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Calcutta or Kolkata as we know it is the city known for keeping its historical significance intact. Right from the old transportation modes to the Colonial Buildings that serve as houses or offices till date, we can find Calcutta in its real charm. The city, often called “the city of joy” is well known to its people and visitors as “the city with the soul”. It not only attracts people with its history, rather holds up different qualities for people with different likings. Hence, while jotting down the places to visit in Calcutta, we could categorize it according to the varied interests.
Places of Historical Interests:
Despite the modernization in some of the areas, Kolkata continues to remain Calcutta, with its monuments and buildings as the treasure of history. Some of the places that one should not miss are:
The landmark of Calcutta and one of the must- visits of the city is Victoria Memorial, a large marble palace built as a memorial for Queen Victoria, who held crown when the monument was built. The irony remains that the palace which is visited by everyone was never visited by the Queen for whom it’s dedicated. Yet, the ambience of the gigantic palace showcases the Royal aura through its architecture and gardens.
Days – Tuesday to Sunday (Also closed on National Holidays)
Timings – 10 AM to 5 PM
Get a visual experience of the colonial era through the light and sound show called Son-et-Lumiere. The show remains closed from July to September.
October to February – 7:15 PM to 8:00 PM
March to June – 7:45 PM to 8:30 PM
Days – Tuesday to Sunday (Also closed on National Holidays)
Timings – 10 AM to 5 PM
Built in 1847 and noted for its Gothic Architecture is another landmark of Central Calcutta – The St. Paul’s Cathedral. It is the seat of the Diocese of Calcutta and is also the largest cathedral of the city. Though a CNI cathedral, it is visited by Christians from all segments as well as by people of various faiths.
The Gothic architecture has now got an Indo touch to it with the renovation that took place after the 1934 earthquakes. 247 feet in length and 81 feet in width, it stands a marvel of the colonial era and Gothic architecture. Its tower is modeled after “Bell Harry” tower of the Canterbury Cathedral, hence leaving a reminiscence of the rich cultural history from the English. The interiors with several glass paintings, sculptures and memorials are its highlights apart from the grand building itself. It also an ornamental wall with incidents from St. Paul’s life.
Days and Timing – Monday to Saturday (9:00 AM to 12:00 PM)
Sunday (7:00 AM to 6:00 PM)
The 1835 mansion built by Raja Rajendra Mullick upholds the rich colonial aura around it. The entrance itself can leave in awe with the grand portico and six huge Tuscan columns that speak of the architecture. The beautiful garden with elaborate fountains could take us to the world of Zamindars and Maharajas. To add to its aristocracy is the personal zoo within the premises. A part of the house still remains inaccessible as it is still inhabited by the heirs.
The eccentric Palace looks richer inside with several sculptures that remind us of the British Raj. Right from a larger than life statue of Queen Victoria, carved out of a single tree to the huge Belgium Glass mirrors in “Jalsha Ghar” or the music room, and the first piano imported to India are all a part of its rich historical significance. The palace also boasts of its rare collection of 82 clocks.
While its architecture resembles a blend of Bengali and British styles, the paintings show the vast and vivid friendships Raja Rajendra Mullick had, which brought most of these as gifts. Among several works of Western painters like Ruben and Murillo, it also upholds works by the great Indian painter Raja Ravi Varma.
This Marble wonder is accessible only with a special permission from the Tourism Department. It is open to visitors on all days between 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
JORASHONKHA THAKUR BARI / TAGORE’S HOUSE
Once the abode of the great Indian Poet Laureate and Noble Prize Winner Shri Rabindra Nath Tagore, the Jorashonkha Thakur Bari or the Tagore’s House is a must visit for students of Literature. Built in 1785, it also remains as an example of an ancestral Bengali house of the higher class in the olden days.
Today it has been converted into a Museum that has several buildings with rooms that have all the antiques preserved. Right from the place where the Great Bard was born to where he breathed his last is found in this house which makes it special. It also has around forty of his paintings that have been preserved. His reading room which has his chair, pens and books with his hand- writings gives goose bumps to literature lovers.
The Museum also serves as the right place to learn more about the popular Bengal Renaissance in which the Tagore family played a crucial role. It is visited by students and researchers who get to learn history in the exact location.
Timings – 10:30 AM to 4:30 AM
Days – Tuesday to Sunday
Places of science and Arts
The ninth oldest museum of the world and known for its varied collection is the “Indian Museum” of Calcutta. It is locally called the “Jadughar” or the magic house. The gigantic white mansion has several sections and floors dedicated to displays of Anthropology, Art, Geology, Archeology, Zoology and Industry. It stands as one of the best places to visit in Calcutta and hence, pulls local as well as tourist crowd round the year.
The Art Sections is a great learning experience on India, as it displays textiles, lifestyle, and traditions of different states of the country. The Archeological section on the other hand displays objects and paintings from the Stone Age to the Colonial Period. However, the major highlight is the Egyptian Mummy that has been kept in a separate room.
Timings – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Days – Tuesday to Sunday
Started in 1997 and developed by the National Council of Science Museum, Science City is one of its kinds in the whole country. The Park is divided into various sections like ‘Dynamotion’, ‘Maritime Centre’, ‘Space Centre’, ‘Evolution Theme Park’ and ‘Science Park’ which becomes a good learning experience for children. Some of the unique attractions here are the ‘Butterfly Enclave’ where you get to see varieties of live butterflies moving around the plants.
Also try some fun and science experiments like walking on a floor piano to create your own music, floating soap bubble in air, peeping into an infinite well and more.
Hence, it is both enjoyable and educational and serves for people of all ages. Also the gardens and small cafes within the premises make it a good way to take breaks from the different sections of the park. The Park also offers a ropeway service connecting the two ends of it.
Timing – 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Days – All Days
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Birla Planetarium is another interesting place which is also easily accessible as it’s in the centre of town. Constructed in 1962, it is an audio visual display of the Universe and its intricate designing of the Solar System, Galaxies and the life cycles of stars. It is the first Planetarium to be set in the country. It also has a gallery consisting of portraits of famous astronauts and celestial bodies. The architecture of the Planetarium is modeled after the famous Sanchi Stupa in its dome shaped building which looks good as well.
Timings – Sundays : 10:30 AM to 6:30 Pm / Other days : 12:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Days – All Days
Places of Amusement
With all the sightseeing places on one hand, the city itself becomes a major attraction with all the life in it. The markets, street food stalls, localities and the colonial era transportation modes combine together to give you a real city tour in Calcutta.
