A Trip to Remember – Puri to Bhubaneshwar

Puri, home to Lord Jagannatha is a place every spiritual Indian loves to visit. Located on the Bay of Bengal coast, this amazing city offers a sense of calm, peace and tranquility which is unusual to find in Indian cities. The famous Rath Yatra attracts a large number of people from all over the world to be a part of this magnificent event. Many people embark on a journey that takes them to various places, some known and some obscure places in Orissa. When planning a trip from Puri to Bhubaneshwar, there are a lot of activities and amazing sights to enjoy and take pleasure in. Here, we bring you 5 most important activities and sights to enjoy while on the trip.

5 Things to see

Amazing Views of Sunrise and Sunset

It is important to note that Puri has been positioned in such a way that the city witnesses stunning views of sunset and sunrise. If possible, visit the beach early in the morning to catch the early morning rays of the Sun. This is the best time and place to enjoy this panoramic vista.

Promenade and Puri Beach

Every weekend the famous beach in Puri and the Promenade area becomes a perfect place for the revelers to enjoy and have great fun with friends and family.

Visit the Temples on the way

It is significant to note that the temples built in the state of Orissa manifest Nagara style of architecture, which is quite unique in itself. There are three parts in these temples, namely, Jagamohana, Shikhara and Natamandira. To enter the garbhgriha, one has to pass through the Jagmohana. The temples are vibrantly painted and exquisitely carved.

Nandan Kanan Zoo

Visit the famous Nandan Kanan Zoo and watch the wild animals in all their glory. It is an interesting activity, especially, if there are kids along with you.

Orissa Modern Art Gallery

If you want to know more about the art and culture of this state and how it progressed across various dynasties that ruled over this area, visiting Orissa Modern Art Gallery is a great idea. There is no dearth of artifacts on display that shed lights on the erstwhile era.

Places to Visit

Konark

Konark has always been known for its magnificent Sun Temple, built in the 13th century and considered as a perfect example of poetry in stone. Konark adds a very significant chapter to the architectural history of the country. The ruins of this stunning temple were found buried beneath the sands, which was later painstakingly restored back to its original glory. Located at a distance of 65 km from Bhubaneshwar, this temple has been built in the classic style of architecture. It is chariot shaped and truly magnificent in its carvings and splendor.

Dhauli

Orissa also enjoys a tenacious connection with Lord Buddha, although he never visited this area in his lifetime. One of the prominent Buddhist sites in Orissa is Dhauli, a place known for its third century Ashoka edicts. The Peace Pagoda or the Shanti Stupa is also worth visiting. The place has a lot of historical value as this was the place where Emperor Ashoka experienced a change of heart and gave away with war and violence.

Pipli

Pipli is famous for its stunning applique work. This is basically a traditional embroidery art which has brought Orissa on the country’s handicraft map. A variety of colored fabric is cut into myriad sizes and shapes and painstakingly sewn together to create a perfect example of stitchery. Embellishment using metal, glass, beads, etc., add further attraction to this art.

Chandrabhaga Beach

Located at a distance of 3 km from Konark, the Chandrabhaga Beach is known for its International Sand Art Festival that is organized on this beach every year in the month of December. A mesmerizing lighthouse, a fish-market and a huge fisherman colony also attract a large number of visitors who wish to know more about the lifestyle of people living in this area.

Ramchandi

This is also one of the significant beaches in Orissa. It is situated at the confluence of Kusabhadra River and the Bay of Bengal. The beach derives its name from the deity presiding over this region, Ramchandi. People love to enjoy and frolic in the waters at this beach located just 7 km away from Konark.

Sakhi Gopal

Sakshi Gopal is a very famous temple located in the town Sakshi-Gopala, almost 20 km away from Jagannath Puri. This is a Lord Krishna Temple. The idol was earlier in Vrindavan. The temple has an interesting story which is still recounted fondly by the people of this town.

Plan your visit from Puri to Bhubaneshwar with great care and enjoy a lot of interesting and fun-filled activities and sights on the way.

