Best Places to Visit in Madurai – Part 2

Let’s move along with our previous post on some of the must-visit places in one of Tamilnadu’s most bustling cities–Madurai. Here are a few places you can add to your travel bucket:

6.  Thiruparankundram Dargah (also, Sulthan Sikandhar Badhusha Shaheed shrine):

The Thiruparankundram Dargah is located at the top of the Thirupparamkundram hill. Housing the grave of the Islamic saint Sultan Sikandhar Badushah shaheed, this shrine is frequented by people of all religious faiths and stands as a symbol of inter-faith harmony, secular and pluralistic values. Devotees gather in large numbers during the annual Urs (anniversary ) festival to pay their respect to the great Sufi saint.

7. Gandhi Memorial Museum:

Situated across the famous Vaigai River and tucked in the Summer Palace of Nayak queen Rani Mangammal, is the Gandhi Memorial Museum, one of the seven museum galleries dedicated to the ‘father of the nation’ Gandhiji. It has some of the rarest collections of Bapuji such as the spectacles, shawl and the bloodstained dhoti (loincloth) worn by him at the time he was shot dead in 1948. Gandhi turned to wearing the dhoti only on his visit to Madurai in 1921 and termed it “national pride”. Don’t miss out on the Madurai Government Museum located within the same campus.

Koodal Azhagar Temple

8.  Koodal Azhagar Temple:

This is another famous temple in Madurai dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is one of the 108 Divya Desams, the holy shrines of Vishnu. Located near the Meenakshi Amman Temple, this temple holds significance as much as the Thirupallandu. According to legend, the great Tamil poet Periyalwar sung the first 12 verses of the 4000 Divyaprabadam eulogizing the Hindu deity Azhagar. The lord was so pleased that he appeared in the form of ‘Koodal Azhagar’. Koodal is also the ancient name of the city.

9. Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam:

The Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam is a huge square water tank spread over a sprawling 16-acre land. Constructed in 1646 by Thirumalai Nayak, this tank is situated 5km east of the Meenakshi Temple. In the middle of the tank is placed an idol of Lord Vinayaka or Vignesh resting on a platform. Legend has it that this place was unearthed when the earth was excavated to make bricks for building the Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal. The place was turned into a temple tank and was dedicated to Lord Ganesh, one of the supreme deities of the Hindu religion. The annual “Teppakulam Float Festival” takes place here with great fanfare and celebrations, during the months of January and February.  It is said that the water from River Vaigai flows into the largest temple tank in the state.

10. Azhagar Kovil Temple:

Situated at a distance of 21km from the city, Alagar Koyil Temple (or Alagar Kovil), dedicated to Lord Vishnu holds a lot of religious significance. Nestled in the foothills of the Azhagar (Alagar hills), the temple features an enthralling architecture; even more mesmerizing is the natural setting encircling this temple. The main deity the temple is Lord Paramaswamy, with the processional idol being Lord Alagar or Sundararajan, considered to be the brother of Goddess Meenakshi. The Kalyana Sundaravalli, the consort of Lord Alagar, has a separate shrine enclosed within the temple complex. You can also find separate shrines for deities Yoga Narasimha, Sudarshana and Andal.

Though built by the Pandyas, the temple known for its intricate sculpting, detailing and mandapams, was later renovated by the Nayak rulers. Many Theerthams are located nearby including the “Noopura Ganga”, believed to have descended directly from the heavens.

Madurai is just not about temples, it is also famous for its wholesale banana market, Murugan Idli Shop, Vilachery Pottery Village, Keelakuyilkudi and Samanar Hills and many more attractions that will bring out the complete ‘traveler’ in you. So if you come down south, Madurai is the place for you to refresh your spiritual as well as your nocturnal quotient as this city never sleeps at night!

