October 23, 2019

Top 4 Self Drive Car Rental Providers in Chennai

Image source: Freepik

Lanes of Chennai have always welcomed travellers. To experience the rich cultural tradition of Chennai you need the best travel experience. Don't worry, just pack your bags and go to Chennai. Here you will find numerous car rentals, which help you to create stories of your dreams. Now you don't have to worry about transportation and high unaffordable prices. Rental cars in Chennai will make your journey comfortable and tireless. Just book any of the below-mentioned car rental services and enjoy your trip without getting delayed. Any place is best enjoyed when you have the steering in your hand. So go ahead.

‘No stop, but always go’, IndusGo takes you ahead through the cultural and glorious city lanes of Chennai without causing hindrance or breaks in your driving experience. IndusGo is a car rental service, which is working under the efficient guidance of Indus Motors. It gives you 24*7 support and assistance in your whole journey, and they also provide fully insured cars to make sure your drive is a safe one. They also have pick up and drop facility, apart from a huge collection of vehicles. At an affordable rate, IndusGo tries to give you everlasting memories. As per your choice you could book them for your personal needs, on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. There is no hassle of security charges. You can rent the car with fuel or without fuel. If it is without fuel then it costs only Rs 70 per hour. To book IndusGo’s services, just visit their website and place your booking. Create your story in Chennai with IndusGo.

Every journey becomes special if you choose the right companion. How you travel also matters. To explore a city to its fullest, one should have a good vehicle with them. By choosing Zoom car you get to experience a travel scheme with unlimited memories. Comfort and privacy are two things that everyone looks up to during every travel. So if you believe in this, just pack your bags to Chennai and book Zoom’s car rental service. No matter where you want to go, Zoom will accompany you on your journey through the cultural bounty of Chennai by giving you a memorable travel experience. At an affordable rate, Zoom offers amazing cars of your choice. You don’t have to worry about fuel costs, petrol ,mileage, insurance or car breakdown, as Zoom car rental service is present all over the city, and you will get their assistance at any time. So just zoom in with Zoom cars. 

Nisha car rental service offers you a plethora of choices to make your journey blissful. They have some interesting services and schemes which can benefit you if you make the right travel plan at the right time. If you make the booking three days before the journey, you will get unlimited Kilometres. Also, they provide 350 k/m free travel experience to all the consumers. You only have to pay Rs 5000/- in advance, after that, the car will be yours till the end of the journey. They also care for your security. You have to submit identity proofs to prove your age. If you are above 21 then you can definitely experience the service of Nisha cars. 

Create unique stories with MyChoize. For sure, you will never regret making a choice by opting MyChoize as a companion in your journey. They have numerous options to offer you. Starting from luxurious models, they have a wide range of collection that suits your travel plan. Let it be a business trip or holiday, choose MyChoize, it gives you better options to explore the lanes of Chennai at your convenience without causing any trouble to your travel time. One can book their cars for hourly, weekly or monthly basis. You can get their service from wherever you want. Their prime focus is on giving you quality time to make memories. 

Choosing the right destination and vehicle are significant to any travel experience. If you fail to make the right choice, then your entire journey could end up tiresome and boring. Travel should give you pleasure and leisure, and you should be comfortable and free of worries. How can one be happy if they reach Chennai and find a problem in transportation? To ensure your happiness, it is always ideal to book and plan in advance. Pack your dreams in your bags, book any of these self-drive car rental providers, find the best car of your choice, get hold of the steering and drive out. You have miles to go. 

P.S.: This is a collaborative post.

October 18, 2019

Top 10 places in Odisha you should visit once in a lifetime

Photo credit: Odisha Tourism

Odisha, formerly known as Orissa is a culturally enriching state in the eastern part of India. It is blessed with a long list of temples, beaches, museums, biosphere reserves, wildlife, national parks, sanctuaries, and many other tourist attractions that make the land a must visit place in the country. The state has a host of amazing architectural wonders such as temples and forts, apart from serene lakes, sun kissed beaches and much more. Some of the top notch places and attractions which are a must visit in Odisha are below.
1. Lord Jagannath Temple – As per Hindu mythology, the temple completes the Char Dhams circle and is among the highly celebrated and visited pilgrimage centres situated in Puri. This temple boasts of rich and unique medieval Indian history and heritage in the form of its architectural work, which indeed gives an insight into the artwork and the religiousness that has been associated with it. Located along the eastern coast of the country, the temple is reckoned to be a part of the Char Dham circle that needs to be always visited in the clockwise direction. A lot of tourists come to visit the temple every year and seek the blessings of the deity, Lord Vishnu, to have good times ahead.

