Faith and blessing covers in Shravanabelagola

Shravanabelagola city is popular for Jain temple. Nestle between two hills  Vindhyagiri and Chandragiri which displays beautiful town of Shravanabelagola. It’s one of the most prime pilgrimage destination in Jainism. This temple is more than 2000 years old and main attraction of this temple is Gomateshwara or Bahubali. Temple’s architecture is marvelous, attractive and elegant. This city situated in the Hassan district of Karnataka state India and its 158 km away from Bangalore. Here are some attractive images:

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Hungry Bags Travel Tips: How to Dress and How to Behave Yourself in Thailand (As a tourist

www.richard-seaman.com

Welcome to Thailand: a land of scintillating islands, gleaming Buddhist temples and awe-inspiring cultural exuberance! Fondly dubbed as the ‘Land of Smiles’, the country is where a holiday can be anything but dull. Thailand is a highly traditional where the locals are affable and decent, and the culture is quite rich and deep-rooted. Despite the sassiness of modern-day cities like Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket, the culture is traditionally-tinted and there are a few norms which you, as a traveler, must abide by. Hungry Bags, through this article, intends to inform and instruct you potential Thai tourists on various issues like how to dress and how to conduct in public.

How to dress when you are in Thailand

Thailand tourism officials are not very stringent on dressing count. But there are some unwritten and unspoken rules which need to be followed. You would find that the people in this nation are very sensitive when it comes to religion. So, any indecent outfit would be frowned upon. You are likely to pay visit to Buddhist temples and monasteries when you are in Bangkok. Please make sure that you are not wearing anything which can be deemed inappropriate or permission may be denied to you. Women can dress liberally but there is a thin line between liberal dressing and vulgar dressing. Make sure that you are not attired in any outfit which appears provocative.

When you are on the beaches, then you can slip into swimsuits and even tiny bikini pieces without any inhibition. Complete liberty would be allowed to you. However, the beaches at this country are not ‘nude beaches’. So, you should not remove your top completely while taking a sun bath.

How to conduct yourself in public:

Some tourists, especially the ones who arrive from western countries, are used to romancing at public places. Some western countries allow intimacy on streets and the idea of getting physical in full public view may not be too outlandish for these tourists. But Thailand’s culture does not permit you to make a plebeian exhibition of your private life. Holding hands is perfectly alright. One can even steal a kiss or two (Thailand, after all, is not as conservative as Dubai)! But do not descend to the point that people stop and stare at you, and you fall under the eye of the moral police!

Tips while visiting Buddhist temples and monasteries:

Under Thailand packages, you can visit a number of religious attractions in the country. Every tourist expects to pay visit to the Temple of Dawn and to the Temple of Reclining Buddha. But there are some etiquettes which you must maintain while hopping over to these places. Here are some tips in a nutshell:

-          As stated above, do not dress inappropriately and not make an explicit exhibition of your private life

-          Do not disrespect local traditions and deities

-          Do not spit, urinate or do any act which may be considered blasphemous

-          Do not take photographs at places where photography is prohibited

-          Do not make fun of any rite or ritual if you do not understand them

-          Do not break the queues and do not argue with officials. You are not the only tourist wanting to check these attractions. So, you must have some patience

Rishikesh Trip – Enter the World of Spiritualism and Exhilarations

Romance of man with river is unbeatable, and when the combination involves grandeur of Hindu holiness, Himalayan mysticism and enthrallment at its zenith, it’ll sure have a lot of torque. If your last few vacations were to hills, beaches or at a historical town, plan visiting to Rishikesh and you shall be basking in glory of sumptuous Ganga. Book a holiday package in advance and be set to explore the captivations this part of Himalaya has to offer.

