No Picture
General

Bhopal – The Cultural Center Of India

Bhopal – The Cultural Center Of India

Madhya Pradesh ‘The Heart of India’ is one of the largest states in the country. The state is literally located right in the middle of the country and formerly referred as Gondwana. Because of its excellent geographical settings and strategic location, it attracted several rulers such as Guptas, Patiharas and Chandelas.

The state of Madhya Pradesh comprises forty eight districts that are grouped into eight divisions such as Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Rewa, Ujjain, Sagar and Chambal. Out of these, Bhopal is the capital city of the state and home to several industries of electrical goods, jewelry and chemicals. It is the second largest city of the state after Indore and it also serves as the administrative headquarter.

The city of Bhopal was established by King Bhoj with a capital. Initially, the city was known as ‘Bhojpal’ as most of the construction work around the city was done the King Bhoj.

The city of Bhopal had been struck by the world’s worst industrial catastrophe. The disaster took place on December 2, 1984 at the Union Carbide India Limited pesticide plant. This happed due to the leakage of methyl isocyanate gas (MIC) along with several other toxic gases from the plant. The immediate deaths calculated were around three thousand and it is estimated that around twenty five thousand people died since then.

The city of Bhopal is one of the most visited and sought after tourist destinations in Madhya Pradesh. The city is very popular among the tourists wandering from historical artifacts to the most contemporary structures. Some of the must visit places of the city includes Taj-ul Masjid, the Moti Masjid, Shukat Mahal, the Laxmi Narayan Temple and many more to add to the list.

Lakshmi Narayan Temple is one of the most popular temples of the city and it is also called as Birla Temple as it was built by Birla, the leading business family of the country. The temple was constructed in order to pay regards to Goddess Lakshmi along with the preserver of the world known as Narayan. The temple also contains the magnificent idols of a reclining Shiva with his wife Parvati.

One can also visit the Birla Museum located just in close proximity with the temple. This museum houses a range of sculptures from several cities of the state such as Raisen, Sehore, Shahdole, Mandsaur etc. It also exhibits a range of sculptures and items that dated back to the twelfth century.

Taj-ul-Masjid is considered as one of the most impressive and elegant buildings of the city. This is one of the largest mosques in India and it literally means ‘The Crown of Mosques’. The mosque consists of a main hallway with marvelous pillars, excellent marble flooring and grand courtyard. The Quibla Hall is carved with around eleven recessed arches. This landmark is considered as the most significant landmark of Bhopal.

The city also offers some of the most prominent historical and religious sites, wildlife sanctuaries and many more to enchant the visitors. The city is also known as the cultural center of India as it mesmerizes the guests with its charm and culture.…

No Picture
General

Explore Handicrafts of Rajasthan India

Explore Handicrafts of Rajasthan India

Rajasthan is a land of great heritage in terms of arts and crafts. The handicrafts of Rajasthan are world wide famous for their exquisite flavor. The exclusive range of Rajasthani handicrafts is admired by all. The astounding handicrafts are a must see and buy on your Rajasthan tour. At the backdrop of serene desert, is the heritage of Rajasthani handicrafts. The treasure trove of Rajasthan handicrafts is worth appreciating. Some of the beautiful handicrafts of Rajasthan include:

Jewelery

Rajasthanis are fond of adorning themselves with jewelery pieces. You will find almost every Rajasthani man and woman flaunting heavy jewelry and mostly made of silver. Each region of Rajasthan has its own style of jewelry. The tribal women also love wearing ornaments and their ornaments are very pretty. From bala to bajuband, gajra, jod, gokhru, rakhri, you will find almost every jewelry on the body of Rajasthanis. Even Rajasthani men are fond of jewelry. They love piercing their ears and so wear rings on the ears.

Paintings

Rajasthanis are dexterous in making beautiful paintings. Since ages the tradition of making paintings has been prevalent in the state. The mighty forts and palaces of Rajasthan were given a tender appearance by lovely paintings on walls, on cloths or in the form of murals. The miniature paintings of Rajasthan are very famous for their exclusivity. The varied themes and different color scheme make the paintings an affair of colors with beauty.

