Month: March 2015

Top 4 Churches in Goa to Visit This Good Friday

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Good Friday

Apart from pristine beaches and happening discotheques, Goa is also blessed with ancient Portuguese churches that stand as torchbearers to its rich history. These churches are the only beautiful remnants and memory of the Portuguese in the tropical paradise. With Good Friday round the corner, a trip to Goa’s historic churches will be an ideal way to celebrate the holy festival. Here is a list of top four Goa churches that are ideal places to be on the eve of Good Friday.

1. Basilica of Bom Jesus, Old Goa

Good Friday

The Basilica is significant not only to Goans but also to different other communities across the world as it retains the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, one of the patron saints of Goa. It was constructed in old Goa way back in 1695. Because of its rich history and popularity, it has been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its interiors are ornamented with precious stones and paintings that narrate the saint’s life story. Once in every year, when the saint’s holy body is opened to public, millions of tourists from every religion and different corners of the globe come here for a visit. There are a lot of hotels near Basilica of Bom Jesus that offer excellent stay at great prices.

2. Se Cathedral

Good Friday

It is the largest Roman Catholic Church in Asia that took almost 90 years to complete. History states that it was built to commemorate the victory of the Portuguese rulers over Muslims in Goa. The Golden Bell housed in the Cathedral’s tower is popular because of its unique tone and gigantic size. The clear reflection of the Portuguese style architecture in Se Cathedral helped it attain the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site. Travellers can browse through a variety of budget and luxury hotels near Se Cathedral that provide a royal vacation in this exotic beach destination.

3. Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception

Good Friday

This is one of Goa’s oldest churches in the heart of Panaji, the capital of the state. It was constructed around 450 years ago, when Panaji was almost like a sleepy fishing village, to welcome sailors to their homeland. The church is beautifully preserved with the statue of Mother Mary casting her eyes over visitors. Apart from tourists, every Catholic till today stops here to pray for a good start to their day.

4. Church of St. Catejan

Good Friday

This church has a different story altogether. It was built by Italian friars who were sent to India by Pope Urban III to preach Christianity. It was modeled on St. Peters Basilica in Rome and stands as a stark contrast to Goa’s Portuguese churches. This 300 year old structure is definitely a masterpiece and a must visit tourist destination.

Visit these immaculate creations rich in history and royalty that promise to make your Goa vacation a memorable one. For more information on Goa churches, browse through our Goa travel guide.

Exotic bites in airlines of India

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vistara_meals

There was a time when flying used to be an experience itself. Thanks to the varied network of airlines and economical flight tickets, it has become easy for the common man to reach a desired destination in less duration. Now the time has come when there’s a lot more to flying, a time when add-on services matter as much as reaching safely within the stipulated period.

Meals are an important part of every flight and it’s not just about food anymore. Almost a decade back, we would loathe at the quality of the food offered. Fortunately, the scenario has changed and airlines have begun to provide a variety of taste and flavours on their menu card. Ranging from the spicy and juicy chicken to the royal Indian thali, meals in different airlines’ of India have the power to get your taste buds kicking.

Air India, Air Asia India, GoAir and Indigo serve some of the best airline food for all its domestic as well as international tourists. Let’s have a look at the kind of meals you can expect on your next flight.

Food for delight on-board

best_airline_food_india

A combination of fast food along with Indian cuisines, served with beverages served in a platter. The array of choices available also depends on the class you’re travelling in. Meals served in Business Class are different from what is served in Economy. While in Economy, you do not have as many options as you will find in Business Class.

The Desi Platter

Desi Platter_airline_food

One of the most healthy, stomach filling and tasteful foods served in Indian airlines. Air India offers a range of meals on its flights such as:

  • Asian Veg Meal,
  • Hindu Non-Veg Meal (doesn’t contain beef or pork),
  • Jain Meal (does not include any form of root vegetables like onion, garlic, potatoes, carrot, etc.),
  • Moslem Meal (Non-veg meal suitable for Muslims)

Rolls on Plane

Rolls on Plane

One of the most consumed fast food in India, Rolls are easily available in a lot of categories and mostly served with soft drinks. Most airlines such as IndiGo offers you the facility to pre-order your food as well as purchase as per your requirement and convenience.

Yum Yum Veggie Biryani

Veggie Biryani_Flight

This mouth watering and tasteful vegetarian biryani served with chickpea is one of the most demanded and served dishes on major domestic airlines like Air India, SpiceJet, IndiGo, etc.

