Posts

Old Goa

Old Goa – Once the capital of Goa, this heritage spot strongly reflects the glorious Portuguese era and architectural history

[AdSense-A]

Old Goa was a thriving city even before the Portuguese arrived in 1510. The place was the capital of the Bahmani Sultan Adil Shah. After the Portuguese conquest, Old Goa became a bustling metro.  The place glittered with glamour at that time. As its reputation grew, the sparkling city attracted visitors from all over Europe. The city also grew rapidly in size and splendour. It was in the 18th century that the outbreaks of the epidemic plague led to its abandonment. The remains of the city is declared by the UNESCO as the World Heritage Site. It is approximately 10 kilometres east of the state capital Panjim.

Places to see in Old Goa: The sight seeing destinations of Old Goa consists of mainly Churches, chapels, and cathedrals that are an architectural delight and are considered as the largest in Asia. These include:

Chapel of St Cajetan

In 1510, the Portuguese mariner Alfonso de Albuquerque conquered Goa. The event was commemorated with the building of the Arch of the Viceroys near the Chapel of St Cajetan, which was modelled on St Peter’s basilica in Rome. This architectural style which is a reminiscent of Lisbon, gives Old Goa a grand, Portuguese feel. Today, the Procession of All Saints on the fifth Monday in Lent is the only such procession besides the one in Rome.

Se Cathedral

Lying south west of St Cajetan’s this church is larger than any church in Portugal and is the largest church in Asia. It has 14 altars, an 80m long aisle, and five bells including the Golden Bell, said to be one of the best in the world. The church is dedicated to St. Catharine.

Church of St. Francis of Assisi

Apart from the portrait of Jesus and St. Francis there are also portraits of Peter and Paul. The Archaeological Museum and Portrait Gallery function in an abandoned convent in the compound. The portrait gallery is decorated with the pictures of Portuguese rulers. The museum is open daily except Friday, from 10am to 5 pm.

Basilica of Bom Jesus

Close to the convent of St Francis, the late 16th century Basilica of Bom Jesus with its richly covered altars is famous throughout the Catholic world. This cathedral is the venue for a pilgrimage for both Christians and Hindus who come to pay homage to the embalmed mortal remains of Goa’s most famous saint, St. Francis Xavier, enshrined in a silver casket since 1553.

Convent of St. Monica

St. Monica Church rests upon the Holy Hill or the Monte Santo of Old Goa, opposite to the ruins of St. Augustine Church. It houses a huge Nunnery and is Goa’s only convent for nuns. It was given the status of a Church only in 1968, although built in 1606. The Museum of Christian Art is just adjacent to it and contains a collection of icons and artefacts used in rituals in religious ceremonies. Most of the sculptures and paintings were actually done by local Hindu artists.

Chapel of Our Lady of the Mount

The Chapel of Our Lady of the Mount is situated on top of the hill behind the St. Cajetan Church. The chapel was built in 1510 by Alfonso de Albuquerque after his victory over the Goan Muslim ruler Yusuf Shah and was renovated in 2001. The Chapel is brightly white washed and is bypassed by many tourists. The structure faces west which provides beautiful views from Divar and Chorao islands, the Mandovi River and the surrounding forested hills, especially during sunset. It also offers the overview of Old Goa where in 1510 Sultan Adil Shah’s placed his artillery to defend the city from the Portuguese assault.

St Augustine tower

The St Augustine tower in Old Goa is one of the most spectacular of monument. This highly visible landmark, a 46m-high tower served as a dome and formed part of the front of a magnificent Church. On entering the church, the visitor would have a glimpse of the grand re table of the high altar, with its large gilt tabernacle sheltered within an arch, through a screen of arched piers. Vestiges of most of these piers were visible until recently; they supported a spacious choir which could have accommodated a large number of Augustinian monks. The Tower and Church were built in 1602 by the Augustinian friars who arrived in Goa in 1587. The church fell into neglect and the vault collapsed in 1842. The church’s demise began with the collapse of this vault. The body of the church was soon destroyed, but the facade remained intact. The tower’s huge bell was moved in 1871 to the Church of our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Panjim, where it remains and can be seen and heard today. In 1931, the facade and half the tower fell down, followed by more sections in 1938 leaving only half the tower that is seen and visited by thousands of tourists today. This remnant, the renowned St. Augustine’s tower is all that remains of what was once one of the largest buildings in Goa — The Augustinian Monastery.

Nearby attractions of Old Goa: Being a very small state, Goa has no such excursion spots. One part is Old Goa and the other is “Nova Goa” or New Goa. Here you can easily visit any destination from any place and the distance covered and time taken is not much.

Things to do in Old Goa: Sightseeing in Old Goa is all about visiting its various churches, chapels, and cathedrals that are an architectural delight and are considered as the largest in Asia.

Best time to visit Old Goa: The best time to visit Old Goa is between late October and early April. However the place has a maritime climate which makes it accessible almost the entire year.

How to go ?

By Air

Goa has an international airport at Dabolim, 29 km from the capital, Panaji. The regular domestic connections are from Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kochi and Chennai. From the airport to your hotel or to any of the towns, you can hire a cab or a metered taxi. Passengers travelling from Kolkata have to halt at Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport, Mumbai as there are no direct flights available from Kolkata to Goa.

By Train

The two main railway stations are Margao (Madgaon) and Vasco da Gama. The major connections are to Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Rajkot and Thiruvananthapuram. From other places in the north, east and southeast you can travel to Londa Junction and then transfer to a connecting train to Margao/Vasco da Gama.

By Road

Old Goa is 9 km from Panaji; the capital city is linked by road to Mumbai, Bangalore, Belgaum,  Kolhapur, Pune , Mysore and many other cities of the neighbouring states. Goa also has three national highways- NH – 4A, NH -17 and NH -17A. Buses run frequently from Panaji’s Kadamba bus terminal to various locations of Old Goa. One can also hire auto rickshaws and taxis, which are costlier but more convenient.

[AdSense-B]

Where to stay ?

There are a large no. of accommodation options in Old Goa. These are:

Bambolim Beach Resort: +91-0832- 2458242, 2458247  Website: www.bambolimbeachresort.com
Old Goa Residency: +91-0832-2285327, 2285013
Ginger Hotel:  +91-0 832- 664 3333  Website: www.gingerhotels.com
Hotel Ameya: +91-0832 -222 6133

Travel Tips: It is best to visit the place on foot, since there is so much of history to seep in. Local guides, some approved by the tourism department of Goa, are available.

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

[AdSense-C]

Panaji

Panaji, Goa – The capital city dotted with mesmerizing sea beaches, magnificent historical monuments and churches

[AdSense-A]

Panaji is the capital of  Goa. In Konkani it is often pronounced as ‘Ponnji’. In Portuguese it was called ‘Pongim’, from which originated the other name  Panjim. The name Panjim is used mostly by English speaking people.  Lying on the banks of the Mandovi estuary, in the district of North Goa, Panaji means ‘the land that does not flood’. The place is built around a church that faces a prominent square. The capital city of Goa is well furnished with terraced hills, concrete buildings with balconies and red-tiled roofs, churches, and a riverside promenade. Previously this was a small village on the riverfront. In 1843 the city was renamed as Nova Goa ( ‘New Goa’ for the Portuguese) when it officially replaced the city of Goa (i.e Old Goa of the present days) as the administrative seat of Portuguese India.  It became the state capital on Goa’s elevation to statehood in May 1987. Each avenues of the place are scenic, with rows of gulmohar, acacia and other trees.

Places to see in Goa: The tourist attractions in Panaji are admired with scenic natural landscape, historically famous monuments and serene ambiance. These include:

Goa State Museum

One of the Panaji attractions, the GoaState museum is popular both among the history lovers and general tourists. The Goa State museum in Panaji was officially inaugurated on 29th September, 1977. In the year 1996 it was newly built in Patto on a new complex. The museum has twelve galleries of the Goa State museum housing historic and wonderful artifacts. Some of the galleries are: Sculpture Gallery, Numismatic Gallery, Christian Art Gallery, Furniture Gallery, Cultural, Anthropology, Contemporary Art Gallery. The place is a must visit specially for the history lovers, art lovers, and religious inclined people

Shanta Durga Temple

The Shanta Durga temple is a famous temple located close to the capital city. The entire complex of Shanta Durga temple covers a total area of 33 km. The temple is located on the hilly region of Kavalem in Ponda. It is one of the central tourist spots in Panaji. The temple has a structure like a pagoda and the rooftop is built out of blocks of stone and stands in the midst of lush green surroundings. The main temple is built in the center of three other temples where the image of other deities can be seen. The main temple is known to possess a quaint looking dome that catches the eye of many a visitor. The floor has been made out of Kashmir stone. Adorned by the image of the goddess Shantadurga, also known as the goddess of peace this is a highly believed and worshipped place of the native inhabitants of Panaji.

Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception

Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Panjim is one of the oldest churches in Goa. This 17th century church is located in the center of the prosperous Panjim city. The simple yet wonderful decorations of the church are its most note worthy aspect. The clean and tidy well maintained complex pleases the worshipers and tourists alike. This church has a couple of altars dedicated to Our Lady of Rosary and Jesus.

Basilica of Bom Jesus

This is a church is located in the ancient part of Goa and is just 10 km away from the capital city Panaji. This is one of the most eminent monumental landmarks in the history of Christian religion. Having the image of St. Francis Xavier, a disciple of Ignatious Loyola and the founder of the Jesuits community the church has a huge crowd of visitors every year. This enormous monumental structure was built by a skilled sculptor from Florence called Giovanni Battista Foggini. This church has been built in exquisite style. The interiors have been finely decorated. The floors have been made out of white marble. The smooth pathway of the altars is worth appreciating. The church has many paintings amongst which the painting of St. Francis Xavier is the most noteworthy. On the upper side of the church there lies the most enchanting relics of art called the Bom Jesus Basilica Art Gallery.

Secretariat Building

One of the distinguished landmark of the Panaji City is the Secretariat Building. The oldest building of the city is today one of the popular Panaji attractions. The Secretariat Building is situated close to the Chapel of St. Sebastian. Panaji’s SecretariatBuilding is a classic example of Portuguese architectural style.  It was originally built by Adil Shah, the Muslim ruler of Goa of the 16th century. Then the structure was modified by the Portuguese into a fantastic rest house for the area’s viceroy.

Miramar Beach

The popular and crowded Miramar beach is only 3 kilometers from Panjim, the capital city of Goa. This dazzling sea beach also known as ‘Gasper Dias’. It is a golden beach fringed with palm trees. The soft sands of the beach makes it the best site for evening walks. Moreover, ‘miramar’ in Portuguese implies ‘viewing the sea’. Tourists can get a glimpse of the majesty of the Arabian Sea from the Miramar Beach at Goa.

Calangute beach

The “Queen of the Beaches” in Goa, Calangute beach remains largest one in the northern region. The beach was discovered by the hippies during the 60’s and it became famous since then. The beach represents a true replica of Goan beach culture and hence its popularity. It is an ultimate place to spend great time through splendid beach experience.

Candolim Beach

14 kms north of Panaji, Candolim Beach is a part of a long extension of beach coastline along the Arabian Sea that begins at Fort Aguada and ends at Chapora Beach. The place is famous as being the birth place of one of the freedom Fighters Abba Faria, the Father of Hypnotism. The white, silvery sand dunes make the Candolim beach naturally beautiful and attract a lot of tourist every year.

Vagator Beach

Vagator Beach has dramatic red cliffs looking down on the shore and two fresh water springs within a stone’s throw of the sea. VagatorBeach is split into two main beaches by a seaside headland, while facing the sea, on your right is NorthVagatorBeach (Big Vagator) and on your left OzranBeach, more commonly known as Little Vagator Beach. Vagator is a little more laid back, though still pretty much steeped in the rave culture. The tourist traffic is predominantly Western backpackers, however it has also become popular with Indian tourists, who particularly come to watch the sunset from the rocks. The sunset through rocks is breathtaking from Vagator Beach.

Fort Aguada

Fort Aguada and its lighthouse is a seventeenth-century Portuguese fort standing on Sinquerim Beach overlooking the Arabian Sea. Constructed in 1613 to guard against the Dutch and the Marathas, it is one of the well-preserved historical monuments. It was a reference point for the vessels coming from Europe at that time. This old Portuguese fort stands on the beach south of Candolim, at the shore of the Mandovi River.

Anjuna beach

Famous for its stunning natural beauty, the beach is margined with swaying palms trees on its one side. The soft powered white sands and the cool and soothing sea breeze will make your stay idyllic for spending some time forgetting all the anxieties and tensions. The beach is marked by an unusual rocky formation overlying a cove of white sand and black rock that juts out into the Sea. This area was known as the Jewel of Anjuna and called “Ozran”. Anjuna beach is a favorite haunt of the hippies who used to organize the famous rave beach parties. It was in the late 1950s to mid-1960s that hippies started visiting Anjuna beach and since then popularized the wild rave parties with trance music which have now become the characteristic features of Goan beaches.

Nearby attractions of Panaji: There are some places near to Panaji that are worth a visit. These are:

Ponda

Ponda is 33 km from Panaji and lies inland to the east. This region is famous for its complex of Hindu temples surviving the inquisition, and was conquered only in the late 18th century long after it had ended. The temples attract a very large number of devotees.

Terekhol

The name is commonly used for both a river and the fort located on its bank.  In its upper reaches the river is known as the Banda River and in the lower reaches as the Terekhol. It a boundary between Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra state and North Goa district of Goa state for some distance. Fort Tiracol located on the mouth of Terakhol River was originally built by Maharaja Khem Sawant Bhonsle, the Raja of Sawantwadi, in the 17th century. Now it has been converted into a tourist hostel, maintained in excellent condition. Terekhol is 57km from Panaji.

Things to do in Panaji: Take a stroll in Fontainhas the Portuguese quarter where the narrow streets are filled with lovely red bricked houses, churches with stained glass windows and a sprinkling of pubs and restaurants. You can also enjoy a river cruise up the MandoviRiver or evening walk down the promenade of Miramar beach. The water sports here also thrilling and fun filled. Shop some souvenirs to take back home. Done with all the sightseeing and shopping ? Then savour a feast on some good old Goan food in any of the many restaurants here.

Best time to visit Panaji: The best time to visit Panaji is between late October and early April.

By Air

The Dabolim Airport lies just 29 kilometres from the state’s capital, Panjim. It is well connected by daily flights from Chennai, Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Cochin and Bangalore. Passengers travelling from Kolkata have to halt at Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport, Mumbai as there are no direct flights available from Kolkata to Goa.

By Train

The two major railheads in Goa are Madgaon and Thivim, are well connected by trains from to all major rail stations in India like Chennai, Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Cochin and Bangalore, Bhubaneshwar etc.

By Road

There are a number of public as well as private bus operators in Goa, which offer options for intra-city and inter-city conveyance. KSRTC, MSRTC and KTC are some of the Government undertakings that operate from Panaji, Madgaon and Vasco Da Gama.

[AdSense-B]

Where to stay ?

Panaji offers numerous decent and cosy accommodation options for the tourists suitable to the budget. Some options are:

Panaji Residency (Goa Tourism):  +910832 222 7103
Paradise Inn: +91- 0832- 2420657  Website: www.paradiseinngoa.com
Hotel Palacio de Goa:  +91-0832 2424289, 2426742, 24217856  Website: www.palaciodegoa.com
Hotel Fidalgo: +91-0 832 – 2226291 to 99, 2225061 Website: www.hotelfidalgo-goa.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

[AdSense-C]

Madgaon

Madgaon, Goa – A perfect holiday destination with enormous Portuguese style mansions, heritage buildings and spectacular sea beaches

[AdSense-A]

Madgaon, south of Panjim, is the second largest town in Goa and the chief commercial center. Madgaon is well connected to south Goa’s beach area. The distance to the beach front is a mere 10-15 minutes drive.

Located on the banks of the River Sal, Margao or Madgaon is amongst the oldest recorded towns in Goa and is famous for the enormous Portuguese style mansions or villas which mark its landscape.

The Margao Railway station is Goa’s biggest and most important as it is a railway junction and is the gateway to south Goa. Hence Madgaon is used more commonly as a transit stop rather than as a tourist destination, by many people who either travel down south to Palolem Beach (38 kms) or to Benaulim Beach and Colva Beachwhich is about six kilometres away.

All these beaches offer spectacular views of the cool blue and emerald-green seas and the silvery-white sands glisten in the sun. Tourists lie down on the soft sand grains on these beaches and gaze wonder-eyed at the gushing sea waves that constantly wash the beaches. The beach front is a collection of grand hotels, souvenir stalls and fly blown snack bars scattered around a central round about.

