Tag Archives: travels

A wonderland called Wayanad…

The tiny south Indian state of Kerala is blessed with many wonderful locations. But this one will rank very high in the list of Kerala’s beauty-spots. That is Wayanad, a district located in north east Kerala.

Kerala tours

Nestled high in the majestic western ghat mountains, Wayanad is one of the handful locations in the world that still manage to retain its pristine nature in spite of the overwhelming modernization.

A land where ancient civilization existed much before the era of Christ, Wayanad is a wonderful combination of dense forests & wildlife, royal high ranges, lush plantations & paddy fields, ageless pilgrim centers,…. together with marks of prehistoric civilization. If Kerala is the God’s own country; then Wayanad is its Green Paradise.

Prominent ones amongst Wayanad’s innumerable lovely locations:


Ambalavayal Heritage Museum


Arguably the best Heritage Museum in Kerala. This Museum contains artifacts that date back to many centuries!

Banasurasagar


The habitat of one of the largest earth dams in the country. A nearby Sanctuary and a Park with ever-flowering trees add charm to this spot.

Begur Wildlife Sanctuary


Home to numerous species of wild animals, plants  and trees… particularly popular for viewing elephants, deers, birds and reptiles.

Boys Town


An establishment of the Wayanad Social Service Society and Jean Park (the Indo-Danish project for promoting herbal gardening). An abode of many invaluable plants.

Brahmagiri


Lying about 1600 meters above sea level, Brahmagiri constitute a vast area of exquisite wild land. It takes about 11 kilometers of trekking from Thirunelly to reach this spot.

Chembra Peak


The highest peak in Wayanad – A trekker’s dream location!

Edakkal Caves


One of the earliest centers of human habitat around the world. The rocky cave-walls are decorated by lots of interesting carvings, which represent human / animal figures, objects of human use, symbols, etc. These carvings speak of a highly civilized people of prehistoric age.

Kuruva Dweep (Island)


A tiny uninhabited Island of evergreen forest located on the tributaries of River Kabini. Overspread with rare species of birds, orchids and herbs, Kuruva Island is an ideal picnic plot.

Meenmutty Waterfalls


A waterfall located deep in the reserve forest. A trip to Meenmutty itself is an adventure (it requires a good trekking through some inhospitable grounds)!

Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary


The largest wildlife reserve in North Kerala… Also known as Wayanad Sanctuary, Muthanga is a place with excellent wildlife viewing opportunities.

Pakshipathalam


A Bird Sanctuary located around 7 kilometers north-east of Thirunelly Temple, accessible only by trekking! An adventurer’s den.

Pookote Lake


A natural fresh water lake brimmed with evergreen mountains… here one can enjoy the hypnotizing glamour of an unspoilt environment.

Soochipara Waterfalls


A brilliant waterfall, so-called due to the high force of its waters (Soochi means ‘needle’ in local).

Thirunelly Temple


A very ancient and sacred Temple set amidst the reserve forest. Thirunelly Temple is referred as the ‘Thekkan Kasi’ (Banaras of the South) in terms of religious significance. It is believed that bathing in the adjoining River ‘Papanasini’ will cleanse all the sins.

Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary


Another Sanctuary in the Wayanad belt with wide varieties of animals and plants.
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With many serene spots still unexplored, this wonderland of Wayanad is yet to be ‘fully discovered’.

Unwinding the Holy Lands …

The land(s) of every pilgrim’s dream… Legendary locations that any ardent Bible reader would long to visit in a lifetime… These are the ‘Holy Lands’ – the esteemed threesome of Jordan, Israel and Egypt – arguably the most cherished pilgrim destinations in the world.

Let’s have a close look at the three countries that constitute the ‘holy trinity’…

1
Jordan

A small country with around 5 million inhabitants, located right at the heart of the Arab World, Jordan is a fascinating land with plenty of ancient places (cultural / religious sites, desert castles…) and unspoilt natural locations.

Jordan’s assets are innumerable, ranging from the fertile ever-changing desert canyons to the red sea reefs… not to mention its splendid monuments, which are crowned by the rock carved city of Petra.

Some of Jordan’s major assets:


Dead Sea – a natural wonder where one can’t swim; just float !


Petra – the ageless ‘rock carved city’, one of the new 7 Wonders of the World


Wadi Rum – desert land of haunting wilderness

2
Israel

World’s only predominantly ‘Jewish state’, Israel lies at the junction of three continents – Europe, Asia and Africa. The land of Israel is the holy ground for three great religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. While Judaism and Christianity originated here, Jerusalem is Islam’s most important place of worship after Mecca and Medina.

In spite of its long and eventful history that dates back to prehistoric times, people of modern Israel share the same language & culture originally shaped by the Jewish heritage around 3,300 years back – an unparalleled feat!

Israel contains geographically diverse features within its tiny frame, such as, forested highlands, fertile green valleys, mountainous deserts, coastal plains, semitropical regions … together with numerous cultural / religious attractions. A unique country that nicely blends the ancient with the ultra modern.

Some of Israel’s major assets:


Galilee – the land that witnessed many of Jesus’ holy deeds


Jerusalem Church – an ancient shrine closely associated with Jesus’ lifetime, perhaps second only to Vatican in religious significance


Jerusalem Mosque – Islam’s most important shrine after Mecca and Medina

3
Egypt

A leading economy in the Middle East, the North African country of Egypt boasts of a colourful ancient civilization, that has almost no equals in anywhere else.

But Egypt is not just a land of world-renowned religious & cultural monuments (of which Pyramids and Sphinx lead the list) on the other hand, this fascinating country also offers variety entertainments in the form of romantic river cruises and adventurous scuba diving. In short, a land throbbing with antique charm and excitement.

Some of Egypt’s major assets:


Luxor – dubbed as the ‘world’s greatest open air museum’, where one can see some fantastic remnants of ancient Pharaonic temple complexes & tombs


New Abu Simbel – land of ‘Nubian Monuments’, a world heritage site


Pyramid & Great Sphinx of Giza – the most celebrated Pharaonic masterpiece, permanent members in the 7 Wonders of the World

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Of late, tours to Holy Lands are becoming increasingly popular… especially as the people, getting choked in the chaos of modernity, have realized the importance of getting back to their roots.