Calcutta boasts of the only tram network in India which is also the oldest electric system of Asia. Started with horse- driven trams in 1873, today it is among the major transportation systems of the city. It is ideal for its historical value as well as a cheap and easy transport for locals. Despite several plans of getting away with the trams, Calcutta could never give up on its mobile heritage and pride that has been functional since 1902.
Hand- Pulled Rickshaws –
One of Calcutta’s British heritage and identity is the hand – pulled wooden carts or rickshaws which are very common in different parts of the city. Despite the cycle- rickshaws and auto rickshaws, these have continued to be a mode of transport and also a tradition among many. It is also a means of livelihood for the men who do the tedious task of transporting people and their belongings to places. To them that’s their source of income and to a Calcuttan it’s one of the transportations.
Calcutta is often tagged as the “City with the Soul”. People believe that it has a unique ambience which touches individuals despite the slow paced lifestyle and crowd. To experience the city, the best place to visit is its markets and eateries.
The main hub called the “New Market” is where people from all over the city flocks to for street shopping. Whether its clothes, branded items, accessories or the best local food, you will find it all here. It changes its color with the season. If during Eid it turns into a display of Mughal cuisines and street food, during Christmas is adorned with Santa masks and Christmas trees, plum cakes and more. The maximum number of footfall is marked during the main festival of Bengal, “Durga Puja”.
Calcutta also boasts of the largest second hand book market of the World, namely College Street. It’s called so because of the several Universities and Colleges that is located there, turning it into an intellectual hotspot. Adding to its ambience is the old “Indian Coffee House” that takes pride in remaining same over the years. Whether it’s the menu, seating arrangement, interiors or the uniform of the waiters, in all ways its remains old school which becomes its USP.
The city also has a different face to show its visitors with “Park Street”, where the night- life of Calcuttans comes alive. Few to name among the night clubs are Roxy and Tantra that stand out as best. The Street is also famous during Christmas Season, when it comes alive with food stalls, light displays all over and dance and music show for around two weeks.
SPECIAL MENTION –
When we talk about the places to visit in Calcutta, a special mention goes for the Festival of Durga Puja mentioned earlier. It’s not just a festival but the event that turns the whole city into a must visit destination. This is the time when we cannot specify a place in Calcutta as every corner of the city displays color, music, tradition, culture and life of its own. The nine days long festival is celebrated around October. Despite being a Hindu Festival, it showcases the secularism of the city when Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and people of all other faiths come together to celebrate the festival.
That’s how the City of Joy has unique things to offer the people who come to it. It displays its rich heritage with pride through its people, monuments, museums and the air around the city. Hence, Calcutta remains a unique city among the others in India.
India holds up enchanting destinations like the “Golden Triangle” in north and “God’s Own Country” in the south and more to the world from October to March. That’s when the climate remains moderate in most of the places which enables visitors to enjoy better. On the other hand, the country keeps in store, some of the quiet and serene getaways for summer (April to mid June) as well. Hence, India with its diversity never runs short of places for its visitors, round the year. Here, we have some of the best places to visit in India during summer.
MEGHALAYA – “The Abode of clouds” :
Bamboo bridge at Meghalaya
Location – North- East India
Temperature during summer – (15⁰ C to 25⁰ C)
Right from “Asia’s cleanest village”, Mawlynnong to “the wettest place on earth”, Cherrapunji, Meghalaya is the perfect place to spend your summers in nature with the right weather conditions. One can learn about the local lifestyle of Khasi tribes from Mawlynnong who follow a matriarchal society, as well as enjoy the modernized city of Shillong with its local markets and buzz. It offers some of the unique places to both nature lovers and travelers.
Unique Places to see:
The ‘Double Decker Living Root Bridge’, Cherapunjee, remain a wonder to many.
‘Laitlum Canyons’, Shillong that offers adventures like hiking the 3000 steps stairway to heaven. Learn the culture and lifestyle of the Hima Khyrim tribe and visit the king’s seat in Smit village.
‘River Umngot’, Dawki, which wonder strikes the visitors with its crystalline water.
The breath- taking waterfalls like the ‘Nohkalikai waterfalls’, known for being the tallest plunge waterfall in India and the ‘7 sisters’ waterfalls’.
LEH, LADAKH – “land of high passes”
Location – Jammu and Kashmir
Temperature during summer – (-4⁰ C to 15⁰ C)
Leh, the major attraction of Ladakh also called the “land of high passes” is a biker’s paradise with its challenging roads and vast deserted regions. It offers some of the best off-roads that lead you to wide panoramic surreal landscapes which lure every traveler to add it to their bucket list. It’s a part of every Indian friends circle plan, bikers’ dream tour and an International must-do for non-Indians. The highly placed city with an altitude of 3500 meters to 6000 meters is an abode to some of the ancient monuments and monasteries which speak the Indo- Tibetan culture and adds on to the natural aura of the land. It is also home to some rare and endemic species of birds and animals like Yaks, Bactarian Camels, Marmots, Himalayan Musk Deers, Bearded Vulture, Bar Headed Goose etc.
Unique Places to see:
The Pangong Lake is a must visit and the highlight of trip to Leh, with its crystal water that mimics the sky. It also becomes home to seagulls and Brahmini Ducks during summer.
Nubra Valley is a blend of both greenery and deserted land. Its rich fertile soil enables the inhabitants to grow apricot, nuts, apples and other vegetations, and also gives tourists a chance to see the villages. It is home to the two humped Bactarian Camels which are a major attraction.
Etched on the mountains is the Leh Palace, built in 17th century and an example of Namgyal Dynasty. Shanti Stupa is another must visit to see the Tibetan architecture. It is also a holy shire for Buddhists, with the relics of Buddha.
Adventure lovers are welcomed during summer, by the sport of White Water Rafting in Zanskar.
Location – Arunachal Pradesh
Temperature during summer – (5⁰ C to 22⁰ C)
Tawang stands out for its Indo – Chinese cultural existence due to the earlier clash between the countries over territory and is well known as Dalai Lama’s refuge from China. The best time to visit the city is during summer, when the weather is pleasant and not chilly. It presents some of the best monasteries in the country, which are the example of influences of Buddhism. It also beholds some of the untouched landscapes.
Unique Places to see:
Situated at an elevation of 3000 meters, the second largest monastery of the World and the largest one of India, ‘Tawang Monastery’ is the landmark of the city. The monastery is home to around 450 monks and is the nucleus of Lamaistic faith of Buddhism.
The Indo – Chinese War lead to the establishment of war memorial like the ‘Tawang War Memorial’, built to honor the Indian Martyrs.
‘Bum La Pass’ is another must visit, as it marks the Indo- China Border, and can be visited with special permission.
En – route one can visit the Sela Pass and Nuranang Waterfalls to enjoy the view and terrain of the region.
