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Archive for February, 2011

An Indian Vacation and a Pilgrimage

A rich cultural heritage, varied wildlife, magnificent mountain ranges, picturesque beaches, exquisite temples and monuments, rejuvenating hill stations, that’s India for you, a premier vacation destination. However, aside from these attractions and the varied destinations, India is also famous for one other thing: pilgrimages. Quite an increasing number of visitors have found out that having an Indian vacation and a pilgrimage is quite an interesting and rewarding experience.

India is a practically a country that is very diverse. Almost all places in India offer its own attractions which draws a yearly influx of tourists and pilgrims from around the globe. Some of the more popular and notable pilgrimage destinations include the Golden Temple of Amritsar, the Dilwara temples of Mount Abu and the Palitana in Gujarat, Meenakshi. The Rock Fort in Tamil Nadu, the Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh, Sabarimala and Guruvayur in Kerala and not to mention the Badami Caves in Karnataka are also targets of pilgrimage tourism.

Being the land of Gods and Goddess, India is at the very center of spiritual and religious activities. Pilgrims flock to holy towns and temples to have religious enlightenment or experiences may them be absolute believers or just tourists interested in India’s rich culture, heritage and spiritual beliefs. Nowadays, travel agencies and tours are packaging special pilgrimage packages for tourists who are looking at India as their next vacation destination.

Pilgrimages are as varied as the religions in India themselves. For example Christian, Jainism and Sikh pilgrimages are now commonly packaged as tours for vacationers in India. Places of worships, shrines, churches and locations where these religions began, flourished or even saw their demised in India are the prime destinations of such tours. For example, the cities like Calicut, Trivandrum, Madurai, Goa and Mumbai are famous for Christian churches which stand in testament to the unique and magnificent architectural feats of olden times. Similarly, the serene worship halls and shrines of Jainism believers offer yet another look at Indian architectural splendor.

Other pilgrimage destination sites include the revered Badrinath temple which is dedicated to Shri Badrinathji and was said to have been constructed by Adi Guru Shankaracharya. The Kedarnath in the state of Uttarakhand, one of the holiest pilgrimage destination in the country, houses the 12 holy Jyotirlingams. Another revered temple is the Vaishno Devi Temple in Katra. The place is so revered by Hindus that those residing in Northern India would make it a point to visit the temple once in their lifetime.

Tirupti Balaji temple which is situated on the seventh peak of the Tirupati hill is said to be richest temple in the country and perhaps even in the world. It has a rich history behind which spans for centuries. Another temple which perhaps rival the popularity of other pilgrimage sites is the Haridwar Temple which is considered the gateway to other sites in Uttrakhand region.

It is said that Haridwar Temple was blessed by the trinity of Lord Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. The temple is said to purify the mind, the body and the soul of pilgrims. It has become the center of spirituality in the region and incidentally also of arts, science and culture.

We can go on citing pilgrimage sites in India and we will run out of space before we run out of sites to mention. The richness of India’s spiritual and religious traditions is truly an experience worth trying. An Indian vacation and a pilgrimage is something that should never be set aside.



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Finding Last Minute Travel Deals

Last minute travel can be difficult to arrange. There are many things that you need to deal with, first of all, with travel in general. Now try to add panic to the mix and you can see how difficult last minute travel can truly be. You need to be able to get to places on time, have your passports and visas checked, your clothes all packed, all your necessities together and in the right places, and all your travel plans in place. Can you get to a place on time, have all your documents ready, all your packing done, and great plans for an enjoyable vacation without getting frazzled by the last minute situation?

There are a lot of travel deals available for last minute travel, and if you know where to look, you will be able to get the deals that you need and want. One kind of travel deal involves packaging your trip, accommodations, and even your tour in one combination. If you can book this way ahead of time, then you can get great deals on this kind of combination.

Sometimes, however, booking a packaged tour can be expensive if you have to do it at the last minute. It can be risky as well: you are not sure if you are going to get the tour that you want because you could be on a long waiting list of lots and lots of people who want to have the same tour as you, but already have reservations.

An advantage to packaged tours, however, is that they can save you a lot of time. If you have to still spend time looking for travel deals at the last minute, you are taking away precious time from your packing and document verification, and other things that should make your travel a success. This may also translate into spending money in the long run, because you have all your things packed and your documents ready, and you don’t need to worry about spending for necessities when you get to your destination.