Places to see in Madgaon: Mainly a commercial hub, Margaon is dotted with some sight seeing spots which include:

Holy Spirit Church

The towering, white – washed Holy Spirit church was built when the Portuguese destroyed the Hindu temple dedicated to lord Damodar that stood on the spot in 1585. It was demolished by the Muslim army soldier and newly constructed and later it was rebuilt and destroyed on several occasions. Finally since 1675 the current structure that was erected has endured. The church can be entered from the side entrance to the north. The elaborately carved interiors are splendid from ground to ceiling. In the church you will find the huge cross dating back from the late 17th century.

Colva Beach

About 6 Kms to the west of Margao is the oldest, largest and the most spectacular Colva beach. The beach consists of about 25kms of the fine powdered white sand bounded along its coast by coconut palms that stretch from Bogmalo in the north to Cabo de Rama in the south along south Goa’s coastline. It used to be the resting area for Margao’s high society during the colonial days, who came here for the change of air. The area is still reminiscent of the luxurious lifestyle of the aristocratic class has the beautiful houses or villas that dot the village. If you take a stroll on the Colva Beach, you can view silver carpets of bangdde (mackerels) sparkling on the golden sands that are laid for drying by the fisher men.

Benaulim Beach

In South Goa, this long stretch of white sand is only 2 kms from the longest Colva beach. If you wish to be at some place close to nature totally untouched, then Benaulim is the ideal place for you. This is a very special beach, for at the Benaulim beach, one can just laze the day off soaking in the sun. Benaulim beach at Goa gives you the pleasure and satisfaction of being in Goa. This is the beach to be when you just want to relax and only relax. You may have little bit of snacks and drinks from the nearby shacks. You need not even have to bother about getting up from your comfort zone for such things because there are assistants roaming about through whom you can place the orders and the food or drink is brought to you where you are seated. So at Goa Benaulim beach, all you do is swim, sunbath, sit, get a nice tan, laze on the beach and relax.

Nearby attractions of Madgaon: Though a part of the small state of Goa, Madgaon is a good base for a multiple and varied excursion trips. These include:

Chandor

10 km from Margao, Chandore was a village and the capital of the Chandrapore rulers and hence its name. The village is now famous for its heritage building Bragança House. It was built in the 17th century. The east wing is occupied by the Pereira Bragança family and the west wing of the house belongs to the Menezes Bragança family. The part belonging to the Pereira family has a small chapel with a relic of St. Francis Xavier, which is a fingernail. The artefacts, collected by the family over a number of years, have added to the beauty of the house. There is a Great Salon, a large ballroom with the floor made of Italian marble, antique chandeliers from Europe adorning the ceiling, and heavily carved, ornate rosewood furniture. What stands out among the furniture is a pair of high-backed chairs, bearing the family crest, which was given to the Pereira Bragança family by King Dom Luís of Portugal. Most of the furniture dates back to the 18th century and is made from local seeso (martel wood), lacquered or inlaid with mother of pearl by craftsmen from Curtorim bvillage. For antique aficionados, the house holds many delightful finds.

The Menezes Braganca family part is maintained more decoratively. Apart from its exquisite furniture and Chinese porcelain from Macau, it also houses a collection of family portraits, dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. The library is believed to be the first private library in Goa. It has almost 5,000 leather bound books collected by Luís de Menezes Bragança (1878–1938), a reputed journalist, renowned for the part he played in Goa’s independence movement.

Farmagudi

Just 21km from Madgaon, Farmagudi is the only hill station in Goa. The place has a panoramic natural beauty with elegant retreat made by the Goa tourism. The retreat looks like a picturesque set laid out in a beautiful garden lined with winding, flower edged pathways. The Retreat has an eatery in one cottage, complete with an outdoor restaurant too. The place is an ideal spot for the nature lovers.

Palolem Beach

Just 40 km from Madgaon, the spectacular Palolem beach is often been justifiably dubbed as ‘Paradise Beach ’. The beach is lined with towering coconut palms. This stunningly beautiful beach also provides you with plenty of accommodation facilities. Apart from the resorts, guesthouses, and hotels the place also provides the special beach hut accommodation. Enjoy the taste of fresh fish here as the local fishermen bring fish in fresh every morning. On the whole it is an ideal getaway from Goa to enjoy in the relaxed friendly and safe atmosphere.

Things to do in Madgaon: While in Madgaon visit the Municipal Market built on the old station road. It is full of little shops selling clothes, goan delicacies, seasonal goan delicacies, handy crafts, imported products, jewellery, refreshments, etc.

Best time to visit Madgaon: The best time to visit Margao is between October to April.

How to go ?

By Air

Dabolim airport is about 29 km from Margao. The airport is connected to domestic destinations like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Pune, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Hyderabad. From Dabolim airport taxis are available for Madgaon. You can also avail train from Dabolim to Madgaon. The railway station is just 2km from the airport.

By Rail

Margao railway station is an important railway station and is connected to Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, Kolkata, Bhubaneshwar and several other cities.

By Road

The road network is very good and well maintained in Goa especially the ones leading to and away from Margao. Kadamba bus stand is connected by regular bus services to many cities like Mumbai, Vasco and Mangalore.

[AdSense-B]

Where to stay ?

Margaon Residency (GTDC): +91- 0832- 271 5528
Goa Woodlands Hotel: +91-0832 -2715522  Website: www.goawoodlandshotel.com
The Sincro Hotel: +91-0 832 2741408, 9822123811  Website: www.thesincrohotelgoa.com
The Sapphire Comfort Hotel: +91-0 832- 6721111  Website: www.thesapphire.in

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

[AdSense-C]

harnai-beach

Harnai, Maharashtra – An excellent harbour dotted with distinguished historical constructions and cozy sea beaches

[AdSense-A]

Harnai is situated 15 km from Dapoli district Maharashtra is mainly a port and the main fishing village of the region. Harnai promises a quiet and peaceful natural harbour with clear waters, delicious sea food, beautiful seascape and rocky coasts. The site poses a mixture of olden styles of Maratha architectural buildings and the modern terraced buildings. Harnai is also dotted with many ancient temples.

Places to see at Harnai: Harnai offers quiet a lot of tourist attractions. These include:

Suvarnadurg Fort

Lying on the beautiful Harnai coast the fort showcases the architecture and history of Maratha. It is 17 km from Dapoli at Harnai, the Suvarnadurg ‘boat travelled’ fort consists of two forts: Kanakdurg and Suvarnadurg the land and sea fort. It is a small sea port built by Adil Shahi dynasty and later conquered by great emperor Shivaji and converted to a ship building port in Maharashtra. From Kanakdurg Fort (a sub fort of Suvarnadurg) Fategad, ecstatic view of fishing boats and sunset can be viewed.

Anjarle Ganesh Temple

It is a famous ancient 12th Century temple set on a cliff in which the Ganesh idol is right-sided (trunk curves towards the right) which is rarely found. Anjarle beach located to close vicinity is an unexplored tourist destination

Burundi Beach

Resting within the close proximity to Harnai, the natural emerald green beauty of the beach converges with the nature’s blue clear skies. Cool breeze, gushing waves, the clear sands and greenery make Burundi a unique tourist destination

Durgadevi Temple

The Durga Devi (Goddess Mother) Temple is a celebrated temple of the 18th Century in the Konkan belt located nearby Harnai beach. The temple is visited regularly by devotees. The temple talks of architectural style consisting of beautifully carved 28 wooden pillars and the grandeur entrance is adorned by a large bell. There is a cool water pond used for the temple rituals behind the temple.

Siddhi Vinayak Temple

It is an ancient famous temple near Harnai located in Dapoli town. The temple was built around Madhavarao Peshwa period in 18th century with the prime deity as the Lord Ganesh made in marble. The temple encloses a stone staircase of about 250 steps placed on a high mount, and a big hall with many pillars and a dome with an attractive lake in the front. The Vinayak Chaturthi festival celebrations here are a feast to the eyes. SiddhiVinayakTemple is one of such important ancient temple dating back to 18th century attended by regular devotees and tourists. Shri Siddi Vinayak has high blessing power to remove all obstacles in the path of prosperity of the devotees.

Unhavare – Hot Water Springs

There are natural hot water springs at Unhavare Village, just 20 km from Harnai. This is a famous tourist attraction. Many legendary stories are associated with this spring having medicinal or magical power and medicinal value and a dip in the Unhavare Hot Water Springs is said to cure skin and body ailments. Lots of people from surrounding areas come here regularly to bath in the Hot Sulphur water springs. Separate accommodation are made for men and women to take a dip in the rejuvenating hot water

Karde Beach

It is an idyllic beach front in Murud Harnai area, excellent for spending some idle time and unwinding oneself.

Murud Beach

Situated in the Ratnagiri district of  Konkan area, Murud is a picturesque beach resort of Maharashtra. It is a small town on the sea coast, about 12 kilometers from Dapoli and 35 kms from Khed (NH-17) possessing the most beautiful and longest beach in the Konkan region. Besides the serene and clean beach the land is admired with softy sands, green surroundings, and has a rural character.

Nearby attractions from Harnai: Just 25 kms. from Harnai, Kelshi is a typical small Konkani village. Want to taste the real village life in konkan, then Kelshi is the ideal getaway from Harnai. The village is very small and you can experience real peace away from the cacophony of the modern cities. The 2.5 Kms. beach at Kelshi is very beautiful and secluded and there are beautiful sand dunes on the beach where children enjoy sliding down on the sand dunes. There are no hotels in kelshi and you can only stay at places where people offer lodging facilities in their homes.

Things to do at Harnai: Sight seeing is the primary activity here. You can also laze around at the scenic beach here and go for early morning boat ride to view Dolphins. Do enjoy the sumptuous sea food here like fresh pomfret, prawns, crabs, Bombay duck and lobsters.

Best time to visit Harnai: Harnai can be visited during any time of the year. However it is better to avoid the high tide time from October to February.

How to go ?

By Air

Nearest airport is Mumbai, 200-km away from Harnai. From here you can hire a cab to reach Harnai.

By Rail

Mumbai located 200 km away is the nearest railway station. After reaching Mumbai or Dadar, Mandavi Express or Konkankanya Express will take you to Khed station. Hire a car from here to reach Harnai.

By Road

State Transport buses ply from Mumbai, Pune and Mahad to Harnai.

[AdSense-B]

Where to stay ?

Lotus Beach Resort: +91-02358-234828, 234582, 698151 Website: www.lotusresortmurud.com
Dr Dalvi’s Ashiyana – Harnai: +91 -02358 – 652135  Website: www.ashiyanaharnai.com
Silver Sandbeach Resort:+ 91 (02358) 234501  Website: www.beachresortsilversand.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

 [AdSense-C]

Ratnagiri

Ratnagiri, Maharashtra – Bordered by the Sahyadri mountains on the eastern side, this coastal town is one of the popular tourist destination

[AdSense-A]

Want to discover the art, culture and history of the magnificent Maharashtra, Ratnagiri is an excellent place to start your journey from. A land so vivid and spectacular, Ratnagiri has its own shade of natural beauty in every season. Bordered by the Sahyadri mountains on the eastern side, Ratnagiri is a part of Konkan division of Maharashtra. It is a coastal district hidden between Raigad and Sindhudurg. Ratnagiri is the birth place of the illustrious leaders like “Lokmānya Tilak” ( Bal Gangadhar Tilak). The region is also the hub of “Hāpus” (Alphonso) mangoes. Ratnagiri is among the premier tourist destination in Maharashtra.

Places to see in Ratnagiri: Ratnagiri is dotted with numerous tourist attractions, which include:

Mandavi Beach

A booming hot spot of tourists, Mandavi Beach is the most crowded beach in the Ratnagiri region. The prettiest beach in Ratnagiri, Mandavi is gifted with a vast line of seashore right up to Rajiwanda Port. This fabulous beach is surrounded by the west by the Ratnadurg fort, and the majestic Arabian Sea lies to its south. The proximity of the beach to the town makes it a favourite holiday spot of the water enthusiasts. Mandavi beach offers lustrous black sand and so it is renowned as the ‘Black Sea’.

Tilak Ali Museum

The museum tries to depict the significant moments in the life of Thilak through magnificent photographs. The house is a classic example of native Konkani architecture. Tilak Ali Museum is a genuine effort to put alive the memories of the famous Indian and a visit to this monument provides ample information about the struggles for freedom.This is the ancestral home of the illustrious Indian, Lokmanya Tilak. His old house is now turned into a museum containing lots of pictures of the great freedom fighter. This memorial is maintained by the State Archaeological Department.

Thibaw (Thiba) Palace

The Thibaw Point, nestled in the lap of majestic Arabian Sea, presents a picturesque view of a dense village. Situated at the hem of a hill, this point is a fast emerging tourist destination in Ratnagiri that offers delightful sceneries of a virgin land. Thibaw Point is the place where the eye catching mansion, the Thebaw Palace is located. Built in the year 1910, the palace is famous as the exile shelter of the king and the queen of Burma (Myanmar). Thibaw Point is a thriving spot of picnickers, and it gives a panoramic view of the entire city. People gather here in large groups to see the stunning view of the sunset.

Bhatye Beach

The biggest town in Konkan, Bhatye is one of the immediate suburbs of Ratnagiri town. A wonderful beach in the background of the jagged Sahyadri mountain ranges provides a panoramic view of the surroundings. The bluish water, vast expansion of silvery sands and the clean environs sprinkled with casuarinas, Bhatye beach gives exciting opportunities for water sports. The beautiful Bhatye beach presents a sleepy and peaceful atmosphere. The unpolluted air, clear sky, the vast expansion of bluish water, a quite evening, the lovely Bhatye beach is a perfect place to admire the romantic sunset.

Ratnadurg Fort

Bounded by the charming Arabian Sea on the three sides, the massive Ratnadurg Fort presents a splendid look. A massive structure in the shape of a horseshoe, with a length of 1,300 meters and a width of 1,000 meters, Ratnadurg Fort was once a strong hold of the Maratha Empire. Spread over a vast area of 120 acres, Ratnadurg Fort was under the Muslim rule for so many years. Now a collapsed structure, lying across two hills, Ratnadurg Fort gives a decrepit look. Overlooking the Arabian Sea, Ratnadurg Fort offers the dazzling view of the sun going down the sea and the roaring sound of the waves against the rocks makes a perfect atmosphere. Another specific attraction in the fort is the marvellous lighthouse situated in the bastions of the fort. Having a glorious past, Ratnadurg Fort on the coastal line of the Konkan region is a perfect place to getaway from the trappings of the city life.

Gateway of Ratnagiri

The Gateway of Ratnagiri is a very different structure with a slopped roof in the Ratnagiri Jetty in Mandavi Beach. The magnificent beach itself is renowned as the gateway of the hilly terrain. The popular belief is that this structure, the defence of the mainland, is the work of the Pratinidhi Dhondu Bhaskar. A fabulous construction overlooking the majestic Arabian Sea, Gateway of Ratnagiri provides a unique opportunity to walk through the seashore and enjoy the cool breeze that gently flows from the sea. It is indeed a marvelous experience.

Sri Kanakaditya Temple

There are only few temples of God Sun. Hindu philosophers and believers consider Sun as a God. Kasheli, a very small village in Rajapur Taluka of Ratnagiri district, is the prime attraction for devotees due to a famous and ancient temple of Sri. Kanakaditya (Name of Sun God). Kasheli is at a distance of approximately 30 kms from Ratnagiri. The temple is having a bright historical background. The deity of God Aditya (one of the names of God Sun) was brought from Prabhas Pattan Sun temple before 800 years. Prabhas Pattan is Lord Krishna’s place. Sri. Kanakaditya is very famous spiritual place from Ratnagiri district. Many devotees from all over India are visiting the temple every year. The temple trustees are celebrating five days festival of Ratha-saptami every year. Many spiritual programs like Kirtan, Pravachan, Aarati, Palakhi etc are organized during the festival period.

Bhagwati Mandir

A magnificent temple located inside the massive Ratnadurg Fort, Bhagwati Mandir is a famous pilgrim center in Ratnagiri. Bhagavati Temple is one among the ancient temples in the state of Maharashtra. Situated on the shores of the Arabian sea, the temple is blessed with a calm and serene ambience that provides a divine feeling to the devotees. The deity is adorned beautifully and the temple architecture is marvellous. Other deities like ‘Veer Vignesh’ and ‘Ashtadashbhuj’ Ganapati are unique for their sculptural works. This temple is crowded with devotees during Navratri festival, which is one of the sacred festivals celebrated all over India.

Nearby attractions of  Ratnagiri: Excursions from Ratnagiri includes destinations like:

Ganapatipule

Ganpatipule is situated along the western coast of Maharashtra is only 24 km from Ratnagiri, along the Konkan coast. The place includes one of the most spectacular beaches along the KonkanCoast – an idyllic gateway that attracts peace-seekers, beach lovers, and pilgrims alike. The temple of Swayambhu (Self-originated) Ganesh is much frequented by thousands every year. The God is considered to be the Paschim Dwardevta (Western Sentinal God of India), and those who visit Ganapatipule, make it a point to pay their respect to this great deity. Aside from its clean beach and clear waters, Ganapatipule is rich in flora, including mangroves and coconut palms. Here, you can leave the hectic world behind as you laze around on golden sands or explore the many trails that lead from the beach.

