Tag Archives: wanderlust

Possible Best Places to Visit in the United States in 2018

Possible Best Places to Visit in the United States in 2018

Entering into this New Year brings some new resolutions and definitely some new traveling goals. Being in the working class and a parent I know how hard life would be mainly in a fast-paced country like US. There are many things one could do for their mental health, but research shows that traveling and visiting new places do wonders for you, as you make memories with your loved ones.

In this article, I have discussed few places to visit while you are in America. Trust me you would not regret this.

DISNEY WORLD

Have your little ones with you? Your yes or no to this answer would not make any here. Disney world is a dream for everyone out there. Does not matter what age you are in, the magic will drag you to this place. With the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Pandora, Epcot, Hollywood Studio, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, there is so much you do not want to miss. My only concern is, do you have a perfect costume or not? Because you have to fit in, don’t you?

SAN DIEGO

San Diego is a city in California and the eighth largest city in the United States. You will find everything you are looking in a place to fall in love in San Diego. If you love museums and historic sites this city is for you. If you are a nature lover, there are a number of parks to visit too.  But what excites me most about San Diego is the sailing experience you can have. I, myself love water and sunsets.  I take my kids on kayaking trips offend. So, for my family and me, San Diego was a memorable place to be.

HAWAIIAN ISLAND

As mentioned before, I love the sea. While standing in front of the majestic ocean, I always think how tiny me and my problems are. Hawaiian is the largest island in the Hawaiian chain. Kohala, Kona, Kau, Puna, Hilo and Hamakua Coast are the places you cannot forget in a lifetime.

ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

Spectacular, breathtaking and a view to die for are the words are the words that would best describe this place. Conifers, mountains and the wildlife meeting the ocean are the highlights of this place. You would love every single thing here, even the smell of it.

GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS

The Great Smoky Mountains are located in Caroline boarders. There is an amazing diversity of life in this place. Black bears, wildflowers enhancing the enchantment of the place and cades cove is all you can be looking forward to an ideal vacation. Hiking and camping are the highlights of this place.

NEW ORLEANS

Along the Mississippi River, this full of life place name New Orleans is located. I am a huge fan of The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, would not lie, when I discussed with my family to visit this spot, the reason for me selecting this place was a hope to see vampires or so. Thankfully I did not encounter any of this because I did not know what to do next. But I was not disappointed at all. The city is full of life. Their nightlife and festive enthusiasm is something worth it.

ATLANTA

Atlanta is the capital of the state Georgia. Georgia Aquarium, Fox Theatre, Atlanta Botanical Garden, Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, Piedmont Park, Oakland Cemetery, World of Coco-Cola, Zoo Atlanta and makes you fall in love with this place.

ORLANDO

Are you a theme park lover? Orlando is a place to be for you. Orlando is known as the capital of theme park world. Beautiful sites everywhere is a place where you must be. Not all the time you want amusement. Sometimes you just want to sit back and relax while enjoying the view.

SEDONA

There is always that one family member who loves art. And you have to take out some time for making their trip worthwhile too. If your family is no exception, then Sedona should be included in your itinerary, because Sedona is known for its art mostly. Following is the list of Sedona`s art galleries:

  • Exposures International Gallery
  • Sedona Arts Center
  • Lanning Gallery, Sedona Fine Art
  • Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village
  • Goldenstein Gallery
  • Turquoise Tortoise Gallery
  • Rowe Fine Art Gallery
  • ALT Gallery
  • Visions Fine Art
  • Greg Lawson’s “Passion For Place” Gallery
  • The Melting Point
  • James Ratliff Gallery
  • Eclectic Image Gallery
  • Sedona, AZ, USA
  • Touchstone Gallery
  • Village Gallery Of Local Artists
  • Honshin Fine Art
  • Gallery Of Modern Masters
  • Sedona Giclee Gallery And Printer
  • Son Silver West Galleries Inc
  • Renee Taylor Gallery

Along with numerous of options for your art enthusiast, Sedona is also an ideal place for you if you love hiking. So, no one is missing their fun in Sedona.