Decoding the Myth of Malcha Mahal in Delhi

Exploring the unknown have always excited the adventurous kinds. The sheer feeling of finding out the reality behind a folklore, a legend or a cryptic place surely creates goosebumps. One such strange location is the mysterious Malcha Mahal in Delhi. Located just at the ridge forest behind the Rashtrapati Bhavan, not many have the knowledge of what exactly lies in the deep woods. Some say there’s an office of government’s secret service department while others say it’s quite similar to what the US have as Area 51. Several others believe that the location was once a burial ground for the British officers and their lost souls still haunt the area. But, nobody knows what actually lies there. If you’ve got a similar flair for finding out the reality behind it, you can check these spooky places on a weekend and easily find a Delhi to Mumbai flights price to return.

The national capital, owing to its strategic location, has been under the rulership of several kingdoms and dynasties. From the Hindu kings to the Muslim kings of the Lodhi Dynasty and from the Mughal rulers to the British Raj, the city has seen it all. These bounds of monarchy also led to the establishment of several monuments and historical structures. While some are celebrated structures, others carry a daunting memory and thus have become more enigmatic with their presence. Looks like whoever built the Malcha Mahal, certainly did not have a great experience with life.

The mahal is located in the Central Ridge Forest area on Bistdari Road and for the lovers of offbeat and haunted places, this one place is definitely recommended. Due to its location at the Bistdari Road, the mahal is also known, Bistdari Mahal. According to the historians, the mahal is was constructed by the royal Nawabs of the Oudh region in 1600 A.D and it served as a community guest house for the travelers passing through the area. The region was then under the control of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, whose great-granddaughter, princess Wilayat Mahal took control of the property in the 20th century. Locals say that the begum had a long strife with the British over the rights on the property. After a long legal battle, the British gave the mahal to the begum, who settled in with her two kids, however, the long tenure of courtroom drama had its effect and she committed suicide leaving behind her children. It is also said that her kids didn’t perform the burial rituals and stayed with her body in the house for more than 10 days, after which the locals intervened and proceeded with the ceremonies.

Many believe that it is the spirit of the begum that haunts not only the mahal but the area in its radius. Locals and travelers passing through the area have spotted a mysterious floating figure of a woman on the roads and several cases of major accidents have been reported in the past few years. Since the location is just behind the presidential palace, a tight vigil is maintained by the local police and if found in the area at odd hours, you might find yourself behind the bars as well.

It’s because of such factors the Malcha Mahal has been counted amongst one of the most famous tourist places to visit in Delhi, despite all the myths.

Amazing Things To Do To Make The Most Of Your Trip To Varkala

Home to majestic cliffs, lush coconut groves, pristine beaches, and the mesmerizing Arabian Sea, Varkala is truly one of the best seaside getaways in India. Varkala is blessed with a natural postcard worthy setting and still retains a quaint rustic charm. With its idyllic beaches, yoga and Ayurveda centers, and untouched greenery, Varkala is an ideal destination to get back in touch with your life, soul, and nature. Here is a comprehensive list of amazing things to do in and around Varkala –

Beaches

Varkala’s biggest attraction is its spectacular beaches, some of the best in the country. The most popular beach in Varkala is Papanasam Beach, also known as Varkala Beach. Literally meaning ‘to wash away sins’, it is believed that taking a dip in the serene waters of Papanasam Beach washes away all your sins. This serene beauty of this beach if further accentuated by the rocky cliffs that flank its coast.

If isolation and privacy is what you seek, then head to Thiruvambadi Beach near Varkala. This secluded beach is one of the rare black sand beaches in India. Kappil Beach is another quiet and peaceful beach near Varkala. This beach has a stunning natural location bound by the Arabian Sea on its west and on its right lies the Edava Narayan Lake. With a picturesque backwater lake adjoining the beach, this palm-fringed azure beach seems straight out of a postcard. Kappil Beach is also one of the few beaches in Varkala that is not lined with shacks and cafes, making it an ideal beach for photography.