Sangameshwar

Located at a distance of 50km from Ratnagiri, the place has some distinguished historical constructions and beautiful temples like Karneshwar Temple, Marleshwar Temple etc. The place is also historically significant. It is here where Sambhajiraje, son of Chhtrapati Shivaji was captured by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.

Devrukh

Devrukh is a farm getaway,  set at a distance of 56km from Ratnagiri.  Here you will enjoy a close association with nature along with, delicious local cuisine and unexplored temples, view points and beaches.

Things to do at Ratnagiri: Ratnagiri is the home to the king of the mangoes i.e Alphonso, do visit the place during the season of mango cultivation to enjoy the mouth watering taste of the fruit. Also savour the sight seeing trip in the home land of the legendary freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak.

Best time to visit Ratnagiri: Best time to visit Ratnagiri is from October to March.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest airport is Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport in Mumbai, which is 340 km away from Ratnagiri and well connected to all major airports in India and many cities abroad. Private cars are available from here for Ratnagiri.

By Train

Ratnagiri railway station is linked to all cities in India through Mumbai terminal. Regular daily express trains ply between Ratnagiri and Mumbai (Jan Shatabdi Ex), Delhi (Mangala Ldweep) and Mangalore (Matsyagandha Ex).

By Road

Regular bus services are available from many cities in Maharastra to Ratnagiri. State owned and private buses ply from Ratnagiri to many cities in and around. Evening trips of tourist luxury buses are available from Mumbai to Ratnagiri.

[AdSense-B]

Where to stay ?

The accommodation options are in plenty here. Some options are:

Hotel Landmark: +91-02352-220120, 121, 124  Website: www.hotellandmark.net
HotelSea Rock: +91-02352-220680, 222528,  8007858888  Website: www.hotelsearock.net
Hotel Kinara: +9102352- 234633, 696070 Website: www.hotelkinara.com
Hotel Vivek: +91-02352 -222- 162

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

[AdSense-C]

Harihareshwar

Harihareshwar, Maharashtra – A few kilometers from Mumbai, this pristine coastal town is famous for the Trimurti Temple

Only three hours from Mumbai, lies the town of Harihareshwar, in the southern Raigad district of Konkan (South Kashi). It is a coastal town. Harihareshwar is home to a 16th century Shiva temple in which the presiding deities are the Trimuti: Brahma, Visnu and Mahesh, with Devi Parvati. The Trimurti are represented here in linga form, or “triple linga”. According to the popular legend once Devi Savitri requested Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva to create a piece of land, without the help of Lord Brahma. The two Lords then stood themselves on a spot thus creating two mountains. This is how the place of Harihareshwar came into existence. Harihareshwar, located 175 kms. from Pune, was a prominent site during the reign of the Peshwas, and Hari Hareshwar was the family deity of the Peshwas, thus giving it a place of importance in Maratha history. The place has recently regained popularity as a destination for tourists and pilgrims, who come to see this ocean-side temple, which sits on a hill known as Harihar, or Pushpadri.

Places to see at Harihareshwar: The sight seeing destinations includes:

Harihareshwar Beach

The main attraction in Harihareshwar is the Harihareshwar beach. The beach is extremely good for an elegant stay enjoying the natural beauty in a happy vacation holidays. Soft clean sands and soothe breeze make this beach in the lap of Arabian Sea a much sought place in Harihareshwar. The beach is unpolluted and mostly unspoiled.

Ganesh Gully

Ganesh gully as the name suggest is a culvert which is very narrow of about 3 feet wide in between two hard Rocky Mountains. It is believed that at the end of the culvert, there is a holy place, a place where Lord Ganesh Idol is sitting. This niche is about 30 feet under water and it is assumed that during the tidal periods one can observe the Ganesh idol placed perfectly at the niche.

Kalbhairav Temple (ShivaTemple)

Kalbhairav Temple in Harihareshwar is one of the ancient renowned temples in Maharashtra. The main deity enshrines the temple is Lord Shiva. Kalabhairava, a lord of all manthrasastras, is also placed as one of the idols. Legends associated with the temple say that Lord Shiva created Kalabhairava and blessed him with all manthras. The architectural style of the temple is attractive. Temple Yogeshwari known as Dakshin Kashi is located in the premises. In most of the special occasions like Mahashivarathri, one can view long queues for Darshan. Cool breeze from the Harihareshwar beach makes the temple premises a nice place to relax as well.

Temple Pradakshina

Parikrama around the Harihareshwar temple is considered a sacred duty by devotees visiting the holy site. The walk encircles around the temple and traverses alongside its four attendant hills. The temple is located at the top of a hill, and the parikrama path descends right down to the Arabian Sea, traversing the rocky shore at places. As you enter the pradakshina area, there is a Gayatri Tirth on the right side. Some 70 steps cut into the laterite rock lead down to the shore, below. Walking down the section of the hill known as Vishnugiri, one comes to the Shuklateertha, which is nearby a number of other teerthas (ponds) that are named in the Puranas. These include Gayatri, Shool, Chakra, Naag, Gautam, Kamandalu, Kaamdhenu, Gauri and Pandavteertha. Pandav Teertha is where the Pandavas performed the Pind Daan rite in honour of their father. Thousands of devotees come to this place each year to offer Pind Daan to their departed family members. The parikrama path first goes around the temple, then climbs the hill directly behind it, proceeding down to the sea, along the shoreline, then back up to the temple. The pathway winds up and down some 200 feet. The waves have cut small caves and niches into the rocks here. At one such cove, sweet water flows back out of one of the crevices each night. Just above this spot, there is a natural ‘Aum’ formed in the rock. There are many beautifully carved sculptures carved into the rock along the route, and in one of the ancient caves resides a Shivaling.

Nearby attractions from Harihareshwara: There are number of locations around Harihareshwara. These include:

Bagmandala

Bagmandala is a lovely small village a few miles away from the holy city of Harihareshwar. This is the place where the Peshwa (Prime Minister) of the MarathaKingdom lived for many years. Bagmandala carries the legacy of Peshawa in a Peshwa Smarak as well as in an ancient fort named as Bankot fort. The prime attraction of the Bagmandala is the jungle jetty (sea harbor in the forest). This small port ferries the local people across the Bagmandala creek. Those who like for a ferry travel can cross over Bankot fort and enter the nearby Ratnagiri fort.

Velas beach

Ever wondered how it would be to watch turtles hatch on a beach and make their way into a sea. Nature enthusiasts can actually experience a ‘National-Geographic moment’ on the Velas beach at Mandangad taluk in Ratnagiri district, where the Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra, an NGO engaged in conservation of marine turtles, have counted 21 nests. It takes 30 min to reach Velas beach from Harihareshwara.

Bankot Fort

Further ahead, a short walk and one reaches the Bankot fort. Bankot fort now doesn’t have any source of potable water and it is best to carry your stock of water on visit. There is a well trodden cart track leading to the Bankot fort from the village within 30 minutes. Near the entrance there is a GajananTemple and a dry well. Bankot is a square shaped fort. On the sides of Bankot fort, there is a dry moat (Revni) dug out in the Jambha stone. Jambha stone is peculiar type of stone adorning a purple shade and peculiarly it is incapable of storing water as the water invariable percolates through it owing to its much porous nature. The main entrance (Mahadarwaja) of the fort is north-facing with a well sculpted arch and carvings.  Watch guards dug out (Devdya) align on both sides of the Mahadarwaja with some pits being dug out in the right Devdi. On the left, there are steps leading towards Nagarkhana while there is an underground storey and a tunnel on the right. A Maruti idol in the centre stands deserted now. On the west, there is a small entrance (Darwaja) leading to a Bastion on the exterior of the fortifications. A deep well (now dry and filled) occupied the centre of this bastion earlier and the adjacent water tanks too are dry and obsolete now. One can leave the Buruj via a small exit that leads to the surrounding moat and a beautiful “Revni” lying nearby.

Diveagar

Located at a distance of 35km this nearby town shot to fame when an ancient half statue of Ganpati made of gold and some ornaments were found in a farm. The Shekhadi Road leading to Diveagar is a very pleasant drive as the road is parallel to the coastline and you can see many breathtaking views along the entire stretch of the road.

Things to do in Harihareshwar: Take a stroll along the mesmerizing beach. Make a visit to Velas beach to catch a live look of the turtle hatching egg. This place is ideal for the shutterbugs. Here the unperturbed beaches and the serene sound of the waves will greet to warmly. The picturesque location is ideal for taking snaps. The revered Kalbhairava Temple is also a must visit to pay homage to the “Trimuti”(Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva).

Best time to visit Harihareshwar: Best season to visit Harihareshwar is October to March.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest airport to Harihareshwar is Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport which is located at a distance of 220 km from Harihareshwar. This airport in Mumbai is well connected to all the major cities in India and abroad. You can hire a cab or private cars from here to reach Harihareshwar.

By Train

Nearest railhead is Mangaon, which is 57 km away from Harihareshwar and this railway station in Konkan rail is well connected to Pune and Mumbai, which is connected with all major cities in India by railways.

By Road

Harihareshwar is well connected to all the major cities and towns from State and local bus services. Tourists from can get taxis and cabs to reach the place comfortably. Mahabaleshwar (130km), Mumbai (188km) and Pune (208km) can be reached from Harihareshwar comfortably.

Where to stay ?

This pristine location has a number of accommodation facilities. Some options are:

Holiday Resort ( MTDC): +91-02147-226036
Gokul Paryatak Nivas: +91- 02147-226439  Website: www.harihareshwargokul.com
Om Shree Hotel: +91-02147 -226013  Website: www.harihareshwaromshree.in

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

[AdSense-C]

Alibag

Alibag, Maharashtra – A historical place, an ideal holiday destination with picturesque beaches near Mumbai

[AdSense-A]

An idyllic town, Alibag lies on the western coast of India, known as the Konkan region. It lies on almost the same latitude as the southern tip of Mumbai and very close to the tip across the narrow strip of the Arabian Sea. Alibag, a lovely beach that remains unspoiled till now. It is a 300 years old city. Shivaji’s admiral Kanoji Angre, made it the capital. It is also a home to Jewish Synagogue and cemetery, the only place in the konkan to have a Portugese and a Maratha sea fort on opposite banks of the same inland waterway. Thus it is best known for its historic marine forts, fine beaches and clean water. This stunning beautiful town is just 145 kms away from Pune and 30km to the south of Mumbai. It is well known for its mesmerizing calm weather and dense coconut groves.

Places to see in Alibag: Alibagh has various sight seeing destinations which includes:

Khanderi Fort

The Khanderi Fort is 3-4 km into the sea from Thal beach and was built in the year 1678.  A lighthouse was constructed later on. The Fort stands on a small island.

Alibag Beach

Alibag Beach is the main beach of the town. The beach has the blackest sand of the region. The beach is very lively with bathers in the morning and many food stalls in the evening. AlibagBeach is tardily but certainly growing into a tourist attraction. Ali Shah Bawa’s mazhar is right in the center of the town and the beach is also named after him so as the beach town. The government has built a good platform for the tourist to enjoy the sea and to take bath with safety. The Alibag Beach is the main beach of the town and the Kolaba fort can be seen from here.

Kolaba Fort

The Kolaba Fort was constructed by Shivaji Maharaj. It is located 2 km inside the sea. Visitors can visit the fort only during low tide.  The fort consists of sweet water well in the middle. There are many temples and fortifications along guns which face the sea. The fort is 300 years old. Carvings of tigers, peacocks, and elephants on the entrance arch can be seen. Near the gate there are shrines of Mahishasura and Padmavathi and other gods along with fort deity. A Ganesha temple was built in front of the sweet water tank in 1759.

Undheri Fort

At a distance of 300 meters from Khanderi is the fort of Undheri which is an island fort. It was built by Siddi Qasam in 1680.

Akshi Beach

The Akshi Beach is a beautiful white sand beach. Plenty of suru trees can be seen along the coast. The water is very clean and it renders safety for swimming. The beach is also a favorite among the birdwatchers and nature lovers. The hamlet of Akshi is just 5 km away from Alibag. The village is full of fishermen and it is not crowded at all. The beach at Akshi is a favourite tourist spot. One could slug around the clear beaches and step inside the warm and unruffled Arabian Sea. It is just a perfect getaway for a weekend.

Brahma Kund

The Brahma Kund is a great work. It is on the hill top. There are two kunds the shiv pool and the Brahma’s pond. Brahma Kund is a rectangular tank which is encircled by steps on all the 4 sides. It is a very beautiful site. The site is excellent for photography. There is a small Maruti Mandir in its vicinity. As one nears the temple one can see a small statue with an encoding ‘Mirchi Baba’. This encoding was done in the year 1612. This pool was created by the water which was collected after Lord Brahma bathed lord Krishna.

Kihim Beach

The Kihim Beach is situated at a distance of 12 km from Alibag. It is a secluded place. The beach is famous for thick cover of coconut trees. The place is also well known for variety of woods which serves as a cover. Nature lovers will be thrilled to visit the place for it provides sight of rare butterflies, birds and flowers. The most attractive part of the Kihim beach is that the place is not entirely discovered and unpolluted. The environment is very attractive. KihimBeach is the best place for day trippers and weekenders as well. An unconventional ‘Tent Holiday’ with all modern facilities attached can be seen at Kihim.

Nagaon beach

Around 7 km away from Alibag is the unique Nagaon beach. It is famous for coconuts and betel nuts. The visitors are attracted by the loving area of the tiding Arabian sea. The area is not only charming but also breathtaking. The place is famous for clean and serene beaches. Beautiful and long stretch of calm water the beach is covered with suru trees. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of water sports including parasailing, banana boat and Jet-Ski rides.

Versoli Beach

Located on the outskirts of Alibag the Versoli Beach is full of tranquillity. The sand on the beach is white and the sea water is clean and clear. The beach is not visited by many tourists. It houses a very large naval base. Varsoli is a tiny satellite village. The vegetation of this hamlet is complete with coconut and Casuarina.

Kanakeshwar Devasthan Temple

The Kanakeshwar Devasthan is a very famous Shiva temple. The temple is 13 km from Alibag.The temple is on a 900 feet high hill. To get to the temple one has to climb a flight of 5000 well paved stairs. One forgets the tiredness as soon as one enters the temple premises. This temple premises comprises of various small temples. The Shiva temple is the main temple. The height of the Lord is 54 ft. Behind the temple is the Pushkarna Kund. No one is allowed to access the Kund because of some mishaps in the past.

Kanakeshwar Forest

The Kanakeshwar Forest is a dense forest. Tourists are allowed to venture into the forest at their own risks. The population of the forest comprises of wild boars, poisonous snakes and panthers. They are the right owners of the forest. The silence of the jungle and the hills can be felt in this area. Wild leopards can be seen roaming the forest areas. Even though the KanakeshwarForest is dense, it has a lush green look. But due to its depth, the forest looks dark even during the day time.

Nearby attractions around Alibagh: Alibaugh also has some spectacular distance locations apart from the sight seeing spots. These includes:

Mandwa Beach

Mandwa beach is located about 20 km north of Alibag. The ferry services can be utilized from Mumbai to the Mandawa jetty. Mandwa is a natural port. The place is famous for many Bollywood celebrities bungalows. Mandawa is a beautiful and un trodden beach. When the sky is clear the enchanting view across the bay till the Gateway of India cannot be expressed in words. They are a joy to the mind and a feast to the eyes. The village is charming and it is a beauty of its own. The beautiful groves of coconut palms are very pretty.

Rewas Jetty

Around 23 km away from Alibag is Rewas Jetty. The jetty is famous and important for Mumbai Launch service. Tourists coming to Mumbai use the launch services of the Rewas jetty to travel. Rewas Jetty is 6 km from Kihim. The jetty is a weekend retreat. The rich and the famous have their bungalows along the beach. They also live in the interior of the place. The propinquity to the city is the major asset of the beaches. Tourists crowd along these beaches in large numbers. When one is at the jetty and stands facing the beach Uran can be sighted.

Murud Janjira

One of the strongest marine forts of India, Murud Janjira is just 54 km from Alibagh. Situated on a rock of oval shape near the port town of Murud, is 165kms south of Mumbai. The word ‘Janjira’ is a corruption of the Arabic word Jazira for island. Spread over 22 acres, the fort has 19 bastions which, despite the ravages of time, still stand intact. The fort’s main gate faces Rajapuri and can be seen only when one is quite close to it. It has a small gate which opens to the sea and was used for escape. A small fishing village, Murud is famous for its beaches too. Glittering sandy coastline and the village with beaches hemmed with coconut groves attracts large crowds especially on weekends.

