tourism for the Kumarakom project. This include United Nation’s UNWTO Ulysses Prize, Pacific Asia Travel Association’s [PATA] Grand and Gold awards and five national awards from the year 2007. The major theme of Kerala Tourism this time at WTM 2017 was the Kerala Backwaters. A 2 minute video recorded using the latest 360-degree technology using six cameras simultaneously was showcased at the event. The visitors enjoyed the same in a Virtual Reality Headset and thereby virtually taking a tour along the mesmerizing backwaters of Kerala.
Mr. Kadakampally also launched the Kerala Tourism’s latest project “Ayurbodha” which aims at merging the divine techniques of Ayurveda into tourism. The travellers who opt for this program would not only enjoy Kerala’s immense beauty, but also go back home rejuvenated. The Ayurbodha programs will be available at KTDC [Kerala Tourism Development Council] hotels spread throughout the Kerala state.
It is a proud moment for the people of Chennai as the city gets listed in the “Creative Cities Network” by UNESCO for its great contribution to music. 116 cities from 54 countries are listed under the CCN category for their contribution to various creative fields such as Film, Design, Crafts and Folk Art, Literature, Gastronomy, Music and Media Arts. Honourable Union Defence Minister Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted on Tuesday about this great achievement and congratulated the Chennai people for the same. She also added that Chennai is the third Indian city to confirm its spot in the CCN list after Jaipur and Varanasi. This shows the rich cultural diversity of country and it definitely will enhance the cultural development of the India’s various other cities as well.
UNESCO will be closely monitoring the future cultural events to be held in the Chennai city. As per CCN, once a city is named in its list, it organises various events for the next 4 years showcasing its USP.