2. Konark Sun Temple – Featured in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list, it is indeed a must visit site, and definitely worth exploring. Constructed in the form of a chariot that resembles the God Surya and having 12 wheels, the entrance of the temple faces east so that the first rays of the sun enters the sanctum. The details of the temple’s architecture are so intricate and interesting that one might want to take up majors in Indian history and architecture after visiting this temple.

3. Chilika Lake – It is the country’s biggest brackish saltwater lagoon that gives nature lovers and enthusiasts an opportunity to check out a plethora of migratory birds flying in from far off destinations which includes remote parts of Russia, Caspian Sea, Kirghiz steppes of Mongolia, and even Middle East and Central Asia. The topographies and beautiful landscapes of the lake further accentuate the charm of the place. Another attraction here are the rare Irrawaddy dolphins that can be spotted in the lake.

4. Raghurajpur Artist Village – It doesn’t matter whether you are an art lover or not, but this village is indeed a must to visit for all. The passion of the locals here is exceptional and there are different varieties of artwork available here that includes the Tassar Silk, Pattachitra – a cloth based scroll painting, stonework, palm leaf paintings, and many more. These can be used to adorn and embellish your homes and work spaces, and they come with quality craftsmanship of the locals.

5. Ratnagiri, Udayagiri and Lalitgiri – The caves are situated in Jajpur district in Odisha, and are known for its richness related to Buddhism and Jainism. One can find Buddhist artefacts, stupas, shrines and even monasteries here which would leave you mesmerized and in awe. Also, the surroundings are filled with thick forests and ideal to enjoy some peaceful and harmonious moments.

6. Nandankanan Zoological Park – The Garden of Heavens as this place is referred, is an amazing zoological park and stays true to its name. The park is run with a lot of care and attention. The wide range of animals that you can see here comprises of mouse deer, crocodiles, reptiles like turtles, lizards and pythons, and many more rare species.

7. Chandrabagha Beach – The destination is sometimes referred as the place of rising sun in India. Situated at a distance of about 30 kms from Konark Sun Temple, it is indeed a must visit stop, and a great place to spend memorable time with your loved ones. It is one of the best places in the state from where one can return with lovely memories and frames.

8. Tribes – When in Odisha one should definitely include a visit to the tribal areas to understand the culture and heritage of the tribes who live with with full zeal, enthusiasm, simplicity and modesty. Some of the places where you can visit the tribes include Jeypore, Nandapur, Kunduli, Rayagada etc.

9. Lingaraj Temple – Dating back to the 11th century, it is one of the oldest and largest temples in Bhubhaneshwar, the capital city of Odisha. Dedicated to lord Shiva, the red sandstone temple is 54 m high and was constructed by King Jajati Keshari of Soma Vansha dynasty. The interesting history of the temple is the belief that the Shiv lingam was self originated and it is bathed daily with milk, water and bhang. The main sanctum here in the temple is surrounded by many other smaller shrines.

10. Gopalpur beach – As compared to other beaches, it is less commercialized, but is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and stunning places to visit in the state. An ideal place for peace seekers and couples, the beach boasts of serene surroundings. It also offers water sports activities such as wind surfing, rowing, paddle boat, water scooter, scuba diving, etc. The other prime attraction at the beach is the Gopalpur beach festival that is held here annually.

Apart from these, there are many other attractions in Odisha which include wildlife, beaches, waterfalls, temples etc. Places to include in the itinerary depend totally on one’s interest, preference and convenience while planning an Odisha tour. One could get in touch with one of the top notch Odisha tour travel agent- Best Choice Holiday to help create an itinerary for Odisha tour. Let them know about the preferences and destinations you would like to cover in the itinerary along with the budget and time constraints, to help them curate a memorable holiday for you.