Rishikesh, about 250-km from National Capital Delhi, is a convoluted setup of hills, forests, holy Ganga river, sacred ashrams, cleric ghats and a handful of temples. This town has redefined adventure, offering a range of adrenaline-pumping excursions including the famous Whitewater Rafting. Religious importance and scenic beauty of Himalayan hills is exclusive to Rishikesh. Surrounding forests are dense, well-preserved, pristine, and are packed of exotic flora & fauna. Modern amenities are mushrooming swiftly, making it as tourism-friendly as possible. Yes, Rishikesh is exactly the holiday that your senses have been demanding.

Popular Tourist Attractions of Rishikesh:

Triveni Ghat: this place is very sacred, being dedicated to Goddess Ganga. The Maha Aarti is performed here daily at morning and evening time, which creates a really ethereal ambiance. Thousands of devotees can be seen taking dip in holy Ganga water.

Triveni Ghat

Lakshman Jhula: No, it is not a swing that you or your kids can use to sway in air. It is a bridge that, according to Hindu myths, was built by Lakshman: Lord Rama’s brother. This place is famous for its grand religious significance and for famous Trayambakeshwar Temple, which is 13 stories high and houses small shrines of different deities.
Whitewater Rafting: Rishikesh has been designated as the ‘Rafting Capital of India’ and this is not without a reason. Perfect for beginners as well as expert rafters, the stretch just above Rishikesh town is perhaps the most popular destination to enjoy this water sport. It is exciting & enthralling, though requires a little bit of maneuvering. Summer months, from April to July, are when this water sport can be enjoyed at best. At this time, water in Ganga is very clean and safe for this excursion.

Rafting

Camping: Camping on River Ganga would be an enriching experience for you, allowing you to spend time in lap of nature. The vicinity of lush green Himalayan hills and refreshing Ganga River and a full-functioning environment here is simply soul-soothing as well sense-provoking. There are tour operators like Hungrybags.com who can take care of your every need.

camping

Birding, rappelling, trekking and cliff jumping are some other outdoor recreations that one can enjoy in Rishikesh.

How to Reach Rishikesh?
Rishikesh is well connected with the National Capital Delhi by a smooth road, where driving is a treat. You can drive to Rishikesh by your own car or can book a Volvo bus online. Complete tour packages are also available online, which include sightseeing, accommodation, transfers and popular outdoor recreations in the region.

Fly into the world of birds – Jurong Bird Park, Singapore

Jurong Bird Park, incepted in the year 1971, is the biggest bird park of Asia. That itself should be enough reason for you to tour this park. But if you are not content with it, then let yourself be assured that this place is a beautiful haven of birds of an eclectic variety. In terms of numbers, Jurong houses close to 8,000 birds of over 500 species. The place is not only an enthralling and entertaining destination, but it also offers something to the young learners. Students of birds and young kids can take back very pleasant information about the behavior and lifestyle of different species of birds.

Jurong Bird Park

While the birds are the biggest USPs of the place, one must not overlook the fact that this park is also home to the largest manmade waterfall in the world. The birds, besides, have been granted as natural as possible atmosphere, instead of packing them into claustrophobic cages. There is so much greenery around that you would be invigorated.

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You will find several birds sitting in open branches and under roofless enclosures. The park tries to replicate the natural jungles. So, there are plenty of trees around. There are ponds and waterfalls to go with them. You would, for once, feel as if you have entered a forest reserve. Yet, it is not exactly an untamed jungle but is a manmade park.

Popular exhibits of the Jurong Bird Park:

The Park is divided into several exhibits some of the popular ones are as follows:

  1. African Waterfall Aviary: This segment comprises of over 600 birds and the much-talked about manmade waterfall. Golden-breasted Starling is the star attraction amongst birds.
  2. Lory Loft: This place is dedicated to the Lories. The best thing about it is the ethereal ambience which this area has been lent. You would feel as if you just walked into the Amazon Rain forest!
  3. Dinosaur Descendants: No, it is not a place where you spot dinosaurs! It is a segment where wingless birds are housed. If you always wanted to see an ostrich face-to-face, then this place is where your wishes would come true. Rheas, emus and cassowaries are other major attractions.
  4. Southeast Asian Birds Aviary: As the name suggests, this exhibit displays all the prominent and the not-so-prominent birds from Southeast Asian descent. In an effort to replicate their natural conditions, the staffs shower rain and create artificial thunderstorm over the enclosures every day.
  5. Penguin Coast: This region has been dedicated to penguins and you will be able to meet multiple species of the black-n-white birds. Of course, the region is fully air conditioned and has been simulated to appear like Antarctica.
  6. World of Darkness: This chamber houses nocturnal birds like fish owls and night herons. As a visitor, even though you would be visiting the place during daytime, you would feel as if you have entered a forest in the night.
  7. Pelican Cove: This chamber is built in honor of the Pelicans with the endangered Dalmatian Pelican as the celebrity attraction. Your Singapore holiday would surely be incomplete without seeing the last few of their remaining numbers.

Alleppey Honeymoon- A Trip full of honey for Newlyweds

It is here that you shall be greeted by the music of the lagoons, by the melodies of the rivers and the symphonies of the hamlets. To take a houseboat ride in its serene waters is extremely soulful and romantic. Besides, visit to this place gives you a space to explore the quiet villages and the bucolic old shops where shoppers can indulge for a steal. You guess right, I’m talking about Alleppey: the home of the backwaters and a heaven for honeymooners in God’s own Country Kerala. If Kerala has been an all-time favorite with tourists and honeymooners, the half of credit goes to this fascinating place named Alleppey.

Alleppey backwater

There are all sorts of attractions in Alleppey to lend your Kerala honeymoon a diverse persona. The region has aced itself in natural beauty and has come up with surprises like the Alleppey Beach, the Kumarakom backwaters and the Pathiramannal Island. And no amount of rhapsodizing is enough for the houseboats which offer memorable rides over the lagoons. Bird-watchers can also rub their hands in glee because of the presence of the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. This sanctuary receives a huge montage of birds which migrate in during the winter season. This is another reason why the best time to visit Alleppey is during the winter months.

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If you are a religious person, then you must also visit the Ambalapuzha Temple. The festival held here is one of the most enriching kinds. St. Andrew’s Church is another attraction which should be a must-visit during your sightseeing programs. The lovers of history and culture have also something to cherish and relish. The village of Karumadi is not just the fulcrum of spiritualism but is also teeming with some lush greenery. Then you have the historic Krishnapuram Palace which should also form a part of your itinerary if you wish to explore the delights of the town with wholesomeness. The mythology-smeared Pandavan Rock is another attraction which may interest you. And if you have a penchant for museums, then you must hop over to the Bay Island Driftwood Museum which would fascinate you with its sculptures and mural paintings.

Honeymoon in Alleppey also let you explore your taste glands to the full. This place loves to serve fresh fishes. So, if you are a seafood lover, then you are going to have a very delicious time during the trip. Shoppers can explore the town, though the number one shopping destination would be the famed Mullakkal Street. with a reliable travel company, like Hungry Bags, you can plan your honeymoon perfectly.

 

“Holi Hai Bhai Holi Hai…” Interesting Trivia about the Fest of Color & Romance

“Pichkari Ki Dhar, Gulal ki Bauchar,
Apno ka Pyar, Agya hai yaaron Holi ka Tyohar”

(photo credit: Google images)

Holi is one of the most significant festivals in the Hindu calendar. It is celebrated with gusto and fanfare in the whole of India during the month of Falgun. The day of Holi is computed as per religious scriptures and falls on the full moon day of the month. Hence, its date as per the English calendar is not fixed. From the religious & mythological context, Holi is very significant. This event marks the killing of the diabolical Holika who was slain on this day by Lord Krishna’s avatar.

How is Holi Celebrated?

‘Holi’ has two aspects to it! In the evening (or night), the Hindus celebrate what is known as ‘holika dahan’ during which symbolic effigies of holika are burnt in a huge bonfire. In the following morning, people play with water & color (gulal) and the entire country turns mirthful and boisterous.