Things to do in Alibagh: Alibagh offers a variety of things to do that include sight seeing to the beautiful temples, beaches, old forts etc. You can enjoy the tonga ride on the beaches or try some mouth watering local snacks available with hawkers. Want to enjoy a quiet beach then make a visit to the VarsoliBeach that lies on the outskirts of Alibag.Don’t miss the scrumptious sea food available in huge variety that includes fresh pomfret, prawns, crabs, Bombay duck and lobsters. You can also buy some nice junk jewellery, bags, antiques etc.

Best Time to Visit Alibagh: The best time to visit is from October to March.

How to go ?

By Air

The closest International Airport is Mumbai. Alibag is 108 km from Mumbai by road, a journey of 3 hours via Navi Mumbai. After getting off at Mumbai, you can hire a private can or avail the bus service (if any) to get to Alibag.

By Rail

Konkan Railway trains from CST Mumbai stop at Pen, 28 km from Alibag, from where you can take a bus, autorickshaw or taxi for Alibag.

By Road

Alibag is 108 km from Mumbai by road, a journey of 3 hours via Navi Mumbai. The quickest way to get there however would be to catch a ferry from Gateway Of India.

[AdSense-B]

Where to stay ?

The place is equipped with a number of beautiful beach resorts. Some options are:

Sai Inn Holiday Resort: +91- 02216- 1639, 2218- 1678, 2216 1666, 6446 6311  Website: www.sai-inn.com
Radisson Blu Resort & Spa Alibaug: +91-9833 59 1515, 9833 12 9272  Website: www.alibaugbeachresort.com
Sun N Sea Beach Resort: +91-98339-25393  Website: www.hotelsunnsea.com
Hotel Sahyadri:+ 91- 022 2862- 5858, 2862- 5959.

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

[AdSense-C]

Shiroda

Shiroda, Maharashtra – A perfect holiday spot with glittering silvery sandy beach and sparkling blue waters of the sea

[AdSense-A]

Shiroda also known as Shirodem in Konkani, is a small village in South Konkan in Vengurla taluka, Sindhudurg district, in Maharashtra with a long stretch of beach. Shiroda is a place that really fulfils a tourist’s experience. Here one can enjoy this calm place having multiple aspects like social, cultural, historical, nature’s beauty etc. The beautiful beach hemmed with coconut palm trees, cypress woods along with sparkling blue waters, long stretch of silver sands, and the cool sea breeze is worth a visit giving the visitors a soothing and relaxing experience.  Shiroda is a perfect holiday destination with a beauty as the feast for the eyes of visitors.

Places to see at Shiroda: There are a number of tourist attractions in Shiroda. These are:

Shiroda Velagar Beach

With immense natural beauty, privacy, sparkling blue waters, long stretch of silver sands, cool sea breeze whispering through towering cajuring plantations on the beach, amenities and salt depots around the village, Shiroda is feast for the eyes of visitors.

Redi Ganesh Temple

Reddi’s very famous Ganesh Temple finds has its root in an intuitive and interesting story about Lord Ganesh, This is a vigilant deity, who is very effective towards its devotees’ call. The occasions like Ganesh Chaturthi, Sankashta Chatarthi one observes floods of devotees. The temple was established after a truck-driver, Sadanand Nagesh Kambali parked his truck at a particular place and slept there. He had a dream in which God Ganesha gave him divine appearance and told him to dig at the very same place where he is residing. As per his dream, he started digging there and there appeared two-handed idol of Lord Ganesha, carved in solid rock astonishing all the villagers.  It was decided to build a temple at the very spot and establish this deity. After few days, in the same area they excavated a big idol of mouse, which is a traditional vehicle of Ganesha. These idols are very pretty and graceful. Today one can visit beautifully built temple and get delighted by taking “Darshan” of the adorable deity.

Sagareshwar Beach

On the way to Shiroda from Vengurla take a right turn at Ubhadanda and you the huge stretch of shiny silvery sand dunes will be visible to you. By trampling the sand under the foot, a short walk, climbing the sand dunes and   lo behold you are at the sparkling beach and crystal blue waters of Sagreshwar. This beautiful beach is just 3-4 kms from Vengurla. A small temple of Sagareshwara(Lord of the Sea) is situated on the beach.

Mochemad Beach

The 200 feet high mountains and hills surrounding a beach creates the beautiful beach of Mochemad. The coastline is extremely beautiful with the plantations of cyprus trees. Tourist seeking seclusion and solace frequently visit this place.

Tiracol Fort

The fort is situated at the mouth of Redi creek. Towards the south of the fort is the seashore. Redi village is well known for its manganese business. Otavne river meets here to sea and hence the area of beach is very broad. And because of this otavne river, one natural boarder is maintained in sindhudurg and goa. From tiracol fort you can see beautifull view of otavne river where meets to sea.

Nearby Attractions from Shiroda: The nearby attractions around Shiroda includes:

Vengurla

Just 10 km from Shiroda, Vengurla is a spectacular coastal town located on the shores of the Arabian Sea. It is the pretty place with roaring beaches is adorned with cashew, coconut, jackfruit and mango groves.

Sawantwadi

Resting at an altitude of 690 mts this beautiful hill station is located in the Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra. Sawantwadi offers you incredible sceneries of nature with lush, verdurous landscapes. Its meandering waterfalls and glittering lakes attributes to the majestic look. The place is 23km from Shiroda.

Tarkarli

Want to breathe in the fresh natural air, or enjoy the serene atmosphere, ignoring all your worries – then you must visit the Tarkarli beach, located in Tarkarli, a spectacular coastal city of Maharashtra. It leaves the onlookers speechless with its crystal clear waters. This fabulous ‘QueenBeach’ proudly shows off the 20 feet deep sea bed on a bright sunny day.

Things to do at Shiroda: Nature walk along the spectacular beach is the most interesting activity here. Spend some time rediscovering yourself forgetting all the worries. Besides the sight seeing tour will also entertain you to the fullest.

Best time to visit Shiroda: The best time to visit Shiroda is from October to March.

How to go ?

By Air

Dabolim airport in Goa is the nearest airport located at a distance of 100 km from Vengurla connected to major cities in India like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Chennai. From here taxis and buses are available for Shiroda.

By Rail

Madgaon Railway Station is major railway station 9 KM near to Shiroda which is connected to railway stations of almost all major cities in India like Kolkata, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai etc.

By Road

Vengurla is located 16 km away from Shiroda, is connected by direct ST buses from Mumbai, Goa, Pune and Kolhapur. From here you can take any local transport to reach Shiroda beach.

[AdSense-B]

Where to stay ?

Shiroda is ideal for a day trip. However you can stay at Vengurla located at a distance of 16km. Some options are:

Sagareshwar Tent Resort (MTDC): +91-093263-43357
Hotel Lovkik: +91-02366-263418
HotelSea View: +91-02366-262193

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

[AdSense-C]

Mumbai

Mumbai, Maharashtra – Capital of Maharashtra state, it is the city that never sleeps

[AdSense-A]

The city that never sleeps! Pulsating, Alive, On the Move, Vibrant, Fun — this is Mumbai or as it is still frequently referred to — Bombay. The most modern city in India, it captures the spirit of the changing pace set by liberalization and modernisation. On the surface, it represents the ever-changing face of today’s India — the old coupled with the dynamic new, and yet at its very core, the heart of the city is steeped in Indian customs and values. This is the capital of Maharashtra state. This busy city is also the hub of a thriving cultural life, with a constant stream of performances in music, dance and drama. The seat of the Hindi film industry, known locally as Bollywood, it produces the largest number of films in the world. It is the Las Vegas of India.

Places to see in Mumbai: Mumbai is the mixed bag of sight seeing spots in India. These include:

Gateway of India

Built during the British rule, the monument is a specimen of Indo-Sarcenic school of architecture. It was built to commemorate the visit of the then British monarch King George V and Queen Mary. Designed by British architect George Wittet, this wonderful gateway was constructed at a cost of Rs 21 lakhs. The archway, 26 m high is joined by four turrets and complex lattice work carved on stone.Gateway of India occupies an important place in the history of India. It was built to welcome a British sovereign, ironically it served as the exit point of the British rule in India when the last of the British troops left the land through this gateway. Today, however, the place is famous as a tourist hot-spot. Here you can enjoy a number of recreational facilities like a short cruise around the city of Mumbai or a motor-boat ride. Tourists who go to Mumbai find the Gateway of India and irresistible attraction. Among some of the wonderful monuments in India the Gateway of India can be counted among the best.

Prince Of Wales Museum

The Prince of Wales Museum is one of the few monuments that stand testament to the British rule in India. The museum clearly displays a combination of Indian and English style of architecture. The dome of the museum was modeled on the Gol Gumbaz of Bijapur. The construction of the building was completed in the year 1914 and it was at this time that the World war I engulfed the world. The building was then used as a Military hospital. The style of architecture of this building is called Indo-Saracenic and the facade of the mansion is done up with yellow and blue stone. The design of the building was inspired by many Indian architectural styles. You can see a combination of Muslim jalis and Rajput jharokhas. Among some of the must see tourist places in Mumbai, Prince of Wales Museum is a great attraction.

Mahalakshmi Temple

Dedicated to the Goddess of wealth, this beautiful temple is located near the north of the Malabar Hills. The beauty of the temple, its mythological importance and its proximity to the sea shore all combine together to make the place a wonderful tourist attraction. The gateway to the temple is ornately designed. Inside the compound the place is all abuzz with vendors selling flowers, garlands and other mementoes symbolizing piety.  Devotees come all the way from Mumbai to offer coconut, flowers and sweet to the goddess. Located at Breach Candy, this is one of the greatest attractions of Mumbai.

Chowpatty Beach

Among some of the fascinating beaches that you will find in India, Chowpatty beach is one of the most popular. During the time of Ganesh Chaturthi festival, the place becomes all abuzz with people. A walk along the beach is sure to fascinate you with the variety of people that you will meet and different shopping options that you will get. This wonderful beach acts as a base to other beautiful destinations like Malabar Hill, Girgaum and Gamdevi. If you want to go to a beach full of entertainment, Chowpatty beach is the perfect place to be. To the north end of the Marine Drive, you will find a beach all bedecked with festive spirit. Children will enjoy the visit to the beach simply because of the fact that it has plenty of enjoyment opportunities. Here you can ride ferry wheels or merry-go-round. You will also have the opportunity to ride camels and pony here. It is hard to resist the temptation of mouth watering delicacies. The evenings here are like carnival. There is so much activity in the beach that you will find time fleeting by if you only stand still and watch people go about their business. During Ganesh Chatturathi festival, the beach becomes one of the major attractions of Mumbai

Juhu Beach

Just 18 km north of the city you will find a beautiful beach where the waves from the Arabian Sea lashes on the sandy shore. Juhu beach is in that part of the city of Mumbai that is famous for its happening lifestyle and fashion. Some of the famous Indian film personalities live here. The beach is also one of the most sought after shooting destinations. The rolling waves, fine sand and picturesque surrounding combine together to make the beach an extremely popular tourist destination. Juhu beach is always crowded with chaotic children, romantic couples and relaxing elders. In the beach front you will get a perfect view of the sunrise and sunset. There are innumerable vendors selling everything under the sun. You can also find some peculiar entertainment like dancing monkeys, snake charmers, toy sellers and acrobats.It is difficult to resist the temptation of a bite at the Juhu beach. There are so many eating joints that you will simply be confused about what you should try out. “Bhel-puri” is the specialty of Mumbai and you should try that out. You can also have “kulfi”. This is sweet and cold. On a hot an sultry day you will surely love to have one surely.Juhu beach has some special attractions which you must explore. To the north of the Juhu beach you can visit the VersovaBeach. This place is the home to the largest fishing community of Mumbai, the Kholis. If you want some seclusion then you can find some time to visit some of the less busy beaches like Versova, Madh Island, Marve, Manori and Gorai. Some of these beaches are not safe for bathing and these are suitably marked.

Marine Drive

Marine Drive is located in the south of Mumbai. This wonderful beachfront is nestled between two extremes. On one side of the marine drive is the bustling jungle of concrete and wood, Nariman Point, while on the other side is the green and beautiful Malabar Hill. Marine drive is swept by wind and this beautiful beach has become a wonderful attraction of the city of Mumbai. Stretching for over three kilometers, this beautiful beach is just the perfect place for boisterous children and love struck couples. While the vehicles flow in unending streams, you can enjoy your time at the beach without a worry in the world.

Kamala Nehru Park

Kamala Nehru Park in Mumbai is the perfect spot for nature lovers, who want to spend their evenings or mornings in the lap of nature. It was established in 1952 and spread over an area of 4,000 sq. yards. The park derived its name after the wife of the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. Kamala Nehru Park is located on the top of Malabar hills, from where you can enjoy the wonderful view of Marine Drive and Chowpatty Beach. Both kids and adults love to visit the park because of its peace, greenery and beauty. Kamala Nehru Park gives an amazing view of the Mumbai city and the sunset over the Arabian sea. The lush green garden, has “Old Woman’s Shoe”, beautifully trimmed hazes and walkaways. KamalaNehruPark is very well maintained with many varieties of plants and trees. Its an ideal place for family outing close to nature.

Hanging Garden

Hanging Garden in Mumbai is located opposite to the Kamala Nehru Park and is also known as Ferozeshah Mehta Garden, after the famous barrister. The garden provides a stunning view of the sunset over the Arabian Sea. It is believed that the terraced gardens were built over the three main reservoirs of Mumbai, to protect the reservoir’s water from contamination of the nearby Towers of Silence. The three reservoirs has the capacity of storing 30 million gallons of water. The Towers of Silence are used by the Parsi community to dispose off the dead bodies. The garden provides a panoramic view of Mumbai city.  The lush green Hanging garden is a nice break from the hum drum of city life. The hedges in the garden are cut in the shape of animals giving it a unique look. The flower clock of the garden is one of its main attractions.

Elephanta Caves

Elephanta caves are a UNESCO World Heritage site with beautiful carvings and sculptures. In the vicinity of the financial capital of India, Mumbai, these caves offer you the much-needed peace from the chaos of the metropolitan. It is a good place to look into the past culture and art. Here you will find two categories of caves; one is the Hindu rock art and the other is the Buddhist rock art. The place is still worshipped by the locals, and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. One can spot some resemblance to the Ajanta and Ellora caves, which are around 300 km from Elephanta.

Siddhivinayak Temple

The Siddhivinayak Temple is a very famous temple in Mumbai. It is also known as Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Temple. This temple is situated at Prabhadevi in Mumbai. It is a two hundred years old Temple. People believe that Lord Ganesh of Siddhivinayak Temple fulfils the desire of His worshippers.

Haji Ali Dargah

Haji Ali Dargah is a mosque in Mumbai built in the middle of the sea with a constricted path leading to the dargah. It is the tomb of Saint Haji Ali. The white mosque is located 500 yards into the sea and can be accessed only during the low tide. Two legends are popular regarding Haji Ali Dargah. According to the first legend Haji Ali, was a rich businessman who renounced the worldly pleasures after his visit to Mecca and was then engrossed in meditation. While the other suggest that Haji Ali went on a pilgrimage to Mecca and died there but his casket miraculously drifted back to the shores of Mumbai. In accordance with the Muslim tradition, Haji Ali Dargah has different praying rooms for ladies and gents. Since one cannot visit the mausoleum during the low tide, so there’s an offshore location, which is situated on the opposite side of Mahalakshmi racecourse. After passing through the carved entrance of Haji Ali Dargah, you enter the marble courtyard containing the main shrine. Hundreds of devotees come to the mosque to get the blessings of the saint. The tomb is covered with red and green coloured chaddar, enclosed in a wonderful silver frame. The tomb is ornamented with beautiful mirror work of different colors and the ninety-nine names of Allah are inscribed on it in Arabic. The courtyard is huge with a number of refreshment stalls.

Sanjay Gandhi National Park

Sanjay Gandhi National Park is a beautiful park in Mumbai. It is situated on the northern part of the suburbs of Mumbai and spread over a total area of 104 sq. km. A huge number of people visit the park, it is roughly estimated that 2 million visitors come here annually. The park is decorated with a wide variety of flora and fauna. Sanjay Gandhi National Park was called Krishnagiri National Park before independence. But after independence it was called Borivli National Park as it is close to the residential area of Borivali. In the year 1981 the park was renamed as Sanjay Gandhi National Park, in memory of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s son, who died in an air crash. The 2,400 years old, Kanheri Caves are located inside the park. There are 109 caves in the center of the park which were used as viharas (monasteries) and chaityas (temples) by the Buddhist monks of the 2nd and 9th centuries.  The region of Sanjay Gandhi National Park is hilly and densely covered with trees and inhabits many animals. It is located at a height of 400m. The two lakes of the park are the Vihar Lake and the Tulsi Lake. These lakes cater to the water requirements of Mumbai. Nearly 800 varieties of flowering plants, 284 types of birds, 5,000 types of insects, 36 species of mammals, 50 kinds of reptiles and 150 species of butterfly are found here.