Sandwizzing on flight

Sandwizzing on flight

Sandwich – The ideal tiffin for most short domestic flight. A combination of green leafy vegetables, mixed with sauces served between breads, it is one of the most consumed food items on Indigo airlines. IndiGo offers a variety of sandwiches such as:

  • Spinach, Corn and Cheese
  • Chicken Junglee
  • Cucumber, Tomato, Cheese and Lettuce
  • A detailed info on the range of snacks available on IndiGo flights is available on its official website.

Special Meals

Special meals such as medical and dietary meals, baby meals, etc. are mostly offered by all major airlines in India. Air India provides Diabetic Meal, Low-fat Meal, Bland Meal, Fruit Platter, Low-sodium, etc to its passengers. It may be noted that inorder to avail such kind of airline food service, one needs to be order atleast 45 minutes before departure.

Edited by Harshita Srivastava

Land Ahoy-Top 5 Island Destinations in India

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Around 5000 miles of coastline lined by coconut trees and far-flung sandy beaches keep India much ahead of international island destinations. As the blue sky bows down to kiss turquoise green waters, travellers fly from different corners of India and abroad to catch a glimpse of the country’s vivacious beauty. It is romantic to sink your feet inside waters over sun-soaked beaches, and thrilling to go for early scuba diving in search of dolphins and more. With hundreds of islands anchored over seas and rivers, Island trip in India has taken the country’s tourism to great heights.

Island_India_Travel

From Bengal in the east to Kerala in south, islands with their very own community of islanders gave birth to a culture typical to their land. By travelling to these destinations, you can feast on local cuisines, explore their art and architecture and enjoy the natural melange of sun, sand and sea. Goibibo picks up the best of islands in India where memories are crafted to remain forever.

Diu Island

Diu_Island_01

The mix of opaque emerald waters and Portuguese history of Diu in Gujarat’s Kathiawar peninsula take you to a world of pristine beauty. Diu is comparatively small making it an island to explore over a weekend. Diu’s Portuguese culture, white-washed churches, foreign tourists, less traffic, and English cafes give that non-Indian feeling within the Indian heartland. The renowned Nagoa Beach and Jallandhar Beach along with Diu Fort, Seashell Museum and caves of Nayda make it a paradise for island lovers and history buffs.

It also offers some great accommodation options. Browse our portal for more info on hotels in Diu.

St Mary’s Island

St Mary's Island_02

Take a ferry ride from Malpe to the spectacular St. Mary’s Island in Karnataka, India. Its endless coastal line with a horizon that turns crimson during sunset brings forth the astonishing beauty of nature. St. Mary’s Island is a big fishing harbor. Unlike other island destinations in India, St. Mary’s is uninhabited and does not possess accommodations. Yet, its concrete benches make you sit for hours and loose yourself to the site and sound of never ending waves.

Chorao Island

Chorao_Island_03

There is always something unique about Goa, and Chorao Island is one of those. Around 5km away from Panaji, Charao Island happens to be the largest island in Goa. Presence of legends, mangrove swamps and Goa’s largest bird sanctuary, can be traced here. Take a regular ferry boat from Ribandar and land on the remains of Indian and Portuguese colonizers marked by Catholic churches, Hindu temples and dozens of churches.

Elephanta Island

Elephanta_Island_04

Shelter to a labyrinth of ancient cave temples, Elephanta Island is nestled picturesquely in the middle of Mumbai Harbour on the Arabian Sea. A large stone elephant near the shore and framework of courtyards, halls, pillars and shrine of the main Shiva temple narrates the glory of India’s past.

Munroe Island

Munroe_Island05

With eight tiny islands in Kollam district, Munroe Island forms an integral part of Kerala backwaters. It is where you can take a canoe tour, glide along narrow canals, halt for a cup of tea and see tall trees and colorful birds pass by. Apart from luxury houseboats, you can reserve home- stays right by the side of serene backwaters. Get down at Kollam Railway Station and proceed for your onward journey to Munroe Island.

Pack your beachwear and head for a spectacular island travel. Before that, check our exclusive Island travel & tours packages.

