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Thursday, 29 June 2017

Your guide to planning a holiday in Sri Lanka!

Your guide to planning a holiday in Sri Lanka!


Sri Lanka offers a compact box of sights, adventure, beaches, wildlife, heritage, culture and warm smiles. Travel destinations offer an array of holiday experience. The hospitality of Sri Lankans is well known and so is the cuisine, exotic fruits and sweets making this island an ideal recipe for fun and leisure.
The geography and culture is enough to lure you in this jewel of the Indian ocean, however
there are a lot more factors and background information you should consider before making plans for this picturesque country.



Here’s a rundown for all the travel essentials you need to know from accommodations, cuisines to visa information and how to travels.

Seasonal Effects

Sri Lanka is one of those rare places which are good to visit any time of the year. Let’s delve a little deep into the weather conditions and seasonal information.

> Best Seasons
January to April - Entire Country
July to September - Entire Country
November to December - Southwestern coast

> Beach Time
January to April - South
May to July - East

> Monsoon Showers
May to August - South & West Coast
October to January - North and East Coast

> Temperature
January to March - Warm and Sunny in the Beaches, Cooler in the Hills
April - Driest and the hottest month (11am to 3pm is direct sunlight)
May to June - Monsoon arrives, Humid
July to September - Odd Showers at times, Hot and dry beaches
October to December - Heavy Monsoon arrives but dries down till December which is warm and sunny



Beaches in January Source - https://goo.gl/QoEYjA


Warm weather days by the Beach
Source - https://goo.gl/h1DX9t




Nuwara Eliya experiencing cooler climate
Source - https://goo.gl/9ufBgi

Accommodation

There are a multitude of options to choose from including luxury hotels, mid range hotels, guesthouses, resorts, homestays to low budget hotels and airbnb’s. It is advised to reserve a place well in advance as during the peak season the bookings can get heavy. You will be spoilt for choice, some of the most sought after include -

Taylors Hill, Kandy - This is a former British planter’s house in the highlands of Kandy giving a stupendous view of the grasslands. There are pools, many sports courts, kids room, games rooms and the hotel also provides tuk tuk rides to the tea plantations. The rooms are big and spacious and this colonial era house gives you a modern yet antique feel.






Taru Villas, Tangalle - The hotel is located very close to Sandy beach, one of the premium beaches on southern coast. It’s also close to Yala National Park, a must go if you are a wildlife enthusiast. The hotel offers swimming pools, bars, lounges, libraries, personalizations in terms of dining etc.



Some other accommodations include, Cape Weligama, Tri, Kandy House, Rock wella, Amanwella etc.

Dress Code

There is no strict dress code of what to wear or what not to wear in Sri Lanka, however, it is advisable to wear cotton due to the humid weather.
> The locals may object to your beachwear so it is suggested to wear something that isn’t too short.
> Carry light woolens for the hills and an umbrella or raincoat is always good to carry on.
> Comfortable footwear is a must due to the varied terrain and similarly suitable equipment to be carried if you plan to dive or snorkel.

Festivities

Sri Lanka has a vast and rich culture and heritage which has been in existence from thousands of years. Sri Lankan culture is emulated through its history, festivities, sculptures and architecture, cuisines etc. The culture and history has been influenced by Indian and European history and heritage.

> Sinhala and Tamil New year (April) is one of the grandest celebration followed by Ramadan (End May - June)  by the Muslims, Esala Perahera by the Buddhists (End July - August) and Maha Shivratri (February) by the Hindus.



