Unveiling the Hidden Gem of Kottayam- Mango Meadows with My Better Half

I don’t know how to start writing. I rethink it is the 5th time I am trying to pen down my romantic days in limited words. Don’t think that I wrote one or two words in my last 4 attempts and then deleted it. More than a paragraph I wrote and then I thought the words are inappropriate or the introduction is not good without rethinking I just pressed the backspace key. After refreshing for a while I reattempted the task. I hope this time it may work. It is a normal custom that newly married couples plan an exotic honeymoon trip soon after their wedding. But for us, we planned our honeymoon after a year! Isn’t it strange? Whenever we share our honeymoon stories with our friends they used to wonder and ask what were you guys doing till then. And I hope after reading this you may also have asked the same question in your mind. To quench your anxiety I will explain the reason.

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The main obstacle for our honeymoon was our ‘job’. We both were working in a reputed multinational company. Soon after marriage like an ordinary couple, we weaved many destinations for our romantic trip but fate betrayed us. Suddenly my husband was assigned to do a project in the United States of America. With a broken heart, we accepted our destiny. The project was only for 6 months. After 184 days my hubby returned and we again started planning our pending romantic trip. But again destiny started testing our patience this time I got an assignment in the United Arab Emirates for half a year. For securing my job I was forced to accept the order. It was very hard for us to live without each other. I moved to the UAE. I started to countdown each day. Finally, I returned back. Each time when we successfully pass the tests given by destiny, destiny itself will reward us with precious gifts in return and it was true in our case.

As I am friendly in nature I never felt any kind of difficulty interacting with people whom I have never met before. When I was in the United Arab Emirates one of my colleagues who hailed from Kerala, a state in south India (NB: The majority of the population of the UAE is Malayalee), was very friendly to me. We shared all our personal stories. One day accidentally I got a chance to view her honeymoon pictures. To be very frank the pictures were really awesome. For a moment I thought the place will be somewhere outside India. I inquired her about her honeymoon destination. She with little shy told me that it was none other than Kerala. According to me, Kerala was a state comprised of only tranquil backwaters and breathtaking hill stations. It was hard for me to believe they celebrated their first love in a park. They mainly concentrated the Mango Meadows of Kottayam district of Kerala for sowing their first seeds of romance. I also asked her does she had any relatives or friends over there. They don’t have anyone in Kerala it was through the travel agency called Dream Holidays that helped them to make their honeymoon trip fabulous. They availed of their tour packages online. On returning to Delhi I discussed the same to my husband. He was very happy and agreed to purchase the packages.

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The best time to visit the Mango Meadows is from September to March. By mid of January, we purchased the package. On reaching Cochin International Airport from Delhi Airport our tour representative greeted us with a garland made of lotus and also they applied a paste made out of sandalwood on our forehead. For a moment we thought after a year of marriage we again became bride and groom. From the airport, it took more than an hour to reach Kottayam district. On reaching Mango Meadows our tour representative guided us to lake resort. As we were very hungry we had lunch first and then we moved to our room. Words are insufficient to describe the relishing taste of food. Till then I had only seen varieties of cuisines in luxurious hotels but it was for the first time I am seeing this in the resort. By the evening we started our excursion. We first selected the shikari boating. We had already booked for the same while purchasing the packages, therefore, we didn’t have to waste our time getting the passes. Boating through the mangrove forests gave us a scintillating experience which we never had experienced before. Apart from boating, there were many couples who were engaged in various activities like shooting, cycling, badminton and archery and so on.

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There are many interesting things to enjoy and see. Our tour guide told us that the Biodiversity Park sprawls in an area of 30 acres with more than 4,800 varieties of flowering plants, 780 types of trees, and 174 species of fruits. The man-made park was constructed under the leadership of Mr. M Kurian. He is a true nature lover and took 14 years to build this park. In the park, we could not only see honeymoon couples but also many families and youngsters who come there to explore the serenity of the park. Most of the family bring their kids to the park for a picnic. It is the only place in Kerala where parents and children could enjoy their time in their own way.  As the parks consist of amusement parks for children and secluded areas for adults both can discover the gem hidden in nature in their way. As we wanted to spend a night in treehouse we asked our tour guide to make slight changes in the packages. And he agreed for it. Words are insufficient to express the feeling of spending a night in the midst of forests. we began our next day by hearing the meticulous chirp from birds.

