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Top Religious Destinations in India

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India is a land of many faiths. People of different religions co-exist peacefully in this country. In different parts of India, there are many famous temples, mosques, churches, gurudwaras, and even monasteries. For Hindus, there are 12 Jyotirlingas and almost 56 Shakti Peeths. These spots attract a lot of tourists every year.

Some of the famous religious destinations are:

Somnath, Gujarat

Somnath is a temple town situated on the shores of Arabian Sea. It is most famous for the Somnath Jyotirlinga Temple, traditionally considered to be the first of the 12 Jyotirlingas. This temple has survived many attacks by foreign invaders throughout Indian history. Since the ancient times, Somnath has been a holy site being close to the Triveni Sangam where the three rivers Hiran, Kapila and Saraswati meet. The town has many mythological legends built around it. There are many small and big temples in and around the city. The Somnath Beach is also a famous attraction for the tourists here.

Haridwar, Uttarakhand

Located in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, Haridwar literally means ‘the abode of Lord Vishnu’. Considered as one of the top holy cities in India, this is a land of mythology and spirituality. The Har Ki Pauri Ghat is the most famous location in Haridwar, well known for the Ganga aarti that takes place here every evening. It is said that a visit to Haridwar is incomplete without witnessing the Ganga aarti. The spiritual town has a plethora of temples dedicated to various gods and goddesses. These include the Mansa Devi temple, the Chandi Devi temple, the Bharat Mata temple, and many more. The Kumbh Mela also takes place in Haridwar in every 12 years.

Maihar, Madhya Pradesh

According to Hindu mythology, the necklace of Goddess Sati had fallen at Maihar on the Trikuta Hill. Recognized as a Shakti Peeth, the Sharada Devi Temple in Maihar is said to be built on that exact spot. The temple is built on the top of the hill and devotees need to undergo a steep climb of almost 1000 steps to reach the temple. DAMODAR ROPEWAYS & INFRA LIMITED, one of the oldest ropeway construction companies in India, built a cable car ride at the Sharada Devi temple to help the physically disabled and elderly devotees. By taking this cable car ride, devotees can reach the main gate of the temple complex within a few minutes. Due to a lack of space to build the upper station, the design team came up with an innovative layout where the tension tower which provides the counter weight is built on a very steep slope.

Pushkar, Rajasthan

The city of Pushkar is most famous for having the only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma. The Jagatpita Brahma Temple, originally built in the 14th century, attracts a lot of Hindu pilgrims till today. There is also the Savitri Mata Temple in Pushkar which is located atop a hill. Savitri was the first wife of Brahma. There is a DRIL ropeway built here that saves pilgrims a strenuous stiff climb of little more than 1100 steps to reach the Savitri Mata Temple. It covers a distance of 720 meters in less than 6 minutes. The temple offers some great views.

Golden Temple, Amritsar

The original name of Golden Temple is Sri Harmindar Sahib Gurudwara, built by Guru Ram Das, the fourth Sikh guru. Located in Amritsar, Punjab, the Golden Temple is the most important religious shrine for Sikhs all around the world. Symbolizing universal brotherhood, the Gurudwara offers spiritual fulfillment to all visitors.

Naina Devi, Himachal Pradesh

The Naina Devi Temple is situated on a hilltop in the Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh. This is a Shakti Peeth where the eyes of Goddess Sati are believed to have fallen down. The temple complex is situated at an altitude of 1177 meters and visitors have to undertake a steep climb of steps to reach the top. A ropeway facility of DRIL is available at the temple for the convenience of the devotees, especially those of old age. It is an exhilarating ropeway ride offering a view of the surrounding hills and the Gobind Sagar Lake.

Deoghar, Jharkhand

The pilgrimage city of Deoghar is most famous for Baidyanath Temple, one of the twelve Jyotirlingas. Located 10km away from the city are the Trikut Hills whose three mountain peaks signify the holy trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. Pilgrims visit this holy site all around the year. There also a ropeway ride that takes passengers to the top of the hill offering a great view of the holy town of Deogarh.

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Brush Up Your Wilderness Travel Tips If You Are Traveling to Tadoba Jungle Safari

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Tadoba is supposed to be an enthralling Tiger Reserve which is a popular wilderness travel destination in India and is becoming extremely popular among international wildlife enthusiasts. Tadoba is an extensive pristine forest with 12 safari gates spread over this extensive area and every gate is anywhere between 20 Kilometers to roughly 145 Kilometers away from each other. Booking a Tadoba jungle safari could be slightly confusing as there are certain steps to be fulfilled for booking the safari but many tourists assume that paying online is supposed to be the complete guarantee that your safari is booked for you. You would require paying more once you reach the safari gate.

You would be confronted with slight issues that are typical of wilderness travel but you must know how to cope with them and enjoy an amazing wildlife vacation by polishing your knowledge before setting out for your trip to the Tadoba. Traveling to the Tadoba Tiger Reserve in Andhari could be slightly demanding if you are traveling alone but you could rest assured of some of the most scintillating natural views. Here are some general wilderness travel tips to prepare you for the Tadoba wildlife vacation.