P.S.: This post is in collaboration with Best Choice Holiday

October 8, 2019

Top 5 Tips for Trekking in Nepal

Nepal is a paradise for trekking enthusiasts. Whether beginner or an avid trekker; the country has something in store for everyone. If you’re planning for an adventure in the Himalayas, here is a list of the top 5 tips for trekking in Nepal that will help you during the journey.

So let's dive straight in!

1. Decide the Trekking Season
Trekking in Nepal is popular throughout the year. A different season offers a different experience. So, it’s better to do a bit of research before you finalize a trek in a random season.

The classic high altitude treks like Everest Base Camp Trek or Annapurna Circuit trek are best during peak season. However, trekking to these places during the off-season can also be as entertaining as you expect. Likewise, many short and easy trekking destinations are doable throughout the year. Keep in mind that popular treks are quite crowded and busy during peak seasons (Autumn and Spring).

Some famous treks like Upper Mustang, Upper Dolpo, and Nar Phu Valley Trek lies in the “rain-shadow area” of Nepal. This area lies in the leeward-side of the Himalayas. So, there is little to no rainfall in these places throughout the year. That means you can try these treks throughout the year, even during monsoon!

2. Know What to Wear When Trekking in Nepal

Are you thinking about rocking that new pair of shorts as you trek? Think again. Many trekkers don’t pack appropriately for their trek and end up buying new clothes. Don’t let that happen to you. You need to pack useful items. You need to forget about fashion and trends while buying clothes for the trek.

It’s better to focus on buying the things that keep you warm and comfortable. Invest in high quality when purchasing trekking apparel like down jackets and trekking boots. During the trek, it’s a great idea to layer clothes for the cold weather rather than wearing a heavy jacket on top. It prevents your body heat from escaping. Layers also keep the cold from penetrating in. While packing for trekking in Nepal, pack the clothes you need and discard the rest.

3. Altitude Sickness and Prevention

“Go slow, acclimatize, and hydrate!”

Always keep these 3 things in your mind. Trekking to high altitudes is no walk in the park. You need to be aware of the dangers and risks of trekking to higher elevations. The oxygen level goes on decreasing as you trek to higher altitudes. Your body needs to acclimatize for these changes. If your body doesn’t get enough rest and hydration, you’re at a risk of altitude sickness.

Altitude sickness is a condition that occurs at higher elevations. It can cause nausea, headache, and other problems for trekkers. So, it’s wise to trek at a slow pace, stay hydrated throughout the day. Make sure your itinerary has a few acclimatization days. Taking these precautions minimizes the chances of altitude sickness and keeps problems at bay.

4. Prepare for the Unpredictable Power Cuts
Power cuts are still a thing in rural parts of Nepal. The locals call it load-shedding, and it becomes an issue for many unprepared trekkers. Most trekking destinations lie in remote areas of the country. Some places still don’t have electricity. 
Hotels and lodges use solar panels as alternatives to electricity. As energy is scarce in these areas, trekkers need to pay additional money while charging their phones and cameras. So, it’s a great idea to carry a portable solar charger to charge your devices when trekking in Nepal. You can also bring some high capacity batteries and power banks. You also need to take a torch or flashlight to move around in the dark.
5. Be respectful
Nepal is a country full of wonders and surprises. Trekking in the Himalayas takes you into the rural and untouched parts of the nation. You’ll encounter locals who follow unique cultures and have a simple lifestyle. Around the world Nepalese are famous for their generosity and hospitality. To have the best experience with these people, you need to respect their way of life and their beliefs.

Don’t expect everyone to speak in English. Understand that some things that you think as usual might be a local taboo. So, take your time and collect as much information as possible about the country and the people.

Final Words
Nepal is a country blessed with natural beauty and cultural diversity. Travel enthusiasts from all around the world visit the nation every year and fall in love with the place.

In the end, it’s all about making some of the best memories wherever you go. And with these 5 tips for trekking in Nepal, anyone can make the most out of their journey.

October 3, 2019

Ten Must Visit Temples in Tamil Nadu

Ruled by Pallavas, Cholas, Pandyas, Marathas and various other dynasties and kings over the years, Tamil Nadu in Southern India is home to some of the most beautifully sculpted temples in the country. As much as they are frequently visited by pilgrims and followers of Hinduism, these temples also display spectacular carvings and sculptures which were chiseled centuries ago. These give the visitors a peek into the world of temple architecture and extensive stone work which have withstood time, war and natural calamities over the years. Below are the 10 must visit temples in Tamil Nadu which are popular among both pilgrims and travellers alike.