Metal Crafts

The tradition of metal crafts is ages old in Rajasthan. The people of Rajasthan are adept in rendering a lifelike shape to a metal piece. If you go to the state, you will find some of the best metal craft specimen that will be enameled in silver. You will have decorative items, wall hangings, jewelery boxes, show pieces, swords and shields and many more items in metal that can adorn your home.

Blue Pottery 

Blue Pottery is typical to Jaipur in Rajasthan apart form Delhi. The art that traveled all way long from Persia obtained much patronage under Maharaja Ram Singh ji who first introduced it to the state. Blue pottery is a made from ground quartz stone. It employs a special color scheme where there is abundance of blue, green and white hues. The designs of the blue pottery are also unique where you can see floral, hand made motifs, images of animals. Buy flower vase, ashtray, tiles, lamp shades, household accessories of blue pottery.

Leather Ware

In the state of Rajasthan, you will find beautiful and durable pair of jootis, mojaris. The leather craft of the state is much popular. The embroidered jootis are a hot cake in the state. The chic handbags, designer wares are much famous. 

Textiles 

The textiles of Rajasthan are much famous among the fashion freaks. The bandhini prints have been amalgamated with the contemporary fashion styles. And today what the fashion enthusiasts have is the elegant form of bandhini prints textiles. Buy sarees, odhnis, turbans, bedsheets, cushion covers, etc in beautiful tie and dye. In addition to bandhini, batik print textiles are also famous in Rajasthan. 

Carpets and Durries

Carpets and durries are a favorite among the locals and travelers to Rajasthan. The woven carpets are found in each home of the state to adorn the flooring. Visit Jaipur, Bikaner and tonk and there you have carpets in Persian style. The conventional geometric designs on the durries are found in Jaipur and Jodhpur. 

Woodcraft

The wooden artifacts of Rajasthan are another popular handicraft of the state. The exclusive range of furniture items is much popular. The modern day items of wooden crafts are stools, beds, chairs, tables, marble top table. You will also find exciting range of decorative articles.…

No Picture
General

Wet, Wet and Wetter

Wet, Wet and Wetter

Finally the wet season arrived in Bangkok this week. It has been an unusual twelve months weather wise. The serious floods that affected huge swathes of the country at the end of last year were the worst in Thailand for a hundred years. As I write this it’s late afternoon and the rain is absolutely hammering down. There is nothing unusual about that, but what is different this year is that instead of the rain lasting for about an hour then drying up, this season it just goes on and on. Some evenings it has started at 3 or 4 pm and has still been raining at midnight. Very un-Thai like.

When it rains in Asia it really does rain. Not for us the drizzly, grizzly, grey murky stuff of my home town Manchester, oh no! We get the full on Thor’s hammer stuff. Thunder shaking the buildings and lightning lighting up the whole city. It is magnificent, Mother Nature at her awesome best. The roads flood in minutes to about a foot deep but amazingly after the rains eases it dries up in no time at all. I am constantly amazed at the drains of Bangkok having the ability to move huge amounts of water in minutes.

A few years ago I lived on Sukhumvit Soi 33 in the heart of the City. In their wisdom the powers that be decided that the footpaths needed repairing. All well and good you may think, but that they chose to do this in the middle of the wet season caused havoc. Huge loads of sand and cement were dropped on the streets in the morning and in the afternoon when God brought the water, guess what happened? The cement leeched out of the bags and joined the sand and water, the resultant mix was washed into the drains where it promptly set, like concrete in fact! For a whole month every time the big rain came the Soi was flooded to a depth of about three feet. Now to most people this would be considered a major problem, but to Thai’s it was merely a small inconvenience. The girls threw off their sandals and waded through the water to the seven eleven. Nothing as trivial as a flood will keep a Thai girl from her food.

None of these incidents even make it on to the local news bulletins never mind the International News. One gets the impression that if this happened in the heart of London, it would preoccupy the world’s news agencies for days on end. It is not the Thai way to make a drama out of a crisis, they just accept it and get on with life as normal. Within a few weeks, the work crews managed to get the paving work done and all returned to normal. Of course the standard of workmanship was shocking and the footpaths were quickly back to the state they were in before the work commenced.