Anjengo Fort and Lighthouse

Situated along a beautiful beach near Varkala, this 17th century fort was built by the British East Indian Company and served an important purpose during the Anglo-Mysore War. Anjengo is also known as Anchuthengu that literally translates to 5 coconut trees in Malayalam. This fort is best explored on foot. Inside the fort there is a cemetery dating back to 1704. A few steps the fort is the lighthouse that used as signal station for the ships and cruises from England. Climb to the top of the tower for some mesmerizing views of the Arabian Sea. The lighthouse is open on all days between 9am and 6.30pm. While you are here, also explore the nearby fishing village to get a glimpse of the rustic rural side of Kerala.

Sivagiri Mutt

Sivagiri Mutt is worth visiting for the soul-searching traveller. This mull was built in 1904 atop the Sivagiri mountain by Sri Narayan Guru, a popular reformer and thinker. Every year thousands of pilgrims come here during Gurudeva Jayanti and hold vibrant processions, cultural programs, conferences, and feasts. A visit to Sivagiri Mutt is perfect to meditate and get some peace of mind.

Janardan Swami Temple

This 12th century temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu is one of the most important temples and popular tourist spots in Kerala. According to the local legend, the history of this temple goes back two thousand years. This beautiful temple has a stunning location amidst coconut trees on a cliff overlooking Papanasam Beach.

Yoga and Ayurveda

If the heavenly tropical beaches and laidback lifestyle of Varkala hasn’t calmed you enough, then awaken your senses, mind, body, and soul with some tried and tested Yoga and Ayurveda therapy. With a number of yoga centers, Varkala is a hotspot of yoga enthusiasts. Most of the popular yoga classes are situated near the iconic Varkala cliff. At Varkala you can take lessons in different types of Yoga including Laughter yoga!

After a day well spent exploring and surfing, what better way to end it than with a soothing Ayurvedic massage! Along with massages you can pamper yourself with Ayurvedic therapies and treatments.

Shopping

Shopping till you drop at in the colorful street market near the North Cliffs in Varkala. If customization is what you are looking for, then look no further; many shops here take orders for made-to-measure clothes – from skirts to kaftans to dresses! Besides clothes you can also pick up scarfs, sarongs, CDs, spices, trinkets, and tea and coffee powders.

Food

Being a seaside town, Varkala is a paradise for seafood lovers. Most restaurants, cafes, and thattukadas (street vendors) serve an array of local and seafood delicacies. But thanks to the influx of western tourists you can find European, Chinese, Mexican, and Tibetan restaurants. One of the must-visit cafes is the homely Kerala Mama Kumari’s Home. Make sure you are starving hungry because at this family-run café you will be savoring a lavish 14-course authentic Kerala veg meal served on a banana leaf.

Situated atop the famed cliffs of Varkala, Vedanta Wake Up! is the perfect base to explore Varkala. At Vedanta Wake Up! you will get to stay tastefully designed organic bamboo huts, a truly tropical experience.

Toronto: Canada’s Queen City

The importance of a major city can be measured by how much it epitomizes the nation where it is located. It embodies, and represents, everything that makes up that nation. Toronto is one such city.

A Global City

Toronto is known as the Queen City of Canada, and with good reason. More than a mere major city for the North American country, it is also a global city which denotes its importance as an economic center of far-reaching value. It ranks fairly well with other global cities across the continent, particularly those in its neighbor, the United States. A vast majority of Canada’s largest companies have their offices within the city, with industries ranging from aerospace, to telecommunications, tourism, and many others. Its role in world finance is underscored by its Stock Exchange, which ranks second in the world. That the city is strategically-located with respect to other population and industrial centers certainly help account for its important position as well.

The city of Toronto could also be considered a global city in another aspect. Most of the people who immigrate to Canada find themselves attracted by the city. There are a great number of reasons why this is so. Living in the city has become very attractive not only because of the economic opportunities present, but also because it has managed to raise the quality of life outside of a pure financial standpoint. An environment that is clean, occurrence of crime that is relatively low, and a welcoming atmosphere all manage to make it inviting to become a resident of Toronto. Living there is thus comparable to any other great city in the world.

Where to Stay in Toronto

Making a visit to a great city like Toronto requires ample time. This is necessary to maximize the experience and be able to cover as much ground as possible. As such, a great and yet inexpensive place to stay is important. The following are some of the hotels that are budget-friendly.