Location – Himachal Pradesh
Temperature during summer – (10⁰ C to 26⁰ C)
The city in the North of “Valley of gods” or Kullu Valley is one of the first names that pop up while talking about hill stations in India. More than talking about the landscape which is enthralling in itself, Manali becomes the best lookout for one’s adventurous soul. With an altitude of around 2000 meters nearly nine months of snow, places here remain cool during summers.
Unique Places to see and activities to try:
Manali keeps its snow in store for the summer visitors in ‘Rohtang Pass’ that lies about 4000 meters, making it one of the best places to visit in India during summer. It is the ideal place for trekking and skiing.
Paraglide amidst the hills and beautiful landscape of Solang Valley.
Experience high altitude trekking in Beas Kund (the sage’s lake), with the highest point at around 3700 meters.
Become one among the locals in Old Manali, the small town away from the hustle of the city.
Location – Himachal Pradesh
Temperature during summer – (10⁰ C to 19⁰ C)
Darjeeling experiences spring till April and mild summer till June, which attracts people to spend their summers among the hills. This is the time for clear sky and pleasant weather. It is also the right place for family holidays and honeymooners. Here is the right place to indulge into some Indo – Nepalese cuisines like momos, thukpas, churpi (hard cheese made from yak’s milk), wai-wai and more.
Unique Places to see:
Get introduced to Darjeeling, its culture, people and landscape in the World Heritage acclaimed ‘Toy Train’ that takes you from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling over an 88 kilometers track.
Get the best panoramic view of Mount Everest and Mount Kanchenjunga being lit up by the first rays of the sun from Tiger Hills.
Experience the peaceful ambience of ‘Japanese Peace Pagoda’, designed by a Japanese monk for people looking for world peace.
MUNNAR , “The tea land”
Location – Kerala
Temperature during summer – (15⁰ C to 25⁰ C)
Blessed with the best climatic conditions and greenery throughout the year, Munnar becomes a favorite destination for nature lovers and photographers. It offers some of the picturesque landscapes and is renowned for having the best tea plantations with unique patterns. It remains one of the best places to visit in India during summer, especially by defying the belief of South India as a hot destination after April.
Unique Places to see:
Start with the drive to Top Station, which covers the Mattupetty and Kundala Dams and also offers the view of varied landscapes of Munnar. We can also get lucky to spot wild elephants that come to the grassland on the way.
Experience the flora and fauna of the region by visiting the National Parks here. Spot Gaurs, Sambhar Deers and Barking Deers in Pambadum Shola National Park and Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary. Visit the Eravikulam National Park to see the endangered Nilgiri Tahrs.
Enjoy a tea tour with visit to the old factories and hikes among the tea- carpeted hills. One can also try the off-road jeep ride to Kolukkumalai, one of the highst organic tea farms in the world.
Get first -hand experience of staying in forests with Jungle Camps and treks through the Shola forests (tropical evergreen forests) of Top Valley and Meesapulimala.
COORG –“Coffee cup of India”
Location – Karnataka
Temperature during summer – (15⁰ C to 30⁰ C)
With warm days and cooler nights, Coorg continues to attract tourists even during summer, especially for coffee lovers. Walk through the coffee plantations and learn all about Arabica and Robusta, the two major coffees grown in Coorg. It also offers a blend of culture in the same destination with Tibetan settlement of Bylakuppe.
Unique Places to see:
Visit to Dubare Elephant camp is the right destination for Elephant lovers, where one can spend time and learn about them under a Naturalist and it is run by the Karnataka Forest Department.
Take the trek to Tandiandamol, one of the best treks in Coorg, to enjoy the landscape and scenic view.
Enjoy swimming in Iruppa Falls. It also keeps you away from the hustle of the town and offers some serene views.
Explore Tibetan culture and cuisine in Bylakuppe. Also visit Mandroling Monastery, one of the largest in the country.
Location – Andhra Pradesh
Temperature during summer – (22⁰ C to 30⁰ C)
The adventurous train journey from Vishakhapatnam leads one to the hamlet of Arakku Valley, known for the settlements of some 19 indigenous tribes. The train ride through the tunnels and along the hills adds to the thrill of visiting the place. The scenic beauty of the Arakku and its ethnicity makes it a must visit, especially in April, when the tribes celebrate Itika Pongal, the festival of hunting and harvesting.
Unique Places to see:
Chaparai Waterfalls is one of the major attractions here, with the beautiful cascade and surrounding forest areas.
Visit the Tribal Museum and learn more about their culture and life. Ladies from the nearby settlement come to perform the Dhimsa dance every evening.
Visit the Borra Caves, one of the largest caves in the country.
OOTY – “Queen of Hill Stations”
Location – Tamil Nadu
Temperature during summer – (20⁰ C to 27⁰ C)
The popular hill station situated in the Nilgiri Hills is another treat to tea lovers. One can learn about the tea making process in the factories here and enjoy the view in the tea plantations. The hill station is the perfect getaway in summers with temperatures not more than 27⁰ C.
Unique Places to see:
Experience the vintage feel through the Toy Train ride from Nilgiri Mountain Railway, a World Heritage Site.
Trek up to the 3rd highest peak of South India, Dodabetta and enjoy the never ending scenic view.
Visit the Toda Hamlet, and get a n experience of their lifestyle and tradition. The houses are the major attraction here.
Boating and viewpoints can be enjoyed at Pykara Lake and Dam.
KODAIKANAL – “Gift of the Forest”
Location – Tamil Nadu
Temperature during summer – (20⁰ C to 35⁰ C)
Kodaikanal is one of the popular hill stations of South India and is even more popular among the back packers from Israel. Vattakanal also known as “little Israel” is the main hub for tourists here, who come and enjoy the various treks the land offers. With its serene landscape and dense forest cover it remains as one of the best places to visit in India during summer.
Unique Places to see:
Hike to Dolphin Nose and get the view of the range of hills that continue to fill your sight.
Visit the Pine Forest and spend some time among the tall trees that look picturesque.
The main highlight of Kodaikanal is its waterfalls and among them are the Pambar Falls, Silver Cascade Waterfalls, Fairy Falls and Bear Shola Falls.
Enjoy your summers in these destinations and enjoy a completely different picture of India. These getaways prove the diversity of the country that keeps different aspects of itself to offer through the year.
There is no doubt Kerala would appeal to all kinds of travellers. Such is the charm and magnetism of this blissful land. With spectacular backwaters of Alleppey, the serene hills of Munnar, the wildlife at Periyar, exotic beaches of Kovalam and Varkala, ancient lively art forms such as Kathakali or Kalaripayettu, the Kerala cuisine and most of all the ever smiling and hospitable people, this blessed land justifies its label the “God’s own country”.
