An Exhilarating Road Trip from Hyderabad to Kerala: A Delightsome Travelogue

The aftermath of a tiresome wedding session lasting for a couple of days, we were craving for some refreshing getaways to be spent in any other places. Besides, we were very particular of choosing a location with varied contrasts to that of Telugu cultures, traditions, places and everything. Furthermore, I and my husband had some conditions prior to our trip that it should not be any North Indian locations or boarding any straight flights to the destination.

It was in this instant that I got to know that the hills of Munnar in Kerala were surprisingly laid out by a delicate layer of snow during the past year’s winter. The beauty of this whole new version of the otherwise lush green hills was rather astonishing, which would be ideal for a romantic honeymoon. Usually, the state of Kerala is known for its tropical climate with most time of the year drenched in soothing monsoon. Therefore, tourists dropping in Kerala mostly get to visit its backwaters and its golden shores, as they would be readily included in their tour packages to spend their vacations. However, we wished to do something different and explore on our own. We finally decided to travel to the Munnar Hills from our hometown of Hyderabad and that too by road.

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Since we only had limited time for our vacation, we set off our journey at a late evening in our own car. Most parts Telgana were covered in utter darkness expect the major towns of Mahbubnagar, Kurnool, Anantapur and Penukonda. Visiting these places in Andra borders were obviously excluded from our list as it was definitely not in our list, as we took the fastest road possible via NH44. Due to the numerous of tolls in the otherwise smooth path, it was almost midnight when we reached in the Electronic Capital of Karnataka, Bengaluru.

Bengaluru was like any other major cities of the country, in terms of their traffic congestion and the fastest growing infrastructure. Due to the time in which we arrived at this vast city saved us from this mess to a greater extent. On the wild path leading to Hosur, we got to realize that yet another state of Karnataka had also been left behind. Just then the name of Hosur just struck and later confused me that, isn’t’ that the same ‘Hosur’ in of Karanataka nearby Madikeri. The name was quite familiar to me as I had already visited a Samudri Ganesha Temple located there. However, this was a different place located in the borders of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

By early mornings, we reached the scenic locations of Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu. Again here too we could not experience the very essence of this beautiful ancient town. Later the first rays of the early morning sun were striking us when our car was very gently approaching towards Erode. Now, we were excited to journeying via the dense forest covers of Udumalpet once covering the temple towns of Thirvachi, Palladam, Avinashi and numerous other ones. We were almost in sync with our calculations of witnessing the dense forest regions of both Anamalai Tiger Reserve and Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary in broad sunlight. Consequently, we have succeeded in this very same venture also.

Up to these locations, the roads were not much challenging as the paths were laid out in plains. However, once we were about to cross the Kerala-Tamil Nadu borders, you will know about the very nature of the rocky terrains of this part of Western Ghats. Numerous hairpin curves on these roads will truly be testing most accurate driving skills of my husband. But he was definitely not in a mood to give up. Meanwhile, the deep gorges adjacent to the roads scared me.  From my research just before the trip, I had read that Chinnar is the sole rain shadow region in the state of Kerala

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In our research, I had already noted down that a waterfall named Thoovanam is situated at this location is a must-visit site. For trekking up to the waterfall, we pulled over our car in the parking area across the Alampetty Check post. The staff at the check post then said that to catch a glimpse of the Thoovanam Waterfalls, we need to trek across the dark jungles for a whole of 4kms. We just felt that we were walking very close to nature at its lap. When the cascading waterfalls were closest to our view, it was indeed a pleasure for our eyes to watch the beautiful sight. The trekking is basically a guided program operated by the State Tourism Department of Kerala.

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After the witnessing the surprising waterfall, we continued our journey via Marayoor, which has the only natural sandalwood forest among all the forest covers in Kerala. Here also we had to halt our travelling in the car, and had to catch a jeep that would take us to these rare forests. If we had opted for the other options of vacationing through the packages, we did not have to wait much in these kinds of places. But on the other hand, these halting could also give some rest to the former that had been plying all the way from Hyderabad. Along with us, we saw many other tourists enjoying the rich flora and fauna found only in these regions. Apart from that, we got to see a few ’Muniyaras’ which are the primitive cabins made of stone. Someone travelling with us on the jeep said Chinnar is home to a giant variety of flying squirrel and can be only be observed if you are lucky enough.

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We were departing from the sandal forest covers of Marayoor and saw yet another signboard indicating the path that leads to Lakkam Waterfalls. However, we could not make it to visit them as it was already approaching the dusk. Mounting up to the waterfalls in such an hour will be futile and also dangerous. From there it did not take much to reach the popular hill station of Munnar. While we reached there, the temperature was very chilling and felt exhausted. We sole groped for a space to lie down after the eventful journey.

Before planning for any road trips, it is always advised to book your dates to any efficient tour companies like that of Lelagoon Holidays. By doing so you would be visiting every tourist spots in a location in an organized manner without missing any exciting sights!

Top 6 Ecclesiastic Temples in God’s Own Country

Kerala being the most-sought tourist destination in India is famous for several alluring factors. Exceptionally beautiful landscapes, wild roars of animals and the melodious chirp of birds from thickly populated forest lands, tranquillizing river waters, breathtaking hill stations, marvellous tea and coffee meadows sprawling misty hill stations and valleys are the few among them. Above all these, the unique and praiseworthy heritage and traditions attract travellers across the globe. Kerala, the god’s own country is popular for its ancient culture and bewitching art forms. Not only foreigners but also local especially people from north Indian cities like Delhi organizes a tour to witness the traditional lifestyles of Kerala. It is said that whatever may be the event each and everything comprises some sorts of music and art. And that is absolutely true. By availing the package travellers can see that people in Kerala show their uniqueness in each and everything. Where people on one side spend a huge amount of money on purchasing plates and glasses Keralites will save the money using the leaves of banana as plates and leaves of jackfruit tree as spoons instead. Another amusing factor of Kerala is the temples. The state is blessed with a large number of temples with different deities in it and the architectural style of the temples makes the travellers speechless. Below is a shortlist of temples with unique design patterns and festivals.