Hotel Victoria Downtown Toronto – Hotel Victoria is more than just a hotel; it is also a historical site as it is one of Toronto’s oldest hotels. One of its great advantages is being placed strategically within the heart of the city. Staying in this hotel keeps visitors near leading city attractions, leisure areas, and some of the finest restaurants Toronto has to offer.

Bond Place Hotel – The Bond Place Hotel maintains its appeal as the place to stay in Toronto by virtue of its always improving facilities and service. It is also perfectly located, walking distance from the theater area, the Eaton Centre and other such attractions. It combines corporate class with a home-like atmosphere, providing a warm welcome for all.

The Strathcona Hotel – The Strathcona Hotel has been around since 1945 and for over sixty years has not missed a beat in giving the best possible service to its visitors. Toronto’s tourists are in for a European-style atmosphere while experiencing the distinct Canadian hospitality and welcome. It offers different types of rooms that are sure to suit every kind of visitor.

The Queen’s Many Attractions

Just like other great cities throughout the world, the city of Toronto offers many attractions that provide both its visitors and residents ample diversion and enjoyment. Several of the attractions are places which have become well-known around the globe.

The Canadian National or CN Tower – The CN Tower has essentially become the symbol of the city, in much the same way that the Statue of Liberty or the Eiffel Tower has become for New York and Paris. It is also distinct for being the world’s tallest free-standing tower, rising 1550 ft in the air.

Yonge-Dundas Square – The Yonge-Dindas is a new center for entertainment in the city, a public square used for lavish displays meant to enliven the urban atmosphere. The square is available for use of different kinds of events, like concerts and other such public spectacles requiring ample space. It features several modern fountains designed to be enjoyed by the public on a continuous, day to day basis.

Toronto City Hall – City Halls are often at the very heart of a particular city, and the one in Toronto is no different. Its design alone marks it as one of the city’s most unique attractions. It has a modern style that never fails to catch attention. It faces Nathan Phillips Square, a multi-purpose space that serves as a venue for many events.

Royal Ontario Museum – For visitors who are inclined to sample not only the local culture but also some artistic longings, there is the Royal Ontario Museum. It is the largest museum in the country and ranks as the fifth in North America. Its massive collection of artistic and historical items allows the visitor to view Canadian culture relative to those of other countries and periods.

Hockey Hall of Fame – For sports enthusiasts, the Hockey Hall of Fame is a “can’t miss” when in Toronto. It goes well beyond the traditional sports museums and hall of fames with its modern interactive capabilities. Learning about the game and the NHL’s history is so much more fun when coupled with interactive games throughout the spacious complex.

Describing what makes a city great in a few short words or sentences is quite impossible. One has to experience, to feel the city itself in order to have any actual conception of its culture, its life. It would, however, help to learn a few things about a certain city to be able to grasp its significance and real value to the country where it belongs. That is exactly the case with Toronto, as it is the epitome of what Canada is all about.

Explore Your Adventurous Side in Mumbai

Amongst all the things that Mumbai is known for, adventurous activities are one of the most underrated as people often relate Mumbai to chaos, spicy food and its vibrant nightlife. Looking at the enormous amount of youth people in the city, many adventurous activities have been incorporated in and around Mumbai for people looking to take a break from work. From sailing to white water rafting, people coming to Mumbai have a lot of things to try & experience. If you stay in Rajkot and are looking to take an adventurous break then Mumbai is the best place for you. Book your tickets on one of the Rajkot to Mumbai flights to travel and have an awesome time.