Chinese Fishing Nets at Cochin, Kerala
There are many ways you could enjoy Kerala the way you like it. It depends on the type of traveller you are. It is all about the various experiences one craves. Some people go with the usual herd of travellers and prefer to see the normal sightseeing places, some people love to go off beat and see the unknown, some prefer to just relax at a luxury resort and spend their vacation and then there are some who prefer to go deep into the roots of Kerala and learn its culture, its art forms, explore its rural villages and most of all try their local cuisine.
Considering the interests of all types of travellers flying to Kerala, we have come up with varies itineraries to spice up your Kerala holidays the way you would like. Every week we will post the best suitable itinerary for you.
To start with we are sharing a basic Kerala itinerary which covers the highlights of Kerala.
Plan 1: Highlights of Kerala1Night Cochin- 2Nights Munnar- 1Night Thekkady- 1Night Alleppey- 1Night KovalamDay 1: Arrive at Cochin- drive to Fort Cochin [40 kms]
Arrive at Cochin International Airport. Cochin is the tourist hub of Kerala. For international travellers, more than the Cochin city, the Old Kochi or Fort Cochin would appeal more. It is recommended to do the local sightseeing of Fort Cochin of which the major highlights are the Dutch Palace, the Jewish Synagogue and the Fort Kochi Beach. Do some shopping if you wish, at the local markets of Cochin.
Overnight stay Fort Cochin.
Day 2: Cochin to Munnar [140 km, 4.5 hours]
Today morning continue your Kerala journey with a drive to the so called “Princess of hill stations”, Munnar. On the way visit stop at Cheeyappara and Valara waterfalls. As you reach Munnar check into your hotel and relax. Afternoon, visit the Tea Museum and the Eravikulam National Park as per the time available. If you are not able to make both the same day, try the left out one the next day.
Overnight stay in Munnar
Day 3: Munnar
Today early morning if you wish, go for a sunrise walk through tea plantations. It is something special at Munnar. After breakfast go for the Munnar sightseeing. You could cover the Top Station, a beautiful location in Munnar Hills recommended by other travellers who have been there. On the way, you stop by the Mattupetty Dam, enjoy boating along the famous Mattupetty Lake with lush green hill surrounding it. Evening if time permits [mostly you can do it], enjoy a Kathakali and Kalaripayettu Show at a local theatre. Both these art forms are indigenous to Kerala and something which you cannot miss. It is a delightful show.
Overnight stay in Munnar
Day 4: Munnar to Thekkady [AKA Periyar] [110 km, 3.5 – 4 hours]
Today morning a 4 hour drive would take you to Periyar. En- route enjoy the stunning views of the Western Ghats lined up at a distance. Head to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary straight away. Home to numerous species of flora and fauna, the Periyar Wildlife sanctuary is a paradise for the animal lovers and bird watchers. You have options to opt for a boat ride or possibly a Bamboo Rafting along the Periyar Lake.
Overnight in Periyar [Thekkady].
Day 5: Thekkady to Alleppey [140 km, 4- 5 hour drive]
Today you are heading to the unique and most popular backwater destination in the world, Alleppey. On reaching Alleppey, embark on a houseboat and start your cruise along the scintillating Alleppey backwaters. The houseboat cruise is the best way to enjoy Alleppey. You would glide through narrow canals, pass through paddy fields, witness the local life of Alleppey people and savour the local Kerala style food prepared for you on board by the houseboat crew. We recommend you to just sit back, relax and enjoy the delightful sights of Alleppey.
Overnight stay in the Alleppey houseboat.
Day 6: Alleppey to Kovalam [180 km, 4 to 5 hour drive]
You would return back to the boarding point by 9 am after your breakfast. Disembark from your houseboat and head straight away to the Kovalam Beach. The crescent beaches of Kovalam provide an opportunity to relax and rejuvenate your mind, body and soul. Opting for a hedonistic Ayurvedic Massage is definitely not a bad idea. Also try the exquisite Kerala Sea Food offered by a chain of food joints by the side of the Light House Beach. Take a sun bath at the Samudra Beach and last but not he least, do not forget to visit the Hawa Beach, a much more secluded sea side in Kovalam recommended for spending a quality time of your own. Enjoy the beautiful sunset from this part of the world.
Overnight stay at Kovalam
Day 7: Kovalam to Trivandrum Airport [20 km, 20 mins drive]
Today as per your departure schedule you will be transferred to the Trivandrum International Airport. If time permits, possibly if it is an evening flight you got to board, try doing a sightseeing tour of Trivandrum city. Start with the Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple, the richest temple in the whole world. Next up visit the famous Kuthira Malika or the Horse Palace and the Napier Museum.
Catch your flight and leave home with a handful of fresh joyous memories.
So, that’s it.
This is our first recommended plan for a perfect one week tour in Kerala.
We will come up with our next Indian Panorama exclusive itineraries in our upcoming blog posts once every week.
Tamilnadu in India is well known for its ancient temples which are no less than architectural gems, to say the least. It is home to more than 33000 temples. YES! You heard me right, 33000 temples which earned this state its label the “Land of Temples”. Out of these many temples, more than half of them are 800 to 2000 year old. Tamilnadu also boasts of housing most of the biggest temples in India. Among those, the Brihadiswara Temple or popularly known as the Tanjore Big Temple in Tamilnadu stands out with its ginormous structure and spectacular architecture. It is one of the ancient temples in India and is dedicated to Lord Shiva, one among the Three God heads in Hinduism. A fine exemplar of the ancient Dravidian architecture, this piece of art was built by the great Raja Raja Chola I in the year 1010 AD. He was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva.
Front View of the Tanjore Big Temple
History remembers the Cholas for their outstanding contribution to the ancient Indian architecture scene which puts even the modern architects to shame. The Brihadeeswarar temple is their masterpiece. It is declared as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO under the “Great Living Chola Temples” along with the other Cholan marvels such as the Airavateeswarar Temple and the Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temple in Tamilnadu.
This 216 feet high structure is made of whopping 130,000 tons of granite. Considering the fact that there are no mountains or any rock formations for nearly 60 km around Tanjore city, it still puzzles the historians and the architects, the means by which these many tons of granite was brought to the site. How come these rocks ended up here? Some say a group of 3000 elephants were used to carry these granites from far off lands.
Another surprising fact about this intricate architecture is the technique used in building it. The whole structure is made by the interlocking method, which means one rock kept over the other. There is literally nothing between the stones, no cement or any kind of adhesives. Fascinating, isn’t it? There is more coming. You know the very foundation of this gigantic structure is made without digging a single grain of sand and yet is so strong that it kept the whole temple straight with 0 inclination for more than 1000 years.