SEATTLE

Seattle is the city of arts, entertainment, and other leisure activities. The highlight of this place is- The Experience Music Project, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Underground Tour, Centurylink Stadium and much more. This aesthetic beauty is a must go for you and your family.

 

Author bio: Tom is a blogger and a nature lover. He is obsessed with traveling and adventures and that too with his family. He believes that water has a steady hold of him. He regularly writes about his experiences at http://kayakcritic.net/

 

5 Unique Activities That Puts UAE In the Top Travel Category

5 Unique Activities That Puts the UAE into Top Travel Category!

Why do people book tickets to UAE countries during their holidays each year? There’s a good reason for this and the reason is this – the kind of activities and attractions you find in the UAE are extremely unique. You cannot find them elsewhere, and the whole ambience of sheer luxury on top of everything else just pulls people in. Wouldn’t you like to know exactly what’s so unique about the UAE that people keep visiting time and again? Here are five unique activities that you can enjoy only in the UAE. Read on and let us know what you think!

Sunset View From the Highest Point:

The highest point in the world right now is the Burj Khalifa, at 829 meters. Imagine being able to stand on levels 124, 125 and 148 from the At the Top Observatory, surrounded top, bottom and sides by clear glass. There’ll be nothing between you and the outside except glass. The experience of standing here and enjoying the superb desert sunrise is something that belies belief. It’s magical. The incredible 360-degree views of the city bathed in the golden hues of the setting sun makes such a sight that people return to Dubai, just to experience this view time and again in person.

Fastest Ferrari Ride: 

The Ferrari World Park in Abu Dhabi offers the fastest Ferrari ride you’ve experienced in your life. If you’ve always wondered just how the Formula One race drivers zoom carelessly around corners in some of the most expensive cars in the world, now you’ll get to know how. Feel the thrill of being in the shoes of a Scuderia Ferrari driver. If you’ve got an appetite for G-force and velocity, come to Ferrari World and be driven in one of the top racing Ferraris on campus in the same racing style as you see on Formula One. Speed around corners, be slammed back in your seat and in general, experience that combination of fear, euphoria and utter rush of adrenalin that car race drivers experience. Go round and round on the tracks screaming away as your family and friends watch in envy!

Desert Activities from Morning to Overnight: 

One of the most unique things you can do in the UAE is to sign up for a desert safari. The mystical, magical deserts of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Fujairah are incredible. If you sign up for a Desert Safari Abu Dhabi, you can check out the tallest dune in the UAE – the Moreeb dune (Al Moreb Hill). You can sign up for morning, evening or overnight safaris. No matter which safari you sign up for, the first stop is at the desert camel camp, where you’ll learn how to ride camels on the soft sands. Then follow some wonderful desert adventures – dune bashing, dune driving, sand boarding, quad biking and so on. The evening and overnight safaris include in-tent entertainment – Tanura and belly dancing shows and henna painting. You can sit back with a shisha pipe and relax like a true Bedouin in your Arab robes enjoying the amazing sunset, and then enjoy a fabulous buffet continental and Emirati dinner. Overnight safari customers can enjoy a wonderful night spent under the fabulous Arabian Desert sky. Additional activities include sunset and sunrise photography and desert trek in the night.

 

Explore The Biggest Shopping Mall: 

The incredible Dubai Mall is a small city in and of itself; it has over 1200 retail outlets and hundreds of eateries and fine restaurants in the food court as well. The Dubai Mall is an all-in-one destination – shopping, entertainment, food, relaxation and education.

  • The Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo:  is located at the Dubai Mall. It is the best way to get up close to the wonderful marine world; the aquarium houses more than 33,000 sea creatures including a range of deadly sharks. The most interesting thing about the aquarium is the long acrylic tunnel that delves for several meters under the sea.
  • Grand Atrium: Here you’ll see a beautiful replica of the Dubai Creek Tower along with its grand architecture.
  • KidZania: A kiddie-sized grownup world where kids can enjoy working in serious jobs and learning about grownup life.
  • Dubai Ice Rink: Huge ice rink where regular competitions and events are conducted
  • Dino: Dubai has a 155 million year-old dino skeleton at The Souk Dome
  • Reel Cinemas: Boasts of 22 screens and fabulous seats and sound quality.
  • The Emirates A380 Experience: A flight simulator that allows you to fly a state-of-the-art Emirates A380 flight.
  • The Dubai Fountain: Spectacular water, lights and sound shows several times a day set to fantastic music just outside the Burj Khalifa on top of the enormous Burj Lake.