Aksa Beach

A popular beach and a vacation spot in Aksa village at Malad, the Aksa Beach is situated close to Malvani. This beach was one of the most silent and least visited beaches. It is very clean beach with a large variety of snails and shells. It is a popular weekend destination with youngsters and dotted with many private cottages and hotels, some of which are rented out to tourists and visitors

Nearby attractions of Mumbai: From here you can make short trips to the destinations like:

Lonavala

84km from the bustling crowd of Mumbai, the hilly region of Lonavala invites nature lovers and footloose travellers alike. The natural beauty here is splendid, and it is also a place where trekking enthusiasts gather. There are plenty of sightseeing options as well. From forts to water bodies and mountains covered with lush greenery, there are many things to explore in Lonavala like Bhaja Caves, Tungarli Lake, Ryewood Park, Iron Fort or Lohagad.

Khandala

Situated in the Sahyadri range of western Maharashtra, Khandala is 100km away from Mumbai. It is a picturesque hill station with fabulous lakes, waterfalls and deep green valleys. This place is a very favorite weekend escapade for tourists who want to avoid the commotion of the busy cities. The most popular Tourist Spots of Khandala are-  Khandala Lake, Bhushi Lake, Karla, The Bhaja Caves, Duke’s Nose, Shiva Temple, The Reversing Station Point and the Tiger’s Leap. Once visited it will never be forgotten. Khandala dazzles the visitors.

Alibag

Alibag is a lovely gift of Nature. Eye soothing greenery with coconut trees standing in Queue near Quick sandy beaches really soothes the heart. Here the atmosphere is pleasant with Twitter of birds, Tasty food, and The festival of colours in the sky.

Things to do in Mumbai : Shopping in Mumbai is a memorable experience as one wanders through its bazaars with charming names like Chor Bazar, Mutton Street and Zaveri Bazar. Chor Bazaar is believed to have the original name Shor Bazaar or the Noisy Market, that aptly described the yelling and shouting of the local traders on Mutton Street while selling their second hand house hold goods. Today, it is a bustling market selling a range of new and old furniture, antiques, jewellery, wooden articles, leather wear and other curios. Mutton St in Chor Bazaar specializes in antiques, ingenious reproductions and miscellaneous junk. Crawford market is famous for flowers, fruits, meat and fish. Zaveri Bazaar is the main retail centers for gold and diamonds, and nearby Pydhoni for silver. Apart from shopping the multiple sight seeing spots is heart stealing. Enjoy the dazzling view of the city from Marine drive at night. Do not miss the Mumbai special street foods like Pav Bhaji, Bhel puri etc. The sunset view from Juhu beach and Chowpatty beach is also spectacular. On the whole Mumbai will entertain you throughout. Your holiday here will be fun filled and exciting.

Best time to visit Mumbai: Having a moderate climate, Mumbai can be visited throughout the year. 

How to go ?

By Air

Mumbai can be reached through numerous flights. The international terminal Sahar, renamed as Chatrapati Sivaji International Airport operates round the clock. Hotel bookings and pre-paid taxis are available at the terminal. The domestic terminal Santa Cruz is about 5km apart and can easily be reached through regular shuttle buses between the two terminals. The domestic airport is well connected and can be used to visit most parts of Western and Southern India.

By Train

Mumbai is a prominent railway hub of the country. It is the headquarters to two railway zones, central and western. While Central Railways handles services to the east and south, Western Railways has services to the north from Churchgate and Central stations. The main railway station Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) formerly known, as Victoria terminus (VT) is located in the heart of the city. Local and outstation trains ply from here. Other railway stations are Dadar, Churchgate and Kurla. Bookings are to be made in advance to avoid the last minute rush, as trains are the most used mode of transport. The extensive system of suburban electric train network is the most sought after transport means in Mumbai for city travel.

By Road

Mumbai is well connected by a network of roads to the rest of India by and state highways. Mumbai has one of the best public bus systems of any major Indian city called BEST buses. Mumbai has a huge fleet of metered black-and-yellow taxis as well.

[AdSense-B]

Where to stay ?

There are numerous hotels available in Mumbai suitable to all budgets. Some options are:

The Karl Residency: +91-022 4236 2121  Website: www.hotelkarl.com
Hotel Kohinoor Continental: 8287012302 Website: www.hotelkohinoorcontinental.com
The Taj Mahal Palace: +91-022- 6665 3366 Website: www.tajhotels.com
Sea Shore Hotel: +91-022 2287 4238

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

[AdSense-C]

Vengurla

Vengurla, Maharashtra – Located in the Sindhudurg district, it is a scenic location admired for tremendous natural beauty

[AdSense-A]

With the long stretch of silvery sands, and hills shrouded with cashew, coconut, jack fruit and mango groves that’s Vengurla. This is a pristine and beautiful town in Maharashtra. This serene hamlet is located in the Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra, just north of Goa. Vengurla is well known in history books as a trade settlement. The place was burned to the ground twice. It was the prey to the repetitive attacks and plunders between 1664 and 1812. To the west-north-west lie the Vengurla Rocks, also called Burnt Islands. On what was once an inner island, and is now part of the mainland, lies the old town of Malvan, almost hidden by palms. The rocky terrain of Malvan holds 2 forts: Sindhudurg and Padmagad. Formerly a trading zone, Malvan has good name for its salt pans, Chinese clay pottery and the special Malvani cuisine which is quite distinct from Konkan food.

Places to see in Vengurla: The sightseeing spots of Vengurla mainly consists panoramic beaches. However there are other sight seeing spots too. These includes:

Bhogave Beach

This beautiful and clean beach is located approximately 10 to 12 km from Malvan. The beach is gifted with foamy waves and silver sand. Facilities available at Bhogave beach are boating and fishing. This beach is a habitat for Dolphins. One can witness the charming tricks of dolphins at the Bhogave beach.

Kille Nivati and Nivati Beach

Kille Nivati is a fort which was constructed by Shivaji. One can view the Bhogave beach from this fort. While visiting here enjoy the excellent local cuisine. Range of rocks is situated at the bottom of this fort. It is an interesting sight on this beach, to watch the fishermen launching their traditional boats and nets daily into the sea. Nivati Beach supports an amazing stretch of Golden sand.

Velagar Beach

Velagar beach is a marvellous beach with coconut and Carijuana trees in the backdrop. Surrounded with greenery, this beach is characterized by natural beauty, sparkling blue waters and cool sea breeze.

Khavane Beach

Khavane beach is a natural beach with clean blue water. It is surrounded by hilly area.

Vetoba Temple

Vetoba temple is dedicated to lord Vetoba, who is a revered deity of Arawali. This temple was developed in 1660 by a saint named Bhumaiya. Vetoba is considered as the watchman for Aravali village. The temple is surrounded by coconut plantation. Close to this temple, there is another small temple of Devi Sateri which is also surrounded by the plantation of mango tree and a small lake.

Redi Beach

Redi Beach is a yellow sand filled beach. This is a clean and a rocky beach. There a few hamlets seen in and around Redi Beach. The Ganesh idol in the temple is 6′ tall and approximately 3′ wide. The idol is in a sitting position. The Ganesh idol is carved from one single black stone and dates back to the early 100s. Presently, the Ganesh idol is painted in hideous modern colors. Redi beach is situated behind the temple.

Mochemad Creek and Back Water

One should not miss a journey by the costal highway bridge on this backwater. The Mochemad Creek and Back Water is very delightful. It is surrounded by 200 feet high mountains and hills. The coastline is lined with the plantations of cyprus trees.

Kondura Beach

Kondura beach is a beautiful beach. It is very clean beach which is situated in Vayangari village.

Terekhol Fort

Located on the northern bank of the Terekhol River, this fort was built by the Raja of Sawanwadi. In the middle of the fort is the St. Anthony church. Church is generally not open for public to visit. Presently the fort houses a tourist hotel. The fort is located at the confluence of the Terekhol River and the sea.

Nearby attractions of Vengurla: About40 km from Vengurla, Siolim in north Goa is a placid riverside getaway with virgin beaches and cozy accommodations. It is ideal for a perfect excursion trip from Vengurla.

Things to do at Vengurla: A lazy stroll along the mesmerizing beach is worth apart from sight seeing.

Best time to visit Vengurla: The best time to visit Vengurla is from October to May.

How to go ?

By Air

Dabolim airport in Goa is the nearest airport located at a distance of 100 km from Vengurla. From here taxis and buses are available for Vengurla.

By Rail

Sawantwadi Railway Station is the closest station to Vengurla, lying 20 km away. It is well connected to cities like Mumbai, Pune, Goa, New Delhi and Ahmedabad. Tourists coming from other cities have to reach Margaon station. Express trains like Mandavi Express or Konkan Kanya Express will take you upto Sawantwadi. Vengurla is just 30km from Sawanwadi by road. Auto-rickshaws and buses are available on route to Vengurla. No Taxis are available.

By Road

Vengurla is located 535 km away from Mumbai, 200 km away from Ratnagiri and 110 km away from Goa. It is connected by direct ST buses from Mumbai, Goa, Pune and Kolhapur.

[AdSense-B]

Where to stay ?

There are few accommodation options in Vengurla. Some of these include:

Sagareshwar Tent Resort (MTDC): +91-093263-43357
Hotel Lovkik: +91-02366-263418
Hotel Sea View: +91-02366-262193

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

[AdSense-C]

Srikakulam

Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh – Famous for the Surya Narayan Temple

[AdSense-A]

Formerly known as Chicacole, Srikakulam is located in the extreme north east of Andhra Pradesh. With Nagveli river on one side and Vamsadhara river on the other, Srikakulam is mainly a religious destination. This place is famous for the Arsavalli Sun Temple.

Places to see at Srikakulam: Mainly famous for the Surya Narayan Temple, Srikakulam is also the base of a number of other tourist attractions. These are:

Arasavilli

The famous Sun God Temple situated in Arasavalli Village which is located at a distance of about 1 K.M. east of Srikakulam Town in Andhra Pradesh. It is one of the ancient and all among two sun God temples in our Country. According to Padmapuranam , Sage Kasyapa installed the Idol of Surya at Arasavalli for the Welfare of mankind . Therefore , the Surya is of Kasyapasa Gotra . He is also termed as planetary King . The ‘ Sthalapuranam ‘ of the temple narrates that lord Devendra had founded this temple and installed the existing idol of the sun God commonly known as Lord Suryanarayana Swamy Varu under the following circumstances . The Sun God “Sri Suryanarayana Swami” is most worshipped in Andhra Pradesh and tourists from all over the world visits the temple every year. He is popularly known as the God of Health.

Srimukhalingam

Srimukhalingam is another temple in Srikakulam. It is believed to have been built in the 9th Century. This holy place resides on the left bank of Vamsadhara. This is a group of 3 temples built by the Eastern Ganga Kings in the 10th century AD, including the deities of  Mukhalingeswara, Bhimeswara and Someswara. All these temples show evidence of the Orissa style of architecture (Indo – Aryan style). The Mukhalinga temple is a veritable art gallery. The temple entrances are marvels in themselves. There is an abundance of sculptural work and perforated windows. The Bhimeswara temple lacks such grand splendour. Someswara temple is rich in sculptural work.

Srikurmam

Srikurmam is one of the ancient temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu.  The village is also named after it. Sri Kurmam is the second form of Lord Vishnu wherein represents a Tortoise and hence the Lord here is called as “Sri Kurmanatha”. This is the only temple in the entire country where Lord Vishnu is seen in “Kurmavatara”. Some inscriptions has it that the presiding deity of this temple Lord Shiva and was worshipped by Saivaites (devotees of Lord Siva). It was later change to Vaishnavite by Sri Ramanujacharya – the most important philosopher and saint of Sri Vaishnavam (sect of people who worship Lord Vishnu). The architecture of the temple is magnificent with beautiful sculpture, paintings and carvings. You just cannot move your eyes off the carvings, which is spellbinding.

Salihundam

This place is situated on the right bank of the river Vamsadhara, and is about 16 km from Srikakulam town. It was known as “Salivatika” (meaning rice emporium). But many called it “Salyapetika” (meaning box of bones or relics). There are a number of Buddhist stupas and a huge monastic complex on a hillock amidst scenic surroundings of the place.

Kalingapatnam

Just 25 km from Srikakulam, Kalingapatnam has a history, which dates back to the advent of western invaders into India. It was the port of the European merchants. Until 1958, huge ships from Malaysia and Singapore arrived at this port wherein perfumes, clothes and many other things were exported. Here you will also find the confluence of Vamsadhara which is very attractive.

Ponduru

The village about 20 kilometers from Srikakulam Town is famous for the production of fine quality of Khadi which is popular through out India.

Nearby attractions from Srikakulam: A number of excursion tour can be made from Srikakulam which includes:

Kaviti

Kaviti village is located at a distance of 130 Kms, from Srikakulam  in between two towns viz. Sompeta and Ichapuram, towards East. The area constituting Kaviti Mandal is populary known as Uddanam (Udyanavanam). The coastal belt at this place presents a pleasant appearance, covered with large extents of Coconut, Cashewnut, Jack and other fruit trees. The Uddanam area is a scenic spot for the visitors. Two famous temples Chintamani Ammavaru and Sri Sitharamaswamy temple are situated in this Village.

Baruva

Situated at a distance of 109 Kms from Srikakulam town, Baruva is famous for Sri Kotilingeswara Swamy and Janardhana Swamy temple are located at this place. Further, there is a coconut nursery and a Coir Industry located here. The river Mahendra Tanaya merges into sea at this place.

Telineelapuram

This is a village located at a distance of 65 kilometers from Srikakulam. It is the bird lovers’ paradise. Every year, over 3,000 pelicans and painted storks visit from Siberia to these villages during September and stay here upto March.

Things to do at Srikakulam: Site seeing is the only thing you can do here. You can also enjoy the excursion trips too in and around the place.

Best time to visit Srikakulam: The ideal time to visit Srikakulam will be during October and November, when the weather remains cool.

How to go ?

By Air

Srikakulam does not have an airport. Nearest airport is Visakhapatnam Airport connected to many cities in India including Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Hyderabad. From there cars available on hire will take you to Srikakulam.

By Train

You can easily get regular trains to Srikakulam from other major cities of the countries.

By Road

You can travel by bus to Srikakulam from all major and minor cities in the state like Vijayawada, Vishakhapatnam (121 km), Hyderabad. You can also reach Srikakulam by  cars from: Simhachalam (118 km), Gopalpur(181 km ), Puri (370 km).

[AdSense-B]

Where to stay ?

There are both budget and luxury hotels at Srikakulam. Some options are:

Hotel Nagavali: +91-0 8942 -222916 , 228806 , 228807  Website: www.hotelnagavali.com
Hotel Blue Earth: +91- 08942- 229955  Website: www.hotelblueearth.com
Hotel Vijetha Inn: +91-08942- 227691  Website: www.hotelvijethainn.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

[AdSense-C]

Vizag

Visakhapatnam or Vizag, Andhra Pradesh – Resting among the hills of the Eastern Ghats overlooking Bay of Bengal, it has beautiful Cool Beaches, Hill Ranges, Caves, Valleys & Lakes

[AdSense-A]

Visakhapatnam also known as Vizag, is a coastal, port city, often called “The Jewel of the East Coast”. Resting among the hills of the Eastern Ghats, overlooking the Bay of Bengal in the east, it is the second largest city in Andhra Pradesh with an area of 550 km². It is primarily an industrial city, apart from being a port city. According to the history, the city was named after the god of Valor-Vishakha. It is often called the best tourist destination in Andhra Pradesh. From Lakes to cool beaches, from beautiful Hill Ranges to Caves and Valleys, Visakhapatnam has them all.

Places to see in Visakhapatnam: Vizag offers its tourists with spectacular sight seeing spots. These include:

Ramakrishna Beach

Also known as the RK Beach, it is just 5 kilometers from the main city.  Developed and maintained by the Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority and Municipal Corporation of Visakhapatnam, the Ramakrishna Beach pleases visitors of all preferences. The RK Beach satisfies all classes of people with tastes ranging from water sports enthusiast to a person seeking a lazy holiday. Ramakrishna Beach, Visakhapatnam, is also a popular picnic site in Vizag. Several fine tourist spots surrounding the Ramakrishna Beach, are : The Aquarium, Kali Temple, Visakha Museum, Submarine Museum, The Water Memorial.

Yarada Beach

Behind Dolphin Nose, lies the YaradaVillage. Yarada is a private beach maintained by the Agrigold group which is why they charge a nominal fee for visiting it. The Dolphin Nose provides a spectacular view of the beach and the Vizag city. A bus or cab facility can be taken to reach it.