Best Places to Visit in Madurai – Part 1

Madurai, the land of the glorious Tamil Pandya Kingdom, is the second largest city in Tamilnadu. This almost 3500-year old city is one of the state’s major destinations, and has remained since the cradle of Tamil civilization and culture, and the seat of learning. Often dubbed as the “Athens of the East”, Madurai resembles the ancient city in architectural style such as its many alleyways.  When the famous Nayaks ruled the city, several outstanding buildings and temples were constructed that still attract tourists and pilgrims in large numbers.  In a two-part series, we will bring you some of the must-see places in this ancient Tamil city.

madurai meenakshi temple

1. Meenakshi Temple:

There is no point in touring the city if you miss out on visiting the Meenakshi Temple, the cynosure of the city. The temple, apparently, was built around the Shiva Linga that you can find inside its sanctum.  The sacred temple is built in an area of 15 acres and comprises 4500 pillars and 12 majestic towers standing tall.  One of the most frequented temples in South India; you will have no problems even spending days inside the sanctum. You can also find Hindu couples gathered in large numbers, during auspicious days, to get married in the temple’s corridor. No wonder, it’s worth visiting the temple once in the morning and again for the night rituals in the evening.

2. Puthu Mandapam:

Feel free to venture inside the capacious Puthu Mandapam, pillared entrance hill that stands opposite the Meenakshi Temple. Built in the 17th century, this hall today is the lifeline of several tailors and small stalls selling scarves, fabric, designer jewellery, fashion accessories, art work and handicrafts. You can get the aforementioned stuffs and more at good discount prices and offers. You can also check good quality clothes, including near replicas.

3. Tirumalai Nayak Palace:

Located about a kilometre south-east of Meenakshi Temple is the renowned Tirumalai Nayak Palace constructed in 1636 by the famous Nayak ruler King Thirumalai Nayak. Considered as the city’s second major attraction, the palace is based on the Indo-Sarcenic style with an Italian architect helping in its design and construction. It was the King’s residential palace before leaving it open for public view. It seems like only a part of the original structure comprising the courtyard, entrance hall, audience hall and dance hall remains intact today. The structure saw some major renovation works with the Government recently spending substantial money on it.

4. Saint Mary’s Cathedral:

The Saint Mary’s Cathedral is one of the oldest Roman Catholic (RC) churches that was constructed in the year 1840. Situated on East Veli Street, the structure took its present form in 1916 with its architecture including two tall bell towers, and is a fusion of several Continental and European building styles.

5. Thiruparankundram:

If you think you still have some time left for strolling along Madurai, then you shouldn’t miss out Thiruparankundram, about 20 minutes south-west of the city. Thiruparankundram houses another ancient temple that is dedicated to one of Hindu religion’s supreme deities Lord Murugan (son of Lord Shiva in Hindu mythology), venerated as a Tamil God. On the hill top of Thiruparankundram, you can find a 14th century-old Islamic shrine (or Dargah) of the sufi saint Hazrat Sultan Sikandhar Badhusha.  We will be covering more about this shrine and few other attractions of the city in the concluding part-series of the article. Until then, it’s happy travel time from us!

What can you learn from the ‘Langar’ lessons of Golden Temple?

The Golden Temple (or the Harmandir Sahib) in Amritsar is the ‘Mecca’ of Sikh community all over the world.  Considered the holiest Gurdwara, it is the most important pilgrimage site of Sikhism. If the architectural features of the Golden Temple are striking, even more unique is the ‘Langar’ (or Sikh community kitchen), which brings people of all religions and faiths together shedding all communal differences altogether. The main objective of this revolutionary concept started by the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev, is to feed the poor and the needy and unite people of all walks in the name of service to God and humanity.

Golden temple

This timeless tradition of cooking and serving food to people together paves the way to community sustenance and upliftment.  Visitors to the Gurudwara actively engage in Langar activities such as cooking food, cleaning utensils and visiting the local farmer markets and cattle diary, the main suppliers to the Gurudwara for feeding around 60,000 pilgrims every day.

The volunteers mingle with the devotees to perform ‘sewa’ (voluntary service) as they cut and chop vegetables, peel and slice onions, roll and make ‘chapathis’ with their heads covered sitting with crossed legs on the floor in the Langar housed within the Golden Temple.  Take a closer look – the volunteers give in everything they can to sustain the efforts of the community kitchen and uphold the age-old sacred tradition. The scale of Langar in the Golden Temple can be beyond one’s wildest imagination.