    1. Sailing: If you are done with the Gateway of Mumbai then Sailing will be a wonderful experience for you. The cruise adventure unwinds everybody who takes it. As you sail, you are taken back in time with the old beacons on the way. The seagulls absolutely hypnotize everybody taking the activity while sailing. Not to overlook, it’s not just about the experience of cruising, it is an expectation to learn and adapt where you learn the basics of sea awareness orienting one’s self in the water and to find your position in the endless water body. It is unquestionably an experience of a lifetime to cruise along Mumbai’s beautiful shore and loosen up for a decent two hours.
    1. Paramotoring flight: 10 minutes of unadulterated fun is ensured to everybody who want to indulge in the paramotor flight. The rush and delight of taking off at 500 feet in a flying machine sans doors is something to treasure. With a striking likeness to the paramotor ride, the paramotor flight gives you a chance to embrace different twists while you take the delight of some picturesque perspectives. Adrenaline junkies head to Vasai and go crazy!
    1. White-water rafting: Kolad is a traveler’s joy. The white-water rafting is attempted by numerous. Situated at a separation of around 100 kilometers, Kolad is effectively open from Mumbai by means of street and train. Amid the rainstorm season, the spot is loaded with enterprise addicts hoping to take a plunge in the water and overcome the spouting white waters.
    1. Sea Kayaking: Mandwa is quick making its name in becoming a sanctuary for water sports close Mumbai. From being a highly unknown town to turning into a watersports center, it has progressed significantly. Ocean kayaking is a noteworthy game that is widespread in Mandwa. All that is required is a kayak and an oar and off you go!
  1. Snorkelling: Another water sport in Malvan is snorkeling. It is the act of swimming at the surface of a water body. The jumper is outfitted with a plunging cover, a formed tube called as a snorkel and the swim-fins. Attributable to these, a snorkeler can watch the submerged life. Coral reefs, sea urchins, starfishes and numerous different things can be seen and be enchanted by the aquatic life.

With so many adventurous activities to do and places to visit in Mumbai one thing is for sure, you won’t have a dull moment while you are there. Just book your tickets on Rajkot to Mumbai flights in advance so as to save money and time.

Bengaluru – A City With Numerous Epithets

The capital city of Karnataka, Bengaluru is a wonderful city alluring travelers from various parts of the world. It is known for offering a plethora of attractions and offers a cool and pleasing environment throughout the year.

Earlier known as Bangalore, Bengaluru is the capital city of Karnataka. It is famous for its pleasant climate all year round and is counted as the third most populous city. Due to its major role as the information technology exporter, it is called as the Silicon Valley whereas the greenery and tranquil environment makes it the Garden City of India. Bengaluru is home to many software companies, aerospace, educational institutions and defense organizations. Take a trip to this magnificent city once and you will discover the varied facets of this place.

Major Attractions

Bengaluru is abode of many famous places and you will find endless things to do or explore. Here are some of the best tourist destinations:

Bangalore Palace

Bangalore Palace is a scenic tourist spot that has a majestic castle-like structure amidst green ambience. It is a beautiful and a must see place which bears remarkable resemblance to England’s Windsor Castle.

Lal Bagh

It is the most popular tourist attraction in Bangalore which is spread out over 240 acres. This botanical garden was built in 18th century and has preserved some of the rarest species of fauna and flora with a lake and a glasshouse.

Tipu Sultan’s Palace

This grand summer palace of Tipu Sultan has now been transformed into a museum and is a must-see attraction for the travelers. Constructed with pure teakwood, striking figures, paintings and other artwork adorn this palace.

Vidhan Soudha

Vidana Soudha is built in 1954 and is a landmark of Bangalore. This graceful building is a great example of neo-Dravidian architecture, carrying four domes on its corners. It is the house of the Legislative Chamber of Karnataka Government which accommodates many government departments.

Bull Temple

The Bull Temple or Dodda Basavana Gudi in Basavanagudi is a temple of Nandi Bull, the vehicle of Lord Shiva. It is one of the oldest temples in Bengaluru which was built in the 16th century in Dravidian style architecture. In this temple, you will find a huge idol of Nandi Bull inside the temple carved out of single granite rock.

Best time to Visit

September to February is the best time to visit Bengaluru.

How to Reach

By Rail: The nearest railway station is Bangalore city railway station.

By Road: Bangalore is well-connected to other cities by state public transport buses.

By Air: You can easily find cheapest airlines to this city and the nearest airport is Bangalore International Airport.

Shopping

Bengaluru is full of bustling markets and high-end shopping malls. You can buy garments, footwear, jewelry, sport goods, electronics, perfumes and silk sarees etc.