Unique Upcoming Attraction

Several unique attractions are coming up in Dubai and here are two of the top ones on the list!

  • World’s First Floating Resort: Dubai’s new floating resort will be built about 2.5 miles offshore and will cost the city $680 million. It will be a modern take on Italy’s own Floating City. This new fabulous floating resort will house 3,000 guests per day, who will arrive by helicopter, boat or seaplane to the resort. After registration, the guests will be taken to their rooms via a romantic gondola which will traverse the resort’s man made, winding water canals. Here are some interesting details:
  • The resort will span four decks, one of which will be totally underwater, offering magnificent views of the gondolas passing above and the incredible coral reefs below.  
  • The resort will have 414 cabins; multiple boutique shops; 12 or more restaurants and bars, 12 floating beaches
  • There’ll be 24 pools, of which some will have acrylic bottoms so you can check out all the coral reefs.  
  • There’s also the planned world’s first underwater spa

Construction will begin in early 2018 and will be completed by 2020 and we simply cannot wait!

  • World’s First Flying Taxi: Dubai has engineered the world’s first flying taxi, and is ready to begin trails by the end of this year. The emirate plans to have a fully-operational driverless flying taxi servicing passengers all over Dubai by 2022. The drone taxis will take off from various points, pick up people at designated points and soar over the city, very close to iconic skylines such as the Burj Khalifa.

Author Bio:
Akshay Koranne is a travel blogger who loves travelling across the world and sharing the experiences through blogs and articles. Apart from blogging and travelling he likes spending his time in playing Chess and Cricket.

Koh Phi Phi & Phang Na Bay

Koh Phi Phi Island & Phang Nya Bay

 Well if you are in Phuket for a short stay and do not take these 2 tours, you are surely missing out on a lot of nature’s versatile creation.

One of the days during our stay in Phuket we opted for the Koh Phi Phi Island tour, we had already booked the tour from an agent in the airport for a good bargained price. The day to Koh Phi Phi began really early, the tour guys arranged for pick-up and drop to our hotels, the pick-up happened at 7:00 am, too early after a mad night at Bangla Road. With swollen eyes and an empty stomach and several pick-ups later we headed off to the pier where our speedboat was waiting for us.

 After a complimentary coffee and snacks and a handful of ‘how not to die’ instructions in Thai-lish (Thai + English) language we were off to explore this side of the Krabi province, Koh Phi Phi is ideally a collection of 2 large and few smaller islands as told to us by the cruise guide.

One tip: The seats inside the boat are not allotted, it is on first come first serve basis, so if you are interested to not get charred and burnt sitting outside under the tropical sun, you might as well want to grab a seat inside the cabin area asap. I did the mistake of sitting outside for a better view and ride at the expense of my nose that got tanned severely.

The first leg of the ride is calm overlooking vast expanses of blue as far as one can see, just sea and the sky around and above, it is after a good half hour ride that we could start to notice the pinnacle shaped massive rocks protruding out of the blue, it does look like a place something out of Avatar.

 The boat stops at Maya Bay, popular for the shooting of the movie ‘The Beach’. Here usually they let us go snorkeling for a while with gears provided by them. Although snorkeling here was pretty disappointing as there was no coral nor much fishes around, maybe due to the disturbance caused by the boats. We were served juices and cold drinks in the boat, no restrictions on how many you have, water bottles were provided as well.

We stopped at Phi Phi Don for lunch, the menu comprised of noodles, soup, chicken for main course, vegetables stir fried and a couple of other items, washroom facilities and free water was available as well.