One can learn a great deal of lessons from the Golden Temple including the art of building communities with haves and have-nots working together and sharing tasks and resources with another. The volunteers are also drawn by the ‘magical’ power to serve humanity and the role played by farmers, traders and merchants in donating 10% of earning to the Langar (also, known as “daswandh”).

If you are at the Golden Temple and miss out on serving at the Langar kitchen community, then you haven’t derived the full benefit of visiting the sacred site.

 

Best things to see in the KZN Midlands

The KwaZulu-Natal Midlands is guaranteed to take your breath away with its beauty. Here are some of the best things to see in this majestic place.

Drakensberg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nelson Mandela Capture Site

The Nelson Mandela Capture Site is one of South Africa’s more interesting historical sites. It was unveiled in 2012 by President Jacob Zuma, and is made up of steel columns, which represent Mandela’s imprisonment before being exiled to Robben Island. It is designed by artist Marco Cianfanelli. To gather more information about South Africa’s political history the site also features a museum.

Treetop Canopy Tours

If you love adventure Karkloof Forest Reserve situated 10 km outside of Howick is a must visit. Over the forest canopy you can go for long slides, enjoy a mesmerising 15-metre-high waterfall and view of the beautiful Karkloof valley. The canopies are the best way to enjoy the scenery.

Howick Falls

The Howick Falls is a popular tourist attraction and are located on the Umgeni River at 95 metres high. There are several shops selling souvenirs and curios, as well as restaurants. The legend is that a giant serpent-like creature called Inkanyamba resides at the pool at the bottom of the falls.

WESSA

A visit to WESSA (The Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa) is a bird lover’s paradise. The greater reserve is home to zebra, giraffe, and a variety of antelope as well as over 270 species of birds. Most of the reserve is located in the picturesque gorge below the Howick Falls.

Zulu Mpophomeni Township Experience

The award winning The Zulu Mpophomeni Tourism Experience (ZMTE) is a non-profit organisation. You will get to know the history of the area if you tour this picturesque township.

Drakensberg

The Drakensberg Mountains is stunningly beautiful. These famous peaks is a must visit though they’re not technically in the midlands. In 2000 the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many threatened species have been preserved here. This place is definitely not to be missed as there are more than 30000 San rock art images, rocky gorges, pristine steep-sided river valleys, and high-altitude grasslands.

Michaelhouse

Michaelhouse famous for its distinctive and beautiful architecture is one of South Africa’s most famous schools. Situated on a secure estate in the picturesque midlands it was founded in 1896.

Nottingham Road

You will easily miss this quaint little town of Nottingham Road if you don’t keep a close watch. The beautiful town has many interesting spots for visitors. If you love all things supernatural, a cosy pub at the Legendary Nottingham Road Hotel is a must visit. Locals believe that the Room no 10 in the pub is haunted by a lady ‘of loose morals’. Rawdon’s Hotel’s Nottingham Road Brewery is also a must visit when you are in town.

Chocolate and cheese tasting

Without a bit of cheese tasting at the family-run Swissland Cheesery a visit to the midlands wouldn’t be complete. Visitors can sample a range of goat’s cheese, including chevin and a mild blue cheese at the cheesery. It is also a great location where you will find grazing goats on lush green lawns. You can also learn about the traditional cheese-making practice that is followed here.

 

Top Hill Stations in Kerala

Kerala is famous for its beaches and backwaters. But to enchant visitors the God’s Own Country offers other experiences and landscapes. These include mist clad hills, charming hill stations filled with expansive tea and coffee plantations, and unending spice gardens. The hill stations in Kerala provide plenty of opportunities for an unforgettable and exciting trip whether you are on a romantic escapade or family outing.

Here are the top hill stations in Kerala you should not miss:

1. Wayanad

Wayanad, with its mountainous rivers and mist clad mountains, is an idyllic destination for a weekend getaway. It also has a lot of adventure spots apart from spice plantations, thick rainforest, and dazzling waterfalls.