  1.  Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple

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The temple Sree Padmanabahswamy is not only famous for its exemplary Dravidian architectural style but also being one of the richest temples in India. The temple is devoted to Lord Vishnu who resides on the Anantha- the five hooded serpent lord. The temple is situated in the heart of the Thiruvananthapuram district, the capital of Kerala. It was constructed in the 8th century. The presence of the temple is clearly mentioned in Hindu scriptures such as Padma Purana and Skanda Purana. The idol deity – lord Vishnu comprises of 12008 sacred pebbles (Salgramas) from River Gandaki in Nepal. Each sacred pebble represents Lord Vishnu, sanctity, etc. Travellers can also see separate shrines in the flourished temple for Lord Rama, Lord Sita, and Lord Laxmana, Lord Hanuman, Shri Yoga Narasimha, and Shri Dharma Shastha.

When to visit: October and November- Alpashy festival

                               March and April – Panguni festival

2. Sree Krishan Temple, Guruvayoor

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Sree Krishan Temple is more famously known as the Guruvayoor temple in and out of Kerala. The deity of the temple is four-armed Lord Krishna carrying lotus with holy basil grassland, the mace of Kaumodaki, Panchajanya and Sudharshans discuss in each of the four hands. The idol of the lord has been made out of Patalanjana stones ( mainly used for medicinal values). The temple is well-known for marriages and rice –feeding functions ( it is custom prevailing in Kerala of feeding rice to newborn babies). Guruvayoor is termed as Dwarka of South India. Surrounding to the temple is a tank and it is believed that Lord Krishna and family worshipped Lord Vishnu. Now this pond is considered sacred.

When to visit: February and March- Ulsavam

                               Middle of April – Malayalee new year

                                December and January – Kuchela’s day

3. Ambalapuzha Sri Krishna Temple

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Ambalapuzha Sri Krishna Temple was constructed in the 17th century in Ambalapuzha. It is one of the famous temples in the state. The deity of the temple is Lord Krishna ( the childhood version of Krishna more commonly known as ‘Unni Kannan’). There is a myth associated with the temple it is said so that Guruvayoorappan (Lord Krishna from Guruvayoor temple) visits Ambalapuzha while serving the delicious Palpayyasam. People who visit the pilgrim will definitely visit the backwaters which are hardly 8 miles apart. It is also believed that the deity of the temple as bought from the Guruvayoor temple during Tipu Sultan’s administration.

When to visit: July – Ambalapuzha temple festival

                                 March – April – Arattu festival

4. Chaottanikara Temple

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Chottanikara temple is situated in Ernakulam district. Positioned in the hilltop it is one of the most popular temples in Kerala. The deity of the temple is Chottanikara Devi. It is worshipped in three different ways. In the morning it is devoted as lord Saraswati, at the noon as lord Laxmi and in the evening as lord Durga. Along with Chottanikara Devi, Lord Vishnu is also worshipped. It is believed that Devi has curing powers and removes all mental illnesses.

When to visit: October – Navarathri Aghosham

                             Vrishichika Mandala Mahotsavam and the annual festival of the temple.

5.  Aattukkal Bhagavathy Temple

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Located at a distance of 2 km from the famous Padmanabha Swamy temple, Aattukakal Bhagavathy temple is situated in Thiruvananthapuram. The deity of the temple is goddess Kannaki or incarnation of goddess Parvati, believed as a supreme mother, the creator of the whole universe, etc. The temple holds the record of the largest gathering of women for temple festivals. Devotees who visit the Padmanabha Swamy temple will surely visit the Aattukkal temple also.

When to visit: February- March- Aattukal Pongal

6. Sabarimala Temple

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Sabarimala temple is not only famous in Kerala but among all the Ayyappa devotees in the country. Located in Pathanamthitta district in Kerala the presiding deity of the temple is Lord Ayyappa. Closely situated to Periyar tiger reserve the temple is surrounded by rocky hills and thickly populated forest areas. The temple mainly remains open during two major festivals ie. Mandala Pooja and Makara Sankranti Pooja celebrated during the months from November to mid of January. The temple also opens during the first 6 days of every Malayalam month. Men of all ages visit the temple by wearing either black or blue dresses with chandanam (sandal) smeared on their foreheads. Till the end of the pilgrim, the devotees remain unshaven.

Key point: Females during the menstruating period are exempted from entering the temple.

 The above are the most prominent temples in Kerala which not only pull the Hindus from the state but also from various parts of the world. The temples in Kerala are not only worship centres but also a place to study ancient architecture styles and the colonial ruling system prevailed in India. So don’t waste your precious time couples enjoy the tour with Dream Holidays at affordable package rates. They are one among the few travel partners who are ready to customise their price. So pack your bags and prepare yourself to seek the blessings from ‘God’s own country’.

Top 12 Enthralling Water Sports in Kerala

There will be no one who does not like to explore new places and meet new people. People always plan trips and discover new destinations but it would be before their marriage or before enlarging their families. The number of trips gradually decreases as members increases. The reasons are many… For some, the package may be unaffordable and some drop the planned trips due to the lack of time and the list of excuses goes on. Continuing in the same state of motion obviously retards one’s happiness and gradually he/ she will hate his/ her own life… to avoid such circumstances it is good to plan trips with our families to unknown destinations. Such trips will surely make the children happier and energetic. Furthermore, it will help them to boost their enthusiasm and eagerness. Trips will always teach children new lessons of life and open new doors of opportunities in front of them. There are plenty of destinations which suits for family tour. If you and your kids are adventure enthusiasts and like to practice thrilling activities then Kerala would be the best option. The state is proud not only of its mind-blogging environment, calm and pleasant ambiance but also for a plethora of water sports. People who are planning for an exotic trip to the state must definitely ask their travel operator to inculcate some interesting and exciting sports events in the package. Before indulging in the water sports it is recommended that travellers should know a little bit of swimming. It is not to threaten you but to make you vigilant about the consequences that may take place in the future. Water tourism is rapidly gaining popularity in Kerala. As part of the tourism the state has imbibed many professionally trained instructors from various parts of the country. They also have a panel to check the proper functioning of the training classes and equipment.