Esala Perahera Celebrations
Source -
https://goo.gl/3pYqiJ



Khana Khazana

Sri Lankan food is mouth watering and one of the best features of its culture. The food has some Indian influence on it but still manages to be unique and exotic in its own way. A variety of spices, fruits, sea foods, meats, veggies make up the cuisine.
> Must Try Dishes -  Fish curry and mixed rice, Chili fish fry, Vegetable Kottu, Sri Lankan Dhal

Popular restaurants/food spots you shouldn’t miss!
> Ministry of Crab - Lip Smacking seafood, as the name suggests, crab dishes are drool worthy!
> The Sizzle - Hot skillet Steaks and Fast food!
> The Lagoon - Luxury dining, Thai Fish curry and Prawns are a must try!
> Upali’s - Veggie delight and best hoppers in town, rice and curry is delicious and take out services available!
> Gallery Cafe - Authentic Sri Lankan cuisine!





Sri Lankan Cuisine Source - https://goo.gl/TGyjA1



Seafood is very popular
Source - https://goo.gl/e1EXyU




Getting Around

Sri Lanka is quite a populous country and the roads can often be congested with traffic. However, everything is well connected by a many means of transport.
> Charter flights can be arranged to any destination in Sri Lanka through Deccan Aviation Lanka.
> The trains are a journey in itself and are often recommended to tourists as the tracks cover beautiful scenery along with them. The trains cover major distances from Colombo. New fast services operate on the principal routes, including an intercity express service between  Colombo and Kandy, otherwise journeys are fairly leisurely.
> The on road transportation given you an option of  taxis (drivers usually expect a 10% tip here), buses which are fairly a common means to travel. Coastal town buses depart every half an hour whereas to Kandy every 15 minutes. There are also tuk tuks for small distances which charge a decent fare.





Train Journey through the Hills Source - https://goo.gl/YsVaZ5



How to Reach

Being an island nation, Sri Lanka is accessible via Air.

> The international gateway for direct flights is Colombo International Airport. Direct flights are available from Asia, Europe, Australia and Middle East.
> India - For Indians travelling to Sri Lanka or anyone coming via India, several flights fly from Chennai, Trichy, Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram.




Colombo International Airport Source - https://goo.gl/HcEjMG


Visa

As seen with many Asian countries, Sri Lanka too offers a tourist visa upon entry valid for 30 days. In order to extend your stay, one needs to visit the diplomatic missions of Sri Lanka in your home or current country.


Sri Lanka will have a lot to offer, knowing a few details beforehand only makes the trip more easier. This is a budget friendly destination and it may be small but it packs a powerful punch!




Created By - Namrita Singh

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Exploring Kashmir - What, Where and How!

Exploring Kashmir - What, Where and How!


It’s called the heaven on earth, the paradise of the world, the land of anomalies, the most beautiful place in India, where time stands still. So maybe when Shammi Kapoor sang ‘tareef karu kya uski jisne tumhe banaya’, he meant Kashmir and not Sharmila Tagore for such is its breathtaking beauty.
Kashmir, sitting on top like a crown of the Indian highlands, enchants anyone who comes to visit it. The white snow clad mountains, pristine blue waters, scenic green valleys, flowering meadows, hospitality of the locals and the saffron in the air, beauty knows no bounds in here and the heart no worries.




Kashmir has something to offer for every visitor. Going to explore Kashmir next? We answer all your what, where and how!

Srinagar - Nature at its best

The summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir will enthrall you with its natural beauty. The Dal lake is a major part of this valley along with Nigeen lake and Jhelum river. The very famous Shalimar Bagh grace the highlands and a shining part of the Mughal heritage.

Must see and do
- Stay in the houseboat, one of the most beautiful experiences. Dal and Nigeen Lakes are a must see through a shikara ride, the blue waters mesmerise all tourists. Get a spectacular view of the city from the Shankaracharya Temple and get a taste of history with the old city monuments - Jama Masjid, Khanqah, Dastgir Sahib, Rozabal Shrine

Best Time - February to July
How to reach - By Air  - Nearest airport is Srinagar Airport operating regular flights from many cities in India.
By Train - To reach Srinagar by train, one has to reach either Jammu Tawi and Udhampur railway station. The stations are well connected with different parts of India. From these stations, you can hire taxis, private as well as the state government buses to reach this magnificent place.