Temple Vimana onto the left
The most striking feature of the temple is its beautiful carved out Vimana. The top of the Vimana, which is called the Kumbam weighs around 81000 Kgs. How could somebody place this heavy stone at the top? Well, as per the historians and the localites, a 6 km long ramp was made adjacent to the temple and with the help of horses this stone was carried to the top of the temple Vimana. Amazing! No words.
A beautifully sculpted Horse on the temple structure
Apart from its massive structure and detailed well worked out sculptures, the Cholans have also made a large number Tamil inscriptions on the temple. These inscriptions detail the reader on the temple’s construction, the daily rituals to be carried out, the various offerings to be made to the deity and even the whole story of how the king Raja Raja Chola I planned and executed the construction of this splendid structure in granite.
The Tanjore Big Temple at Night
No doubt, the Brihadeshwara temple is one of the most beautiful and biggest temples in the world. Make a visit to the Big Temple in Tamilnadu and see for yourself. Admire the brilliance of our ancestors while you explore and enjoy this architectural wonder on Earth.
More interesting facts about the Tanjore Temple
The Shiva Lingam of the Big Temple in Tamilnadu is the world’s largest of its kind. There is a 13 feet tall Nandi [Lord Shiva’s Bull] Statue located outside the main temple structure, which is carved out of a single stone. This is yet another brilliance of the Brihadeeswarar Temple. Adding more to its structural beauty, you would come across a lot of finely detailed paintings of Lord Shiva and other gods, Asuras [demons] and animals which inspired the world famous Thanjavur Paintings. Painted using natural dyes, these impressive work of art still remain intact even after 1000 years.
Painting on the walls of Thanjavur Temple
Also, on the main temple structure, we could spot 2 figures which definitely does not look Indian. As per the historians, those are of two European men, one English and the other of a French which indicates the overseas connection of the Cholas during the period.
An English man on the left and a French on to the right
How to reach Tanjore big temple?
By road: Tanjore or Thanjavur is 60 km from the city of Trichy or Tiruchirappalli and 350 km from the capital city Chennai. There are frequent buses connecting Trichy to Tanjore and Chennai to Tanjore. Else, hire a taxi and head to Tanjore city. From the city, it is 1 km to the Tanjore temple.
By Rail: Tanjore is connected to all major cities in India by rail. You can easily catch a train to Chennai and then to Tanjore.
By Air: There is no airport at Thanjavur, however, the Trichy airport is just 65 kms from Thanjavur. Fly to Chennai and board a connecting flight to Trichy. From there hire a cab to reach the Brihadeshwara temple at Thanjavur.
We all have heard that saying, “Why guys should have all the fun?” Exactly, and it seems the ladies have taken it pretty seriously. The number of solo women travellers flying to India has increased manifold in the recent years. Women these days are not restricting themselves to travel alone and love to explore various new destinations on their own. Though India might sound risky for these Women travellers [Thanks to the media], it is safer than we all think. We all know there are all kinds of people everywhere we travel. It depends upon your willpower, your desire to explore and how smart you manage your day to day activities while you travel. Of course, there are few things you must note while you travel in India alone. It is recommended not to roam around late night in India. Also dressing loosely than those more revealing outfits would be better. Another thing to note is to always try to choose an authentic and reliable tour operator in India while you travel. Before you head to India, do a bit of research and when you learn the basic things to take care of while travelling in India, you are good to go.
Now coming to the destinations in India, there are many which we recommend to the solo lady travellers all across the globe.
Below we have listed out the 5 best places in India for women travellers-
Mysore palace at Mysore
The cleanest city in India, Mysore, is also the safest city in India. The people at Mysore are very much welcoming and hospitable in nature. This so-called city of palaces is thoroughly entertaining with the imperial buildings which dot the city area, for instance- the famous Mysore Palace or perhaps the stupendous Jaganmohan Palace. The Chamundeshwari Temple, another architectural delight built atop the Chamundi Hills is another spot not to miss.
Not just the palaces or temples, the famous Mysore Sandal and the Mysore Silk add more reasons to make a visit to Mysore. If you wish to explore and experience the real essence of Mysore you also have options for a guided Mysore walking trail, which gets you deep into the roots of Mysore’s history and culture. Therefore if you are planning for a solo trip, it is a THUMPS UP for Mysore.
The Andaman and Nicobar islands
Havelock Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands
As per the Indian Govt. Women Safety Index, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands has the lowest women assault rate in India. There is no doubt, it is probably one of the safest destinations for women to head to, not just in India but the whole world. The people here have a huge respect for women and they play a big role in ensuring the safety of them. Another good thing about these islands are that the people do not care how you dress yourselves. Even if you wear swimsuits and bikinis, you won’t find many staring at you, unlike many other sea sides in India. Speaking of the sights, well it is no less than a paradise.
Surrounded by pristine blue ocean, endless stretch of palm fringed sea sides, the colourful coral reefs, sea food and beer, options are plenty for you. Opt for ferry rides or perhaps Scuba Diving if you want something exciting or adventurous. Another cool thing to do is to rent a Scooty and just enjoy a ride along the roads of Andaman. Havelock Island, Neil Island, Ross Island, Baratang Island, Sitapur Beach, Laxmanpur Beach and Viper Island are some of the best sightseeing recommendations at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
You already have an image of Varanasi in your mind for sure. The crowded ghats and smoking Sadhus would be the first two things that click in your mind, however I must tell you there is much more in its lot. Considering the safety aspect for Women, again, Varanasi is one of the safest places in India for solo women travellers. It sees tens of thousands of women tourists all year round and most of them are solo travellers. Only hassle would be the rickshaw drivers and guides, who would sometimes come to you to avail their services. It is better to say NO in a polite way and leave. They won’t bother you again.
Meanwhile, enjoy a stroll through the ghats of Varanasi, exchange few words of wisdom with the fearless Sadhus or perhaps try tea in a traditional clay pot sold in local tea shops of Varanasi. Enjoy a sunset boat ride along the River Ganga in the morning.
City Palace, Udaipur
Awarded as the “Best Tourist City in India” by the Outlook Traveller Magazine, Udaipur definitely has to make it to this list of best places in India for solo women travellers. In fact the whole Rajasthan state is probably one of the safest places in India. The city of Udaipur has the lowest crime rate compared to the other Indian cities. Women walk along the streets alone even during the night time, though we do not recommend it.
You have beautiful lakes, stunning palaces and plenty of shopping to do in this one of the most romantic cities on the planet. The city Palace, the Lake Pichola, the Fateh Sagar Lake and the Jag Mandir are some of the prominent sightseeing places to cover at Udaipur.