Ranganathaswamy, Srirangam

Sprawling over 156 acres, Sri Ranganathaswamy temple is the largest functional Hindu temple in the world. Located on the river island of Srirangam, which is carved out of the rivers Cauvery and Kollidam, the temple is one of the prominent Vishnu temples in India. As per Srirangam temple history, it was first built in the 3rd century CE and was rebuilt over the next many centuries until 17th century CE. Apart from 21 spectacular entrance gates (gopurams), 9 temple ponds, 39 pavilions, 49 shrines of Vishnu and many halls, the expansive temple premise also houses museums, roads, houses and commercial establishments. There are 7 decorated colourful gopurams to pass through to reach the sanctum sanctorum, which has a gold plated gopuram. Rajagpuram which faces south is the main entrance gate and stands tall at 73 meters. Ranganathar, which is a form of Vishnu in a reclining pose on a coiled serpent, is the main shrine here. The temple is built in typical Dravidian temple architecture, and its halls such as Kili Mandapam, Garuda Mandapam, Ranga Vilasa Mandapam and Shesharaya Mandapam are testimony to this. A narrow stairs near Ranga Vilasa mandapam goes up to the roof and offers lovely aerial views of all the gopurams. Margazhi (December- January) month is when the temple hosts its major festival.

Brihadeeshwarar, Thanjavur

Brihadeeshwarar temple which is often called as the big temple, was built in the 11th century during Chola reign by Rajaraja Chola I, and is presently a UNESCO World Heritage site. The temple dedicated to Shiva is built in Dravidian style, and emblazons the Chola art, design and architecture. Built inside fort Shivganga, the temple has two extensively carved entrance gates with sculptures of mythological characters. The sprawling courtyard house numerous shrines, but what stands out is the intimidating main shrine which is a thirteen storeyed structure with spectacular sculptures and an eighty tonne carved granite block atop it. The chisel work is extensive and there are numerous inscriptions too across the outer fa├žade of the main shrine. The other shrines in the complex are dedicated to Ganesha, Nataraja, Varaha, Chandikeshvara etc. The shrines of Subrahmanya and Nandi have gorgeous sculptures and frescoes on them. A pillared pathway runs across the courtyard which is an ideal place to relax and see the sun set behind the main shrine in the evenings.

Adi Kumbeshwarar, Kumbakonam

Kumbakonam is known for its numerous temples and Adi Kumbeshwarar is considered to be one of the most prominent ones in this temple town. Built before the 7th century CE during the rule of Chola dynasty, this temple is believed to have been rebuilt and renovated over the years. Dedicated to Kumbeshwarar, a form of Shiva, this popular temple has wonderful mythological sculptures on its walls, ceiling and pillars. These can be spotted on the hall that leads to the inner sanctum, which has numerous colourful carvings and sculptures. The temple premise also houses Kandha Kumba Theertham, the sacred temple pond.

Ramanathaswamy, Rameshwaram

Dedicated to Shiva, the main shrine at Ramanathaswamy temple is believed to have been consecrated by Rama (the protagonist in the epic Ramayana) upon his arrival from Sri Lanka after defeating Ravana. The temple was renovated and expanded during the rule of Pandya kings in the 12th century CE. This temple is believed to be one of the 12 Jyotirlinga temples in India and has four large entrance gates or gopurams. A major attraction at this temple is the thousand pillared corridor which is the longest temple corridor in the country. The colourful ceilings are another highlight here. There are 22 theerthams (holy ponds) within the temple, where pilgrims get watered by priests before entering the inner sanctum as it is considered auspicious.