Kailasagiri Hill Top Park

Kailasagiri Hill Top Park, Visakhapatnam, is one of the renowned tourist sites in Andhra Pradesh. It is a park situated on the hilltop, at a height of 360 feet. Kailasagiri Hill Top Park in Visakhapatnam is one of the most popular tourist destinations of the city. Every year, the park witnesses considerable tourist traffic. A number of tourist locations are near the park. Some important attractions located at a vicinity to the Kailasagiri Hill Top Park at Vizag are Floral Clock, Jungle Trails, Shanti Ashram, ArtGallery, Children Play Park, Conference Hall, Shiva Parvathi Statue, 7 Wonders of Vizag, Titanic View Point, Gliding Base Point, Telescopic Point and Shanku Chakra Naama.

War Memorial

In remembrance of the victory at sea achieved in the 1971 Indo-Pak war, a war memorial had been constructed in Vizag. It exhibits a fighter plane, a tank and other copies of a missile. It does not charge any entry.

Matsyadarshini Aquarium

It is an aquarium that has an interesting exit in the form of a huge white tipped shark’s open mouth. It charges an entry fee of Rs. 20 per person and contains a good collection of marine and freshwater fish.

Ross Hill

It is an interesting site as it consists of three hills that are dedicated to three different faiths. It has a church, a mosque and a temple. Ross Hill has a chapel known as Mother Mary’s church, Durga Pahad has the tomb of Muslim saint Sayed Ali Medina and the third hill Sri Venkateswara Konda has a temple.

Submarine- ‘Kursura’

It was the first one of its kind submarine to be created in eastern Asia. This museum was created in a real submarine of the Indian navy and today is manned by retired officials of the navy itself.

Naval Museum

Also known as Swarna Jyoti Museum, it showcases the maritime history of India through pictures, models and written content.

Tenneti Beach Park

It is a beautiful park that has played as a background setting for a number of Indian movies. It gives out spectacular views of sunrise and sun set along with beaches and clear sea.

Kambalakonda Sanctuary

This natural sanctuary is half hour’s drive from the city. It charges an entry fee of Rs 10/- person and provides fantastic views from the viewing tower along with providing people a chance to hike and flex their muscles.

Port of Visakhapatnam

It is listed amongst the country’s leading ports. It is dissected into three harbors, namely outer harbor, inner harbor and fishing harbor with their respective capacities of vessel accommodation.

Nearby attractions from Visakhapatnam: There are many places around Visakhapatnam which is worth a visit. These include:

Sankaram

It lies 41 km from Visakhapatnam. It is among the most significant Buddhist site in Andhra Pradesh consisting of antiquity dated stupas, rock-cut caves, early historic pottery and finally Satavahana coins that are believed to exist since the 1st century AD.

Simhachalam

This temple is located 15 km away from the city. It acts as a dedication to Lord Vishnu’s ‘half man half lion’ avatar. It has an impressive architectural design along with a serene environment.

Bavikonda

It lies at a distance of 15 km from Vizag. Literally, it means ‘Hill of Wells’ and as its name suggests it is indeed a hill that contains wells for collecting rainwater. It is counted amongst Asia’s oldest and most sacred Buddhist sites as it consists of ruins of the great Buddhist civilization.

Araku Valley

This is a scenic valley that requires a 6 hour long enjoyable train journey from the city. Amongst others, Padmavathi botanical gardens are a treat to look at, when present here. Further trip to the Borra caves is also a must. An entry to these caves costs Rs. 30 per person, with separate charges for carrying a camera.

Bhimili

It is a village lying about 25 km from the city known for its beach and remains of a Portuguese church and Dutch cemeteries.

Thotlakonda

It is situated at a distance of 16 km from Visakhapatnam. It falls under Andhra Government’s list of ‘protected monuments’. It contains historically significant Buddhist structures such as a Mahastupa, rock-cut cisterns, votive platforms, roman silver coins, terracotta tiles and much more.

Things to do in Visakhapatnam: Apart from other sight seeing locations, you must make a visit to the submarine museum, created as a replica of the real submarines of Indian Navy. Enjoy a walk along the splendid beaches of Vizag with the cool and fresh natural air. Also enjoy excursions to some destionations located near to Vizag.

Best time to visit Visakhapatnam: Best time to visit here is from October to March.

How to go ?

By Air

Visakhapatnam airport is connected to many cities in India including Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Hyderabad. Airport is nearly 16 km away from the heart of the city. Pre-paid taxis are available from airport to city.

By Train

Visakhapatnam has an important railway station lying on Chennai – Delhi main line. This station is connected with all cities in India by rail. Tourists can get direct trains from Delhi (Samta Express), Mumbai (Konark Express), Kolkata (Coromandel Exp), Chennai (Dbrg Ypr Expres) and Bangalore (Hwh Ypr Express).

By Road

Vizag is well connected by the road transport public bus services. Many tourist bus service providers offer deluxe, super deluxe and A/C bus services from Visakhapatnam to many major cities in South and Central India, including Chennai, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Bangalore and Mumbai.

[AdSense-B]

Where to stay ?

There are plenty of accommodation options in Vishakhapatnam. Some options are:

Hotel Harita (APTDC): +91-1800 -4254 5454
Hotel Daspalla:  +91-98663 19728
Hotel Grand Bay: +91-0891- 6600101  Website: www.itchotels.in
Hotel Supreme: +91- 0891-278472, 73, 74 Website: www.hotelsupremevizag

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

[AdSense-C]

Surya Lanka Beach

Surya Lanka Beach, Andhra Pradesh – A wide, spacious, clean, long and beautiful weekend getaway beach

[AdSense-A]

Just 9 kilometres from Bapatla in Guntur District, Suryalanka is the perfect weekend getaway beach. The natural beauty of the beach is its chief attraction for people, who are looking to refresh and rejuvenate themselves. The pristine beach is clean and the waters of the Bay of Bengal are crystal clear. The shore of the beach is quite wide, spacious clean and quite long for evening walks. This is the only beach close to Hyderabad. he beach has a flat landscape and its topography makes it safe for non swimmers as well. The noisy sea waves engage your mind in to the depths of the ocean. There are a lot of eateries near the beach which offer lip smacking cuisine of Andhra Pradesh such as Fish, Prawns, Idli – Dosa , Sambar etc.

Things to do at Surya Lanka Beach: Enjoy long walks along the beautiful sea beach and enjoy the sweet breeze and rhythms of the ocean waves.

Best time to visit Surya Lanka Beach: The ideal time to visit the beach is from October to March.

How to go ?

By Air

Hyderabad is the nearest international and domestic airport closest to Bapatla city at a remaining road journey of 350 km.  Taxis or  State buses available from the airport will take you to the beach.

By Rail

The rail route is in between Vijayawada and Chennai and train reaches up to the Bapatla station. Trains are available from all major cities of the country like Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore.  Further a taxi or local auto rickshaws will take you to the beach.

By Road

Bapatla city is well connected by roadways to all other major cities of Andhra Pradesh. The destination can be reached by a private taxi or buses run by state government. The nearest metro city is Hyderabad which is 350 km.

[AdSense-B]

Where to stay ?

Adjacent to the beach is the Suryalanka Beach Resort (APTDC).
For booking details you may contact: +91-08643-224616

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

[AdSense-C]

 

Bakkhali

Bakkhali, South Bengal – A popular tourist destination lying adjacent to Bay of Bengal dotted with casurina forests

[AdSense-A]

Bakkhali is a seaside resort in South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal. It is located on one of the many deltaic islands spread across southern part of Bengal. Most of the islands are part of the Sunderbans, except a few at the fringes. Some of these are joined together with bridges over narrow creeks. This small island juts out into the vast expanse of the Bay of Bengal. The place remains as a popular tourist destination for quite a long time. The development of the barge over the Hatania-Doania River, has made Bakkhali more and more accessible for the people. With the passage of time Bakkhali has changed a lot. The development of transport and communication system truly makes Bakkhali an ideal getaway for weekends.

Places to see at Bakkhali: There are quite a lot of attractions in Bakkhali like the windmills of Frasergunj as well as the crocodile propagation centre at the place. The narrow path that enters into the casuarinas forest lying adjacent the beach will lead you to the temple of Banabibi, a local deity.

Nearby attractions from Bakkhali: Bakkhali offers so many places of attractions that are located nearby like the Henry’s Island which was created by the State Fisheries Department. Frasergunj, the twin town of Bakkhali can be visited on a day trip.

Things to do at Bakkhali: Sightseeing is the best thing that you can do in Bakkhali. Take a walk over the beach from Bakkhali to Frasergunj and enjoy solitude. Plus, you can also take a look at the daily life on the villages and experience the different rhythm of life these villages live in.

Best time to visit Bakkhali: You can visit Bakkhali throughout the year.

How to go ?

You can board a bus from Kolkata (Esplanade) till Namkhana and then a ferry ride across the Hatania-Doania River. Then you have to board another bus to reach Bakkhali. However, you can also board direct buses to Bakkhali from Kolkata. You can also reach Namkhana by train from the Sealdah station. By road, you have to travel through Diamond Harbour and Kakdwip to reach Namkhana.

[AdSense-B]

Where to stay ?

You can stay at the West Bengal Government Tourist Lodge. For booking details please contact:

Address: 3/2, B.B.D. Bag (East), Kolkata – 700 001
Phone : +91-
033-2243 6440, 2248 8271 Website: www.wbtourism.gov.in

Ben Fish also has a tourist lodge in Bakkhali. For booking details you may contact:
Address: P161/1, (4 th Floor) V.I.P Road, Ultadanga, Kolkata – 700 054.
Phone: +91-033 2355-4931 Website: www.benfish.info

There are also few private hotels at Bakkhali.

Hotel Amarabati: +91-09732619340, 9647367780
Hotel Deepak: +91-033 2464 0081

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

[AdSense-C]

 

 

Rameswaram

Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu – Famous for the Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple, one of the esteemed pilgrimage of the Hindus

[AdSense-A]

Rameswaram is a small island in the Gulf of Mannar located 572 km away from Chennai. It is a major pilgrim centre. Rameswaram is a holy place because Sri Rama, on his return from Sri Lanka, offered his thanks to Lord Shiva and performed pooja to wash away his sin in killing the Demon King, Ravana. Rameswaram is known for its 22 theerthas or wells in and around the main temple. This place is equally sacred to both Vaishnavites and Shaivites. According to Hindu Mythology, if one visits Rameswaram and prays to Lord Shiva one will be relieved of one’s sins. It is 197 metres long. It is connected to the mainland by road and railway bridges.

Places to see in Rameswaram: There is a number of sight seeing destinations from Rameshwaram. These include:

Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple

This temple situated near the sea on the eastern side of the island is renowned for its magnificent prakaras or corridors with massive sculptured pillars on either side. The longest corridor in the world is here and it is 197 metres long from East to West and is 133 metres wide from South-North. The temple has a Gopuram 38.4 metres tall. Different rulers built the temple as it stands today, at different periods from the 12th century A.D. Pooja is performed for an hour early morning daily to the Spadikalingam that was given by the Shankaracharya to this temple. There is a popular belief that one needs to take bath in 22 theertha kundams with in the temple premises before having darshan. There many guides who will approach us as soon as we enter the temple premises. One needs to negotiate the deal of how much to pay them if we need their services. It is believed that the water from these kundams have some medicinal properties. The history of the temple is linked with “Ramayan” and it is believed the the diety was installed by Lord Rama after the war with Ravana at the instance of the great saints to get rid of the “Brahma Dosham”.

Agnitheertham

Sri Ramanathaswamy temple faces east. The seashore, about 100 metres from the main entrance of the temple, is very calm and therefore ideal for bathing. The water at this place is considered sacred and known as Agni theertham. Pilgrims perform poojas in honour of their ancestors at this seashore.

Gandamadana Parvatham

It is a hillock situated 3 km away and is the highest point in the island. Here one can see the imprint of Lord Rama’s feet on a chakra. The entire island of Rameswaram is visible from this point.

Sugreevar Temple/Theertham

This temple is situated on the way to Gandamadana Parvatham near the Doordarshan Kendra.

Satchi Hanuman Temple

The temple is considered to be the place where Hanuman delivered the good news of finding Sita to Rama with satchi or evidence, Choodamani or the jewel that belonged to Sita. It is just 3 km from the main temple, on the way to the Gandamadana Parvatham.

Badrakaliamman Temple

This is a temple for Devi Durga, situated 2 km from the main temple on the way to the Gandamadana Parvatham.

The Five-faced Hanuman Temple

Just 2 km from the main temple, here the idols of Lord Ram, Sita and Hanuman brought from Dhanushkodi during the 1964 cyclone were placed here. The floating stone, used to build the Sethu Bandanamor the bridge between India and Lanka can be found in this temple.

Jada Theertham

It is about 3.5 km from Rameswaram on the Dhanushkodi road – legend has it that Lord Rama, on his way back after killing Ravana, worshipped Sri Ramalinga (believed to be installed by him). Before doing so, he washed his hair (Jada) in this theertham to purify himself.

Nambu Nayagiamman Temple

This is greatly venerated by the people of Ramnad District. It is situated 8 km from the main temple in Rameswaram on the way to Dhanushkodi.

Nearby attractions from Rameswaram: From here you can make excursions to places like:

Kothandaramaswamy Temple

This is located 12 km away from Rameswaram. A popular belief is that Vibishana, brother of Ravana, surrendered before Rama here.

Dhanushkodi

The southern tip of the island, Dhanushkodi was completely washed away by the 1964 cyclone. This is a strip of land about one km wide and 18 km long on the eastern end of Rameswaram island. On one side are the waters of the Indian Ocean and on the other the waters of the Bay of Bengal. The two seas otherwise known as Ratnakaran and Mahodadhi with their confluence is shaped like a bow while the strip of land resemble an arrow poised for release. Devout Hindus consider the Adi Sethu or the arrowhead, a sacred place to perform religious rites. It is also place worth visiting for its scenic beauty and bird life.

Villoondi Theertham

This site is situated 7 km from the main temple on the way to Pamban.

Annai Indira Gandhi Road Bridge

Also known as the Pamban Bridge this place is just 12 km from Rameshwaram  that connects the Rameswaram island with the main land. It is the longest sea bridge in India and its length is nearly 2.2 km and stands as a fine example for Indian architecture. The bridge was constructed with sufficient elevation. The islands nearby and the parallel rail bridge below are clearly visible from this bridge.

Things to do in Rameshwaram: Explore this sacred pilgrimage and feel the spiritual ecstasy in its air.

Best time to visit Rameshwaram: Rameswaram has a tropical climate and can be visited any time of the year. But the best time to visit is from October to April.

How to go ?

By Air

he nearest airport is in Madurai, 163 km from here. If you are traveling from some distant location then taking a flight will be the best decision. 

By Train

You can easily get regular trains to Rameshwaram from other major cities of the country. It is well connected by rail with cities like Chennai, Coimbatore, Thanjavur and Trichy.

By Road

There are regular buses from other major cities like Chennai, Coimbatore, Thanjavur and Trichyof  to Rameshwaram.

[AdSense-B]

Where to stay ?

There are adequate accommodation facilities in Rameshwaram. Some options are:

Hotel Pearl Residency :+91-04573-222262, 63, 64 Website: www.hpr-rsm.com
Blue Coral Cottage: +91 4573 221 703, 95780 76352 Website: www.bluecoralcottage.com
Hotel Sunrise View: 04573-223434,  04573-222453 Website:www.hotelsunriseview.com
Hotel Vinayaga: +91- 04573 222361 , 222363 Website: www.vinayagahotel.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

[AdSense-C]

 

Kanyakumari

Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu – The southernmost tip of India, famous for the Kanya Kumari Amman Temple & Vivekananda Rock Memorial

[AdSense-A]

Surrounded by Majestic Hills and the plains bordered by colourful sea-shores, coconut trees and paddy fields, Kanyakumari is a beautiful town in Kanyakumari District in the state of Tamil Nadu.  It lies at the southernmost tip of the Indian sub-continent. This place was formerly known as Cape Comorin, is the southern tip of the Cardamom Hills, an extension of the Western Ghats range along the west coast of India. Here you will find a beautiful blend of few elevated patches of red cliffs with valleys and plains between the mountainous terrain and the sea – coast. Closely interwoven with Temples and Churches and other constructions, it is a heritage site with the magnificent Kanya Kumari temple dedicated to Devi Kanya Kumari, considered to be a sister of Kṛiṣhṇa. The place takes its name from this virgin goddess. Kanya Kumari is notable for pilgrimage, from the goddess. Women pray to her for marriage.

