God’s Own Country Kerala – Visiting Munnar and Kochi

Geography

The Kerala Ghats are extremely tall 500-2700 in the east, the Arabian Sea in the west and network by forty-four rivers. Kerala is divided into three geographical regions: Highlands, which slope down from the Western Ghats the Midlands of rising and falling hills and valleys into the steady coastline. Inter-connected with rivers and canals. The Western Ghats are more than 120 km from the sea.

History

Kerala’s history is linked with its commerce, which recent times revolve around its spice trade. Celebrated as the ancient Kerala played host to travelers, Spice Coast of India, and traders from crossways the world including the Romans, Greeks Chinese, Arabs, Dutch, Portuguese, British, French and approximately all of them have left their mark on this land in some form or the other literature.

Seasons

Kerala is a coast running tropical land with the entire length and the Western Ghats forming a defensive obstacle against the dry winds from the north. The monsoons (June-September & October-November) and summer (February-May) are the seasons clearly practiced here, whereas winter is only a minor drop in temperature from the normal range of 28-32°C.

People and Life

Kerala is one of India’s most progressive states regarding the quality of life and social welfare. The State boasts one of India’s top literacy rates, highest life suspense, and lowest child humanity rates. The literacy rate for women is highest. In all of Asia. Enjoying a unique multinational viewpoint, the people of Kerala, at all levels, have greater access to opportunities services and as well as a greater governance.

Popular Destinations

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Munnar

It is situated of three mountain streams nallathanni, Mudrapuzha, and Kendall. 1,600 m above sea level, this hill station was once the summer resort of the British Government in South India. Picture book, tea plantation, and holiday facilities, this popular resort town. Among the exotic flora found in the forests. Munnar as well has the utmost peak in South India, towers Alamode over 2,695 is an ideal spot for trekking.

 Eravikulam National Park

One of the central attractions of Munnar is the Eravikulam National Park. This park is famous for its scarce citizen. Spread over an area of 97 sq. km., this park is also species of rare animals, birds, and butterflies. A great place for trekking, the park offers a glorious view of the tea plantations, and also the rolling hills caress by mists of blankets. The park becomes a hot destination when the hill slopes get covered in a blue carpet, resulting from the flowering of Neelakurinji.

Tea Museum

Munnar has a heritage of its own when it comes to the origins and growth of tea plantations. The growth of tea plantations in Kerala’s high ranges, a museum entirely was opened some years ago by Tata Tea in Munnar. The Tea Museum houses photographs and machines having a story about the growth of tea plantations in Munnar. The museum located at the Nallathanni Estate of Tata Tea in Munnar.

Kochi/Fort Kochi

It is a region in Kochi City where you have no better alternative than setting out on foot. Breathe, Relax, deep and come out in soft shoes, cotton, and straw hat. At apiece and every nook of this island in history, there is something hilarious awaiting you. Retaining the specimen of an era and still proud of those days. If you can stink the past, nothing can stop you from walking through streets.

The next spot to watch is Thakur House, which stands vertically as a concrete variety of the majestic era. The building is purely graceful. Known as Hill bungalow.   It was the home of the managers of the National Bank of India through the British rule. Now, it belongs to the Thakur and Company tea trading firm.

The Vasco-da-Gama plaza is nearby. A narrow path, this is an ideal place to relax. A lot of delicious seafood and tender coconuts are simply attractive. Feed your eyes on the Chinese fishing nets, being lowered. These nets had been erect here between 1350 and 1450 by the traders from the court of Kublai Khan.

Festivals

Festivals are true celebrations in god’s country. The occasion is the simplicity of Kerala lifestyle. The well-known festival of Kerala is Onam. Festivals of Kerala covers the tradition and art & culture of the land.

Arattupuzha Pooram

Considered to be the mother of all pooram festivals in Kerala. It is the annual festival at arattupuzha temple in the rich visual spectacle. The premises of the temple which is dedicated to Lord Ayyappa and believed to more than 3000 years old.

 Onam

A celebration of equality, justice, and prosperity is the state festival of Kerala. Respect of colors, caste grander. The whole state joins the festival to celebrate the returning King Mahabali to meet his “Prajas”. During this season the whole Kerala splash. The festival is ten days. The month of August/September is starting from Atham, the front of houses, offices, yards and public places are decked with floral arrangements. Onam, the harvest festival of Kerala is the celebration of the heart.