Time to Visit: October to May

Must-see spots

  1. To enjoy breathtaking views visit Chembra Peak. A wide variety of plant species, birds and animals can be seen in the deep caves of Pakshipathalam.
  2. Adventure lovers can do some rock climbing near the most beautiful Soochippara waterfalls.
  3. For picnic an ideal spot is the evergreen forest – Kuruva Island – on the tributaries of River Kabani.
  4. The biggest abode of elephants in India, Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary, is also a must visit.

wayanad

 

 

 

 

 

2. Munnar

Munnar is a honeymooner’s paradise. It is also frequented by all types of travellers as it has something for everyone – verdant tea gardens, parks, dams, spots for trekking and more.

Time to Visit: October to November and January to May.

Must-see spots

  1. Anamudi, the highest peak in south India, is situated at the Eravikulam National Park in Munnar. The famous Nilgiri Tahr, wild balsams and epiphytic orchids, are highlights here.
  2. To taste a variety of teas and to learn about tea processing visit the TATA Tea Museum.
  3. If you want to spot wild elephants and to enjoy the serenity of nature visit Mattupetty Dam and lake.

Munnar

 

 

 

 

 

3. Vagamon

Vagamon is surrounded by three hills. It is a combination of forests, meadows and hills with breathtaking views. This hill station is filled with natural beauty. It is the best place to go for nature trails.

Time to Visit: March to May.

Must-see spots

  1. Managed by Kurisumala monks, Kurisumala Dairy Farm is untouched by city life and has the ambience of an idyllic country-side.
  2. To see the unique rock formations climb atop Thangal Para. There are many ancient caves to explore.

Vagamon

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Ponmudi

Ponmudi near Trivandrum is yet another beautiful hill station. A ride to Ponmudi is breathtaking with picturesque views along narrow winding pathways. With small rivulets, exotic butterflies and a beautiful array of mountain flowers, it is one of the best romantic destinations in Kerala.

Time to Visit: January to March.

Must-see spots

  1. For a leisurely picnic visit the Golden Valley and take a dip in the crystal clear waters of River Kallar.
  2. If you love adventure take a trek from Kallar to Meenmutty waterfalls. The trek through dense forests offers beautiful views. For tourists to reach the falls the Forest Department provides guides.
  3. For thrilling adventure sports like paragliding Mundakayam Ghat is the place.
  4. Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary is another place you should not miss. It has a variety of wild animals like Asian elephants, lion-tailed macaques, sambar, Malabar grey hornbills, etc.

Ponmudi

 

 

 

 

5. Silent Valley

Much of the natural charm is still well preserved in Silent Valley unlike many of the commercial hill stations. The Kurumbar Tribes are settled here. You can see rare species of birds and animals, and rich flora and fauna. Silent Valley National Park is one of the most ecologically diverse areas on the planet. But you need special permission from the Forest Department office at Mukkali to visit the park.

Time to Visit: December to April.

Silent Valley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Thekkady

This exotic hill station has rich flora and fauna and a lot more on offer.

Time to Visit: September to May.

Must-see spots

  1. The prime attraction is the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary where you can indulge in nature walk, bamboo rafting, and go on the tiger trail.
  2. Vandanmedu cardamom plantations and Murikkady cardamom, coffee and pepper plantations are ideal picnic spots in Thekkady.

thekady

Why is train the most preferred mode of travel?

Taking the train has long been popular all over the world mainly because of its affordability. To budget-conscious travellers train travel is looking increasingly attractive with the economy still slumping. Another advantage is that a train ride can be a picnic all by itself.

Here are some of the reasons why train is the most preferred mode of travel.

train

Stable Fares

The airlines’ pricing structures can be frustrating and anyone who’s agonized over when to purchase airfare knows this. Train fares on any particular route will be the same day after day. During festival season flight ticket rates will be too high. On the other hand, train fares remain the same.

Money Savings

When compared to planes trains are increasingly cost-effective. This is especially the case if you are going a relatively short distance. Railways also give discounts to seniors, children, students, military personnel and more.

Flexibility

To take a short train ride you don’t have to take reservations. Only long-haul trains require reservations. For a short journey you can grab a ticket for the next train without paying an exorbitant charge.

Less Hassle

To catch a flight you have to arrive two hours early, and wait in a long security line. It is a time consuming process. If you are travelling by train you can arrive at the platform 20 minutes ahead and needn’t go through any security checks.