(image credit: Google Images)

Young and adult, men and women, poor and rich forget their mundane worries and get drenched in water and color, and rejoice with food, drinks and songs. The revelries continue till afternoon and even till evening. The festive mood is apparent even late in the evenings when people usually greet friends & families and dig into food, ‘bhaang’ and ‘sherbet’.

(photo credit: Google Images)

Trivia and other interesting information about Holi:

  •  Holi enjoys regional flavor and is popularly known in different names in different states. For instance, it is called ‘Dol Jatra’ in Bengal, and ‘Rang panchami’ in Maharashtra.
  • As per old custom, married men receive an invitation on this day to their in-laws’ home where they gorge on feasts
  • There are some special dishes and snacks which are made especially for Holi. Some of those snacks are Papri, Gujia and Kanji Vada.
  • Holi’s playful nature is associated with romance and it is a great excuse for young boys & girls to get touchy-feely.
  • The festival of Holi is the most celebrated Indian festivals on celluloid. A number of Bollywood songs have been pictured on Holi with the most popular being ‘Rang Barse…bheege chunar wali, rang barse’.

Safety precautions to be taken during Holi

Holi must be played with safe colors. While playing Holi, make sure that you have a dry cloth and a source of fresh running water at hand, so that you can wash your eyes if color enters the pupil. Women must pay special attention to their attires, and skimpy or translucent dresses must not be worn. There are miscreants and drunkards who roam the streets freely during this time. Make sure to avoid getting into intimacy with strangers and avoid splashing water/color to unknown passersby. It would be advisable to wash your hands completely before picking up food. Some people eat & drink while they are celebrating with colors. Quite often, the food gets contaminated with organic colors which can have a toxic or unhealthy effect. Do not spray color into the eyes of your friends and families while celebrating.

 

Say ‘Umm… yum’ with Delicious Kolkata Foods!

This blog has been written by a foodie, for a foodie and talks just about food. Kolkata, the renowned heritage city, is noted for its eclectic range of dishes. But if you are traveling to the city for the first time, then you better know what to munch and what not to. If your favorite sound is ‘umm…yum’, then this city is going to be your much delicious haven. The restaurants and hotels here  serve plenty of dishes and cuisines, but it is the street food which will make you go watery all over your mouth. Here are some of the must-try must-have foods in Kolkata:

Puchka

(photo credit: google-images)

Puchka is the much-loved food which everyone from a beggar to a billionaire digs into on a regular basis. It is cheap, it is easily available and it is the most delicious thing your tongues could roll on over. It is also available in other parts of India and is nationally known as ‘golgappa’ or ‘pani puri’. But Kolkata’s puchka has that irresistible charm which is hard to ignore.

Rolls

The city is also famous for its rolls. There are different kinds of rolls which are served to satiate the hunger of both the veg and the non-veg. If you are a non-veg, then the city’s chicken roll and egg roll would definitely make you go rolling in delight. And if you are a pure herbivore, then the veg roll is also there!

Jhaal muri

Jhaal muri is another lip-smacking thing you can find while taking a stroll and eat while sightseeing. It is that delicious puffed rice and is the spicier cousin of bhelpuri. It’s also quite cheap and usually priced around Rs 10 (though the rates vary depending on the quantity and the location of the muriwallah).

Mughlai

Kolkata is also famous for its Mughlai food. This Muslim cuisine is also available in most of the Kolkata hotels and all the major non-veg restaurants. But in order to have the best quality and the greatest ambience, head to the famed ‘Shiraz’, a restaurant nestled in the Mallick Bazaar area.

Momo

Momo is a Tibetan food and has scaled new heights of popularity in Bengal. Kolkata too has got very much hooked to its aroma and mouth-watering taste. It is another snack which is served by both roadside vendors and even some local eateries & joints. It is cheap and will make you go begging for more. A major tip is to try the normal momo and not the fried one!

Sweets

Kolkata is best known for its sweets and delicacies. The most famous name that comes to mouth immediately is the good, old rosogulla! But the city also has a number of other delicacies including the lengcha, gurer sandesh and rasmalai!