Before relying on any travel agencies just go through their history. Check whether they have a valid license or not? Go through the reviews and feedbacks in their website. Also ask the opinions of the travellers who availed their packages before. While booking the packages do not forget to mention the ages of the children else when you reach the destination you will not able to find any activities suitable for your kids. Don’t forget to carry necessary medicinal kit as part of safety. Carry clothes which are suitable for the activity and also for the expedition. Below is the list of the various water sports activities commonly practiced in Kerala.

  1. Bamboo rafting

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How wonderful it would be to sail in logs of bamboo in the river and enjoy the humming songs of birds from the thickly populated forests surrounding the river. Bamboo rafting is mainly practiced in Palakkad and Wayanad districts in Kerala. Pozhuthana River in Wayanad is the perfect place for rafting lovers to put their first baby steps in the shallow waters. It is situated at 4 km away in Vythiri village. The rafting was initially used for transportation and trading purposes now being widely used for enhancing tourism. This activity will definitely gift you a special experience and lovely memories. Rafting is best to capture the beautiful picture of the nature directly into the minds without clicking the photographs. Travellers can enjoy the cool puff and see mesmerizing view of leaves of trees oscillating. Visitors can also enlighten their hearts by hearing various kinds of sounds of birds and animals from the jungles. As Wayanad is home to wild animals and migratory birds it is haven for wildlife photographers and nature lovers. Rafting can be played by people of any age. Only thing of which travellers should take care of is climatic conditions .

  1. Boating

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Have you ever heard or imagined a boat ride inside a dam?  It is possible only in Banasura Sagar dam situated in Wayanad district. It is one of the major attractions of the district. Don’t think that while boating inside the dam you will destine only to see the beauty of walls. It is not absolutely true travelers can completely enjoy the charming beauty of the serene nature and fill souls with wild roars and chirps of animals and birds. Along with travellers can enjoy the spectacular view of coconut trees oscillating in air. Travellers will have to pay directly to the concerned people before practicing boating.

  1. Kayaking

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For time being say goodbye to houseboat rides and canoeing and relish the captivating beauty of Kerala by kayaking in waters. Kayaking is mainly practiced in backwaters and rivers. While kayaking travellers can come across various species of birds flying from one region to another, common people engaged in traditional works such as coir making, etc. To make the voyage much more interesting travellers can spot different colors of butterflies roaming around them. Alapuzha is more commonly known as the ‘Venice of East’ is the best place to learn kayaking more deeply. Instructors will guide you in and will give correct instructions regarding the same.

  1. Wave Runners

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Payyambalam beach is one of the hottest beaches in Kerala which is famous for wave running water activity. It is also one of the largest beaches in the district.  Wave running sport is one of the most thrilling and exciting activities played in shallow waters. People will be asked to drive a motorbike or speed boat during strong waves. At this time travellers will be given an opportunity to enjoy the strength of the waves and witness the immense beauty of sea waters.

  1. Parasailing

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Who doesn’t like to fly like a bird by tying their feet to a speed boat? Parasailing is one such sports activity that allows adventure enthusiasts to explore nature’s resources in a different manner. Parasailing is practiced in almost all the states of India but nothing can defeat the parasailing of Kerala. Every year thousands of travellers reach the state only to discover new opportunities to pump their adrenaline. Parasailing is mainly practiced in prominent places of the state like Kovalam, Aleppey and Cherai beach of Kochi. While parasailing people can witness the stunning and magnificent marine world.

  1. Scuba Diving

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Scuba diving is the best way to interact with the exotic marine world lying beneath the water. Tourists above 8 years are permitted to do scuba diving. Before practicing it people will have to attend a training session by experienced trainers with PADI certified for hardly 30 minutes in which they will clearly explain to you the way to dive safely and also how to use the equipment, especially apparatus efficiently. Pregnant ladies and people with chronic disorders are exempted from the activity. People are advised not to have heavy food 1 hour prior to the event. Scuba diving is mainly done in Kovalam and Kochi.

  1. Snorkelling

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When compared to scuba diving, snorkeling is far easier and cheaper. Here travellers do not need any help or guidance from any certified trainer. They will be given a breathing apparatus called snorkel which will help them to breathe when they go deep into waters. Snorkeling was recently introduced in Kerala to promote water tourism. But to surprise, not only the foreigners but locals are admired by the event. Now it is being commercially used by the natives widely. Snorkeling is mainly practiced in Kochi and Kovalam.

  1. River Crossing

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When you hear river crossing doesn’t think you will ask to cross the river barefooted or reach the other side by any vehicle. Travellers are supposed to reach the other side of the riverbank by crawling on a rope at a determined elevation from the water. The activity is really thrilling as well as adventurous. River Crossing is popular in Munnar hill stations of Kerala. Munnar is famous for its vast tea plantations, breathtaking hills, and misty mountains. But very few people know about this activity. This activity demands immense courage and faith. Travellers who are suffering from gastrointestinal disorders and ear balance problems are advised not to practice the same.

  1. Catamaran Sailing

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Catamaran Sailing is one of the most popular water sports activities in the state. A large number of travellers can be accommodated in a single wooden boat made or yacht with hulls on either side. Catamaran sailing is mainly practiced in backwaters or stooped waters like sea. For the safety of the travellers two experienced guides will be there during the sailing. Even though the activity was introduced recently it soon gained popularity among the locals and foreigners. It is mainly played in Aleppey, Varkala and Kovalam.

  1. Kneeboarding

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Kneeboarding is known as a fun and entertaining water game. Here the travellers are asked to kneel down on a flat platform shaped floating board withholding a rope of which one end is tied to a motorboat. The sport is not so easy and it is risky too. By constant practice travellers can enjoy it’s fun. After being comfortable you can choose a half squad position. The event is of 20 minutes but it assures a remarkable life long experience. Knee boarding is popularly practiced in Cherai beach in Ernakulam district.