 After lunch and some more time we headed off to the Viking Caves and then over to the Coral Bay. We were given free time here to do as one wishes, while we were lazing around, we saw quite a many people with head down under water. We figured this place as the name suggests was famous for snorkeling, without wasting time we headed off to get our snorkeling gear.

 What happened after that was sheer pleasure, once we started to snorkel we realized this place was abundant with coral life and fishes of beautiful colors and sizes, the water level was waist high with a bed of sharp corals, so be careful to not set your foot anywhere without seeing or you might end up cutting your feet like I did. You can carry a piece of bread or fish food to attract the fishes towards you, something a lot of tourists out there were trying. The beauty of the underwater still remains alive in my eyes. What was lovely about snorkeling here was that since the water is waist high, its safe to snorkel on your own, there are no instructors to direct you or no time limit on how long you remain under water which was the best part.

As we headed back one of the helpers in the boat started throwing some food into the sea, until 2 minutes we could not understand why he was doing. Within 5 minutes we could see a fleet of huge sea birds, not sure about the name of the kind, following our boat and making sharp dives into the water, picking up a piece of food and flying away. Watching them was so liberating, it looked something like a scene out of a Jurassic Park movie.

After our journey back to the Pier we got dropped off back to the hotel, the tour costed us around 1000 THB per head.

Next day early morning we headed off to Phang Nya Bay, the main attraction being James Bond Island.

After a late last night we hardly managed to not miss the pick-up in the morning for the trip. Sleepy eyed and with an empty stomach we pulled ourselves out of bed and headed off to another day at the sea. Having slept on our way to the pier, we woke up directly at our drop off point at the pier. Luckily complimentary coffee and snacks was available as a relief. After a quick safety session by the leaders of the boat, we headed off into the sea. The sun had no mercy on us even early in the morning. We grabbed the front deck under the sun in the speedboat, although this time we were well equipped with loads of sunscreen. Few hours into the ride, we were wide awake, all the sleepy feeling was soon gone as soon as we spotted the rocks protruding out of the waters, quite similar to the scenes out of Avatar. A handsome layer of skin tan later we reached Panak Island, here we climbed into a canoe along with a guide who paddled us into dark caves and into hidden lagoons, the experience was spectacular, this was the first time I was doing something like this and it was such an adventure like experience. We were all handed a helmet with flashlights, it felt nothing lesser than a Nat Geo guy on cave discovery mission. Its fun when the othe canoes pass you by and usually gently nudge into each other, reminded me of striking cars in an amusement park.

We headed off to the world famous James Bond Island after this.

On reaching here first we noticed the 66 foot tall islet called Ko Tapu which seemed to be a tourist hit, as it was crowded with tourists posing for pictures in front of it.

Right across it is the famous rock jutting out of the green waters called the James Bond rock made famous by the scene from the famous 007 movie. We dint really stop here for too long, a few quick snaps later , which is difficult to manage as it gets crowded around the rock, we shopped a little at the local stalls around, it does make sense to buy a thing or two from the local stalls there as it is the source of livelihood for the locals there. We were back into the boat and headed off to the Naka Island.

Lunch was served in the mean while in the boat itself. Well the lunch episode is quite interesting, a good, tempting spread of food was laid out; noodles, a big sea fish grilled and dressed to perfection, vegetables, soup, desserts and quite a few other tempting items. Since we were to busy chit chatting, we thought to get lunch after 5-10 mins. It turns out that after 5-10 mintues, the food was gone, only the fish bones were left behind. The food was attacked by all our hungry co-passengers. Although we managed to eat, but quite a few items were not being refilled, like the grilled fishes. So bad luck for us, but good luck for you guys now that you know what to do..as soon as the food it laid out, go for it ;).