Museums

Hill Palace Museum

The hill palace Kerala’s first heritage museum noted for royal collections of Maharaja Kochi.  Today it is the largest logical museum in Kerala. Built in 1865, the palace consists of 49 buildings in traditional styles. Over 52 acres of beautifully landscaped land which houses a deer park, facilities for horse riding. On display, the museum is oil paintings, murals, sculptures in stone, coins. You can also see the belongings of Kochi royal family and royal furniture including the simhasana.

Also exhibited 200 antique pieces of pottery and ceramic vases from Japan and China. Stone Age, wooden temple, granite, memorials, plaster cast models. The object of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa of the valley civilization. The museum also houses a gallery of art.

Chacha Nehru Children’s Museum

The Chacha Nehru Children’s Museum locates at Thiruvananthapuram region in Kerala. Therefore children of all age groups will enjoy the huge collection of almost 2000 dolls, stamps, and masks displayed here.

Art Museum

The art museum, situated at Thrissur. The museum displays collections of wood carvings, metal sculptures, stone figures, jewelers and some Chinese and Japanese artifacts. Spot around many places in Thrissur Can also see in the museum.

(Post by Shruti B)

Dalhousie Hill Station – A Heaven in the Himalayas

Dalhousie Hill Station, A must visit place in your India Tour!

Dalhousie Hill Station is situated in the foothills of Himalayas. It lies in the Dhauladhar mountain ranges of the Himalayas in Chamba District of the state of Himachal Pradesh. It’s a very less populated station which makes it a perfect place for peace lovers. Dalhousie attracts people with its charm and greenery. It is mostly known for its weather, as the temperature here never gets too harsh on the people even in the summers. It is situated on five hills and has an elevation of 1,970 meters above sea level.

History:

This Hill-Station was discovered by a British Governor General named Lord Dalhousie. He invented this place as a summer retreat. After that, the town was named by his name ‘Dalhousie.’ Dalhousie being a beautiful place it is visited by people all over the year. Tourists love spending time with their families and loved ones here in the town. Dalhousie is covered with snow in the winters. The period from December to March is regarded as the snow months in the place. On the other hand, it never gets too hot in the summer’s which attracts a whole lot of people from all over the country.

It is covered by some very attractive tourist destinations which make it a perfect pick for a peaceful holiday. Khajjiar which is 23km from the town is the most visited place near Dalhousie. Khajjiar is also known as the mini-Switzerland for its greenery and atmosphere. Panchpulla, Chamera Lake, Dain Kund Peak, Kala top wildlife sanctuary are also some of the very popular places around Dalhousie.

The Dalhousie Hill Station is famous for many churches. St. Francis Church is at the Gandhi Chowk and the St. Pete church which is located in Subash Chowk. These churches were established by the Britishers when they were ruling the town. There are also schools like Sacred Heart Convent School and DPS Dalhousie in which students come from all over the country and abroad to study.

  1. Khajjiar

Khajjiar is also known as the mini-Switzerland of India. The lush green outfield covered with forest all around makes it as perfect a place can get. Khajjiar is 22km from the town and can only be reached by road. Cabs can be hired from the town to reach this place. Khajjiar is the primitive choice of tourists as it is known for its beauty and help people to connect to nature. Khajjiar also has a lake which proves as a perfect add on to the place beauty.

  1. Dain Kund Peak

Dain Kund is the highest peak Pont of Dalhousie. You can reach here by cab and is 12km from the town. It is on the way leading to Khajjiar.  It is regarded as the most scenic place around with the hills covered with snow. There is also a shrine up above the hill which is visited by pilgrims by many people.

  1. The Mall, Dalhousie

Dalhousie has a very big market place which provides tourists a lot of choices for their shopping. The huge marketplace consists of a wide variety of local handicrafts and hand made gifts which truly expresses the soul of Dalhousie. Tibetan market is also one of such markets that consist of goods represented by Tibetan culture.

  1. Panchpulla

Panchpulla is one of the nearest destination in Dalhousie. It is 3km from the town and attracts large no of people. Panchpulla is known for its touch with nature. The Waterfall, scenic landscapes, and adventure activities make it a very tourist attracting spot. You can reach Panchpulla walking which makes it very reachable for people.