  1. Canoeing

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Canoeing is slightly similar to kayaking. It is one of the most thrilling ways to explore the backwaters and rivers. Nearly 4 travellers can do canoeing at a time. A canoe is wooden made in traditional style with its front and back edges pointed and top remain uncovered. It is usually rowed using single-bladed paddle. Being smaller in size the canoe will take the travellers in inner portions of the backwaters where you can see villagers engaged in various traditional works, school children canoeing to school just as we ride bicycles. Also, you will get golden opportunity to explore the stunning elegance of paddy fields, coconut groves, fishing areas, rustic homes, coir factories and many more. Canoeing is very cheap when compared to houseboat voyage and Shikara boat rides. People who really want to do canoeing must have a small idea about swimming.

  1. Banana Boat Ride

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Banana boat ride is gaining popularity day by day. Even though it is a little bit challenging the overall ride will assure your excitement and joy. Banana boat is actually a recreational boat built in the shape of a banana. Usually, these kinds of boats accommodate more than 3 to 10 riders at a time. Banana boats are generally safe except in bad weather conditions. Children above 5 years play banana boat ride.

Above is a shortlist of exciting water sports in Kerala. There are many more but those won’t suit small children and aged people. Year by year number of tourist is increasing and hence importance of water tourism too. Not only the foreigners but local from different states are visiting the state to explore its untouched charm. Gogeo holidays is one such tour partner who tries to bring people from various parts of the country to visit the amazing Kerala. As part of their mission this time they have decided to select the group of family from Chennai city. As we all Chennai is one of the major cities in India which experience terrible hot weather conditions. Even though the city noteworthy for its educational and technical achievement the city lacks many outstanding facilities for its natives to rejuvenate and refresh. And that is the main reason why Gogeo holidays decided to select them.

Travellers who have decided to utilize the services of the above-mentioned travel partner can remain tension free and enjoy the complete essence of the trip. They always focus on customers’ gratification and happiness and for that they are ready to customize the packages. They always accommodate the customers in well-reputed hotels and provide excellent hospitality services. Therefore travellers can entrust Gogeo holidays and enjoy each and every moments of your trip.

Reunion of Classmates in God’s Own Country

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It is been a long time that we have planned a fantastic trip to some exotic places. It was nearly 3 years ago that we had an exciting trip to Ooty and Kodaikanal during our final year of college. We split after getting the jobs in MNCs via campus recruitment. Most of us were working outside Kerala and were eagerly waiting to meet each other. It was after watching the Malayalam movie ‘Classmates’ by my dearest friend which tells the story of the reunion of college students after 15 years, she got inspired and messaged us to plan a thrilling trip. We somehow found the time and discussed the trip. We, 6 friends, had 6 different choices about the destinations finally decided to select Munnar located in our hometown, Kerala. The coastal state is blessed with awe-inspiring tourist spots. And we planned to rely on some taxi services in the metro city, Kochi. But the majority of us including me were hesitant to depend on them. Because we thought the presence of the driver will be an obstacle to our privacy and amusement. As we were hailing from Chennai and we didn’t have much knowledge about the state we were forced to depend on them.

One fine Friday morning we boarded a flight to Cochin from Chennai. As per the prior booking on Dreams Cabs website the cab which we had booked with a professional driver was there to receive us. We had a little fear about the cab whether it would be clean and tidy. But we remained dumbstruck by seeing the interior of the Scorpio (the cab which we selected). The floors of the cab were covered with luxury custom-fitted carbon fibre car mats. We were able to stretch and relax in leatherette 3D car seats with holders so that without any difficulty we could enjoy our drinks while clicking beguiling terrains. The AC vents were very well maintained and we were able to inhale cool air. As we were enjoying our road journey to Munnar suddenly it started raining like cats and dogs. The driver was not able to see the path clearly and we were scared whether we will meet any accident but to our surprise, the vipers of the car were so well-functioning that it wiped the windows quickly and neatly. Due to the heavy cloud burst, some of the roads were blocked. Thanks to the GPS and Wi-Fi facility we were able to identify a new route which comparatively took less time than the previous one. We asked our chauffeur to turn off the stereo as we really wanted to enjoy the pitter-pattering of rains. After an hour we asked to open the windows so that we could enjoy the fragrant smell of petrichor. With a single button, he lowered the window. We felt very hungry and asked the driver to halt the vehicle in front of any cafeteria so that we can heat ourselves with hot tea. The driver had a deep knowledge about the good restaurants and he took us to a reputed one and we had enticing delicacies with hot cardamom tea. We didn’t forget to parcel some traditional oily Keralite snacks to eat. We continued our journey by enjoying the rain outside while eating the snacks and by hearing the radio chats from our favorite FM channel. As we were closer to our destination the roads were seen to be pathetic with potholes here and there. The tires of the car were of high quality and of good friction. Our chauffeur was very careful and drove the vehicle slowly as we had already mentioned that one of our friends is having some issues related to the spinal cord. The cab also consists of aromatic car perfume which helped us to remain active throughout the journey.

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Reaching Munnar, he dropped us to the hotel which we had booked beforehand but unfortunately, it was not available for us due to some communication reasons. We were confused about what to do as we were unfamiliar with place and language. But the driver helped us. He took us to one of the best hotels in Munnar and bought the rooms at cheaper rates than which we had booked. After refreshment, he took us to the important tourist places like echo point, tea gardens, etc. The hilly regions of the place were carpeted with emerald tea meadows and the mesmerizing view delighted our hearts. Our driver cum tour guide told the tales related to the construction of the tea factory. At echo point, we were competing and teasing with each other by calling out each other’s nicknames. We took enough and more photographs that finally our phone gallery asked to delete some old files. I desperately wanted to upload all the good looking photographs in social media as I really wanted to make my colleagues jealous (just for fun). But my network connection was roaming and I was unable to fulfill my wish. I thought of uploading the amazing pictures using the hotel’s internet facility. But the signal strength was poor. Only then I remembered our cab’s Wi-Fi and ran to our cab and connected my phone with the internet and posted all the clicks. The driver didn’t forget to share the valuable information about each and every place.