Prepare Yourself Again & Again

The most vital part of a wilderness trip is to prepare yourself so that you do not encounter surprises. Do adequate research and try to educate yourself about the destination you are heading for. This implies you must have a proper idea about how much time is involved in traveling from one point to another, how much water and food you require to take along with you, and you must be aware of the possible safety risks and prepare yourself mentally and learn ways to avoid and combat the hazards. You must realize that little bit of extra planning could help you enjoy your wildlife vacation a lot more.

Educate Yourself

There are certain fundamental wilderness travel tricks and tips that you must learn before leaving for your trip. Learning basic first-aid skills or learning to make a fire etc. would go a long way in making you feel safe and fully secure. You must do a thorough research online as you must know about the perfect place to sleep or the right spot to take cover in case of heavy rains and storm. Moreover, you could learn about ways to identify some edible plants that grow in the Tadoba region. It is best to know your facts about Tadoba Tiger Reserve and also, book your room in a reliable Tadoba accommodation before stepping out for the wildlife vacation.

Take Safety Measures

You must necessarily let your family or friend know exactly where you are traveling to and precisely how long you would be gone. This could prove to be vital information in case something goes wrong. Cell phones and flares are wonderful ways of informing someone about your exact location if you are in some sort of a trouble. Always make it a point to carry a first-aid kit, some extra water, a compass, and a map. Trust your instincts and use common sense while in a jungle.

Conclusion

You must read and follow the signs if you come across them as they could be trail markers, warning about the weather, and even existing rules and regulations about using campfires etc. Do not ignore the signs. Moreover, do not leave any trace. You must carry the garbage back with you to show respect to the wildlife. Moreover, refrain from carrying plants and rocks back home, as souvenirs. Respect the magnificent flora and fauna and rest assured to have an amazing and memorable trip.

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The 5 Best Parks to Visit in Dubai

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A holiday in Dubai often means hanging out at one of the celebrated hotels and beach resorts in UAE, going on a desert safari, checking out the tallest building in the world, and indulging in various luxurious food and experiences.

But aside from doing the usual touristy stuff, you can also commune with nature in this city known for its hot weather and rolling deserts. There are several beautiful parks and gardens you also have to visit in Dubai.

  1. Mamzar Beach Park

Although this park is a bit far from Dubai’s central commercial area, the trip here will be worth your time and effort. This is because Mamzar Beach Park is one of Dubai’s top and biggest beach parks.

This park covers acres of open grassland, five beaches, and one large outdoor swimming pool. It has several restaurants and cafes and barbecue pits if you want to grill your favorite meats and veggies.

The Mamzar Beach Park is also home to:

  • Beach cabins
  • Basketball and football courts
  • Children’s play areas
  • Grocery stores
  • Bikes for hire
  • Train rides
  • Running and bike path

If you want to hang out at a beach but still have access to other activities and facilities, you won’t go wrong with spending a day at the Mamzar Beach Park.

  1. Creek Park

One of the oldest and most popular parks in Dubai is the Dubai Creek Park. It is located in the heart of the old city, on the shores of Dubai Creek.  

Aside from being amazed by the beautiful landscape and green turf and getting a feel of Old Dubai, there are various activities here everyone has to try. These include:

  • Riding the cable car
  • Biking or cycling
  • Riding the miniature train
  • Roller skating
  • Riding the go-karts

Enjoy al fresco dining in this park by bringing your own picnic basket and using one of the barbecue grills. If you don’t want to cook, you can have your fill of great dishes, snacks, and beverages at a restaurant or café here.

  1. Safa Park

Safa Park is another well-known and relatively old park in Dubai. This 150-acre urban park has three lakes, over 200 species of birds, and 16,924 types of trees and bushes. 80% of the park is covered by grassy lawns and, as such, it is one of the greenest and loveliest places you can visit in this emirate.

The park also has a little forest, a waterfall flowing from the hill, and three lakes, with one featuring a fountain.

Other facilities you will find in this place are:

  • Playgrounds
  • Fun fair
  • Picnic areas
  • Washrooms
  1. Zabeel Park

Zabeel Park is one of the more modern and largest parks in Dubai. This park is so big that it is split in half by a road (Shaikh Zayed Road). To traverse the whole area, you can use the pedestrian bridges which connect the different parts of the park.

Aside from marveling at the landscape and interesting plant life, you can also enjoy these fun activities here:

  • Ride a bike along the cycle track
  • Ice skating
  • Explore the maze
  • Play tennis
  • Climb the 45-meter panoramic tower
  • Karting
  • Hang out at the Stargate – an educational entertainment center split into five domes

Similar to the other parks, you can also enjoy a picnic here or eat at one of the top-notch restaurants and cafes located within the park.