Fly over the sea with stunning seaplane rides in India

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seaplane in India

Zooooooo!!! Doesn’t the sound get you excited? Well, this time I am not talking about riding an aeroplane high up in the air. This time it’s all about seaplane, a unique looking small aircraft that rides you just above the water unlike a normal aircraft and you can see the clouds and enormous sea around you throughout the flying time.

Seaplane service was launched in India last year to give an adventurous and exiting touch to your vacation. After all, India’s water diversity makes it an ideal seaplane territory. Interestingly, sea planes use water as their runway for taking off and landing and won’t make you feel dizzy or scared or a single moment.

As of now, seaplane rides in India cater to selective destinations only and there are plans to expand it to other destinations too. Let us have a look at some of those Indian destinations where a sea plane ride gives you an out of the world experience

1.Kerala

God’s Own Country is already blessed with astonishing beauty of nature. With the already existing houseboat trips and water sports, sea plane is an extra icing on the cake. The base stations of Kerala sea plane operations are Cochin, Trivandrum and Calicut Airport. Apart from these, the planes travel within a circuit comprising Astamudi, Punnamada, Kumarakon, Munnar, Bolgatty and Bekal. Sea plane service gave Kerala a new look and has been accepted by tourists to a great extent.

Sea plane in Kerala

2.Mumbai

Sea plane service from here takes you to two destinations, Nashik and Lonavla respectively. The plane takes off from Juhu aerodrome in Mumbai and lands in Gangapur Dam, Nashik. With a capacity of carrying around 9 passengers at one time, the sea planes fly over the stunning Arabian Sea and lands you to one of the famous vineyards of India, Nashik. It flies to Lonavla with Pawana Dam as its landing point. The plane flies at a height of about 7,000 feet carrying around 7 passengers at a time. Lonavala is a popular weekend gateway for Mumbaikers, whose connectivity is made simpler with the introduction of sea plane services.

Sea plane in  Mumbai

3.Andaman and Nicobar Islands

The commencement of sea plane services in Andaman and Nicobar Islands took tourism to greater heights. Apart from the use regular helicopter and boat as means of transportation, sea planes can also be availed for transportation within the island territory. It is launched as a joint collaboration of PawanHans and Andaman and Nicobar Administration that connects the Port Blair city to Havelock Island, Barren Island and Diglipur. It gives an astonishing view of the surrounding sea, hills and forests spotted all over Andaman Island. While flying over Barren Island, the sea plane gives tourists a chance to see the only active volcano of India.

Sea plane in Andaman

Seaplane in India is a great contribution to tourism industry that hopes to attract more and more tourists in the coming years. Welcome to the land of diversity where you can experience a stunning journey right above the waters.

5 Best Tourist Places in Karnataka

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Karnataka, a state that brings to you an exotic cocktail of magnificent monuments, refreshing beaches, beautiful gardens and parks, cool waterfalls, rich culture and lip smacking cuisine. It is a wonderful destination that seamlessly builds a wonderful amalgamation of the old world charm with the urban city life. The state comes with a strong history with the Wodeyars’ Empire having a significant impact on it. With Bangalore as its state capital and Mysore as the cultural capital, Karnataka finds its name in one of the most visited states in India.

While a major chunk of the tourist clan gets going to the northern hilly region, Karnataka even after being in South manages to attract a lot of crowd due to its unique climatic conditions in certain parts. The hilly and plateau areas experience cooler conditions as compared to the region of the plains. Goibibo brings to you some of the best tourist places in Karnataka, which you must visit this summer season:

1. Nagarahole National Park (Rajiv Gandhi National Park)

Tourist Places in Karnataka

An absolutely ravishing view of natural flora and fauna is what you’d find at this sanctuary. Situated in the districts of Kodagu and Mysore, Nagarhole is spread over an area of 258 sq km. Apart from being a tiger reserve, it is a great place to watch the elephants in their natural habitat. The best time to visit this wildlife sanctuary is during the summers in the months of April and May.

2. Gokarna

Tourist Places in Karnataka

A pilgrimage town located in the Uttar Kannada district, Gokarna attracts a major crowd of Hindu devotees. It is a place known for its artistic outlook and numerous temples with its main deity as Lord Shiva. Mahabaleshwar Temple is a major attraction of this location. Besides this, there are a lot of beaches such as Gokarna Beach, Half Moon beach, Kudle Beach, Om Peach and Paradise Beach that witness a lot of foreign travellers as well. Undoubtedly, Gokarna is one of the best tourist places in Karnataka.