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After 2 days of sightseeing in Munnar, we departed our chauffeur at Cochin International Airport. There are no words to express our sincere thanks to Dreams cabs and their vibrant team members. People who are planning short, as well as long journeys, must definitely select Dreams cabs as their hospitality is beyond expectations. They not only arrange cabs for expeditions but also for daily purposes such as picking up from offices, schools, colleges, airports, railway stations and dropping to their home or to desired destinations. Their main aim is to deliver outstanding taxi service packages at reasonable prices. They are one of the flourishing private cab companies in Kerala. What differ from others is they give the facility to its customers to select their favorite cabs from a wide range of choices. Additional expenses of any kind are mulcted. Another highlighting feature of the company is they provide the services 24*7 to the needy customers. They always value customers’ gratification and that is the reason behind their success which I and my friends had experienced.

5 Prominent Wild Homes in Kerala

Kerala is always being home to exotic species of various kinds of birds and animals. The cerulean seas, crystal clear waters, bewitching dusks, coconut-palm fringed trees oscillating in accordance to the cool puff of air, moderate tropical climate, thickly populated forests lands, funnel-shaped valleys blanketed with emerald tea and coffee meadows etc are the few fascinating features which lure nature lovers across the globe to Kerala. Every year thousands of tourists visit the beautiful state with their dear ones only to enchant the mesmerizing glory of Kerala. There may be different reasons for each traveller to put their feet in the coastal land. Some may visit the state to spend quality time with their dear ones others may visit the land for business or education purposes. There another group of people who visit the Malabar region to revitalize themselves in Ayurveda centres.

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There are many travel operators who organize frequent trips to the state. Some grab travellers with exciting offers. Some formulate a tour package to exotic Kerala at an affordable price and even they are ready to customize the packages on traveller’s request. People often plan a tour to the state with an aim to explore the wondrous collections of fauna and flora. The state is blessed with 16 fascinating national parks where endangered species of birds and animals are protected. You might have a small idea about the serene beauty and hot tourist spots in the state but you might not be aware of the distinguished wildlife sanctuaries in the state. A few prominent national parks are briefly studied below.

  1. Anamudi Shola National Park

Anamudi Shoal Park is located in the Idukki district, Kerala. The amusing national park is spread over 7.5 km square. It was nominated as a World Heritage site by UNESCO world heritage programme. It was declared as a national park in 2003. Since then it has been under the control of Munnar wildlife division and Kerala wildlife forest department. The park assures cent per cent solitude and is popular for its bewildering nature and excellent biodiversity. Unlike other national parks here you can see the endangered and unknown creatures wandering here and there. Travellers can closely examine and learn the typical lifestyle of them by interacting and clicking photographs. As you ascend to the top you can come across most of the hilltop regions being occupied with vegetation. The park consists of 38 kinds of climbers, 60 types of trees and 175 varieties of shrubs and herbs. Travellers can spot jungle cat, wild dogs, leopards, sloth bear, civet cats, Indian Bison, wolves, wild boars, flying squirrels, elephants, Panther, tigers, and more. Don’t think that only wild animals are ruling the park, there a wide collection of birds are also seen here such as 100 types of butterflies and 200 varieties of moths and more than 76 species of rare birds. Travellers can also enjoy the beauty of nature by drenching in Thoovanam waterfalls, Chinnar River and Pambar River located near to the park.

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Best Time to Visit the Park: Although visitors can visit the park throughout the year the best time to explore the sanctuary is during the months from October to March.

2. Silent Valley National Park

With its green meadows, cool environment, pleasant climate and amazing views of flora and fauna make Silent Valley national unique and distinguished parks in Kerala. The park is spread across 89 square kilometres of land. It is situated in the Kundali Hills in Palakkad. Even though smaller in size what makes the park unique is it’s Sylvan environment, lofty hills and misty peaks and sapphire waters running along. One could find numerous kinds of plants and animals residing inside the park unharmed by the outer world. The park is home to 1000 various kinds of flowering plants, 200 types of liverworts, 108 varieties of orchids and 200 types of algae. The park is sheltered to 22 species of amphibians, 13 species of fishes, 292 species of birds, 31 species of reptiles, 500 species of moths and butterflies. The most commonly seen species are the lion-tailed macaque, Indian Pangolin (Scaly anteater), Nilgiri Langur, elephant, sambar, Flying Squirrel, Stripe-necked Mongoose, Porcupine, wild pig, Barking Deer, panther, Otter, Sloth Bear, Mouse Deer, tiger, Small Indian Civet, Fishing Cat, Common Palm Civet and gaur. One could quench their thirst by drinking pure crystal water from Kunthi River passing through the region after descending from the Nilgiri hills. The Silent Valley National Park is also famously known as ‘Sairandhrivanam‘. It is so-called because the place where the park is residing was once considered as hiding abode of Sairandhiri, the secret identity undertaken by Draupadi, the wife of Pandavas from their cruel cousins (Kauravas). The Kunthi river is named after the mother of Pandavas. The entry fee to the park is INR 50 and for guide is INR 150.

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Best Time to Visit the Park: The ideal time to visit the Silent Valley National Park is from December to April.

3.  Eravikulam National Park

Eravikulam National Park is also known as Rajamalai Wildlife sanctuary is termed as a world heritage site by UNESCO. It takes hardly 45 – minute drive from Munnar to reach the park. In 1978 it was declared as a national park. It is spread over 97 sq km in the Kannan Devan hills. The park is popular for protecting the endangered mountain goat known as Nilgiri Tahr. Along with it is also shelter to Elephant, leopard, Nilgiri langur, Indian bison, Nilgiri marten, lion-tailed macaque, Atlas moth (largest in the world), small-clawed otter and a rare tiger or leopard are the few of the main animal species that can be seen here. Next to the park, one could see Neelakurunji flowers which bloom once in 12 years.