More Baggage…

All the major airlines charge travellers a fee to check-in a bag or two. And if there is excess baggage you will have to pay heavy fines. On the other hand, to carry bags and baggage in a train you are not charged anything.

Door-to- Door Convenience

Most major train stations unlike airports are located in the heart of cities. But airports are often in the suburbs. As a result you will have to take a taxi to reach airport for which you will have to spend more money.

Eco-Friendliness

When compared to cars and planes, trains are more energy-efficient and hence an eco friendly mode of transport. To the environment carbon emissions from trains are less damaging than those of airplanes.

Comfort and Relaxation

Airplane seats are very small and uncomfortable. But while travelling in a train there is much more space which allows you to relax. There is absolutely no stress at all. You can move around as you wish.

Old-Fashioned Charm

An overnight train journey has an old-fashioned charm. You will be served meals by uniformed staff or you can pack your favourite dishes and eat as a group. It is a lot of fun. You can also simply enjoy the scenery or read books or play cards with fellow travellers.

Beyond Just Transportation

As we mentioned earlier, a train journey itself is a vacation. If you are travelling to the US, take a train journey from Chicago to San Francisco. The ride is extremely scenic with breathtaking views.

A peep into the “The City of a Thousand Temples” – Kanchipuram

The city of Kanchi, more popularly Kanchipuram (or Kancheepuram) is the ‘cradle of Tamil Dravidian tradition and culture’. Known in the world over for its delicate and intricate weaving style, the Conjeevaram or Kanjeevarum Sarees are woven from the purest mulberry silk. Several dynasties that ruled the region such as the Pallavas left an indelible mark in the construction of ‘world-famous’ temples of sound structure and rich architecture. Let us take a quick stroll along the city of temples which will transport you back to the era of the Tamil Kingdoms lost in the maze of time and history.

Kailasanathar

Kailasanathar Temple

This is a must-see temple, in that it is the oldest structure in Kanchipuram. Neither did the Cholas nor the Vijayanagar rulers improvise or build on its original architectural style. Known for its historical significance, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the main Hindu Gods.

Ekambareswarar Temple

Ekambareswarar Temple forms one of the five important Shiva temples in the region, more popularly called Pancha Bootha Kshetrams (or five elements temples). Each temple signifies a natural element, with ‘Earth’ represented in this temple. Believed to be built around 600 AD, the Tamil poetry of the second century AD speaks volume of Kama kottam, and the Kumara kottam (presently the Subramanya temple and the Kamakashi Amman temple).

The Pallava rulers pulled down the existing temple structure then, and reconstructed the temple. The later Chola kings also made significant contributions to the construction of the temple. You can’t find any separate shine for Goddess Parvati here, unlike other temples dedicated to Lord Shiva in Kanchipuram. A small shrine, ‘Thiru Nilaaththingal Thundathan’ is dedicated to Lord Vishnu , who is worshipped as ‘Vamana Murthy’.

Varadaraja Perumal Temple

The Varadharaja Perumal Temple or Attiyuran or Hastagiri is dedicated to another important Hindu God, Lord Vishnu. Carved out of a single rock, the 100-pillared mandapam, or hall, that you can find in this temple, also known as the “Perumal Koil” is an architectural marvel. These pillars are delicately ornate with detailed carvings.

Vaikuntha Perumal Temple

The Vaikunta Perumal Temple is a temple dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. Designing a flight of stairs leading from the ground floor that will take one all the way to the first floor for climbing up and down in this temple must be something unimaginable by any standards. Another interesting feature is that you can’t view it from the outside.

Explore the city of temples; get mesmerized by its sacred legends and remarkable beauty by reaching us out at Emperor Traveline for an unforgettable tour experience.

9 Things to do in Jekyll Island, Georgia

Jekyll Island is probably the most popular and well-known among all of the islands off the coast of Georgia. It has lots to see and do whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, family vacation, or a weekend of exploration.

Here are some of the top things to do when you visit Jekyll Island, Georgia.

Jekyll Island, Georgia

Visit Georgia Sea Turtle Center  

At the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island you can watch experienced veterinarians treat injured sea turtles that are brought in for rehabilitation. The center is open for visitors daily from 9 am to 5 pm. There are programmes for all ages. The Tidelands Nature Center is another nice place for nature lovers. It offers tours and activities for kids and has a small collection of animals.