So we had to do without it. So yes, ‘when the food is served’ – Attack! 😉

Few snaps from the canoeing into the caves:

The Indian “Great Wall of China” – Kumbhalgarh Fort, Rajasthan, India

Things you need to know before visiting the Kumbhalgarh Fort:

  • The place usually gets very crowded during peak season (September – March), so make sure to reach early to be able to have a not-so-rushed visit
  • The stairs inside the Fort are pretty steep and narrow, so be careful, not very convenient for people who have problem with small spaces (claustrophobia)
  • Take a guide who can help you around the Fort to not get lost. Do bargain
  • The walk up to the Fort is pretty steep, so be well equipped with proper walking shoes and a water bottle since it could be exhausting
  • Being at the Fort during sunset is one of the best things to do, since it is a captivating view
  • You might consider watching the Light and Sound show in the evening, although it is too much of talk and less about the Fort, watch at own risk (it is in Hindi language though!)
  • Eat properly before going up there, since to walk around the Fort properly is pretty time consuming
  • Mornings and Evenings are best time to visit

 

What you need to know about the’GREAT WALL OF INDIA’:

For the longest time we only knew about The Great Wall of China and its history, but we have a close counterpart in India as well which happens to be the Second Longest Wall in the world after The Great Wall of China. Unknown to the outside world for a very long time, this place is now gaining popularity, Kumbhalgarh Fort in Rajasthan, India also referred t now as the GREAT WALL OF INDIA.

Built in the early 15th century by the Great Maharana Kumbha and further extended in the 19th century, this fort is also where The Great King & warrior of Mewar, Maharana Pratap was born. History has it that this is the invincible Fort which could not be conquered even by the mighty Mughals alone, only together with the armies of Delhi, Amber and Marwar they were able to break through the Fort. This Fort is a standing icon of the bold and unbreakable Rajput glory and spirit.

The Fort is a safely protected by the massive snake like meandering Fort Wall which is 15 kms long and 1150 m to 1200 m in height, the wall is as thick as 12-25 feet and broad enough to allow an army of eight horses to ride abreast. It runs through the mountain cliffs and valleys of the Aravalli ranges sometimes going uphill or taking a descent structured with long walk ways, stairs and seven huge gates. Also within the Wall it guards 360 temples. Along with the Fort the Wall encompasses around some of the forest ranges of the Kumbhalgarh National Park which helps in the safe keeping of a few Indian endangered species, it is home to the famous panthers & leopards of India and also a variety of other wildlife. The Wall is an standing proof of the brilliant architecture from the Rajput era, built with such brilliance that even after 700 years of its being it still stands tall unmoved. It is this wall that is known as the second longest continuous wall on the planet after the ‘Great Wall of China’.

 

 

Singapore – Getting There

At a Glance

 

Marina_Bay_Sands,_Singapore_(8351775641)

Singapore is a stunning and beautiful island strategically located in the heart of South East Asia which also happens to be world’s only island city-state. This breath taking island is one of the most popular and busy travel destinations in South East Asia. It is not only of great commercial interest but also a booming tourist destination as it sees travelers dropping in from all around the Globe.

Singapore boosts of an interesting mix of uber modern architectural marvels as well as age old temples and traditions. Not to be fooled by the size of this tiny island, it has a lot to offer with innumerable options to choose from. It is like a parallel universe residing together all in this small city.

On one side the city skyline is clouded with tall skyscrapers and modern state of the art structures such as Marina Bay Sands, a three-towered skyscraper that is a vital part of Singapore’s horizon, Resorts World Sentosa which is home to the very famous Universal Studios theme park, and the majestic Gardens by the Bay and many more such iconic places. On the other hand there are the humble century old buildings like the elegant Raffles Hotel still standing tall more than a century after being built. This island state was a former British trading post and colony and even after independence and the blend of cultures is ingrained in all aspects of life in Singapore.

The cultural blends are strongly visible in the food scenario most prominently. Cuisines from all around the world are available. Alongside world class fine dining restaurants offering international cuisines, the street food available here is also finger licking good. Due to its vicinity with other South East Asian countries the food culture in Singapore is an amazing confluence of Chinese, Malay and Indian influences. One can escape the hustle and bustle of modernity in Singapore by visiting the very exotic Chinatown and Little India to get a flavor of the neighboring Asian countries.