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The park offers numerous activities to its visitors. They are as follows.

  1. Tea Museum: A good portion of the park is occupied by the green meadows of tea. Adjacent to the tea plantations one could see a tea museum which has to share many tales related to the construction of the museums and types of machinery and equipment used then and now the struggles faced by the workers in initial days and so on. By visiting the museum’s travellers will get a clear picture of the ancient days.
  1. Rajamala: Rajamala is the prominent tourist hub of Eravikulam National Park where travellers can view the famous Nilgiri Tahr. Except in the months of February and March, tourists can visit Rajamala at any time. While visiting Rajamala one could enchant the beauty of Kurinji and Shola grassland ecosystem. The park is a paradise for shopaholics as it has restaurants, eco shops and an amenity centre to buy basic items of requirements.

           Visiting time: 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM

           Entry Fee: INR 90 (Adult), INR 65 (Children), INR 360 (Foreigner);

            Reservation fee: INR 50

  1. Lakkom Water Falls: The cascading and marvellous Lakkom Water Falls originates from the Evarikulam Park and flows to river Pambar, the east-flowing river in Kerala. The milky water descending from the crevices of the hills offers stunning experiences to each traveller. The waterfall is located in between Munnar and Marayoor route and there also lies an eco- shop cafeteria and refreshing centre to help the visitors.

           Entry Fee: INR 20 per visitor.

  1. Lakkom Log House:  Very adjacent to Lakkom waterfalls is the log house where travellers can spend quality time with their dear ones without any hustle-bustle of the outer world. Travellers can avail the accommodation if they report the office before 3 PM to the office. Overnight stay in the log house will definitely provide remarkable experience especially to honeymoon couples.

           Rate: INR 3000 for two Indians; Additional person: INR 1000

  1. Marayoor Sandal Division: Marayoor Sandal Forest Division is the only place in the state where travellers could find a large natural population of sandal trees. Strolling down through the forest will definitely help you to learn more about the trees and its habitat.
  2. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary: The Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the Western Ghats in Kerala. This region is richly populated with a wide range of indigenous flora and fauna. The sanctuary houses myriad types of medicinal plants, and its animal species such as grizzled giant squirrel, wild elephant, gaur, tufted grey langur, crocodile, spotted deer, star tortoise, slender loris, tiger, leopard and many birds.

           Best Time to Visit Eravikulam National Park: September to November and from April to June is the ideal time to visit                   Eravikulam National Park.

4. Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary

Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary is the second largest wildlife sanctuary in Wayanad. It is home to large varieties of wild animals. It is a part of the Nilgiri Bioreserve. The sanctuary was established in 1973, it is an amalgamation of semi-evergreen, dry deciduous forest and moist. The sanctuary is proud to say that it has declared as Project elephant site. As it is situated in the dense forests one could spot various kinds of animals like Panthers, civet cats, jungle cats, Indian Bison, tigers, elephants, deer, monkey, wild dogs and bears. With the scenic landscape and the excellent wildlife, the sanctuary lures wildlife and photographers enthusiasts. With Wayanad’s pleasant climate, a combination of bison, civets, wild dogs, monitor lizards, monkeys, varieties of snakes and elephants are seen widely in the sanctuary. Blessed with avifauna, the sanctuary is not only famous for owls, peacocks, fowls, and cuckoos but also for red-head vultures and white ramped-vultures. Unfortunately, these vultures are termed as endangered because they are used to kill to develop an anti-inflammatory drug called diclofenac.

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Entry Fee: The entry fare to the Muthanga wildlife sanctuary is very cheap. Indian adults will have to pay INR 10 and children below 12 and students with valid ID card have to pay only INR 5, while foreigners are requested to pay INR 100.

5. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary

The Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the Western Ghats in Idukki District. It is flourished over an area of 90.44 km². The sanctuary is abundantly blessed with a wide range of exotic species flora and fauna which makes it a stunning tourist destination. It is a shelter to a wide range of medicinal plants. It’s animal family comprises of species such as wild elephant, slender loris, tufted grey langur, gaur, crocodile, spotted deer, grizzled giant squirrel, tiger, leopard and many birds. The sanctuary is completely under the control of the government and hence travellers can enjoy the natural habitat without any disturbances. Small kind of trekking is well appreciated by the authorities. Deciduous forests are seen in large number over here. Chinnar wildlife sanctuary is also termed as world heritage site along with the Western Ghats and Anamalai. The other attractions of the park are the few famous peaks such as Nanadala Malai, Vellaikal Malai, Viriyoottu Malai, Kottakombu Malai and Kumarikkal Mala peak. The sanctuary receives water from Chinnar and Pambar rivers. It is also home to Thoovanam waterfalls. Travellers can also interact with 11 tribal settlements inside the sanctuary. Due to its unique topography and amazing varieties of flora and fauna the sanctuary is termed as a biodiversity hotspot. It is a paradise for nature and wildlife lovers. The sanctuary has a unique and spectacular facility for its visitors – treehouse stays. Treehouses are perfect stay home for nature lovers. Travellers can rent the treehouses for an overnight stay and witness the bewildering sunset and sunrise. The melodious chirp of birds will wake you in the morning. Overall the experience will be really awesome.

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Don’t think these national parks are exclusively meant for school children or families. Even newlywed couples are visiting these parks to enjoy the awe-inspiring beauty of the serene nature. These parks not only shelter various species of birds and animals but also turn out to be the perfect backdrop for romantic photos of honeymoon couples. As Kerala is proudly known as ‘Garden of Eden’, honeymooners avail tour packages at cheapest rates from travel operators like Dream Holidays in the state. Hope the above-mentioned articles might have helped you to enlighten your minds the need to preserve these species and obey the instructions issued by the concerned authorities.