Srirangam Temple at Trichy, Tamilnadu
Again, with a really low Women assault rate, the state of Tamilnadu in South India is one of the best places for solo women travellers to head to. The people here are well known for their ancient Dravidian roots and most of the population still follow the Vedic culture. Women are considered as Goddess here. Though modernization has slightly affected the age-old culture, men here are well mannered and have a huge respect for Women. Therefore be carefree while you head to Tamilnadu.
Madurai, Trichy, Tanjore, Kumbakonam and Chennai are few of the best cities in Tamilnadu where you could spend your holiday. Ancient Dravidian architecture, vibrant culture and the utterly delicious Tamilnadu Cuisine are the highlights here. If you are looking for hill stations and beaches for your solo trip, you have the Kodaikanal Hills, the Ooty Hills, the Marina Beach or perhaps Rameshwaram to head to in Tamilnadu.
So that was it! Our list of the Best places in India for solo women travellers
Comment your recommendations below for other fellow women travellers.
Tucked away amidst the lush green hills of Western Ghats in Tamilnadu, 20 kms away from the Kodaikanal town, is this small yet peaceful village named Poombarai. During my recent visit to Kodai, I spend 2 nights visiting all the usual sightseeing spots in Kodaikanal, but to be honest, I did not feel the Kodaikanal vibe I came looking for until I visited this village “Poombarai”. Maybe it is because I do not like too much crowd. I love and visit hills for some secluded and peaceful time of my own. In all those places which my driver took me, I found nothing but the so-called “Tourists” and lots of plastics and wastes littered all around, which pretty much cut the whole ambience of the place totally.
I asked my driver Babu whether there is any place far away from the town, where I can sit and relax for some time, somewhere more scenic and off-beat. He thought for a moment and said: “There is a small village away from the town, you would definitely like it sir, but it is at least 20 km away and there are no specific sightseeing places there, just a small village.”
Road to Poombarai
I nodded yes, let’s go. I was looking for a spot just like he described, a small village by the hills and no tourists. The road to Poombarai from Kodaikanal is ecstatic for any traveller. At first, it seemed 20 km is pretty far, but once we started the drive, it was pure fun and I wished the road never end. We drove past through thick sholas and pine forests on both sides, vividly coloured trees and mind-blowing scenes of lined up hills at a distance.
Thick pine forests on the way to Poombarai
We stopped at a viewpoint on the way to get hold of a cup of Coffee. It was freezing outside and the Weather demanded something hot. I reached the tea shop few steps from where we stopped and was exposed to this panoramic view of the hills. I grabbed my cup of Coffee and stood there catching the cool breeze brushing my face off. Now, this is was something I loved during the visit. No crowd, no sound. Beautiful!
Poombarai was just 4 kms from this very viewpoint. Babu told me Poombarai is even more beautiful. I said let’s see and we resumed our journey. I started getting distant glimpses of the Poomparai Village already. Lush green vegetable farms surrounded by huge mountains, colourful residential buildings dot the landscape, Poombarai already seemed to be something interesting to see.
Poombarai from a distance
Finally, Babu took a downhill hairpin bend and I saw a board written “Poombarai”. Yes! We reached. As we finished the hairpin turn, AH! There it was, a small colourful village set on top of a hill, amidst other giant mountains of the Western Ghats.
Surrounded by verdant farmlands and beautiful peaks, experiencing pleasant weather all year round, this village is set at a spectacular spot. I felt envious of the villagers here to have got such a peaceful and beautiful place to stay.
No pollution! Salubrious cool air and fresh veggies!!!
While I was exploring this small village on foot, a lady called me begging to buy her carrots. Just like Babu told, many different types of vegetables are grown here. Agriculture is the primary source of livelihood for the residents here. I got my hands on few farm fresh organic carrots. I must say it tastes completely different from the carrots we get in cities. This is pure juicy and sweet as well. Thumps Up!
Farm fresh carrots on road
I asked Babu to park the car somewhere and join me. We walked through certain interior routes to explore more of this paradisiacal village. We came across certain spectacular viewpoints which I am sure is unknown to many.
A walk along Poombarai
A panoramic view from the Poombarai Village side
By evening tea time, we had a cup of hot pot tea from the local tea shop and started back to Kodaikanal town. For me, Poombarai was the highlight of the tour.
If I have an option to quit my job right now and plan to settle somewhere peaceful and beautiful, I would not think twice, Poombarai it is. For all travellers out there, if you happen to visit Kodaikanal, do not miss this tranquil village side of Poombarai. I swear you won’t regret.
This small village in Kodaikanal just 5 kms away from the town, is a hit among the nature lovers. Vattakkanal or locally known as “Vatta” is not in the radar of the usual herd of travellers who mostly visit the common sightseeing places in Kodaikanal such as the Coaker’s Walk, the Pillar Rocks, the Guna Caves, the Silver falls etc. Vattakkanal in Kodaikanal stands out among all these, with its pristine beauty and spectacular trekking trails it offers.
Considering its huge inflow of the Israeli travellers every year, this beautiful village amidst sky-high mountains of Kodaikanal is rightly named the “The Little Israel”. Israeli travellers flock here in numbers during the winter and stay for months. Not just the Israelis but people all around the world who love to spend some peaceful time away from the hustle and bustle of the normal tourists in town, consider Vattakkanal as an escape route.
How to reach? Just enjoy the hike route!
Just 5 km from the Kodaikanal town, Vattakkanal is easily accessible by car, jeep or any vehicles. However, I would recommend enjoying a walk to reach Vatta. Start from the La Salette Church in Kodaikanal Town and it is recommended you take an accompanying guide along with you who would make your hike even more fun. As you walk along the roads, you are exposed to some beautiful sights of the Kodaikanal Hills. You get spectacular views of the pine trees, thick sholas and more. Do remember to make a visit to the Pambar Falls as well. It is a hidden natural treasure.
You would reach a point from where you would have to take a downhill deviation which leads to Vattakkanal. From here your hike is going to be more fun. With multicoloured trees on both sides of the roads and the sound of small waterfalls at certain points gushing down, you would feel a forest like an ambience. The pleasant cool breeze helps you fill in your energy levels and keeps the hike more entertaining as well. It gets spine chilly at times though, so do remember to carry your favourite warm outfits.
The following serpentine road to Vatta gives you a glimpse of the stunning views of the Vattakkanal beforehand. As you get more steps closer, onto your left side of the road, you get a view right through the trees, of the majestic hills lined up at a distance. It is a feeling I cannot explain though. On the other side, there are probably hundreds of homestays who cater to the backpackers. As I said, Vattakkanal is a favourite haunt of the backpackers all around the world, a paradise hidden from the normal tourists.