If you talk to your travel agent, he or she may also offer you some good travel deals that can allow you to get a good and cheap trip to your destination, and all you need to do is find your own lodging. This can be a good travel deal for last minute travel as well, since you can still get lodging discounts by logging on to the websites of different hotels and making your reservation and booking there. Beware, however, that not all hotels will allow you to make late reservations. You will need to be aware about which hotels are kind to last minute travelers.

You can also get good travel deals on site, after you have landed. Make a sacrifice of a day or two by staying at a pension house or hostel, somewhere cheap that you can sleep in and not worry about lodgings first. On your first day, after you have rested, you can start looking for better lodgings and then start negotiating for prices while facing the person who actually works at the hotel. This can be advantageous over Internet dealings because you can ask for fees up front and not worry that you may be charged more than you can afford.

These are only a few places that you can get good travel deals for last minute travel. Ask around in other places, such as your credit card company, for more last minute discounts.



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Set right in the middle of the Caribbean Island, the Dominican Republic is a true paradise that will appeal to many kinds of tourists. That’s why Dominican Republic holidays are very much popular. Whether you are a thrill seeker or a laid back individual, the facilities and the lay of the land can provide you with the means to have the ultimate vacation. The most popular aspect of the region is the beach. Its white sand beaches, beautiful resorts, and turquoise waters are a magnificent spectacle to behold, not to mention that they provide the perfect atmosphere for the ultimate beach get-away.

Despite the surge in tourism, the Dominican Republic is very much attached to its local culture and identity as a tropical paradise. It became the first settlement in the New World when Christopher Columbus discovered the beautiful island in 1496. Despite the constant pouring in of tourists, the Dominican Republic still maintained its Spanish heritage. This explains the Latin American culture that permeates through the localities and its daily habits.

The region is not devoid of excitement since Latin American culture provides a twist that should satiate the thrill seeker. Travel by bike-taxi is a cheap and popular form of transportation within the island, and it can take you almost anywhere. Some of the favorite sporting activities on the streets are dominoes and baseball. If you loiter long enough on the streets, you’ll most probably get an invite to join in!
The major resort area is Punta Cana, which can be found in the East Coast of the region. The amount of its visitors comprises more than half of all the Dominican Republic’s tourists. The beach spans 50 kilometers, which makes it the longest beach in the Caribbean. Walking the whole stretch of that beach amidst the breathtaking scenery and the infectious music of the meringue is a popular activity among tourists.

In the North Coast is where you’ll find the Amber Coast, called by its name because of the amber deposits that can be excavated from its sands and rocks. The capital of the region, Puerto Plata, is known for its lively vibe. It has many attractions that are both modern and cultural. It has historic buildings, museums, and golf courses. The city also never sleeps since it has a lot of interesting nightspots where you can party until the wee hours of the morning. If you are in the mood for adventure, you don’t have to look further than Cabarete. Windsurfing made Cabarete famous. It is the ideal spot for the windsurfing because of the relatively flat water in the bay and the constancy of the trade winds. Other outdoor activities that Cabarete is famous for is wakeboarding, surfing and kite boarding.

Down in the South is where you’ll find Santo Domingo, the capital and largest city of the Dominican Republic. In the colonial quarter is where historical landmarks such as Calle El Conde, the Puerta de la Misericordia, and the Catedral Santa Mar?La Menor are located. Outside is the commercial center, where you can dine at the prestigious restaurants and go shopping at the malls.

Cheap packages are always on offer for the Dominican Republic holidays. The spend you time in the Dominican Republic will be priceless. Don’t forget to knock your friends senseless with your version of the merengue dance when you go back!



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California Vacation: Exploring Yosemite

There are many things to see out there. There many treasures to find, places to explore and activities to do. Nonetheless, people are too busy with their own little lives that they fail to notice the beauty surrounding them. People never get tired of working and never take the chance to take a vacation. Are you one of these people? Then, I suggest you take time to read this article and discover what a California vacation has to offer for you.

Being one of the largest states in the United States of America, California offers many activities like hiking, biking, mountain climbing and boating. Different tourists’ spots cater to different people. At California, you do not only experience the beauty of water but the beauty of wilderness too.

One of the tourist spots in California is the Yosemite National Park. It has an area of 1 189 square miles and extends towards the Sierra Nevada mountains. It became a world heritage site in 1984 and attracts tourists through its granite cliffs, waterfalls and biological diversity.

Inside the National park is the Yosemite Valley. This valley was formed through the moving of glaciers and this movement left a fertile soul for the residents of the valley. The valley in itself is an entrance to the national parka and boasts of environmental beauty and freshness. Forest and meadows can be found at the floor of the valley.
Like most California tourists spots, Yosemite National park and valley offers many activities for tourists. One of these activities is camping. The outdoors of the place makes it one of the best places to pitch a tent and stay in for the night. Camping also provides star gazing and who knows if you will see a wishing star. There are many camping sites in the valley which include Upper Pines, Lower Pines and North Pines.