Top 6 Reasons Why Dubai is an Underwater Marvel

Once a fertile oasis with a vast expanse of desert lands and ocean waters on the other side, the city of Dubai had now indeed flourished to a Tourist hub with diverse possibilities. Even, the geographical location of Dubai is very much apt for all sorts of marine activities to be engaged in. Similarly, the marine life of one of the largest cities of Arab World is blessed with rich diversity. In the sea of the proximity of Dubai live Dugongs, Intertidal, Khor Kalba, Demersal, Shallows and yet another enormous shoal of fishes. They can best be viewed from the massive aquariums of Dubai that you might have never seen before. Even the natural water bodies of the place are diverse in its ways. Soon yet another underwater park, named Pearl of Dubai is under the process of construction.

The following are some of the reason that says much about why Dubai is quite rightly boasted off indeed as an Underwater Marvel.

Dubai Aquarium &Underwater Zoo

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One of the must-visit locations once tour this Arab city could be the Dubai Aquarium. The 10 million litre tank is home to a larger population of aquatic animals ranging of over 140 species including rays and sharks. When viewing from any glass boat ride, you would never feel that you are sailing across a man-made structure all made of glass and water. Moreover, that is not going to resemble the aquarium of the Tetra Aquarium of Coimbatore, in any case. You may even sea-walk through the waters of this aquarium situated in the base floor on the world’s largest Shopping Mall. Furthermore, on exclusive packages, tourist may even take a course of Scuba diving at this underwater zoo.

Atlantis the Palm

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Most perfectly located in the magnificent man-made island of Palm Jumeirah, the luxury hotel of Atlantis the Palm offers you to stay and dine in the mesmerizing theme of underwater sea. Waking up from the bedroom with seawater ceiling is like no other that you can experience anywhere else. Even the wall of this 5-star accommodation is oceanic with its floor to ceiling height. You would feel that you are indeed living underwater just like any underwater creatures. Apart from that, tourists may even take a closer at Dolphins in the Dolphin Bay of Atlantis. Kids may entertain themselves by playing around with Sea Lion or by dropping in Adventure Waterpark.

Lost Chambers Aquarium & Ambassador Lagoon

Dubai tour

Being the largest open-air aquarium in the Persian Gulf countries, the Lost Chambers Aquarium dwells around 65,000 marine lives. While touring these spectacular locations in Dubai, you may go directly to the Ambassador without dropping into the Lost Chamber Aquarium, so that you may avail cheap fees structure. Further Aquatrek adventure can be checked out by those daring kids if they had completed 6 years of age. To feel most close to the marine nature, you may directly feed sharks and rays in the waters in the Predator Dive packages. If you were lucky enough to stop over on any special day, you may get a beautiful opportunity to get a glimpse of the Mermaid Show. Besides all these the myth of the ruined Atlantis and its marine life can be analysed from special tours conducted here.

Turtle Rehabilitation Project of Dubai

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The city dwellers of Dubai are way more concerned of the diminishing population local species, which soon would have got endangered from their seas. Through the project of Turtle Rehabilitation in Dubai, they release numerous turtles into the pools of Mina A’Salam. Such an eco-friendly thought was put forward by Burj Al Ara and Mina A’Salam with the backing of the office of Emirates Wildlife Protection.  Moreover, they research about their living conditions and cause for their extinction by tracking some of those released turtles. Visits to such pools are open to the tourists during the winter season on some selected days. Once stopping over at the pools you will know more about the migration modes of the turtles and other issues while they are in their marine environment.

Al Mahara

Dubai trip

Dining at a table in the backdrop of the gliding turtles and swimming fishes in their natural habitat could be a special moment that you have never experienced before. One such wonderful chance can be availed by the tourist visiting the beautiful eatery of Al Mahara, which is operated by Chef Nathan Outlaw of Michelin. Though the whole idea sounds expensive, this could be once in a lifetime experience for anyone on a budget trip. While dining at the restaurant, you may gaze at the immense aquarium of Burj Al Arab that houses a popular shark that had virgin births. At times, People do visit the restaurant solely for catching a glimpse of the shark.  Moreover, Seafoods of varied sorts ranging from Oysters to Crabs are made available to the public in the restaurant.

Water Activities

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The water activities that can be indulged in the vibrant city of Dubai are quite many. As mentioned before, the pristine deep waters of Dubai is the sole reason for making them popular in these activities. You may go for Scuba diving deep into the sea, do Snorkelling and just swim across the ocean waters. The beaches of Dubai can be explored more once you equipped with all sort of underwater apparatus along with the directions of certified instructors. Emirates of Fujairah could be one of the best spots to undertake such daring water activities in Dubai, besides the charming Snoopy Island and Dibba Rock. However, when you are planning to dive in the deep sea, try to get the assistance of the best PADI certified instructors.

All these above mentioned underwater quests can be experienced only once you are well aware of the varied kinds of programme organized on different locations of the same city. Abled tour companies such as Dubai Tour Trawell would make your mission of exploring the underwater adventures easier. They could help you around getting the best scuba facilities to provide you comfort on every aspect and ensure hassle-free trips. Additionally, would inform you about the specific details on its time and location in the most presentable way, so that you plan your trip accordingly.

9 Most Enchanting Ways to Spend your Honeymoon at Dubai

Memories of your Honeymoon days are to last forever. Those special locations and those special moments with your loved one is supposed to stay in your reminiscence eternally. Moreover, once you are in the city of Dubai with numerous artificial islands, large skyscrapers, and other such architectural wonders, the most captivating options that you can choose from are quite many. Lately, the city too had altered to a hot destination for the honeymooners where you can also have a delightful nightlife in this beautiful global city.

It is almost incredulous to realize that the towering buildings and tall skyscrapers were once a vast expanse of mere desert sand. It was only in the latter quarter of the century that the city had through all these developments unlike all other regions of the desert nation. Anyhow, there are still many more locations set aside for desert tourism with all those entertaining facilities that are being facilitated. All these factors had led Dubai to top the charts of favorite honeymoon destination all across the world.

Here are some enchanting ways to make your beautiful trip along with your life partner in the city of Dubai a memorable and cherished one.