4 Spectular Spots of Delhi

Delhi is the National Capital of the Republic of India. Delhi is historically and culturally linked to both Top Doab of the Yamuna-Ganges river, stream framework and the Punjab region. It really is bordered by the state of Haryana on three sides and by state Uttar Pradesh to the east. It’s the most populous city in India about 1,484 square kilometers (573 sq mi). It has inhabitants around 25 million so that it is the most populous city & most populous urban agglomeration in India and 2nd most significant area on the planet.

Such is the nature of urban enlargement in Delhi that its progress has expanded beyond the NCT to include cities in neighboring states with its largest extent can count up a population around 25 million residents by 2014. After Mumbai, Delhi gets the second-highest quantity of millionaires and billionaires among all cities in India. Some of the best places to visit are listed below:-

Lotus Temple
This Bahai House of Worship is unique and one of the very most visited worship places in Delhi. Started in December 1986, this lotus designed structure is to instruct oneness of God, Mankind, and religions. Within my last visit to the place I came across pin-drop silence and an excellent connection with its ambiance. Night view of the Bahai House of Worship (Lotus Temple) is gorgeous. It’ll certainly mesmerize you from outside the house.

Akshardham Temple
This spectacular building is not really a temple alone. It reveals the architectural richness and customs of India. There are a boat ride, a huge screen film, and musical fountain, all depicting different facets of Indian culture. Here you can find “The garden of India” which is a lush green spread presenting Indian warriors and various national figures which are completely a fresh experience for the travelers.

National Zoological Park
Pets or animals buffs can have a complete package of recreation and fun at Delhi Zoo. The National Zoological Park (originally) is a 176-acre of land so close to the Old Fort in Delhi, India. A sixteenth-century fortification, a sprawling green island and a diverse collection of birds and animals, all in the middle of a burgeoning urban Delhi. The zoo is home to around 1350 animals representing around 130 types of species and birds from around the world.

Connaught Place
It is possibly the most happening places for shopping and business in New Delhi. The Colonial style buildings forming two (outer and inner) circles provide opportunities for entertainment, eating and staying. Janpath and Palika Bazar are most crowded for purchases by local people and tourists. Shopping at Palika bazaar requires bargaining. A good deal of handicrafts comes in emporiums of the different state of India. The area has been renamed as Rajiv Chowk after the late Prime Minister.
Palika Bazaar is underground, but near the top of it there are lawns and fountains where people wish to spend time after shopping as well as for strolling. Especially in the summertime, people spend some time to see the coolness.

Almora City, A Must Visit For All

Introduction

Almora is a metropolitan board, a cantonment town in the Almora region in the state of Uttarakhand, India. Almora was established in 1568. It is also the region central command of Almora region. It is viewed as the social heart of the Kumaon area of Uttarakhand. Closest Railway Station – Kathgodam 82 km (via Bhimtal), 86 km(via NH 87 ). Well, the closest airport to Almora is Pantnagar Airport 113 km.

Almora is a locale place situated at the southern part of Uttarakhand State in India. Arranged at an elevation of 1, 638 meters above the ocean level, Almora offers stunning perspectives of the snow-topped Himalayas. In addition, Almora has a large group of fascinating spots that one can visit.

The Township of Almora is the area headquarters and has every one of the offices for a vacationer of the 21st century. This antiquated hill station is presumed for its mindblowing atmosphere and is roosted on a 5 Km. long steed saddle shape edge in the middle of the rivers Kosi and Suyal and has been a social and political area of Kumaun for very nearly four hundred years, settled by Chand Rajas and sustained by the British.

One can experience the beauties of the views of the frigid tops of Himalayas on any sunny morning and what’s more a quick glance at the township with its tiled roofed houses and cleared boulevards would take you to the sixteenth century in some keen atmosphere.

Adjacent spots of visiting where an outing can be made within a day are Bright End Corner’s exceptional dusk, Chitai temple with its special gathering of metal chimes of all sizes, skilled to the temples by followers since hundreds of years, Kasar Devi which houses numerous Europians who went gaga for the spot so much that they settled down, Nanda Devi Temple the social and religious focal point of Almora for the present several years and Lala Bazar and one of a kind business sector of more than two hundred years with cleared lanes of stone.