So the weather is definitely changing. Now I don’t know whether or not this is global warming beginning to announced its arrival or just a blip. But there is no question about it, this year my trainers have needed drying out more than any other year. The scientists say it is happening and the skeptics stand like King Canute and ignore the floods. Last year as the floods gripped the whole of the country, hundreds died and millions lost their homes. I just hope it is not a sign of things to come.…

No Picture
General

Buddhism – The Thread That Binds Leh and Thailand

Buddhism – The Thread That Binds Leh and Thailand

Leh is situated in the state of Kashmir and is one of the most beautiful places on earth. In fact, its pristine beauty has earned it the name “Moon Land”. The name is not without reason. If you have seen pictures of the moon and if you take a Leh Ladakh tour, you can notice the similarity. The large expanses of barren lands and high peaks are reminiscent of the only satellite of earth. The many lakes which are found in Leh can be related to the craters on the moon. When you compare the two pictures, the similarity is striking. People are sparse here. In fact, if you spend put up a tent on the barren expanses at the foot of the mountains, you might pass an entire day without catching sight of a single person. In short, you will not find a more serene and tranquil natural magnificent anywhere in the world.

Bangkok, on the other hand is a completely different place. In complete contrast to the barren lands of Leh and Laddakh, Thailand is a place bustling with activity, green forested expanses, swaying fertile rice fields, well developed urban metropolitan culture and lots of lovely and happening beaches. Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is a great place for shopping and houses merchandize of every kind and international brands. The streams of Bangkok are home to the floating markets, which are a highlight of Thailand tourism. But what strikes the tourists here is the huge crowds of people who form one of the most irregular and chaotic population in the world. The traffic is haywire and people are everywhere. Despite the chaos, tourists fall in love with Bangkok because of the amazing hospitality offered by the people here. The Thais regard guests as gifts of Gods and ensure that their guests are well taken care of.

So, what can be similar between the Moon Land and a place which is a bee hive of activity? There is an aspect which is beyond the materialism of our commercial world – spirituality. The deep rooted spirituality and truths of Buddhist are what binds these two completely diverse places in a single thread. Be it Thailand tourism or a Leh Ladakh tour, you will find Buddhist monasteries scattered all over the place. A visit to these places can be very refreshing and rejuvenating. In fact, you can plan your Bangkok tour or a Leh Ladakh tour as a retreat and find immense solace by meditating in the Buddhist centers of spiritual magnanimity.

Bangkok tour is famous for visits to the Buddhist spiritual centers. In addition to visits to the Buddhist monasteries, you should plan to spend some time in the meditation centers. Meditation centers are scattered all over Thailand, with several of them being right in the capital city. When you step into the doors of these monasteries, they take you miles away from the chaotic life which exists just beyond their doors. A visit to these centers can be the best decision in your Bangkok tour. Thailand tourism is famed for these centers of spiritual realization. Leh Ladakh tour also has equally enchanting Buddhist centers, although in a slightly scaled down form. Nevertheless, the spiritual energy which you feel here is second to none.…

No Picture
General

Vientiane: A Capital Time Is Laos’ Number One City

Vientiane: A Capital Time Is Laos’ Number One City

Laos is a small, landlocked country sitting as it does, sandwiched in between Thailand and Vietnam. It also shares smaller borders with Myanmar, China and Cambodia. The French and more briefly the Japanese ruled Laos but it finally gained its independence in 1953. It’s population is made up of approximately 60% Lao with Mon-Khmer and hill tribe people making up the remaining 40%. Before I visited, I had long heard about the friendliness and hospitality of it’s people.

I went in order to sort my Thai visa requirements and took a bus from Bangkok on what was to prove an 11 hour overnight journey. We arrived at the Thai side of the Laos border at about 5 am and had to wait until 6 am for it to open. It seemed a little odd to my western mind, to wander about aimless for an hour whilst waiting for the security guard in his hut to simply lift a barrier. Such is life in South East Asia.