Dine at Ossiano for an everlasting memory

Dubai tour

Restaurants to have a romantic dinner with your love are quite many in a large city like Dubai. However, the Ossiano Restaurant situated at the banks of Dubai Creek and aside Burj Khalifa will offer an altogether different experience. The beautiful underwater ambiance of the seafood restaurant is very commendable, as you can find a whole wall set aside from an aquarium. In the backdrop of the deep blue ocean with all sorts of aquatic creatures swimming towards you, anyone will feel that you are indeed under the ocean while you are in this Mediterranean eatery. Honeymooners can lend their ears to the live music spontaneously bringing romantic aura even while having their delicious meal. While touring around the popular Palm Jumeirah, you can stopover to the restaurant, as they are situated close to Atlantis the Palm.

Gaze at the vast city from the Hot Air Balloon

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Who doesn’t loves to watch a sunset holding their hands tight with the love of their life? Similarly, here too in this beautiful city with the backdrop of deserts a hot air balloon ride can offer you an eternal memory to your romantic honeymoon days, especially when witnessed during an early hour of the day. Also, you need not think that a ride along the hot air balloon is only for the adventurous lots, whereas it can be experienced by any out of the box thinking couples visiting Dubai. Moreover, the flamboyant shades of the balloon in high rise building milieu offer a diverse prospect of photographing. While flying across in the hot air balloon when the sun sets in, you get to behold the alluring sunset on the vast crimson deserts of Dubai.

Spend your evening watching the Mesmerizing Dubai Fountain

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 Set very creatively in the Lake of Burj Khalifa across its 30 acres of space by the same masterminds who had designed Bellagio Fountains of Vegas stands the magnificent Dubai Fountain. Visiting the show of this perfectly choreographed fountain which is said to be as tall as a 50-storied building, with your beloved will turn out to be a lovely experience. However, at times, to get a perfect glimpse, you would need to struggle behind the large crowds that gather the fountain. Therefore, by relying on Dubai honeymoon packages you may take a boat cruise over the lake to attain a wider and wonderful view of the same.

Shop together at Dubai Mall

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Ever since the largest-ever mall on earth was built in this jewel of the Arab world, both local people and tourists had been thronging to the space to have the best shopping experience. On your honeymoon, you can take your lady love to the mall that is equipped with special souvenirs of the Arab Land apart from the showrooms of most famous brand names of the world. Moreover, you may click nice snaps of your partner from the underwater aquarium built in the basement of the mall if you have got tired of your busy shopping. Furthermore, if you wish to hang out more with your companion you may also check out Gold Souk, Mall of Emirates, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, and Meena Bazaar that are easily accessible.

Climb up to the top of Burj Khalifa

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Standing at the observatory deck of the 148th floor on the tallest building that the man had ever built, you and your partner could now claim that you have indeed made a complete Dubai trip. Burj Khalifa has got the world’s highest viewpoint at a towering height of around 555m, where you will get to see a glimpse of the wonderful city that has never seen before. Besides, there are also observation decks on many other floors too, so you may get varied panoramic views of the Palm Islands, Burj Al Arab, the Worlds Land and many more.

Stopover to Palm Jumeirah

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Laying its first stone in 2001, the artificial island Palm Jumeirah built in the sea of Dubai is the largest of its kind to date. Rather than increasing the coastal line of Dubai by around 50 miles, the peculiarly shaped island had been attracting a large number of tourists yearly. This traveling lot also includes a sizeable number of honeymooners too. You may reach the palm-shaped islands either through a mystic underwater tunnel or a monorail from the mainland. There are numerous luxury hotels and habitant areas in this man-made archipelago when you can even stay back with your partner to experience the real Dubai all from the sea. Yet another fascinating fact concerned with the Jumeirah Islands is that they can even be seen from the space.

Stroll around the Beautiful Miracle Garden

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Flowers are those significant parts that cannot be left behind in every love relationship. Every other person would get cheerful in their presence in whatever shape or shade they are in. So think of the situation when you get a glimpse of a whole aircraft model that is made of fragrant flowers. Along with your partner, you may merely stroll around and stay the closest with nature in this beautiful Miracle Garden. Very splendidly arranged houses made of flowers may even form an insane thought of living there itself with your partner. The real beauty of the Garden is at its best when the sun sets in, as you could find the play of diverse colors in the softly lit sky. However, the Miracle Garden is not open all through the year. So, if you are lucky enough to visit Dubai in between November and May, you may behold the Flower Miracle!

Go for a Romantic Cruise on Dhows

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In your honeymoon days, almost every lovely thing seems romantic, so it will be a cruise in the Arab Dhows. The turquoise blue beaches and deep blue seas of the Dubai coastal belts are already very welcoming. To experience this wonderful voyage, you may either go in specific groups or as private sails. For a more romantic option, you may even sail through the waters of this beautiful Arab land at night and dine only at sheer candlelight. Furthermore, yet another version of your cruise can be experienced if you are opting for the glassy boats rather than the traditional dhows. Here, the glorious reflection of the city lights will be playing around you. While at a far distance, one can gape at the never setting yellow lights of the lively Dubai city once the sun sets in.

Never Miss the Dubai Desert Safari

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Every other tour companies based in the city provide their exclusive tour packages concerned with the desert safari that comprise of camel rides together, serving traditional Arab foods, setting up tents in the middle of deserts clicking desert pictures, dune bashing, and whatnot. Along with your partner, you may stay back at any of those private accommodations to gaze at the astral sky in the night. Falconry shows are also popular in the Dubai Desert Safari and if your partner is brave enough you may even insist your partner hold the majestic Falcons and click a daring snap. Moreover, ensure that you are saving at least a single night as you get to see the belly dance that is a must-see on every trip to the Arab Land.

Although commonly known as a luxurious city when compared with all other large metropolises of the world, there can be both enthralling and cheap Dubai tour packages. Hence many such honeymoon packages can be made available through the popular tour companies like that of the Dubai Tour Trawell. The services of the company have been lauded and appreciated by tourists to Dubai city earlier, as they have got efficient tour executives to help you around with your trip. Moreover, the tour packages of the company come with every kind of budget and you just need to opt for the one that fulfills your preference.