Shikara Ride in Dal Lake Source - https://goo.gl/F8wj4L

Houseboat
Source - https://goo.gl/d4TDgx


Gulmarg - Adventure Haven

The snow haven in Kashmir, it is a hub for all adventure enthusiasts. Literally translated to ‘Meadow of Flowers’, prepare to be mesmerised by the valley of flowers set against the backdrop of snow clad mountains. This place is also widely known for having the highest and the longest ropeway - cable car system.

Must see and do - Gondola rides up to the mountain, an unforgettable experience. Walk through the meadows with your loved ones. Adventure sports! Ski at very high levels, mountain biking, trekking.

Best Time - June to October, December -  January for snow.
How to Reach - By Air - Nearest airport is Srinagar Airport - 56 km
By Train - Nearest Railway station is Jammu - 290 km
By Bus - Buses have a good connectivity with neighbouring towns of Sonmarg, Srinagar etc.



Gulmarg in Winters Source - https://goo.gl/spjxJ9


Gondola Cable Car Ride
Source - 
https://goo.gl/DRNDKx


Meadow of Flowers
Source -
 https://goo.gl/zGc15C

Pahalgam - Exquisite Valley

The jewel in the hills, Pahalgam is a splendour of nature. Giving an enticing view of the himalayas along with the tranquil waters of Jhelum, it is a definite treat for the eyes. It is also considered to be the epitome of natural beauty in Kashmir. Fertile lands, rich vegetation and conifers leave you spellbound.

Must see and do
- Many adventure sports are a must try including horseback riding, river rafting at Lidder river, canoeing. Visit the Betab and Aru valleys for its captivating beauty. The lakes of Baisaran and Tulian are also a must go. Shopping lovers will have a great time here looking for authentic kashmiri products.

Best Season
- February - March, June to October
How to Reach - By Air - Nearest Airport is Srinagar Airport - 95 km
By Train - Nearest link to train is Jammu Tawi - 157 km
By Bus - Buses are well connected from the Jammu, Srinagar


Pahalgam Valley Source - https://goo.gl/dLg8ax

Camping Site in Lidder
Source - 
https://goo.gl/LrV6V7

Sonamarg - Blooming Meadow

Literally translated into Meadow of gold, is a beautiful place filled with an array of flowers. It has a lot of trekking trails which pass through Gangabal and Vishansar lakes.You also watch the scintillating confluence of Nilagard stream with Sind river. This place is also one of the starting points for the famous pilgrimage of Amarnath. This truly is what ‘jannat’ means!

Must see and do - Trek to Thajiwas glacier, one of the most swell treks. Camping and nature walks are also popular.

Best Season
- February - March, June to October
How to Reach - By Air - Nearest Airport is Srinagar - 70 km
By Train - Nearest Railway Station is Jammu.
By Bus - Well connected from Jammu and Srinagar.


Nature at Sonamarg Source - https://goo.gl/P4CVUV

Thajiwas Glacier
Source - https://goo.gl/3j66J2




With an amalgamation comprising of beautiful gardens, lakes, valleys, and mountains, Kashmir remain one of the most celebrated tourist spots in the world, go explore this treasure.

Before the season ends, book your holiday to Kashmir. Click here to check out interesting deals on Tripshelf.
If heaven exists anywhere, it’s here, it’s here, it’s here!

 Created By -
Namrita Singh

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Maldives - All you need to know for your next big trip!

Maldives - All you need to know for your next big trip!



Turquoise blue ocean as far as your eyes take you, white sands, unrivalled luxury, reef ringed - atolls, picturesque corals, these make Maldives a haven for beach lovers, adventure enthusiasts, honeymooners and divers. Located in south western part of the vast Indian ocean, this tourist spot attracts thousands of travellers and tourists for one of the best snorkeling and diving experiences in the world. Enjoy the aquatic life from your glass floors, lay in the lap of corals and marines from your underwater hotel glass room or simply live the beach life, this place has something for everyone.