How to get there

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Visa & customs:  For information on visa requirements and the Visa Free Transit Facility, you can visit and check with the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority or the Singapore Overseas Mission in your city or country. The visa application form is available for free at all Singapore overseas missions. For detailed information and requirements for entry to Singapore you can visit the Official website for Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore

By Air: Changi Airport in Singapore is one of the most busy and well connected airports in the world. It sees over 100 airlines flying to more than 250 cities around the world. Most of the well-known international airlines have their operations in Singapore. Few local airlines operate from Singapore such as the renowned Singapore Airlines and budget airlines Tiger. The airport itself is very well maintained and conferred with many awards, it boosts of modern amenities and activities for tourists and travelers making it a world-class attraction in its own way.

By Sea: Singapore is an important port of commercial interest due to its strategic location in the heart of Asia; it is one of the world’s busiest cruise centers. Several cruise operators of various kinds like luxury, premium, and contemporary types operate from here. The newest is the Marina Bay Cruise Centre in Singapore which can accommodate the largest range of cruise liners.

By Road: Singapore is also very well connected by roads; it can be easily reached from West Malaysia through a scenic ride. Two checkpoints need to be crossed before entering Singapore; one is at Tuas in the west and Woodlands in the north. They both operate 24/7 facilitating ease of reach to Singapore via road.

Getting around Singapore:  Singapore has one of the best public transport systems in South East Asia, it is fast, efficient and world class and is well connected;  enough to make reaching the various places in Singapore easy and comfortable without much hassle.

By train: MRT (mass rapid transit) system in Singapore is definitely the most efficient and fastest way to commute around the city. The Rail network is extensive and connects almost all the key attractions in the city. Tickets can be bought for single trips, for a mix of both rail and bus network one can buy the Singapore Tourist Pass, a value card which will allow unlimited travel for one day (S$10), two days (S$16) or three days (S$20). Cards are available for purchase at the Transit Link Ticket Office at the following MRT stations: City Hall, Raffles Place, Ang Mo Kio, HarbourFront, Bugis, Changi Airport, Orchard, Chinatown, Lavender and Bayfront. The MRT stations and trains are well equipped with facilities to make travel smooth for wheel chair users, visually impaired, as well as families with strollers.

By taxi: Taxis are also frequently used and a common mode of transport especially for the places not accessible by buses or trains. Cabs run on meters, although it is advisable to check with the driver because a lot of them charge based on time, location and destination of travel and might also add surcharges depending of the company the cab belongs to. Make sure to ask for a receipt at the end of the trip. Taxis can be boarded from the roadside at most places, or by queuing for any of the taxi stands found at shopping malls, hotels and tourist attractions. Cabs can also be booked by calling at a common taxi booking number, 6-DIAL CAB (6342-5222), which than routes the call to any available taxi company’s call centre.

By bus: The most economically viable mode of transport in Singapore is the bus system which is extensively connected covering all routes to places in the city. It is also a great and comfortable way to explore and see the city also because most buses are air conditioned, a very important aspect for traveling in the tropical climate of Singapore. Singapore Tourist Pass is commonly used to pay for the bus travels by using the card reader located next to the driver as your board and exit. Cash payments are also accepted but need to be exact change amount.

Singapore Visitor Centre: Three Singapore Visitor Centres in ION Orchard, Orchard or Chinatown are available in case you need help. Information on tips and recommendations to plan your itinerary, purchase tickets to attractions and tours are available here, also you can pick up locally designed souvenirs and book accommodation for your stay.

To be continued in next post ‘Must Visit Places in Singapore’

What not to expect from the French city of India – Pondicherry

India has a touch of so many worlds, it has got a place for all cultures, people and religion and it is always a visual treat to witness such an amalgamation. One such place is Pondicherry, after years of wanting to visit this place, last month (February 2017) I finally found myself in this tiny French colony of Pondicherry.

How to Reach: Best way to reach is to travel to Pondicherry from Chennai. Chennai is at a distance of approx 170 kms. By bus or car its takes 3-4 hours. Best and cheapest option is to travel by bus, bus tickets range from Rs 100 – 400 depending on the type of bus. For a more comfortable journey you can hire a car for an expensive fare of Rs 3000 one way.