Take Photos at Driftwood Beach

Because of their unusual textures and twisting shapes these downed oak trees have been photographed countless times. It has a haunting beauty and an eerie vibe and is located on the northern end of the Island. Get amazing selfies as you stroll along the beach at sunrise or sunset.

Learn About Island History at the Jekyll Island Museum

To start your visit to the island Jekyll Island Museum is a great place. Here you can also learn more about the Island. And the entry is absolutely free. To get to know about the Island’s past there are several photographs and artefacts. You can book a tour on the historic tram to see the various parts of the island and learn more about the island’s history.

Check Out the Architecture of Faith Chapel

The architecture of Faith Chapel, built in 1904, is definitely worth seeing. With animal carvings, Armstrong stained glass windows, and gargoyles the chapel’s architectural design is stunning. The chapel is open to visitors daily between 8 am and 10 am.

Play a Game of Golf

On Jekyll Island there are four lovely golf courses. The Pine Lakes Course, the historic nine-hole Great Dunes Course, Oleander Course, and more are here for you to play.

Kayak through the Marshes

See a wide variety of animal species in the marshlands bordering this small Georgia Island. You can rent a kayak and paddle your way through the marshes to experience the nature. You can bring your boat out to try your luck if you’re into fishing.

See the Horton House Ruins

The Horton House used to be the centre of plantation life on Jekyll Island and it is a historical site. Built by Major William Horton, the ruins of the house still remains and the public can visit the place daily without any entry fee. To learn more about the site you can read the historical plaques and visit the DuBignon Cemetery on the other side of the road as well as markets.

Splash Around at Summer Waves Water Park

For families water parks are always a favourite summer activity. The Summer Waves Water Park on Jekyll Island has a lot of attractions like Shark Tooth Cove for young kids, the wave pool, a lazy river, and the splash zone.

Eat Seafood at the Island Restaurants

To enjoy a seafood dinner Jekyll Island is an excellent place. Courtyard at Crane, Zachry’s Riverhouse, Love Shack BBQ Shrimp & Yardbird, and Driftwood Bistro, are some of the top seafood restaurants to check out here. At the Jekyll Market you will find delicious ice cream treats.

 

 

Best Travel Destinations for Singles

One of the most rewarding ways to explore the world is by travelling solo. You don’t have to make any adjustments or put up a brave face for others. It can be thrilling and challenging too. From deserts to city, we list out some of the best places for singles.

Best Travel Destinations for Singles

Cuba

Cuba is known for its cigars, salsa and colonial architecture. However, Cuba now has a lot more to offer. There are many artisans’ shops as well as tiny restaurants that serve excellent food. Cuba is also famous for exceptional home stays that are ideal for singles. It is also a safe travel destination for people travelling alone as it has a low crime rate.

Lombok and the Gili Islands, Indonesia

Lombok is gaining an excellent reputation with independent travellers who want to learn to snorkel, surf or dive in clear, beautiful waters. It is not as crowded like its more famous neighbour, Bali. It offers a lot of sightseeing opportunities, from the verdant paddy fields to gigantic Gunung Rinjani volcano with its hot springs and waterfalls. From Lombok it is easy to access Gili Islands, which is the favourite haunt of all party animals.

Guatemala

If you are looking forward to explore Central and South America Guatemala and its ancient Maya ruins are the right place for singles. You can stay for a while and learn more about their culture and heritage as it is not an expensive travel destination. There are a lot of adventure activities like hiking, white-water rafting and kayaking. Apart from getting a closer look at the most active volcano in Central America, you can explore the jungle.

South Island, New Zealand

One of the most beautiful places in the world, New Zealand has glaciers, mountains, craggy coastline and lakes. New Zealand’s beautiful South Island offers many solo activities like zorbing, skiing, horse riding, hiking, bungee jumping, kayaking, skydiving, white-water rafting, jet boating, etc. The small country has jaw-dropping scenery around every nook and cranny.