Eventually we were allowed through, but had to leave our bus and get a shuttle bus across The Friendship Bridge which spans the Mekong River between Thailand and Laos. As in Thailand traffic on the bridge drives on the left, but Laos due to its French past drives on the right and a set of traffic lights facilitates the change. On the Laos side we passed through immigration without incident and for some reason had to change into small minibuses for the next part of the journey. These drove like lunatics and in one very hairy moment we were on two wheels and very nearly turned over.

Eventually we arrived at our Hotel to the south of the city of Vientiane. We showered and decided to go straight into town to have a look round. Vientiane is the capital of Laos and has a population of three quarters of a million. It was host to the 2009 Southeast Asian Games, an achievement that gave the people of Laos great pride.

Evidence of French colonialism is everywhere and the beautiful restaurant lined square in the middle of town could easily be in a Mediterranean town in the south of France. We ate here at a different restaurant on each night of our stay, none disappointed and the atmosphere is extremely convivial. Laos feels incredibly safe and walking around my own at night I never felt threatened at all. After a few beers and good food I walked the 2 or 3 miles back to the hotel.

Vientiane is an open spaced low rise City where wide roads and small parks lend a very relaxed feel to your stay. Buddhist Temples abound and are well worth visiting. The Buddha Park is an extremely pleasant and peaceful place to spend a few hours. Many Buddhist statues and sculptures are scattered around beautiful gardens and trees.

Laos enjoys healthy tourism because of its many temples and stupas, the most famous being Pha That Luang, this golden stupa was lovingly restored in 1953. It is considered to be of great importance. Many other important sites are in evidence everywhere around the town, giving tourists many places of interest and opportunities for photography.

The Laos people are among the most friendly I have ever met and Vientiane is a very special place. I would recommend it to anyone.…

No Picture
General

Holidays in Estepona, Costa Del Sol, Spain

Holidays in Estepona, Costa Del Sol, Spain

Estepona began its humble origins as a fishing port and still the hauls serve the local restaurants, local people and tourists. Most tourists are attracted by the beaches but the area also has a significant cultural heritage of Roman, Moorish and Christian impression and there are ruins to be found dotted in and about the area. There are also two natural parks, which attain beauty that will surpass your original expectations.

The beaches afforded to this popular area are well cared for and carry the ‘blue flag’ status. There are three main beaches: La Rada is centrally located and is the most popular, it is very wide and backs onto the modern promenade. El Cristo is located just outside of the town and due to its location gets longer hours of sunshine. Lastly we have El Padron, this has a large car park and two beach bars. There is also a nearby complex with beach which caters for the naturist – the Costa Natura. The average annual temperatures can be as low as 7A�C in the coldest of winter to 29A�C in the warmest of summer.

There are two areas of significant beauty: Los Pedregales Park which has log cabins available for rental, leaving you free to explore the surrounding countryside. Permanent barbecue areas and picnic tables can support that ad hoc lunch. In the centre of this park, the Chapel of San Isidro lies like a pivotal point amidst this pastoral and relaxing area.

Sierra Bermeja Natural Park mountain range towers close to the sea and affords an hour’s drive to the top. Flora and fauna of astonishing beauty including the Pinsapos – a flat topped pine tree decorates the route. Once there, the panorama stretches beyond the white washed villages, across the warm blue laden sea of the Mediterranean taking in the rock of Gibraltar and the coastline of North Africa.

Restaurants and other eating establishments are in flavour with its cultural history and also fuse locally sourced food to cater for the tastes of international visitors. From snacks to banquets, from fish to ham, there is sure to be a gastronomic memory that will linger as a keepsake.

At only 20km away, Gibraltar Airport is the nearest airport to Estepona but because it is not as widely travelled to as Malaga International (70km), it could be more expensive. Transfer arrangements can be made from both airports. Car hire is the preferred option due to its ability to get to the less travelled areas. Malaga is more flexible when it comes to transfer arrangements and can provide a shuttle service as well as a taxi. When booking your flight ticket try to arrange your transfers at the same time as most of these can be pre-booked and will give you a better idea of cost and convenience.…

No Picture
General

The Enigma of Italian Tourism

The Enigma of Italian Tourism

There is no doubt that Italy is a fantastic country to visit; the diversity of its regions, mean that tourists can always discover something new on every visit. As an observation though of the Italian tourist trade in general, it may seem that a lot of the big tourist boom of the last thirty years has not really touched the country. Spain for instance has a much more developed tourist infrastructure, and attracts more people in a year, than Italy does in two.