Places to see in Kanyakumari: The pristine site Kanyakumari  is admired with diverse spots of tourist interest which include: 

Kanya Kumari Amman Temple

Kanyakumari derives its name from from Goddess Kanyakumari Amman, the presiding deity of the area. The most prominent temple, the Kumari Amman, is dedicated to the goddess Parvathi as a virgin. The temple situated at the edge of the ocean. Goddess Kanyakumari has the legendary account that once Banusura, the demon king got supremacy over Devas and meted out cruel punishment to them. The Devas performed a Yagna pleading to annihilate the evils. Goddess Parasakthi came to Kumari in the form of a virgin girl and began her penance. Meanwhile Lord Shiva fell in love with her and arrangements for the marriage were made in the midnight a particular day. Now the Devine sage Narada realised that their marriage would destroy the chances of annihilating Banusura because he could be killed only by a virgin. When Lord Shiva was on his way to Kanyakumari from Suchindrum at Valukkamparai 5 kms south of Suchindram, Sage Narada assumed the form of a cock and crowed falsely heralding the break of dawn. Thinking that the auspicious time for the marriage was past, Lord Shiva returned disappointed. The Goddess too decided to remain virgin after that. Then, when Banusura attempted to win the Goddess by force, she killed him with her Chakragudha, and relieved the suffering s of Devas. Then she resumed her penance and remained virgin.

Kanyakumari Beach

The beaches in Kanyakumari attract a large number of tourists to this coastal town every year. This picturesque town is located in Tamil Nadu, in South India. Tourists love to savor the beauty of sunrises and sunsets from Kanyakumari beach.  Away from the city life, Kanyakumari beach can be a suitable spot to spend a holiday. Sea in this part is not very calm. The rocky seashore does not allow the visitors to get too close to the water. Tourists are restrained from going near the seashore and a continuing wall has been erected along the Kanyakumari beach for the security of the people.

Gandhi Memorial Kanyakumari

The Gandhi Memorial, Kanyakumari is temple built in 1956, in the honour of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, better known as Gandhi.  The Gandhi Memorial, Kanyakumari is built in the semblance of typical temples pf Orissa, yet it has a hint of modernism in its design. It has been built in such a way that the rays of sun at 12 noon lights up the place where the ashes of the Gandhi were kept before disposing off. An urn has been placed in for the general public to pay homage to the sole of Gandhi. The serene setting intertwined with the memories of Gandhi counts for the peaceful and inspiring ambiance of the temple premises. The temple also houses the last belongings of Gandhi, the accessories that were with him in his last hours.

Kuttralam

Kuttralam has become pretty famous over the years and increasing number of tourists take the way from Kanyakumari toKuttralam. The chief reason for the popularity of Kuttralam is the presence of the numerous natural waterfalls, which are known o have medicinal value and hence healing properties. Ayurveda and natural way of healing has become very popular the world over. To encash on this excellent opportunity and return something more to the tourists to Kuttralam, the Kuttralam resorts have been built. The Kuttralam Resort is especially built with the objective of providing the goodness of natural healing to the visitors to the place in a more synchronized style. There are also spas that make the experience even better with ayurvedic massage facilities. The resorts have made the place itself so special, that Kuttralam is now called the ‘Spa of the South’.

Excursion from Kanyakumari to Mundathurai Tiger Sanctuary is indeed an exciting expedition. The Mundathurai Tiger Sanctuary is a famous tiger reserve park, which is located in the Western Ghats of India. Being watered by the rains in two-thirds part of the year, the Mundathurai forest is an evergreen forest the only one of its kind in south India. Apart from Tigers, which are the specialty of the region, the Mundathurai Tiger Sanctuary is also home to a variety of animals. The Mundathurai fauna include leopards, elephants, jungle Cat, common, langur, gaur, sambar, chital, wild dogs, crocodile, mouse deer, lion tailed macaque, bonnet macaque, sloth bear, nilgiri langur wild boar, giant squirrel and slender loris. Besides there are a large variety of avi fauna in the forest, which makes it an ideal destination for bird viewing.

Nagercoil

Famous for Nagaraja Temple, dedicated to the Serpent God, Nagaraja Nagercoil is a place worth a visit. The images of Anathakrishna and Lord Shiva are also enshrined in the temple. The figures of Jain Thirthankaras and Mahavira have been beautifully carved on the pillars of the temple. The entrance has been constructed similar to that the Buddhist monastery. The sanctum inside the temple is an interesting feature of this temple. It has a roof made out of bamboo sticks and coconut leaves and the surrounding walls are made of mud. The place surrounding the enshrined images are quite muddy. The prasadam distributed to the devotees comprise of sand scoops of this place. The temple is the symbol of the four religions – Jainism, Buddhism, Saivism and Vaishnavism. Inside the temple cobras are found in plenty. However, no fatal incident of snakebite has ever taken place in the surroundings of the temple. The trip from Kanyakumari to NagarajaTemple, Nagercoil is altogether an unusual experience to cherish for a life time.

Vivekananda Memorial

Vivekananda Memorial or the Vivekananda Rock Memorial is the temple compound on one of the huge rock islands, lying some 500 meters off the tip of the Indian peninsula. On these rocks, which were considered sacred since ancient times, Swami Vivekananda had attained enlightenment after a prolonged meditation in the year 1892. He had reached the place by swimming through the harsh waters of the adjoining sea. His had stayed for three days from 24th of December to 26th of December. This is the best place to watch the confluence of the three major water bodies that surround India: the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. The Vivekananda Memorial comprises the temple premise and the mediation hall. The Shripada Parai or the Shripada Mandapam is located nearby. It is believed that the brown pigmented area, somewhat resembling a human feet, is the footprint of Devi Parai, who attained austerity in this very place. Besides that there is a statue of Swami Vivekananda. The Vivekananda Memorial was built in 1970. The mediation hall is very famous and tourists are allowed to approach the same for meditation. Reaching the island is easy. There are regular boat services, which ferry passengers from the coast to the Vivekananda Memorial. There are of course specific timings.

Suchindram Temple

The SuchindramTemple lies some 11 kilometers from Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu . This is a temple dedicated to the three chief Hindu Gods, Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. While Brahma stands for creation, Shiva stands for destruction and Vishnu stands for balance in nature. This temple has two interesting legends associated with it. This 134 feettemple of Suchindram is architecture of amazing dexterity and endeavor. The whole of the front face of the temple covered with sculpting from the Hindu mythology. Inside the temple is the Lingam, representing the three Gods. The Suchindram temple is very famous for the musical pillars. The pillars are constructed in such a way that when they are tapped, they give off various musical notes. Besides, there are also sculptures of Hanumana, the devotee of God Rama and several other Hindu deities.

Nearby attractions of Kanya Kumari: Some of the most popular tourist attractions around Kanyakumari are:

Tirunelveli

Excursions to Tirunelveliare often undertaken by tourists, who wish to visit the city for the many historical places and temples, which are found here. Not all temples are located in the city proper but in the outskirts of the city, within the Tirunelveli district. The most important temples and religious destinations of the Hindus include the Muruga temple, Tenkasi, the Sankarankovil. Besides this, there is the famous Courtallam waterfall. The Courtallam pulls the maximum crowd during the summer season. The water here has healing properties and the scenic beauty is a balm for eyes, tired with the drab sight of city life.

Udayagiri Fort

The Udaygiri fort situated in the Kanyakumari district lies at a distance of 14 km from the town of Nagercoil. It covers an area of 90 acres enclosed by isolated hills that are almost 260 feet in height. The 400 years old Udayagiri Fort was constructed in 1600 AD. After being destroyed by Raja Raja Chola, it was re-built during the year 1729-1758 AD by King Marthana Varma. Inside the fort is a tomb of a European prisoner named Eustachius De Lannoy who was defeated and imprisoned by King Varma. Later on, a Flemish captain was captured by the king who remained loyal to him for 37 long years. As De Lannoy spent the rest of his years at this fort, the fort is also named as Dillannai Kottai.

Vattakottai

This place is worth a visit for the Vattakottai fort. The Vattakottai fort was built in the 18th century by Marthanda Varma in his attempt to fortify the Nanjil Nadu region. The place was famous for its pearl trade and seriously needed a strong military base to protect the wealth of the state from plunderers. The defense lines of the Vattakottai fort were ravaged when British commander Leger entered Nanjil nadu region using the Ambroly pass. The wall of the Vattakottai fort is guarded by a wall, which is 25 to 26 feet high wall. The front portion, which includes the parapet, is about 29 feet in thickness. The corners and the rear areas are 18 feet and 6 feet respectively. The fort is enclosed by walls 25 to 26 feet high, including the parapet, 29 feet thick at the front, 18 feet at the corners and 6 feet at the rear in thickness. The Vattakottai occupies an area of about three and a half acres of land. There was previously a tunnel, four feet in width, which connected the Circular fort with the Padmanabhapuram but later this path was sealed due o various reasons.

Things to do in Kanyakumari: Visit the famous Kanya Kumari Amman Temple, where pilgrims give her thanks in an intimately spaced, beautifully decorated temple, where the crash of waves from three seas can be heard behind the twilight glow of oil fires clutched in vulva-shaped votive candles. Visiting the Swami Vivekananda Memorial in the midst of the violent sea is a thrilling experience. Don’t miss the spectacular sunset in the Kanyakumari beach.

Best time to visit Kanyakumari: The ideal time to visit Kanyakumari is between the months of October to March.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest airport is Thiruvanathapuram which is 80 km away. It has both the domestic and international terminals. From Thiruvanathapuram, you can take a taxi or a bus to Kanyakumari.

By Train

Kanyakumari is well connected by rail services with all the major cities in India. Superfast trains connect Kanyakumari with the northern rail junctions and Intercity trains are running from almost all the southern cities.

By Road

Kanyakumari has a good road network which connects it to the major cities and towns in South India like Chennai, Bangalore, Madurai, Pondicherry, Thiruvanathapuram and and so on. Tourist taxis and auto-rickshaws are available for travel in Kanyakumari.

[AdSense-B]

Where to stay ?

You will find an array of accommodation options in KanyaKumari suitable to budget. Some options are:

Hotel Tamilnadu- Kanniyakumari: +9104652-246257, 58  Website: www.ttdconline.com
Gopi Nivas Grand: +91-04652 -24 61 61, 24 62 62  Website: www.sangamgrouphotels.com
Hotel Srimaniya: +91-04652 -246202, 9994121088  Website: www.hotelsrimaniya.com
Hotel Sivamurugan: +91-04652-246862 , 246872,  246892, 98421 50255, 9698888888 Website: www.hotelsivamurugan.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

[AdSense-C]

Pondicherry

Puducherry, Tamil Nadu – Erstwhile largest French colony in India, famous beach town

[AdSense-A]
Nested in the southern region of India between lush greens and the Bay of Bengal is the former French colony of Puducherry. Also known as Pondicherry, the city is tucked away on the Eastern seaboard of India. Though very small, Pondicherry was the largest French colony in India. The city has a long and interesting history of trade and war. There is a strong French influence in the city, especially in the old quarters, with Rues and Boulevards lined with Mediterranean style houses and bakeries, although the city remains very much Indian. French is still understood, and the whole city makes for rather pleasant mix of East and West. Some great food, some fine wine, and a great adventure await you here.

Places to see in Pondicherry: The place offers a number of sight seeing spots that includes:

Sri Aurobindo Ashram

This place was founded by Sri Aurobindo, who in the early ages was a revolutionist and then turned poet. His was jointly helped by The Mother, who was a Paris born painter. The Ashram is a centre for the practice of integral yoga, meditation, and of inner development.

Place du Panthéon / Aayi mandapam and Bharti park

This monument is the emblem of the Government of Pondicherry, previously called as La Place du Panthéon and later change into Aayi mandapam. This monument is surround by five parks, and is maintained to remind us the beauty of French architecture.

The Pondicherry Botanical Garden

The Botanical garden was created 1826 and was then called “The Colonial Park”. The renowned botanist Perottet brought many rare species of plants, about 1500 of them, from places like Madras, Calcutta, Ceylon and Reunion.

Pondicherry Beaches

If you want to spend some peaceful time you can go to the wonderful beaches and get yourself tanned with a pleasant sun at Auro beach, Sangamam beach, or Plage Paradiso (Chunnambar beach).

Heritage Walk

It is very beautiful to take a walk around the Boulevards of Pondicherry , which presents to you with three different kinds of architecture, The white town or the French area, the Tamil square, and the Muslim square.

Churches

Pondicherry had been under the French which have built many splendid churches, some which even have rare staingalss panels depicting saints and events form the life of Christ. The Immaculate Conception Cathedral, on Cathedral Street, was first built in1692. It took its present shape in 1791.

Auroville

Auroville was envisioned as a Universal Town, where people from different nationalities, faiths and beliefs, can live in peace and harmony. It is an attempt to realize a new society as envisioned by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Nearly people from 35 countries are living here to realize on human unity and transformation of consciousness.

Auroville welcomes people from all parts of the world to live together and explore cultural, educational, scientific, spiritual, and other pursuits in accordance with the Auroville Charter. Auroville information centre and Matri Mandir [Meditation hall with world’s biggest man- made crystal ball are the places open to most of the visitors. It offers less to see and lots to experience. Auroville also has a huge golden globe called Matrimandir, in which there is a meditation chamber which is the most unique of all meditation chambers. a place where you can get the experience of a life time.

Arikamedu

Arikamedu has a long history dating back to 2nd century B.C. It was used as a port for trade with the Romans and Greco-Romans. Wine, garum sauce and olive oil, were imported and the exports must have included textile, beads, semiprecious gems, glass and shell bangles.

The Pondicherry Museum

The museum brings back memories of the glorious past of Pondicherry, from the days of the Greco-Roman era down to the present days, providing glimpses of the art and culture of the people of this region during the pallava, a Chola and Vijayanagar days. Artifacts from the excavations at Arikamedu are preserved here.

Nearby attractions from Pondicherry: From Pondicherry you can make a visit to places like:

Mamallapuram

Mahabalipuram also known as Mamallapuram is a town in Kancheepuram district, situated 100km north of Pondicherry. It has an average elevation of 12 metres (39 feet). Mahabalipuram was a 7th century port city belonging to the South Indian dynasty of the Pallavas. It has various historic monuments built largely between the 7th and the 9th century, and has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Kancheepuram

65km away from Mahabalipuram, lies the fabled city of a thousand temples, Kanchipuram. There are 650 stones inscriptions in Kancheepuram belonging to different dynasties. The temples here reflect the efflorescence of Pallava art and the imposing embellishments were added later by the Chola, Vijayanagara and Chalukyan kings. The Ekambaranathar temple, the Kailasanatha temple, Sri Varadaraja temple, Sri Vaikuntaperumal temple… the names stretch endlessly. The city itself is dedicated to the presiding deity, Sri Kamakshi (one with eyes of love) at the Kamakshi temple. It is a city famous for its silk.

Things to do in Pondicherry: Enjoy boating at the Boat House on the River Chunnambar, 8 km from Pondicherry. The backwater and the lush greenery on both sides of Chunnambar provide an ideal setting. Pondicherry is also ideal place for shopping. The city is quite famous for highly creative and beautiful souvenirs.

Terra cotta, handmade papers, wooden handicraft, aromatics ics, leather
products, linens and garments are unique here.

Best time to visit Pondicherry: Although Pondicherry has a warm climate, October to March can be considered as an ideal time to visit.
[AdSense-B]

How to go ?

By Air

The closest airport is in Chennai, which is around 135 kms from Puducherry (approx. 2 ½ hrs. journey). Chennai has excellent connections with almost all cities in India and is directly connected to Europe, USA, Middle East and South East Asia. Trichy airport is 220 kms away. Bangalore (320 kms) and Madurai are the other nearby airports.

By Rail

Villupuram is the nearest railway junction, it is fairly well connected to places like Chennai, Madurai and Trichy, which is connected by rail routes to all major tourist spots.

By Road

Puducherry is well connected to all districts and major towns of various states like Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Andra Pradesh. Puducherry is best accessible by road, either by bus or by taxi. There are frequent buses, almost every 15 minutes in the day from Chennai.

Where to stay ?

There are plenty of hotels in Pondicherry. Some options are:

Hotel de Pondichéry: +91- 0413 – 4200111, 2227409 Website: www.hoteldepondicherry.com
Hotel Corbelli: +91 – 413 – 2225301 , 2225302 Website: www.hotelcorbelli.com
Lotus Pondicherry Hotels: 91(413)-2228333, 2223999 Website: www.lotuspondicherryhotels.com
The Promenade – A Hidesign Hotel: +91- 0413- 222 7750 Website: www.thepromenadepondicherry.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
[AdSense-C]

Varkala

Varkala, Kerala – This bow-shaped sea side spot is a serene hamlet

[AdSense-A]

Located in the outskirts of Thiruvanathapuram, Varkala is a serene hamlet. It is another sea-side location in Kerala like Kovalam. Lying on the bank of the Arabian sea, this bow-shaped sea side spot is guarded by brick red mountain named Cliff-top. The coconut trees stand in rows along the beach making a perfect landscape. The roaring sounds of the breaking waves create a thrilling experience.