3. Chikmagalaur

Tourist Places in Karnataka

The district of Chikmagalaur finds a number of attractive hill stations to its credit such as Kemmanagundi, Kudremukh, Sringeri. Kemmanagundi is a serene hill station that has some wonderful gardens and soothing waterfalls. During the rule of the Wodeyars, it used to be their summer retreat. Don’t miss out on the beautiful view of the sunset that can be seen from Raj Bhavan, Kemmanagundi. Some waterfalls to look out for in and around Kemmanagundi include:

  • Hanumanagundi
  • Hebbe Falls
  • Kallathigiri
  • Shanti Falls
  • Kalahatti
  • Manikyadhara

4. Bheemeshwari

Tourist Places in Karnataka

Bheemeshwari is possibly the best place for a nature lover. Alongside the sacred River Cauvery of southern India, it is the best spot for fishing enthusiasts. The Cauvery Fishing and Nature Camp offers a number of avenues for trekking, rafting and observing nature. Best time to spot fishes is during early mornings.

5. Coorg

Tourist Places in Karnataka

A paradise comprising lush paddy field and a number of tea, coffee and spice plantations, Coorg is your ultimate destination to unwind and soothe your nerves. Madikeri Fort is an absolute delight for the history buffs and photography fanatics. Adventure and sports lovers can enjoy trekking and golfing activities. It is just 250 km from Bangalore.

Apart from these, Nandi Hills also happens to be one of the summer holiday destinations in Karnataka. Being a great tourist destination, this state has a number of hotels to its credit. Browse through our travel portal to get information on hotels in Karnataka.

So, are you ready to explore Karnataka?

5 Most Expensive Hotels in India

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May be money can’t buy everything, but when it comes to luxury it surely can provide you anything you want. And who can tell this better than the rich people who don’t shy away from staying in expensive hotels in India in order to get that extra special treatment or feel like a royal. For elite guests such as movie stars, politicians and industrialists, luxury is all about the best without any compromises. So we bring you a list of five most expensive hotels in India where every penny spent is worth it.

1.Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur

Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur

Taj Lake Palace is one of the best 5 star hotels in Udaipur that offers a picturesque location and excellent services. The hotel’s Grand Presidential Suite named as Shambu Prakash is one of the most expensive in the country at Rs. 6 lakh. High-end amenities in this hotel include pickup facility from airport in a shiny Jaguar or a vintage car from the Maharaja’s private fleet, private butler, Jiva Spa treatment ‘Mewar-E-Khas’ and shikara ride on the moonlit lake Pichola.

2.Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad

Taj Falaknuma Palace_Hyderabad

The former residence of the Nizam of Hyderabad, Taj Falaknuma Palace is featured as one of the top 10 heritage hotels in India. At Rs. 5 lakh plus taxes for a night, the Grand Presidential Suite which is also known as Nizam suite is the costliest accommodation. The suite offers recreational facilities such as private Jacuzzi, private swimming pool and salon.

3.The Leela Palace, New Delhi

The Leela Palace_New Delhi

Based in the posh Chanakyapuri, The Leela Palace hotel of New Delhi is one of the best luxury hotels in India. The Grand Deluxe Room charges Rs 25,000 and Maharaja Suite costs around Rs. 4.5 lakh per night. Guests staying in the Maharaja Suite can enjoy a private temperature controlled plunge pool and Jacuzzi which has a seating area that overlooks the city’s skyline.

4.The Oberoi, Mumbai

The Oberoi, Mumbai

 

Located on the Marine Drive The Oberoi Mumbai boasts of unrivalled ocean views from rooms, public areas and restaurants. A Deluxe Room at the Oberoi can cost you around Rs. 25,000 while the Presidential Suite a grand Rs. 3 lakh. Spread across 2,056 square feet, the Presidential Suite features a master bedroom, bathroom, pantry, dining area and two living spaces.

5.The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra

The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra

 

Situated just 600 metres away from the iconic Taj Mahal, The Oberoi Amarvilas is one of the popular 5 Star Hotels in India. The Kohinoor Suite of the hotel charges about Rs. 2.5 lakh and has windows open to beautiful views of the Taj Mahal. In-room amenities in the suite include master bedroom, living room and dining room with attached pantry. Moreover, there is a standalone bathtub which offers uninterrupted views of the Taj Mahal!