Some other Tourist Destinations are:

  • Chamba
  • Chamera Lake
  • Rock Garden
  • Kalatop
  • Subash Chowk
  • Francis Church
  • Peter Church

Dalhousie can be reached by only road transportation. The nearest railway station is Pathankot, Punjab which is 80km from the town. It is a 3-hour drive from Pathankot The nearest airport is Guggal Airport which is 150km from the town.

(This is a Guest Post by Rithik Mahajan)

Cardiff or Caerdydd in UK

Cardiff is the capital and largest city in Wales (Caerdydd is the Welsh name of the city) and also be the eleventh-largest city in the United Kingdom. The city is the country’s chief commercial centre, the base for most national cultural and sporting institutions and also the seat of the National Assembly for Wales. The Cardiff metropolitan area makes up over a third of the total population of Wales. It is an important tourist centre and the most popular visitor destination in Wales with millions of visitors visiting every year.

Cardiff Castle

It is a medieval castle and Victorian Gothic revival mansion in the city centre of Cardiff. The original castle is from the 11th century. Then it is rebuilt in stone in the 12th century, with a shell keep and new substantial defensive walls. Further development was in the 13th century by Richard de Clare, 6th Earl of Gloucester.

You have a nice option to see all of Cardiff’s spectacular sights on a City Sightseeing ‘Hop-on, hop-off’ bus tour. Relish the freedom and flexibility of this sightseeing experience with the distinctive double-decker bus. You get the sightseeing pass for 24 hours, giving you ample time to explore the City.

St Fagans National History Museum

It is commonly referred to as St Fagans is an open-air museum in Cardiff. It displays the historical lifestyle, culture, and architecture of the Welsh people. The museum is part of the wider network of National Museum Wales. It comprises of 40+ buildings from various locations in Wales.

cardiff rivers, UK
cardiff rivers

Cardiff Barrage in south Cardiff creates an area Cardiff Bay.  The regeneration of this Bay is one of the most successful projects in the United Kingdom. The Bay water is from two rivers viz. Taff and Ely to form a large freshwater lake around the former dockland area. There is 24-hour access to Bay through three locks.

cardiff

Wales Millennium Centre is an arts centre in the Cardiff Bay area of Cardiff, Wales. The Phase 1 opened in 2004, and Phase 2 in 2009. The centre hosts performances of Opera, Ballet, Dance, Theater, Comedy, and Musicals.

cardiff millenium stadium
Cardiff Millenium Stadium

The Millennium Stadium

The Stadium currently recognizes as the Principality Stadium. It is the national stadium of Wales, which is the home of the Wales national rugby union team. The 1999 Rugby World Cup was the reason for constructing this stadium. Apart from this stadium, there are SWALEC Stadium, City Stadium, International Sports Stadium, and Arms Park making it a Sports City.

Techniquest is a Welsh science and discovery centre near the Bay. Techniquest gives visitors a hands-on style to science. It includes a science theatre, a planetarium, and a discovery centre. It is an excellent place to visit with School going children.

London – A Royal Tour

London is the Capital and of England and the United Kingdom (UK). It stands on the River Thames in the southeast of the island of Great Britain. The financial capital of the World for many years and a Tourist attraction for the tourists all over the World. There are many places to see here, and I am listing only the key places. There is more to explore in London!

Royal Guard, London
Royal Guard, London

Buckingham Palace

It is the London residence and administrative headquarters of the reigning monarch of the UK located in the City of Westminster. The palace is often at the center of state occasions and royal hospitality. It is a focal point for the British people at times of national rejoicing. Once there, you can enjoy the Changing the Guard ceremony outside the palace before entering the Royal gardens.

The open-top bus tour lets you jump on and off at your convenience over the course of two days to get a closer look at the attractions. You can take a break from the bus with a River Thames boat ride or a walking tour. Both attractions are free in the price of the ticket.

Warner Bros. Studio-The Making of Harry Potter

Enjoy a Harry Potter films studio tour at Warner Bros. Studio London. See the sets, costumes, and props used in all the Harry Potter films, and step inside some of the films’ locations including the Dumbledore’s office, Hagrid’s hut and much more. Children would love to visit this place.