Places to see at Varkala: Varkala is adorned by a number of tourist destinations which include,

Varkala Beaches

The silvery stretches of sands along the Arabian Sea offer a tranquil retreat of the beach lovers. The backdrop of rocky cliffs provides a perfect contrast to the lapping waves. Papanasam is one of the prominent beaches in Varkala. Absence of touristy crowd is an important feature in the beaches of Varkala. Sleep, swim or laze around – you are sure to have an uninterrupted leisure.

Janardhana Temple

Built sometime in 12th century, the Janardana Temple is another important tourist attraction in Varkala. From the cliff top where most of the hotels and restaurants are located, the temple is a short walk away. The original temple, a Vishnu shrine, was destroyed by the tidal waves. Many years past, when a Pandyan king did penance to Lord Brahma, was instructed to rebuild the temple. Non-hindus are not allowed to enter the inner sanctum sanctorum.

Sivagiri Mautt

The headquarter of the Sree Narayana Dharma Sangham Trust, founded by Sree Narayana Guru is located just 3kms away from the Janardana Temple.

Varkala Tunnel

No description of the tourist attractions in Varkala is complete without the mention of Varkala Tunnel. The 924ft tunnel took nearly 14years to complete in 19th century. The tunnel was used for ferrying several type of goods.

Kappil Lake

At the outskirts of Varkala town, the lake gives way to the scenic world of the Kerala backwaters.

Apart from the above, Anjeno Fort, the Lighthouse also feature among the tourist attractions in Varkala.

Nearby attractions around Varkala:  From Varkala you visit to places like:

Kollam

Located at a distance of 37 km from Varkala, old name of Kollam was Quilon. One of the Kerala’s leading trade hubs, Kollam is the centre of the country’s cashew trading and processing industry. Thirty percent of this historic town is covered by the renowned Ashtamudi Lake, making it the gateway to the magnificent backwaters of Kerala.

Thiruvananthapuram

Just 51 km from Varkala, Thiruvananthapuram is famous for the mesmerizing Kovalam beach.Trivandrum, the capital of the state of Kerala, the God’s Own Country, is now known by the name.Thiruvananthapuram, which means the “abode of Lord Anantha”. The city of Thiruvananthapuram is located in the South of the state and bordered by Tiruneveli in the East, Kanyakumari to the South and Kollam district located to its North. The city is a must on the itinerary of any visitor to the South India.

Things to do at Varkala: Take a stroll along the enchanting sea beach and breath in fresh air. Explore the sight seeing destinations. If doing nothing, enjoy amidst the natural beauty.

Best time to visit Varkala: Winter i.e (December to March)  is the best time to visit Varkala.

How to go ?

By Train

Varkala Railway Station is well connected to the rest of the state and arriving by train from Kochi (Jan Shatabdi) and Trivandrum (Kanyakumari Exp) is the best option.

By Air

The nearest airport is located at Trivandrum which is around 66 km from the beach town.

By Bus

Buses are available from both Kochi and Trivandrum. KSRTC buses are frequent and the can be boarded from the respective main bus stands.

[AdSense-B]

Where to stay ?

In Varkala many hotels are available suitable to the budgets.

Hindustan Beach Retreat: +91-0470-2604254,55,56  Website: www.hindustanbeachretreat.com
Hotel Hilltop: +91-0470- 695141
Hotel Deshadan Cliff and Beach Resort: +91- 0470-3204242  Website: www.deshadan.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

.

[AdSense-C]

 

Kollam

Kollam, Kerala – The land of back waters & the centre of the India’s cashew industry

[AdSense-A]

Located beside the Ashtamudi lake, Kollam is the centre of the country’s cashew trading and processing industry. It is said that the present town of Kollam was built by the Syrian Merchant; Sapir Iso, in the 9th Century A.D. Newly named as Kollam the Kollamplace was originally named as Quilon. Kollam is known as the land of back waters. Praised whole heartedly by Marco Polo and Ibn Batuta in glowing terms, this famous port on the Malabar Coast was once part of the international spice trade. The renowned Ashtamudi Lake covers the historic town by thirty percent. The district also has some interesting historic remnants and a number of temples built in the traditional ornate architectural style.

Places to see at Kollam: A popular tourist destination, Kollam is dotted with multiple tourist attractions which include,

Ashtamudi Backwaters

The major tourist attraction in Kollam is the Ashtamudi Backwaters. Ashtamudi Lake is the gateway to the backwaters. This 16 km long lake is the second largest in Kerala, finding its way into the sea through the Neendakara estuary. The District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) Kollam provides boat rides as well as houseboat cruises. The trip between Kollam and Alappuzha is one of the most popular and longest backwater cruises in Kerala. The eight-hour journey gives an intimate experience of the famed waterways. You may catch a glimpse of one of the many splendour of Ashtamudi backwaters. As the boatman gently dips his paddle, without disturbing the prevailing calm, the ripples spread out gently in the shimmering golden hue of the sun.

Kollam beaches

The charming Mahatma Gandhi beach lies at a distance of 2 km from the town at Kochupilamoodu. The white sand beaches undoubtedly take the prime spot in Kollam’s tourism map. The beach and its adjacent park attract hoards of tourists. The sun-kissed golden sand beach at Thirumullavaram is yet another popular beach attraction here. The beach at Thirumullavaram is safe for swimming and to indulge in water sports.

Thangassery Light House

The 144 ft. Thangassery Light House, built in 1902, is a centre of attraction.  The AnandaValleswaram Temple here, attracts people on almost all days.  There are several Churches and Mosques in and around Kollam.  The Pullichira Church was established in 1700 A.D.  One of the oldest and most important Mosques in the Chinnakkada Palli.  The Thangal Kunju Musliar College of Engineering, the first of its kind in the private sector in the state,  is at Kilikolloor, about 7 Kms. east of Kollam town.

Thenmala Eco Tourism Centre

Thenmala is the meeting point of Kollam-Shencottah road and Trivandrum-Shencottah road, surrounded by dense forest, 66 kms east of Kollam. There are a large number of rubber and tea plantations in Thenmala. Timber of all varieties are exported from here to all parts of the country. Themala Dam site is open for tourists. Eco tourists center is situated at Thenmala. All buses passing through Kollam-Shencottah road stop at Tenmala. There is also a Railway Station here.

Palaruvi Water Falls

The famous waterfall in Kollam District is situated at Palaruvi near Aryankavu, Kollam – Sencottah NH 208. Season to visit the places is from June to January.

Adventure Park 

This delightful amusement park is located near the Kollam bus stand and never fails to amuse kids and adults alike. 

Jetayu Para

Jetayu Para, a huge rock, is another attraction in Kollam district. This huge rock is in the Chadayamangalam village on the M.C road. The name comes from the epic Ramayana. It is believed that Jatayu, the giant bird in the epic, fell after failing in its attempt to spot Ravana from taking sita away. The rock is ideal for trekking by the lovers of adventure. The rock can be seen from the Chadayamangalam junction. itself.

Ariankavu Pilgrimage 

This pilgrimage center is located at some distance from Kollam, yet is worth the visit. The temple holds its annual festival in December and is a grand spectacle to watch out for.

Alumkadavu

Alumkadavu located at 26 Kms from Kollam City and on the lakeside of Kollam-Alappuzha National Water Way. The “Green Channel Back Water Resort” at Alumkadavu makes itself a tranquil location for both foreign and Indian Tourists. The scenic beauty of blue green stretches of serene back water and rambling gardens of hundreds of coconut palms give the Green Channel Resort an incomparable beauty.

Apart from providing tasty Kerala/North Indian/Chinese dishes the resort offers excellent facilities like comfortable accommodation, Back Water Cruise, visit to Matha Amritanandamayi Asramam, which is only 4 KM away, House Boats, Ayurvedic treatment for rejuvenation of body by qualified and experienced Ayurvedic Practioner, canal tour with the unique opportunities to experience the true village life and do fishing leisurely.

Ashramam picnic village

The Park is located along the banks of the scenic Ashtamudi Lake. Ashramam picnic village lies at a distance of 2 km from the town on a sprawling 48 acre lush foliage. There is also an excellent children’s play area inside the park. Other facilities include boat rides for enjoying the scenic backwaters and avenues to enjoy water sports. 

Amritapuri

Matha Amritanandamayi Math, one of the most popular pilgrimage centers in the state is located at Vallickavu, at a short distance from Kollam. The huge temple and Math are constructed near the place of birth of Matha Amritanandamayi Devi or Amma (meaning mother) – as she is popularly referred to. Many throng to the Math to catch a glimpse or ‘darshan’ of Amma and to seek blessings and consolation from her.

Punalur 

Having a 400 ft. long suspension bridge built in 1877 across the mighty Kallada River, which is acclaimed as the only one of its kind in South India, Punalur is a town surrounded by many plantations. The scenic town of Punalur is located at a distance of 45 km from Kollam. The famous Punalur Paper Mills which started operations way back in 1885 lies near the town. The town is a major center for trade in timber, pepper, tropical cash crops et cetera. 

Neendakara

Neendakara is the hub of Indo-Norwegian Fisheries Project, established in 1953. This small fishing hamlet is located at a distance of about 8 km north of Kollam. Neendakara is widely known for its Fishing Harbour and has a Fisheries Training Institute, ice factories, refrigeration plants, and Chinese fishing nets dotting the area.

Kulathuppuzha

The area is a favoured tourism destination for exploring the exotic tropical greenery and for catching a glimpse of wild animals. Kulathuppuzha has a famous temple dedicated to Lord Ayyappa. The quaint town of Kulathuppuzha is located at a distance of around 10 km from Thenmala. The area is surrounded by virgin forests, a well known safe haven for wild elephants. 

Kottarakkara 

The place where Kerala’s world-famous dance drama of Kathakali caught on and grew in popularity under the royal patronage in the 19th century. The erstwhile capital of Elayadathu Swarupam, a branch of the Travancore Royal family, is located at a distance of 27 km from Kollam. Kottarakkara has many ancient temples and churches. 

Thevally Palace 

Savour magnificent views of the beautiful Ashtamudi Lake could be enjoyed from the palace. This palace, located in Kollam town, is now open to tourists after renovations done in the recent times. This palace still holds a romantic charm, as it is the setting where a noble lady of the palace fell in love with a British officer who lived across the lake. It is said that the faithful dog of the British used to swim across the lake to deliver his masters letters to the lady. Today a crumbling pedestal stands as a memorial to the dog’s loyalty. 

Palaruvi Waterfalls

‘Palaruvi’ means a stream of milk the milky white foam of the waterfall aptly justifies its name. The mist-clad rolling hills and stunning greenery creates a perfect setting to enjoy this magnificent waterfall. This beautiful waterfall is located amidst dense tropical forests at a distance of about 75 km from Kollam.

Munore Island

This Island is 27kms. from Kollam and is formed by the backwater of Ashtamudi Lake and Kallanda River.

Nearby attractions from Kollam: From Kollam you can make excursions to places like:

Achencoil

Situated about 80 kms from Punalur is an important pilgrim center. The Sastha temple here, situated amidst dense forest. The idol of Sastha is supposed to have been installed several centuries before the Christian Era. The two important festivals of this temple are Mandala Pooja (December-January) and the festival held at ‘Revathi'(January-February). The two notable features of the festival are the Therotam (chariot festival) and Pushpabhishekam (offering of flowers). In no other temple of the South India are flowers offered to the deity so lavishly as at Achencoil.

Anchal

Situated 13 kms south of Punalur, Anchal is known for its cattle market held twice a month. The Mudi festival of the Bhagavathy temple here, conducted once every 12 years, attract huge gatherings.

Chavara

Chavara is situated 14 kms north of Kollam on the Kollam-Alappuzha road. Thousands of tonnes of mineral sand are exported from Chavara to various countries. The Kovilthottam port is situated within the limits of Chavara Panchayat. Four major industrial establishments 1.Indian Rare Earths 2.The kerala Premo Pipe factory 3.Kerala Mineral and Metal factory 4.Titanium Complex are in Chavara.

Karunagappally

Karunagappally is situated 27 kms north of  Kollam. It is linked with Kollam by rail and road. There is a mini civil station at Karunagappally .Padanayarkulangara, which forms part of the town, was once the military station at Kayamkulam Rajas. An idol of Buddha, recovered from a local tank here, is now preserved in the Krishnapuram palace the headquarters of Kayamkulam Rajas situated north of Oachira. The town has a temple dedicated to Lord Siva, two old mosques and a mar Thomas Church.

Kottarakkara

Kottarakkara is the headquarters of Kottarakkara Taluk. It is linked by both rail and road, a distance of 27 kms. It was once the capital of Elayadathu Swarupam, a principality ruled by a branch of the Travancore Royal Family. The internationally famous dance drama-Kath kali had its small beginning in this town and it flourished under the patronage of Raja of Kottarakkara.

Mayyanad

Mayyanadu,10 kms south of Kollam is noted for its shrines and temples. The most important temple is the one at Umayanallor, dedicated to Lord Subramanian. The shrine is said to have been consecrated by Shri. Sankaracharya of Kaladi. Besides the temples, there are three churches and a Mosque. Cotton weaving and oil pressing are the main occupation in the village.

Things to do at Kollam: Enjoy the lush landscape of this land by boarding a houseboat.  The eight-hour boat trip between Kollam and Alappuzha is the longest and most enchanting experience on the backwaters of Kerala. The eight-hour boat trip between Kollam and Alappuzha is the longest and most enchanting experience on the backwaters of Kerala. Kollam is the hub of India’s cashew processing industry which also make up a must buy on a shopper’s list. All the major shopping areas and the town markets have shops that sell raw and processed cashew. One can explore the place at your own sweet pace and watch the charms of nature unfold before your very eyes. This is one of the best ways to enjoy the quaint towns and the countryside. You may also enjoy a refreshing swim in one of the gorgeous beaches in Kollam. For those having an adventurous bend of mind an exhilarating trekking expedition or mountaineering in one of the many ideal settings around Kollam without much hassle is worth. Jetayu Para and Thenmala are some of the places where one can enjoy trekking. The opportunities are numerous and you are certain to enjoy trekking in the exotic wilderness of Western Ghats.

Best season to visit Kollam: The best time to visit the place is from August to March.

How to go ?

By Air

Thiruvananathapuram International Airport situated at Valiyathura is the nearest air connection which connects the city with other major Indian and international cities. Indian Airlines has connections with Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai while overseas cities include cities in the middle east, Male and Sri Lanka.

By Rail

Kollam is an important railhead of the south railways where all the major trains on the route take a halt.

By Road

An excellent network of roads connect Kollam with other cities in Kerala. KSTRC (Kerala State Road Transport Corporation) buses ply regularly between Kollam and other neighbouring cities.

 [AdSense-B]

Where to stay ?

There are a adequate accommodation facilities in Kollam. Some options are:

Tourist Lodge (KSTDC): +91-0474-2745538
Hotel Sudarsan: +91-0474-2744322 Website: www.hotelsudarsan.com
Hotel Kailash Residency:  +91-0474-2766511
Hotel Karthika: +91-0474-2745538

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

.

[AdSense-C]

Jambu Dwip

Jambu Dwip, South Bengal – This small island is a refuge to great range of bird species, reptiles and fish life

[AdSense-A]

Jambu Dwip is located at the sea-mouth of Ganga in South 24 Parganas. This small island is a refuge to great range of bird species, reptiles and fish life. It also houses a huge casuarina grove.

Places to see at Jambu Dwip: The island itself is the main attraction which is the home for a wide range of species of bird and reptile. A great range of marine life consisting of mainly the fishes is really charming.

Jambu DwipNearby attractions from Jambu Dwip: You can take a trip to witness the beach life of Bakkhali or visit Frasergunj which is often considered to be the twin town of Bakkhali. You may also find the Lothian Island located nearby.

Things to do at Jambu Dwip: Take a stroll around this small island and enjoy the exquisite beauty of nature and wildlife, particularly birds and plant life.

Best time to visit at Jambu Dwip: You can visit Jambu Dwip throughout the year.

How to go ?

You first have to reach Frazergunj from where you can take a motor boat for Jambu Dwip.

[AdSense-B]

Where to stay ?

Jambudwip has not much accommodation facility. You can stay at Bakkhali or Frazerganj which is not much far from the place. Bakhali Tourist Lodge is an option. For booking details you may contact:

WBTDC
3/2, B.B.D. Bag (East), Kolkata – 700 001
Phone : (033)22436440 /22488271 Website: wbtourism.gov.in

Some private hotels in Bakkhali are:

Hotel Deepak: (+91) 03210 225277/ (+91) 97326 04833
Hotel Amarabati: (+91) 09732619340 / 9647367780

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

[AdSense-C]