View on the way to Vattakkanal
Finally, when you reach the Vattakkanal viewpoint, you would see many travellers standing in awe as they witness the gorgeous hills of Kodaikanal, kissing the clouds that skim past them. Why? Well! No wonder, when your eyes are treated with a blissful view like this, you would definitely get lost for words. Check out-
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Munnar? Hills of course, then? Perhaps honeymoon? Rite, for sure. Then? Adventure? No? Well! Munnar has emerged as a first choice for the adventure travellers who visit Kerala. The spectacular hills, sprawling tea plantations and the shimmering waterfalls, all of it provides a perfect setting to satisfy the adrenaline craving adventurists all across the globe. The sky-high mountains of Munnar offers some of the best trekking trails in India. Cycling, off-road Jeep Safari, paragliding, Ziplines, rock climbing and what not?
Here are our picks for the best things to do in Munnar which could excite the adventurer in you-
Camp amidst jungle under zillion stars
Jungle Camping in Munnar
Hmm! it sounds pretty scary, right? Nope, I would call it FUN! Pitching up a tent and spending a cold starry night right in the middle of thick jungle definitely seems a good idea. There are many expert tour operators who offer exactly that. It is safe, however, the amenities would be minimal. That is understandable, you are camping atop a peak amidst the thick dark forest, you cannot expect 5-star facilities for sure. If you compromise the same, you would have one of the best nights to remember.
Imagine sitting in front of a tent pitched on a thick grassland, surrounded by thick sholas, the star-studded night sky, the chilly wind, with a cup of hot soup and some ambient music to raise up the mood? Waking up to see the blissful sunrise in the morning? Trekking through the wilderness? I am sure you started dreaming. If yes? Head to Munnar Hills in Kerala and enjoy a one of a kind travel experience in Kerala.
Making their way to the Messapulimalai [Aerial View]
Now, this is for the hardcore adventure travellers. A trek to Meesapulimalai, the second highest peak in South India seems a daunting task for many. It is indeed the same. Trek Level is hard. It is not suggestible to aged persons. It demands a bit of physicality. Also, it is recommended to have an accompanying guide, because you may get lost on the way.
The starting point for this trek is the Silent Valley. The only possible way to reach there is by Jeep. This off-road jeep safari would last 45 mins and during the same, you get to see some majestic views of the surrounding landscape. From there the guided Trek to Meesapulimalai begins. The trek is along the high ridges of the Western Ghats and one would have to cover 7 hills to reach the Meesapulimalai. You would pass through beautiful grasslands, sholas, pine trees and more. The views on the way are simply out of the world and there is no doubt, YOU ARE IN FOR A TREAT!
As you reach the top of the Meesapulimalai, the view downhill is definitely going to take your breath away for a moment. And if it is cloudy, you get to kiss the clouds. They just skim pass through you. On top of all of it, standing atop the second highest peak in South India is a feeling that you experience only when you do conquer the majestic Meesapulimalai.
Thoovanam Waterfalls Trek
Travellers chilling at Thoovanam Waterfalls
45 kms away from the Munnar town is the Thoovanam Waterfalls. Situated amidst the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, the falls are wide and a perfect spot to spend some quality time. However, reaching this falls is not easy, you got to trek your way through the jungle of Chinnar for around 2 hours, and some people may even take 3 hours. The area is a storehouse of different species of birds, which is why it would please the bird watchers as well.
The best time to visit is during the month of June when this area houses millions of butterflies and you are treated with vivid colours of nature.
Lakshmi Hills Trek
Lakshmi Hills trek
This is one of the famous and easiest treks in Munnar. It is a small, soft, short duration trek and therefore is recommended to all. This is suggestible for those who would like to have a short trek in Munnar. Again, a guide is recommended for the maximum fun, as he would take you along the best trek routes.
Trek usually starts from the Hydel park [3 kms from Munnar town]. A 40 minutes trek along the Tea Plantations would take you to the top. They would then walk through ridge area. On to their left, you could see verdant grasslands while on to the right it is tea plantation. Next up a two and a half hour [In some cases, 3 hours] thoroughly entertaining hike down through the thick sholas and Coffee- Cardamom plantations would take you to the finishing point [5 kms from Munnar town] of the Lakshmi Hills trek.
Cycling in Munnar
This is meant for those who love pedalling their way through an unknown countryside. Munnar is a picture-perfect choice for them. Its hilly terrain, stupendous sights all around and the pleasant cool climate would keep your energy levels high and fill your hearts with memories that last a lifetime. Hop on a mountain bike and pedal through the lush green tea plantations, villages and do some off-road cycling as well.
With adventure tourism gaining fame at a rapid pace, India is all set to welcome the adrenaline craving adventure travellers from all across the globe. The Indian Ministry of Tourism on behalf of the Adventure tour operators of India [ATOAI] has declared the year 2018 as the year of Adventure Tourism. The aim is to make India the adventure capital of the planet and it is no wonder India is already the hotspot for the adventure. Travellers have options to excite themselves with various adventure sports throughout the year. With its diverse topography and climatic conditions, the country offers spectacular settings for sky, land and water adventures. Let it be Paragliding, River Rafting or perhaps Bungee Jumping from the top of a cliff, India has everything to satisfy the hunger of all the adrenaline junkies across the globe.
Let us look at some of the most popular adventure destinations in India-
Bungee Jumping at Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
Oh! Yes! This is one of the most favourite sport of those daring adventure travellers. There are many Bungee Jumping spots in India, however, Rishikesh at Uttarakhand boasts of the highest Bungee Jumping platform in India. 83 metre above the sea level, Bungee Jumping here is a must try if you are among the adrenaline addicts. The spot is located in Mohan Chatti village of Rishikesh.
River Rafting in Dandeli, Karnataka
Ah! Another favourite adventure sport for the junkies in India. Whitewater rafting at Dandelli is an exhilarating activity which is full of excitement and fun. Situated amidst the Western Ghats, the Dandelli River offers one of a kind rafting experience. Dash along the racing rapids during this 12 km long Dandelli rafting trail.
Skiing at Auli, Uttarakhand
Auli has risen to one of the world’s most sought-after skiing destination. Skiing at Auli is a complete energy packed adventure. With vast open snow land atop the mountains, 10000 feet above the sea level, Auli offers Skiing opportunities for both beginners and advanced Skiiers. So if you are thinking about Skiing in India, think no further, head to Auli.