As you enter the Maldivian air space, get astounded by its aesthetics and prepare yourself to land in the lowest country in the world. That’s right! Maldives is only 1.5 meters above sea level.







Here’s all you need to know about this amazing island before you pack your bags from what to see and do to the culture and cuisine!

What to do!

You would probably expect to sit by the beach, gaze into the fading sun, sip cocktails and do what beach destinations sound like, however there is so much more than what you originally thought.


Diving and Snorkeling

Maldives promises you one of the best diving experiences with an array  of affordable dive centres. The crystal blue waters offer incredible visibility - you are definite to catch a view of the mighty stingrays, sea turtles and white shark migration to eels, crabs, sea horses etc. promising a close interaction with the sea life.

If diving is not on your mind, snorkeling is another viable option. You don’t have to go deep to catch a glimpse of the aquatic species. The schools of fish flow along the tides in flocks making you experience as if you are in an aquarium.



Interested for a Maldives Holiday? Check out this 4 Days Maldives Holiday Package, inclusive of flights, with stay in Fun Island Resort...

Surfing and Paddle boarding

One of the foremost destinations for surfing, Maldives attracts surfers from all over the world to ride it's crested waters. If you are an amatuer, you can also take surfing lessons or go for paddle boarding. There are many shallow water spots surrounding the beaches, take your board and see the fish swim literally under you.

Dolphin View


Go on your boats and watch the dolphins swim right next to you, flipping and twirling around in water.






Sightseeing

Maldives is predominantly a Muslim community and that can be seen in its architecture and heritage. The island has museums, mosques, parks, beaches, heritage monuments to get the explorer in you wide awake.




- Islamic Centre - Architectural landmark located in city of Male, this also serves as a conference centre and houses the  Ministry of Islamic affairs. It’s golden dome highlights the Mauritian skyline.
- National Museum - Explore antiquities from the Buddhist era to Islamic monarchs.
- Malé Friday Mosque
- Hulhumale
- Atolls of the Maldives
- Meeru Island
- Moofushi
- Rangali
- Sultan Park
- Republic Square


Checkout this 4 Days Maldives Holiday Package, with stay in Paradise Island Resort & Spa...

Romantic Dinners and Spas

Scenic blue waters make an ideal location for a candlelit dinner with your loved ones. Maldives has some of the best places to go for long romantic walks, explore the underwater or just gaze into breathtaking ocean views from a shared hammock.



Take some time off and relish in relaxation with a Balinese massage and enjoy many other spa treatments pampering yourself throughout this vacation.

Culture

Maldivian culture shows deep influence from Indian, Sri Lankan and African infusions creating a rich and vibrant city. Craftsmanship is very prominent and many intricate stone carvings can be found in the mosques and heritage buildings. Lacquer works, mat weaving, coir rope making and calligraphy are prominent examples of the Maldivian mastery.




Checkout this exotic 4 Days Maldives Holiday Package, with stay in Adaaran Club Rannalhi...

Cuisine

Just like culture, the cuisine is also influenced by Indian, Sri Lankan, Arabic and Oriental fusions, however many resorts serve international cuisines too. Staple food includes fish, mostly tuna. Coconut is used in food and drinks both and usually curries or veggies are served with rice. Being an islamic community, Alcohol is not served everywhere except a few resorts.





Maldives are said to be the reminiscence of a chain of sunken volcanoes formed around 60 millions of years ago. The abundance of atolls jutting out of water is both fascinating as well as overwhelming. It is indeed something to tick off your bucket list. Experience the sun and seas at this tropical destination, sure to leave you asking for more.

Aren't you seeing yourself dipped in the crystal blue water, spending your precious time with your loved ones and having the time of your life!




Created by -
Namrita Singh
 
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