Matri mandir in Auroville

What not to expect in Pondicherry: 

Well, to be honest when we hear about Pondicherry we picture pastel colored French buildings and architecture, lovely bakeries and a hip culture. Upon visiting this place I realized that this is only partially true.

This is not GOA: Sometimes Pondy is compared to Goa due to its beautiful beaches and influx of foreign tourists. But unlike Goa, Pondy doesnot have shacks like Goa, nor a late night pub or club culture. The beach side cafes and restaurants close at 10:00 PM dot. The ones not beach facing have a buffer of 1 hour and close at 11:00 PM exact.

‘Tiny’ French colony: The most popular part of Pondy is indeed very very small with a capital S. The rest of Pondy except Heritage town in pretty much like a typical, regular south indian city,  so do not expect an extensive French town full of beautiful buildings.

Early nights: Pondy is not the best for the lazy souls. The beach side restaurants shut down at 10:00 pm dot or else expect to be almost thrown out. If you wish to push your nights a bit longer past 10 pm, best bet would be to dine and wine at one of the not so beach side cafes\restaurants to be able to chill till 11 pm. But! Do expect an annoying waiter to be over your shoulder every 10 mins reminding you its time to leave once it is past 11  pm

Language problem: In case you are not  able to find a hotel or accommodation in Heritage town, be ready to struggle a bit, well lets make it quite a bit owing to the prominent language problem. Hindi and English are not commonly spoken except for specific areas in Pondy. I being an Indian had a tough time moving around in the city, imagine what it might have been for someone not from the country.

A teeny weeny bit less hospitable: Okay this is only my personal opinion and no one needs to agree with it, also maybe these opinions are due to specific experiences I had, but nevertheless somehow I had instances in restaurants and hotels where I faced some reluctance or lack of warmth while addressing lets say an issue I was facing. Maybe its the influx of foreign tourists and dollars that has attributed to this or something else I am not too sure about.

I would like to add that hope this post does not discourage anyone from travelling to Pondy, rather it should help you from getting disappointed by setting the right expectations about this tiny lazy extremely pretty French city of Pondicherry.

 

 

Durga Puja in Kolkata: A photo journal

Christmas in New York, the Rio Carnival in Brazil and La Tomatino festival in Spain all put together cannot beat the madness and magnitude of Durga Puja celebrations in Kolkata, India. It is almost impossible to pen down the experience in words, and if I do it would be a never ending post I am sure. To save all the trouble, here is my photo and video journal of my experience of visiting the stunning pandal in Kolkata during Durga Puja 2016 made with immense artistic work and manual intricate labour, it is an art kingdom on its own and would be any art lovers ticket to paradise:

Pandal in the shape of huge Manipuri dancers of India in Bosepukur Talbagan:

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Tribal themed Durga Puja pandal in Tridhara Sammilani Sarbojanin:

The very famous and popularized World’s 1st Durga goddess with 1000 hands in Deshapriya Park:

Bhutan themed Durga idol and pandal in New Alipore Suruchi Sangha:

I do not remember the name of the place but the decor was made out of plastic dusting brushes, pretty unique and colorful:

Amusing figure of Ravana from the sky in Kendua Shanti Sangha club:

The Bengali wedding themed pandal in Bosepukur Sitala Mandir:

Themed on a famous Bengali poem showcasing cartoon figure like village theme in Jodhpur Park:

Mesmerizing serene and calm idol of Durga in  Naktala Udayan Sangha depecting peace within chaos:

The outside pandal decor was that of chaos while the inside was calm

Old Kolkata city themed Durga Puja idol and pandal in 66 Pally Sarbojanin Durga Puja:

A divine pandal with decor of stone pebbles dropping fromt the sky in Badamtala Ashar Sangha Durga Puja pandal:

Intricate work and detailing on the pandal with dry fruit shells, wood shavings and betel nuts in Jatra Suru Sangha Durga Puja Pandal:

So next Durga Puja book your tickets to Kolkata to indulge in art of the most beautiful kind and admire the hard work and labor that goes behind these stunning pandals.