  1. Mushrif Park

This family-oriented park is located in the eastern part of Dubai. It has a swimming pool which visitors can use for escaping the heat temporarily.

One of the biggest attractions of this park is the Small World replica houses. In this area, you will find replica models of traditional houses from the Arabic and Western worlds.

Other activities worth trying out here are:

  • Riding the train
  • Visiting the mini-zoo
  • Playing basketball, volleyball and handball
  • Horse and camel riding
  • Cycling
  • Enjoying a concert at the outdoor theatre

Mushrif Park is also great for picnics and barbecues. There are also several cafes and restaurants worth visiting here as well.  It is simply a fantastic place for simply enjoying the outdoors with a green, lush background and fresh, cool breeze.

A visit to Dubai doesn’t only mean basking in the sand and crystal blue waters. You can also marvel at the green, lush landscape and plant life which you will find at its various local parks. You will also find a variety of fun, exciting things to do at these parks, too.

AUTHOR BIO

Thomas Grundner is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for JA Resorts & Hotels. He has more than 20 years of expertise in the hospitality and leisure industry – across international markets including Germany, Egypt and Spain. Grundner oversees all sales, marketing and revenue efforts as the company continues to build on its key growth and development strategies and further cultivates its unique blend of “Heartfelt Hospitality” and “Casual Luxury.”

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Fantastic Trip to Belgrade

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Belgrade is the up and coming city in South-Eastern Europe that seems to draw more and more tourists year in and out. The main reasons for it are the same reasons that have made Berlin popular with hipsters in the late ninety nineties and early 2000s – it’s cheap, it’s got a thriving nightlife and a budding cultural scene. Although these might be reasons enough for a prospective contemporary traveler,  there is so much more to it than just the three. And it is safe to assume that the reasons to visit any place in the world go for Belgrade as well.

This brings us to the question: Why do we love traveling? The smart people from the aptly named website, have come up with five compelling reasons why we do it in general. Now, although it may seem counterintuitive to sum them up (instead of letting prospective travelers realize them after visiting the place), we will try to leave you with these foregone conclusions as ways of enticing you to visit the place and see if you would think the same.

So, we travel to learn.

And if you visit Belgrade soon while the marks of its recent history are still visible, you will learn pretty soon that Belgrade has had it rough in terms of history. As Ms Eve-Ann Prentice from the Guardian has put it  it is the where the tectonic plates of Islam, Orthodox Christianity, and Roman Catholicism, alongside socialism and capitalism, have all collided in the past and this has left its mark on the city’s architecture.  You will also learn that the place has been around for millennia, and yet the oldest surviving building dates back only 3 centuries, as it has been swapped between the empires for countless times.

And as Ms Mary Holand from the Vogue has said it – it’s in this moment of emergence that Belgrade should be visited. It’s a moment where attractions are plenty, but tourists are few.

Oh, and you might learn that the double S (silicone valley and skadarlija bohemian quarters) are nothing but tourist traps. Neither of them represents today the thing they were popular for in the first place.

So you travel to escape?

Well depending on which part of the world you come from you might escape the tidiness and punctuality of the west, or change the hectic pace and chaos of the East with a moderate chaos of the Balkans. In both cases, you get to see the middle ground. And if you come from the Balkans… well, you will feel pretty much at home, with a linguistic twist, and find that you have so much more in common with your neighbors than you have previously thought.

Oh, if you come from the West you will definitely escape the smoking ban, as Serbia is still quite a smokers friendly place.

To discover…

An indigenous culture, that has a spoiling number of museums (which include automobiles, African Art, Nikola Tesla, and a non existent country – Yugoslavia), galleries, creative designer hubs (Drugstore, Supermarket), and really fine dining that amounts to the 1 fifth of what you would pay in some European or US capitals. You will get to see art noveu mixed with ottoman heritage and fairly authentic brutalist architecture all meddled in one. You might also discover that there are some damn fine spaces behind those dilapidated facades that can stand tall with their world peers. And you might also discover that in Belgrade you can get some pretty affordable accommodation that is at the same time world class.

Finally, you might discover yourself and your place in the universe. For older generation, it was all about juxtaposing the first, the second and the third world. For millennials, it is the developed and the developing…

To make friends…

That might be one of the easiest things to do in Belgrade. Belgraders are curious, hospitable and generally speaking warmly to exotic and different cultures. If you go with the flow and accept spontaneity as your mode of thinking, you are bound to strike a friend or two on your nighttime escapades.

And to experience…

To see what it looks like when the bulk of society lives on the fringes of poverty, with little or no prospects of thriving in the foreseeable future in a European setting and experience the priorities of people in such a setting. The atmosphere where partying like there is no tomorrow, because it either looks bleak or it belongs elsewhere, can lead to some pretty interesting connections in a moment. And life is really just a series of moments…

Did we get your attention?

Then book a first cheap flight and spend some of those moments in Belgrade. It will definitely be worth your time.

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