Kenya

Kenya is the place for safaris. To take you out into the wilderness alone you can easily arrange for a guide or join a big group. Accommodation is also easy to find. The city has a great nightlife. You can go club hopping in taxis, but take care of your belongings, especially while in Nairobi.

Barcelona, Spain

One of the best places to travel alone is the busy Barcelona. For people watching its café-lined boulevards are just perfect. You can also have a great time on one of the city beaches. To commute also it is easy as you can use the public transport. There are many cool bars and restaurants to hangout.

New York City, USA

New York has a lot to offer for singles. There are world famous museums, iconic landmarks, some of the best shopping destinations or simply explore the streets of Manhattan. Apart from its classy restaurants there are many food markets too. You could also people watch in Times Square, visit a Brooklyn flea market, or go rollerblading in Central Park.

Ireland

Ireland welcomes strangers like no other country. The people are very friendly and helpful. It offers a lot of sightseeing possibilities and if you are lucky enough you might even get to watch a music concert. Here you’ll find some of the country’s most consecrated sites like the Rock of Cashel, Skellig Michael, and Croagh Patrick.

 

Places in India for Summer Vacations

When the mercury rises, these beautiful destinations stay refreshingly cool. We list out some of the best places to visit in India for summer vacations.

Munnar: Kerala

Munnar is a tourist’s paradise with its picturesque valleys, unending expanse of tea plantations, mountains and exotic species of flora and fauna. March marks the beginning of summer in Munnar and the temperature will be pleasant. Summer showers are common so don’t forget to pack an umbrella.

Ooty: Tamil Nadu

One of the very famous hill stations in India is Ooty, in the Nilgiris. It is full of tea and coffee plantations, and botanical gardens. A visit to the Ooty Lake offers wonderful views of the mountains. It is gifted with a salubrious climate similar to the English summer and offers extraordinary scenic beauty.

Shillong, Mawlynnong: Meghalaya

It is a joy to watch the beautiful mountains of this region. Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, is a beautiful town, and has lots of places for sightseeing. The most popular tourist spot is the Elephant Falls. India’s cleanest village, Mawlynnong, is also yet another tourist attraction. Umiam Lake, the Don Bosco Museum, Lady Hydari Park, etc are some other places for sightseeing. For trekkers, David Scott Trail is a must visit.

Horsley Hills, Andhra Pradesh

Horsley Hills is one of the most scenic places in the state, and provide a good break from the town and its heat. Apart from the panoramic view, the place also offers lot of activities and is best for those who love to indulge in a little bit of adventure sports, like rappelling, zorbing, trekking and rock climbing.

Manali, Himachal Pradesh

ManaliManali is forever charming, and is a popular summer holiday destination for people from all over the country. The hill station is filled with verdant forests. Manali has different charms in all seasons. During summer you can indulge in outdoor activities such as rafting, paragliding, and trekking in the Solang Valley. The region’s flora will be in full bloom during summer and it will look out of the world. Some of the major attractions include Vashisth, Hadimba Temple, monasteries, Rohtang Pass and Solang Valley.

Dras, Nubra Valley: Jammu and Kashmir

The second coldest inhabited region in the world is Dras. The valley starts from Zoji-la Pass base. If you are visiting the place during the summer you can trek to visit the War Memorial, Mushko Valley, and Draupadi Kund.

Nubra Valley with its mystical Shyok River, wide landscapes, and the gorgeous mountain offers breathtaking views.

Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh

Tawang situated at a height of 10,000 ft is yet another beautiful place. With Sela range of West Kameng to the east, Tibet to its northern side, and Bhutan to the southwest, Tawang’s location itself deserves special mention. Adding to its charm are the splendid valleys, misty rivers and amazing waterfalls. Tawang Monastery, Shonga-tser Lake, Sela Pass, Bumla Pass and Nuranang waterfalls are must-see places in Tawang.

Tirthan Valley, Himachal Pradesh

For all those who love nature, Tirthan Valley is a paradise. It is situated almost 3 kms from the Great Himalayan National Park entrance. For adventure seekers there is plenty to do here. From fishing to trekking, summer is the best time to visit the valley.

Conclusion:

Have an idea to visit these places for your vaccation? Choose the best travel agency for your summer vacation and make your trip memorable.