The Coca-Cola London Eye

The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel on the bank of the Thames River. It is also known as the Millennium Wheel. This wheel’s name changed to the Coca-Cola London Eye since Jan’2015. It is a major feature of London’s skyline and boasts some of London’s best views. The wheel has 32 capsules, each weighing 10 tons and holding up to 25 people. It is a 30 minutes great ride. In the case of storms, high winds, the ride remains closed, so better to check before visiting the venue.

Madame Tussauds Museum

The famous wax museum has many branches in major cities. It was founded by wax sculptor Marie Tussaud. It is a major tourist attraction in London, displaying waxworks of famous people.

Tower of London

You can tour this historical place with one of the Yeoman Warders. It is one of the world’s most famous buildings. You can listen and see the 900-year history as a royal palace, prison, and place of execution, arsenal, jewel house and zoo!

London Aquarium
London Aquarium

The Sea Life London Aquarium

This aquarium has more than 500 species of aquatic life, from sharks and piranhas to Nemo-style clownfish. It is interesting to see the daily feeds and talks, where you see sharks and species usually found in coral reefs and rainforests enjoying their lunch.

London Zoo

Discover more than 16,000 animals at one of England’s oldest zoos. Enjoy seeing the magnificent tigers, hippos, and giraffes, and meet the penguins at their Penguin Beach home.

Staying in main City is very costly and staying outside London and commuting for a full day trip to London is affordable than staying over here.

Mysore – A City of Palaces and Gardens

Mysore – Karnataka

Mysore (or Mysuru), a city in India’s southwestern Karnataka state, was the capital of the Kingdom of Mysore from 1399 to 1947. In its center is the Mysore Palace, the seat of the former ruling Wodeyar dynasty. The palace shows Hindu, Islamic, Gothic and Rajput styles. The City is also a home to the centuries-old Devaraja Market, filled with silk, and sandalwood items. Most tourists know the Mysore Palace.

Distance from Bengaluru: 150 Km (takes 3 hours). You can avail Bus, Train or Taxi for this journey.

“Bangalore Mysore Ooty” is a famous travel circuit in Karnataka. Bangalore or Bengaluru is the Capital of Karnataka State. Ooty (Udhagamandalam) is a town in the state of Tamil Nadu. If you see the locations of Bengaluru, Mysore, and Ooty; you will see why they form a travel circuit. While going from Bengaluru to Mysore, you can see Shrirangapatna, the summer palace and fort of Tippu and Ranganathar temple. You will find multiple hotels to stay and good restaurants here. Being a tourist place throughout the year, make sure to book your hotel before you arrive here.

Brindavan Gardens

Once you are at Mysore, a key attraction is to visit the Brindavan Gardens. Though the garden is open from early morning till 8 pm, most tourists visit this place in the evening. The reason is the musical fountains with illumination and fabulous lighting in the garden. The garden occupies over 60 acres of land adjoining the Krishnarajasagara dam on the river Kaveri. The work of this garden was started in the year 1927 and completed in 1932. More than 2 million tourists visit this garden every year. It is better to visit Palace and Garden on two separate days to avoid considerable walking on a single day and the same thing applies to Zoo also.

Click on this link to search and book best Hotels in Mysore

Mysore Maharaja’s Palace or Mysore Palace

The City is known as the City of Palaces, and there are seven Palaces in this City. The biggest Palace is Maharaja’s Palace, which was the official residence of the rulers (Wodeyars) from 1399 to 1950.  It is a great place to see the history of ancient India and the Palace is the perfectly good shape and well maintained. Experience the Maharaja (King) lifestyle in this glorious Palace. If you have more time in hand, you can visit the other Palaces in the City also.

Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens

This garden is also known as Mysore Zoo & is a 157-acre zoo near the Maharaja Palace. It is one of the oldest and most popular zoos in India and is hosts more than 100 different species of wild animals. It is one of the most popular attractions, especially for young children. After visiting the Palace, you can visit the Zoo but remember, you need to walk a lot at both places!

Mysore temple, Karnataka
mysore temple – Chamundeshwari Hills

Chamundeshwari Temple

It is a Hindu temple located on the top of Chamundi Hills. Which is about 13 km from the palace city of Mysore. It is a temple of Chamundeshwari or Durga, the deity of power.

If you spare about 3 days for visiting this City and enjoying the South Indian food (mainly dishes made from Rice) here, you can also visit the below places and you can also continue to the hill station Ooty!

  • St. Philomena’s Church
  • Somnathpur Temple
  • Railway Museum

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