So why is it that Italy has not kept up with other developing countries, such as Turkey, India or Greece? The answer is not that simple, but apart from being too bureaucratic and unorganised, the real reason is that Italy is happy with what it has got, and does not envy the mass tourism of its Latin counterpart, Spain. Forty years ago, Spain as a tourist destination was probable like Italy is now, but somewhere along the line, they decided to cater for the less savoury side of the holiday market.

When you walk through an Italian seaside resort, you can do so in the certainty that you are not going to see gangs of youths in Football shirts, drinking British beer, and eating fish and chips. What you get in Italy, is the Italian experience, and unlike Spain they have not sold out their ideals. Italy has never let tourism ruin its identity.

If you take a trip from the North of Italy to the deep South of Sicily, you can experience the true value of the country. The Alpine regions attract skiers in the winter, and walkers in the summer. This part of Italy is less expensive than its Swiss and Austrian counterparts, but the air is just as fresh and the food second to none. The central regions attract the rich and famous. Who do you know, that is a celebrity and doesn’t have a farmhouse in Tuscany? The poorer regions of Southern Italy are trying to redefine themselves by offering more than just a beach holiday. These days, there are as many tourists that come to learn how to cook in the Mediterranean way, to learn the language, or take a scuba diving course.

So Italy has held on to its traditions, despite the lure of mass tourism, and as a country is well worth a second look, when you are next thinking of a break.…

No Picture
General

Make A Memorable Spring Lodge Vacation

Make A Memorable Spring Lodge Vacation

Most people make plans before the vacation starts. It is a good habit because since you would know what you will go to do, you will make arrangements accordingly. So if you are preparing to spend a spring lodge vacation then the right time would be to select a place where you want to go and ask for the various details and make an advance booking. Since in peak seasons, the rates get higher everywhere so it is recommendable to make a booking in advance.

If you have plans for the winter vacations then go to some hilly area that is covered with snow so that you can enjoy all the blessings of the winter season including the various winter sports. These spring lodges are especially designed for the tourists and they have all the modern equipments and every day items. They are centrally heated and even the garages too. Also some of them have designed all the interiors with wood to give a complete effect as if you are living between the Natures.

Snowfall brings an exciting game called skiing loved by the people of all age groups. If you have your own skiing equipment you can take it with you on vacations or the people arranging for the lodges can also arrange the equipment for you. You can play various games like sledding, snow boarding, downhill tubing etc. And once you are done with these games you may get tired so you can refresh yourself in the nearby restaurants or even you can go back to your lodge.

Other sports such as horseback riding, fishing, mountain climbing, biking are also popular sports and you can do that according to the season. If it is snow falling, you can simply enjoy the snow fight with your friends and family. Similarly you can go for shopping too.

Coming to the kitchen of the lodge, it is no less equipped like rest of them but still you will not feel much need of it and you would prefer tasting the local food. The lodge people take orders and they can furnish you the food at your mentioned time however you can also go out with your friends and din out with them.

There are varied facilities in a lodge like fireplaces, hot tubs, high speed internet, laundry, DVD, TV etc. Not only the modern gadgets but also the furniture is comfortable and stylish. For your more comfort, you can have massage facilities to relax on your vacations.

Mostly the lodges are built where there are beautiful sceneries and the views from the inside of the lodge are breathtaking. Some of these lodges have backyard with fire pits exclusive for you so you can enjoy the late evening with your friends around the bonfire and tell each other the scary stories and enjoy.

With all these modern amenities and facilities, your spring lodge vacation would be memorable. And your family would love it. Remember to make the booking for the lodge few days ahead of vacations or else you will find very high rates.…