Explore the Unexplored Gems of India!

India is home to many destinations of tourist interest. From the beaches of Goa to wildlife parks of Kerala and forts & places of Jaipur to the hills of Kashmir, the country is far-famed for its diverse range of tourism attractions which are easily accessible. But there are some destinations which are virtually undiscovered and less trodden. However, their beauty and charm is unquestionable. Visiting to these places is an exhilarating experience for all. If you too have that adventure lust within you, and want to explore the obscure and unexplored gems in India, then these 5 places must surely top your wish list. Here is a quick look:

Majuli, Assam

photo credit: Wikipedia

Majuli is a beautiful corner nestled amidst the mighty Brahmaputra River. Due to its obscure location in the midst of Brahmaputra, it is not among the far-famed tourist destinations. But its magnetic serenity and that awe-inspiring landscaped beauty makes it a heavenly corner. The state of Assam certainly would be a richer state once the tourism picks up in this area.  Majuli also houses an old world civilization and has been declared a heritage site by UNESCO.

Athirapilly Falls, Kerala

Athirapilly Falls is one of the most stupendous waterfalls in the world. It is situated in a forest in the state of Kerala in south India. Though, many tourists opting for a Kerala holiday package get the chance to witness its smoky sparkle, but this waterfall surely deserves more fame that it has got. Apart from the serenity and spectacle it offers, it makes an ear-splitting sound which is more like a divine music to the ears.

Sandakphu, West Bengal

Sandakphu hills are something really special. This region is very panoramic and has plenty to offer to a trekker and to a photographer. The flora and fauna inhabiting this region is also very rich and inviting. Various trees and flowers bloom on these hills which wears an orange-white look throughout the year. Unfortunately, Sandakphu is not as popular as some of the other hill stations of the east. It is that unsung hero which offers an unearthly ambience and that perfect weather.

Tarkali Beach, Maharashtra

Tarkali Beach is one of the lesser trodden beaches in Maharashtra. It has been unlucky since many tourists are not quite aware of its beauty, and many may not have even heard of its name. It is quietly nestled in the interiors and offers a long coastal beach. Needless to say, this place is also a haven for the sport junkies. Popular sports like boating, diving and bike riding are available on this beach. It also makes for a quick getaway, and can be visited even under a shoestring budget.

Mandarmani, Bengal

Mandarmani is another extremely beautiful albeit les popular beach in India. It is situated in the state of West Bengal and is just an hour’s drive from the famed Digha Beach. Mandarmani’s biggest USP is that it is a very long beach running up to 14 km. And it is the longest Indian beach where you can drive. There are plenty of sporting games too including parasailing, scooter riding, banana boating and jet skiing. And the Rose Valley Resort is a luxurious hotel situated right on the beach.

Wade Across Glorious Indian History Visiting to these Stupefying Monuments

History of India is splendiferous: thoroughly colorful and practically adorable. And what can be a better way to explore it than fixing a date with some of its stunning remnants. Whether you are an Indian or a foreigner on an India holiday, visit to the monuments enlisted below will certainly leave you mesmerized. They are country’s most popular and significant historic structures, and a visit to them is a must during an Indian trip.

Taj Mahal

(Image credit: wikipedia)

Taj Mahal is a name that deserves no introduction. The entire world knows about its charm and romance. Aside from being one of the wonders of the world, it is also a mega structure which symbolizes Indian history. It also epitomizes Mughal architecture and is the ultimate testimony of man-woman romance. It was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in the loving memory of his late wife Mumtaz Mahal. To set your eyes on this marble-made romantic structure, you will need to visit the city of Agra, in northern India.

Qutub Minar

Qutub Minar is the world’s tallest minaret made wholly of red bricks. It may wear a dilapidated look but it is one of the most famous landmarks in the country. It was built by Qutub-ud-din Aibak in the 12th century AD and is the pride of India, representing the medieval history of the country magnificently. It has 379 steps that take you to the top. But due to various reasons, safety being the foremost, tourists are not allowed to climb the stairs anymore. This fabulous structure is located in India’s capital in Delhi.