Festivals in the City Of Almora:

  1. Makar sankranti
  2. Phool Dei
  3. Harela and Bhitauli
  4. Khatarua
  5. Bat savitri
  6. Dushhera
  7. Hiljatra

Languages spoken in the city of Almora:

The languages spoken in the city of Almora are basically Garhwali, Kumauni, and Hindi.

Administration

Almora Nagar Palika Parishad has an overall organization of more than 8,014 houses to which, it supplies fundamental civilities like water and sewerage.

Ancient Temples of Java

The ancient temples of Borobudur, Sewu and Prambanan in Java are impressive monuments to Asia’s oldest civilisations. The Borobudur temple compound was established in the 8th century. It has been witness to more than 1,200 years of history.

The Hindu temples at Prambanan and Sewu Buddhist temple date back to the 10th century. The temples at Prambanan have been ravaged by theft, decay, earth quakes and volcanic eruptions. It is testament to the resilience of the local people that they repair and rebuild each time a nature destroys or damages their community and heritage.

The temple compounds are open to visitors and devotees making offerings to the gods. It is considered polite to dress conservatively when visiting the temples. Bare chests, shoulders and skirts or shorts that come above the knee are generally frowned upon.

Arriving in Java

I flew into Yogyakarta from Singapore. Many flights are also available from Indonesian airports including Denpasar (Bali) and Jakarta. Java is mainly serviced by the budget airlines.

Check with the Indonesian consulate web page to see if you need a visa to enter Indonesia.

Australians will need to apply and pay for a Visa on Arrival at the airport. The fee is payable in USD. Always keep your boarding pass from the plane to show to immigration officials when you arrive.

I was able to arrange airport transfers via the hotel where I staying. A driver with a clean, air-conditioned car was waiting for me when I arrived.

Getting around

Motorbikes are the most popular form of local transport. Becaks (pedicabs) provide tourists with an alternative method of touring the city. Negotiate the fare with the driver before accepting a ride.

There is very little in the way of organised tours to the temples. The best method for exploring these sites is to arrange your own transport. A local guide can be hired when you purchase your tickets at the temple compound.

When I arrived the city had recently been showered in volcanic ash from Mount Kelud. The clean up was still ongoing. To avoid the worst of the dust I decided to hire a driver and a car from the hotel. Bookings could be made for either a day or half day as required.

Borobudur Temple

The ancient Buddhist Borobudur Temple is about 40 kilometres from Yogyakarta. The temple attracts both tourists and pilgrims.

Bring your walking shoes, hat or umbrella to keep the sun and rain off your head. There is a long walk from the car park to the temple. Very little shade or shelter from the weather is available.

Borobudur is a fascinating and imposing structure consisting of 100’s of well preserved statutes (506 Buddha in total), stupas and carved stone relief’s.

Borobudur is on the UNSECO World Heritage list for great cultural and religious significance. There is a UNESCO billboard with instructions for entering and appreciating the temple compound for the uninitiated.

I was in Java about a week after a volcanic eruption had dumped ash on Yogyakarta and the surrounding area. Some parts of the temple were still closed for cleaning. It was raining constantly on the day that I visited. Not to be put off by the weather, I bought a bright red rain poncho from the market stalls located near the entrance gates.

The temple compound was not crowded. A handful of people in their brightly coloured ponchos could be seen walking around admiring the ancient temple.

I enjoyed being able to take my time to walk around in relative solitude. There were times when there was no one in sight. It is eerie to stand within an ancient temple and feel completely alone.

It was very quiet until I met a group of high school children on an excursion to learn about the temple.

The students were keen to practice their English language skills with me. Talking to the students made it a very entertaining afternoon!

Prambanan Temples and Shrines

Prambanan temple compound is about 15 kilometres from Yogyakarta. It is popular destination for tourists and devotees.

Prambanan is the largest Hindu temple complex in Indonesia. The three main temples are dedicated to the gods Shiva, Visnu, and Brahma. There are 240 Hindu temples and shrines within the compound.

I was able to hire a local guides who spoke many languages to walk around the site with me and point out or explain significant structures when I bought my ticket to enter the temple compound.