Paragliding at Bir Billing, Himachal Pradesh
Who doesn’t love wings? It is likely that at some point in your life, you have dreamt of having wings so that you could fly around like birds. If you are one of those dreamers, who wish to explore the skyline flying above a beautiful landscape, Paragliding is for you. Bir Billing at Himachal Pradesh offers you exactly the same. It is popular around the world for Paragliding activity. Who would not love flying above the mighty Himalayas, the World’s highest mountain chain.
Scuba Diving in Andaman
Now, this is for the water sports lovers. Scuba Diving is loved by all adventure tourists. The gorgeous islands of the Andaman and Nicobar is a perfect choice for the same. Pay heed to the aquatic residents of the Bay of Bengal while you move swiftly through the blue waters at Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Flying Fox Zipline at Jodhpur, Rajasthan
Flying Fox at Jodhpur is famous all around the world and why not? You fly above the Mehrangarh Fort, Rajasthan’s most stunning and one of the largest of its kind in India. You see the Jodhpur like never before. Unlike normal tourists, you are exposed to many unseen sights of the blue city. This adrenaline pumping activity has already made it to the must-do list of adventure travellers all around the world.
Mountain Biking at Leh- Ladakh
Mountain Biking is for those who crave the ultimate level of adventure. Leh- Ladakh is known for its rugged landscape which is perfect for Mountain- Biking. If you are in for an adventure at Leh- Ladakh, try Mountain biking. The ride to the Khardungla Top, the Stok, Stakna & Thiksey Monasteries, Shanti Stupa and Namgyal Tsemo are some of the favourite mountain biking routes for the Adventure travellers.
Sky Diving at Aamby Valley, Maharashtra
Sky Diving! This is probably the hot cake in Adventure Tourism. It is not for the faint-hearted though. The free fall feeling from thousands of feet up above the sky is something which cannot be expressed in words. It must be experienced rather than said. Go for it, feel the adrenaline rush through your veins.
Surfing at Kovalam, Kerala
Well! Waves always bring smiles. Surfing is pure joy, but yes it demands a certain level of courage to glide along the gushing waves. Surfing is definitely for the adventurists, not for the faint-hearted and Kovalam is a perfect playground for them.
Snorkelling in Goa
One of the most anticipated activities at Goa, Snorkelling is fun and fun is something we all love to engage with. Get close to the marine life, experience the life underwater, come across the dolphins and much more, Goa is real snorkelling paradise.
Visakhapatnam or Vizag is the second largest city in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Though it was not very popular among the travellers a decade ago, this port city is slowly gaining fame among International travellers as well. The exotic beaches here such as the Ramakrishna Beach and the Rushikonda Beach are becoming favourites among the seaside lovers, whereas the Arakku Valley has become the go-to destination for those who love the tranquillity and greenery atop the hills. The Buddhist sites at Vizag, such as Thotlakonda and Bavikonda comprises of Buddhist ruins belonging to 3rd Century BC. The Dutch ruins at Bheemunipatnam or Bhimli are worth admiring as well. Let us pick you some of the best tourist places to visit in Vizag for your next trip-
The most famous beach in Andhra Pradesh, the Rushikonda Beach is a picture perfect beach destination for your next holiday. Verdant hills clubbed golden sands and the shimmering blue waters of the Bay of Bengal, you are in for visual a treat here. Just relax by the seaside, enjoy some seafood, hit the waves and get wet, or perhaps get indulged in exciting water sports activities such as Jet Ski or Surfing. You can easily reach Rushikonda from Visakhapatnam, just 30 km away from the city.
3300 feet above the sea level, Arakku Valley is a serene hill station located 120 km away from the city of Vizag [Visakhapatnam]. Set amidst the Eastern Ghats, Arakku is a hilly paradise. The train ride to Arakku has hit the travel wish list of many travellers. It is truly entertaining when the train gently move through the picturesque landscapes of Arakku with lush green hills on both sides offering some of the ecstatic views of nature.
To explore and enjoy every sight of Arakku Valley, you would need at least 2 to 3 days minimum. So when you plan, keep at least 2 nights completely for Arakku Valley. The Dumbriguda Waterfalls, tribal museum, the Matsyagundam [Fish pool], and the Tyda Park are some of the major sightseeing spots at Arakku Valley.
Now, we are talking about the “Biggest caves in India”, the Borra Caves. These enormous limestone caves are said to be more than 150 million years old. Perched above 4500 feet from the sea level, the Borra Caves was hidden from the outside world until 1807. You have to trek your way up to the Borra Caves, which makes it even more interesting, you would come across small waterfalls on the way as well. It is definitely a must visit during your Vizag tour.
INS Kursura Submarine Museum at Ramakrishna Beach
Ramakrishna Beach and Submarine Museum
A favourite haunt of the people in Visakhapatnam, Ramakrishna Beach is a picture-perfect seaside to relax and enjoy the scenes around. The crystal blue ocean clubbed with lush green mountains would for sure entertain every traveller. The Submarine Museum is a major attraction here at the Ramakrishna Beach. A decommissioned Indian submarine named INS Kurusura has been installed here by the Indian Navy offering an opportunity to the public to know how the submarines are operated during the wartime. Make sure you spend some time here at the submarine museum during your visit to the Ramakrishna Beach.
Viewpoint at Kailasagiri Hill
The Kailasagiri Hill is located to the North of Visakhapatnam. Located 130 meters above the sea level, this hill offers some stunning views of the serpentine shoreline and the surrounding landscape. A park has been developed around 50 acres atop this hill facing the Bay of Bengal. It has seven viewpoints, which offers the visitors a great opportunity to enjoy the scenes of the Vizag.
15 km away from the city of Visakhapatnam, is this famous Buddhist site called Thotlakonda. It is located on a hill 420 feet high above the sea level. The site was active during the period of 200 BC to 200 AD. Buddhist monks from far off lands such as China, Tibet and Burma used to visit here and stay for a long time before completing their Buddhist studies. It comprises of stone wells which collected water for the Buddhist monks who lived here, meditation halls, stupas etc. Thotlakonda is of huge significance for the Buddhists and it sees a lot of Buddhist visitors from all parts of the world.
Bhimli or Bheemunipatnam
Bhimli is popularly known as the Hollander’s Green, owing the name to the Dutch settlement during the 17th century. A ruined Dutch Fort and cemetery is present here. Other than that there is nothing much left out here of the Dutch days of the past. The Bhimli Beach is a must visit and is great to spend time soaking the sun or hitting the waves. More than all of these, what makes Bhimli so famous is the 25 km drive from Visakhapatnam which is so entertaining with a lot of vivid beautiful scenes you would see flash through your window.
So that was our list of best tourist places to visit in Vizag.
If you have any more recommendations for the travellers, drop your comment below and share it with us.