Charminar

Charminar is the name on which Hyderabad tourism department has been minting money since ages. It was built in 1591 by Sultan Mohammed Quli Shah. Accommodating four humongous towers, this 56 meter high structure is colossally sprawled in the middle of a busy street like an archway. Charminar is also the most recognized structure in South India. It is situated in the city of Hyderabad.

Victoria Memorial

Victoria Memorial has that quaint colonial charm. It was built during the British Raj and is a structure made of pure white stone. Its premise also houses a very green and beautiful garden where tourists and locals can always be spotted having a gala time. Its beauty is a photographer’s delight. Except for Taj Mahal, perhaps no other monument in India is as photogenic as Victoria Memorial. It is located in the city of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) in the eastern part of the country.

Mysore Palace

Nestled in the state of Karnataka in the city of Mysore, this palace is a brilliant testimony of the history & heritage of south India. It is also one of the largest palaces in the country and is truly grand in every sense. Its history is also interesting, since it had to be rebuilt in 1912 after suffering from a fire breakout in the late 19th century.

Hawa Mahal

If you happen to visit the royal city of Jaipur, then do not miss out on the famous Hawa Mahal. It is large and fascinating and is full of hundreds of windows. Entirely built of red and pink sandstone, it looks stunning particularly in early morning. This five-story monument is in pyramidal shape.

If you choose to visit any of these monuments or plan for a complete India holiday, you can take help of Hungry Bags, one of the best travel planners in the country.

A Few Important FAQs Associated with Chardham Yatra

Chardham Yatra is a journey made to the four holy sites of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. These four sites are known as dhams and are very divine places. People come here from all corners of the country to seek spiritual experience and to find salvation. Since the Yatra involves traveling to the unfriendly locales of Himalayan slopes, it is natural that the first-time visitors and pilgrims have a lot of questions in their mind.


Hungry Bags brings you some frequently asked questions regarding the trials & tribulations of the journey, along with their satisfactory answers.

Q1. How to best make a safe and economic plan for a Char dham yatra?
Answer: It is understood that pilgrims, especially the first-time visitors, are very concerned about safety & security. The journey can be very wearisome and can also be hazardous to the health. Money is also a concern, since many Indian families do not have the adequate financial resources for a grand stay or for long-duration trip. The best way to plan a yatra is to ask a reliable travel agent like Hungry Bags to plan it for you. The agent can look after all your custom requires and make an exclusive plan to suit your needs, finance, family strength, duration, etc. You can rely on them fully for any sort of help. Alternatively, if you do not need a customized plan, you can also buy an available package after checking all of them. Hungry Bags, being a reputed tour planner, stocks a good number of chardham yatra packages to cater to the diverse Indian society.

Q2. When is the starting and ending date for the Chardham Yatra? When is the best time to visit?
Answer: The four dhams (temples) are situated in regions which can turn nastily cold during the winter. So, they stay shut from November till April/May. The yatra usually begins from April-May and ends towards late October or early November. As per norm, Diwali marks the closure of the yatra.
The Yatra season, therefore, stretches from April-November. However, the best time to visit the dhams is the month of June. During this time, the crowd swells drastically. It is also the time when the weather is at its friendliest mood. May is also a good time to visit, but if you want to be a part of a big religious gathering, then June will be advisable. Some people who do not like too much crowd prefer the latter half of the season between August-November. You can make your plans as per your requirement and wish.

Q3. What should one carry for Chardham yatra?
Answer: Under chardham yatra packages, pilgrims are given all kinds of facilities including meals. However, you must carry a few things from home. Firstly, pack some heavy & light woolen clothes! Even during the summer months, the dhams can be pretty chilly. The temperatures plunge heavily during the night. It is also advisable to carry raincoats, wind shields, caps and hunter shoes. Journey can be really challenging. Cases of sickness or nausea or vomiting are common. Please carry a medical kit with basic pills.


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