My guide was an excellent story teller and had many informative and amusing tales to tell about the statutes and scenes carved in the stone relief’s.

I found that having a guide ensured that I saw and understood more about the temples, local history and legends than I would have walking around alone.

The compound is huge and the ground is very uneven in places. Flat walking shoes are essential.

It was fairly quiet on the day that I visited. I was able to walk around uninterrupted and enjoy exploring the multitude of temples and shrines at my own pace.

It is fascinating to see the level of detail and workmanship that has gone into creating each stone in the monuments. Every object is designed to be a thing of beauty.

Some of the structures only had the base and a few carved stones remaining. Others looked as if they had been completely restored.

Only temples and shrines that have sufficient stones remaining (75% of the original structure) have been rebuilt.

The Prambanan temples are surrounded by a large park that includes the Sewu Buddhist temple compound.

The park covers 39.8 hectares and contains the ruins of around 500 shrines and temples. You could easily spend an entire day exploring the site.

There is a small train that loops around the temples if you are unable to walk or have young children to entertain.

I did a loop of the park in the train to get my bearings.

The best way to soak up the atmosphere of the temples is on foot.

Sewu Buddhist Temple

The Sewu Buddhist temple compound is in the same park as the Prambanan Hindu temples.

The presence of the temples so closely together is evidence of the two religions co-existing peacefully at the time.

My guide informed me that it was common for the local people of different faiths to inter-marry with the women mostly followers of Hindu and the men followers of the Buddhist traditions.

The Buddhist temple is a little more decayed, but just as beautifully constructed as the Hindu temple. There are signs that display the original layout to help you make sense of the jumble of rubble and standing structures.

The Sewu temple attracts less people and you may even find yourself alone amidst the ruins. Devotees still come to the temple to make offerings to the gods. You mind find their brightly coloured offerings in various locations as you walk around.

The restoration process at Sewu is still ongoing.

The site that incorporates Prambanan and Sewu is now included on the UNESCO world heritage list.

Name: Lee-Anne Turley
Blog: Just me please – the adventures and advice of a solo traveller

Just me please is your solo travel advisor. Use my tips and experience to guide you on your journey and plan your next holiday.

Things You Must Know About Baguio City

Known as the “City of Pines”, this mountain town of the Philippines is an awesome and super amazing weekend retreat. Nestled in Luzon Island, Baguio City is a destination comprising of wonderful resorts and glamorous universities.

Baguio City boasts of dream like topography, mind blowing cityscape, most comfortable climate, bustling lanes, churches, mansions, palaces and parks. For a perfect vacation one can explore the city- its popular tourist destinations, check out amazing eateries and go for incredible retail therapy.

First and foremost, when visiting Baguio, pick your choice from the innumerable stay options to book the stay. Popular names are The Manor, Baguio Country Club and Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Baguio, The Forest Lodge at Camp John Hay, Bloomfield Hotel, Hotel Veniz and The Golden Pine.

When visiting Baguio, visit Burnham Park. Burnham Park is located at the heart of the city, sprawling over 32.84 hectares of land. This is quite a popular park and known for rose garden, skating rink, kids play area, Igorot garden, picnic grove, athletic bowl, Orchidarium, Japanese Peace Tower, Pine Trees of the World and Sunshine park. One can also explore Baguio cathedral. This is a glamorous and majestic church named after Our Lady of Atonement Cathedral. Located atop the Mount Mary Hill, this is a rose coloured edifice, comprising of twin spires. The church boasts of its stunning style, architecture and internal vibrant décor and offers a panoramic view of the entire city. Mines View Park boasts of an outstanding sight of gold and copper mines and the Cordillera ranges. Session Road is the primary artery and heart of Baguio and the most crowded and bustling commercial area. The first session of Philippine Commission was held here- hence the nomenclature. Lined with retail outlets and corporate houses, this always crowded avenue is a perfect place for a chilled out stroll and lovely retail therapy. Comprising of well-appointed departmental stores, boutiques, bazaars, old movie houses and quaint cafes and eateries, this road is always a traveller’s pick. One can also shop at tourist market of Mines View Park, Good Shepherd Convent on Gibraltar Road and lots of souvenir shops lined throughout.