Tourists who flock to Yosemite make it a point to visit the different landmarks in the valley and the park. One of these landmarks is Half Dome which boasts of different rock formations. This can be viewed from the east side of the valley. Another rock formation is the El Capitan. El Capitan is a 3,000 foot rock formation that is located at the west and east side of the valley. It is dubbed as the largest monolith of granite in the world. It often poses a challenge to rock climbers who want to explore the rock. Glacier point is also one landmark in Yosemite that one should not miss. This landmark is a reminder of the unpredictable nature of the environment. This point can be reached through car and hiking trails.

Rock formations are not the only landmark in the park but also water falls. The place is home to Yosemite waterfalls which is the fifth tallest waterfalls in the world. It is made up of three sections; upper, lower and the cascades.

Because of these landmarks and natural gifts, Yosemite is home to many activities including rafting, horseback riding and rock climbing. There are also museums for art lovers, gallery and amphitheater which are open daily and offer different programs.

Yosemite National Park and Yosemite Valley are world renowned tourist spots that are included in the itinerary of any person who wants to enjoy a California vacation. These places are rich in nature, culture and arts.



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A Hot Summer Indian Vacation

Some like it hot, while others like it very hot! Or something like that. But summer in India is not at that bad as some tourists would like to think. The country being as large as it is hosts a number of possibilities even during the summer time. So it is absolutely possible and not totally unheard of that people enjoy a hot summer Indian vacation.

India enjoys four seasons: winter months are in January and February; summer months are from March to May; monsoon or the rainy season are from June to September; and from October to December is post-monsoon period. While a huge number of visitors in India do visit the country during the winter months, there are a growing lot that prefer the hot summer months and even the wet monsoon seasons. Probably the reasons include the fantastic summer festivals celebrated in practically all the corners of the country as well as destinations like the Himalayas which is quite a treat when visited during the summer months. In fact it is usually during summer that the Himalayas can be visited. One can see the snow-clad mountain peaks in Leh and Ledakh.

Well known during summer time are also the hill stations of Kashmir, Kodaikanal, Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar and Uttaranchal. Mountain rivers also offer a good opportunity for water rafting and kayaking. Moreover, beaches like Anjuna and Baga are very popular for summer goers both international and local tourists. Anjuna beach is a couple of kilometers from Mapusa in Goa and is quite famous for its night time beach parties. Similarly, the Baga which is also quite accessible from Mapusa in Goa offers a picturesque ocean view and a highly active night life.

While others enjoy the natural beauty of India during summer, some take advantage of these months for the often cheaper and discounted rates of tour, travel fares and even hotel accommodations and resorts. For some summer gives them the perfect opportunity to enjoy a whole new country.

Monsoon rains come after the summer months and believe you and me, a number of visitors intentionally come at the end of summer and enjoy the rather wet monsoon season. In India the onset of rain is a symbol of fertility and is serves a vital part of the country’s culture and traditions.

Still others travel to India to enjoy the festivals there, the biggest of which are usually held during summer or towards the end of the season. One such festival is the Ganesh Chaturthi in Mumbai. The celebration is held for ten days and includes various cultural and social programs and activities all geared towards worshipping the elephant-headed god Ganesh. Visitors will get to enjoy dancing and singing in the streets together with thousands of believers and residents.

Related to religious festivals are the pilgrimages. One of the more familiar one is the Char Dham or the pilgrimage to find the source of the Ganges River or the Ganga Mata as the river is called in India. Being India’s most sacred river and the most important in terms of people’s livelihood as well, the Char Dham can only be held during the summer and monsoon months after the snow melts in the Himalayas and the roads become accessible again.

India is such as huge land of opportunity for travelers. From the winter months, down to the summer days and then towards the monsoon seasons, visitors have always places to go and things to do. A hot summer Indian vacation is definitely not something one should cross out in ones travel calendar.



Top Travel Agent Reveals How To Get Dirt Cheap Airfare Tickets! Read More...

The Travel Secrets Guide. Just Using One Of The Secrets In The Travel Secrets Guide Could Save You Hundreds, Even Thousands, On Your Next Trip Or Vacation. Read More...

Travel Industry Secrets. A Product That Ensures No One Pays Inflated Retail Rates On Travel Again! Read More...

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