Meenakshi Amman, Madurai

The biggest attraction in Madurai is undoubtedly Meenakshi Amman or Meenakshi Sundareshwarar temple. The 7th century temple built by the Pandya dynasty is located in the heartland of Tamil Nadu. The temple has had many additions to it in the later years by various other rulers. The four tall colourful entrance gates with extensive carvings are a major attraction as one strolls around the tall walls of this popular temple. While the temple is dedicated to Meenakshi, a form of Parvati, it also houses a shrine dedicated to Shiva, in the form of Sundareshwarar. The temple architecture stands out with its beautiful carvings and sculptures of various gods, figurines and scenes from mythology on walls, ceilings, pillars and gopurams. The temple is also known for its numerous halls with sculpted pillars. Aayiram Kal mandapam (Thousand pillar hall), Kalyana sannidhi, Oonjal mandapam and Kambathadi mandapam are some of the wonderfully sculpted halls within the premises. The large temple pond is another highlight here. Meenakshi Amman is one of the most colourful and vibrant temples in Tamil Nadu.

Jambukeshwarar, Tiruchirappalli

One of the oldest and popular temples near Tiruchirappally in central Tamil Nadu, Jambukeshwarar temple was built in the 2nd century CE by the Chola kings. Located in the town of Thiruvanaikaval, the temple is dedicated to both Shiva and his consort, Parvati. The temple is adorned with colourful gopurams (entrance gates), tall walls and carved pillars. The sculpted pillars are the highlight of this temple and they are present across the premises with broad corridors running alongside. Apart from the main shrine which has a shivlinga, the other major shrine here is Akhilandeshwari amman. There are also a few other shrines within this temple.

Arunachaleshwar, Tiruvannamalai

The second largest temple complex in India, Arunchaleshwar temple is dedicated to Shiva, and has a beautiful setting spread over 10 hectares. The gopurams (entrance gates)  and walls of the temple stand tall in the middle of the small town of Tiruvannamalai with Arunachaleshwar hill in the backdrop. The temple was first built by the Chola dynasty and later rebuilt and expanded during the rule of Vijayanagara empire. Though the gopurams are devoid of colours, they have numerous carvings of various mythological characters. The main entrance which faces east direction is the tallest at 217 feet. Here Shiva is worshipped in the form of Agni (fire). The temple also houses numerous other shrines, and a beautiful hall called Ayiram Kal Mandapam which has thousand carved pillars. The major festival at this temple is Karthigai Deepam (November- December) during which pilgrims circumnavigate the Arunachaleshwar hill.

Kailasanathar, Kanchipuram

Built by Narasimhavarman II during the rule of Pallavas in the 8th century CE, Kailasanthar temple has Dravidian temple architecture, and is dedicated to Shiva. Though the sculptures have weathered over the years, the temple still displays extensive carvings of various gods and mythological figures all across its walls. While the main shrine has a shivlinga, there are numerous other small shrines in the temple which are dedicated to Shiva. While the base of the temple is made of granite, the interesting aspect is that every other part of the temple is made from sandstone. Kanchipuram has numerous temples, and this one lies tucked away in one of its alleys and doesn’t look one bit ostentatious despite being the most prominent one.

Ekambareshwarar, Kanchipuram

Worshipped in the form of earth, Shiva is the presiding deity at Ekambareshwarar temple. Sometimes referred as Ekambaranath temple, it was built during the Chola reign in the 9th century. Though the main shrine houses a shivlinga, there are numerous other shrines too, including a shrine dedicated to Vishnu. The temple architecture is impressive with a magnificent eleven storeyed main entrance gate called Rajagopuram, apart from beautiful carvings, long pillared corridors, a thousand pillared hall and a large pond. Most of the pillars and halls were built later when Kanchipuram was under the Vijayanagara dynasty. Believed to be 3000 years old, an old mango tree inside the temple is the location where Shiva and Kamakshi had supposedly got married, and is a revered place for pilgrims visiting this temple.

Thillai Nataraja, Chidambaram

Dedicated to Shiva, Nartaraja temple was built during the Chola period in the 11th century CE. With extensive Chola sculptures and exquisite architecture, the colourful temple has Shiva in a dancing pose as its main deity. The temple complex also has numerous other sanctums, including that of a Vishnu shrine apart from pillared halls and huge water tanks. The entrance door or gopuram stands tall and intimidating with its colourful exterior and sculpted interiors. Intricate sculptures of gods and mythological figures embellish the colourful gopuram. The sprawling courtyard is known as Kanakasabhai, and the temple is known for its yearly music and dance festival. Maha Kumbabhishekam is the annual festival that brings the temple alive every year.

P.S.: This post is in collaboration with Srirangam Temple
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