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We also rowed in ‘Kotta vanchi’ (basket boat). We were afraid of whether it will break. But it was strong as a pillar. We also did fishing and fed food to the fishes while we were in the lake resort. It is the belief of Hindus that feeding fishes are like feeding to Lord Vishnu. We then moved to ‘Sarppa Kavu’. It is a place where serpents rest. It regarded as a sacred place by Hindus. People from various places come here to worship the serpents. It is believed that serpents have the magical power to cure wounds and illnesses of all kinds. There are many more places in the park. The park is actually divided into various sections such as Bird sanctuary. Over here we captured the beautiful images of varieties of birds in our camera the authorities have allocated special benches to sit and mesmerize the beauty of birds. Animal husbandry and Plant nursery is another place that helps to study more about nature. Nakashtraval is the place where people can find trees related to their Malayalam Zodiac sign. Bible Statute is another eye-catching place. The Bible is placed on a long wooden structure with its centre page opened.

After spending two days in Mango Meadows we moved to other places to explore the beauty of Kottayam. Places like Bay Island Drift Museum, St. Mary’s Orthodox Church (it is built-in Hindu architectural style), Poonjar Palace, and many more. After 4 days we departed to Delhi by carrying sweet memories and sweet gifts for our relatives and friends.


Top 4 Places for Trekking in Andaman Island

The stupendous archipelago of India is known as Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The island is famous among travelers for many reasons. People often tour the island for rejuvenation and relaxation. There was a time when the Andaman and Nicobar Island was unknown to the external world. The islands were once used to imprison the Indian freedom fighters in the cellular jail situated in Port Blair. Over there the prisoners were brutally torched. Now the jail has been declared as a national monument by the Indian government. Studies reveal that the islands comprise of more than 500 islands and among them, only 37 islands have been explored till now. The magnificent beauty of the islands, crystal blue waters, amazing species of various birds and animals, sun-kissed and silver-lined beaches and many more lure the travelers from various parts of the world. Travelers move to the island only to participate in a wide array of water sports such as snorkeling, scuba diving, jet riding, banana boat ride and many more.

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Scuba diving needs prior training whereas snorkeling can be practiced by people of any age. Most of the aqua venture sports demand a little bit of courage whereas sea walking requires only enthusiasm. Visitors will have to wear only a helmet and should walk in the water under the guidance of a professional trainer. Indulging in water sports in Andaman will take the travelers to a magical world of marine life and coral reefs. You will come across several species of the aquatic world that you were unaware of it. As the island is situated far away from the modern world it offers immense solitude and calm ambiance. And this is the factor that attracts thousands of travelers especially honeymooners to the island. Among the various islands in Andaman, Port Blair is considered as the busiest island as it acts as the governing seat of the island. Also, it carries the only airport of the island called Veer Savarkar International Airport. Havelock Island and Neil Island are the apt destinations on the island to view the scintillating beauty of nature. It is hard to believe that there is still a group of people who love to live in the nomadic lifestyle such as tribal people who are mainly seen in Jarwa Island and Sentinel Island. But communications to these people are strictly prohibited by the government.

Often people believe that the island is only famous for aqua venture sport and beach activities. But most of them do not know the island is equally famous for adventure activities such as trekking, mountaineering, and bird spotting. Travelers can be part of the enthralling activities by availing tour packages from Andaman Tour Travel. Every year they craft exciting packages to the travelers from Bangalore, Pune, and Mumbai to explore Andaman. There are some people who visit the island only to participate in adventure activities. The following paragraphs will help you to learn more about the places where trekking is widely practiced.

1. Chidiya Tapu and Kala Pahad

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Chidiya Tapu is situated in the southern parts of Andaman. The place is a haven for varieties of birds. Bird lovers from various parts of the world visit this place to capture the lovely photographs of the birds especially migratory birds. The place is not only famous for different kinds of birds but also for the gorgeous sunset. Most of the people are unaware of the possibility of trekking in the hilltops. Trekking is usually done from the Chidiya Tapu beach and it covers the ‘Kala Pahad’ or ‘Black Mountains’. The trekking over there requires only 40-60 minutes. Some may need less time than it. It depends on each individual. On reaching the top of the hill you can click beautiful snaps of yours and your family and friends with the serene nature as the background.

2. Mount Harriet

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Mount Harriet is situated in Madhuban in south Andaman. It is regarded as the highest peaks of the island. The place holds unique species of fauna and flora. Recently a new species of frog was founded from the place. Along with them mammals, green marine turtles, and moths were also seen there. The amazing creatures of fauna and flora are protected under the shadow of tall trees. One can start trekking from the Elephant training camp which is 16 kilometers away from the mountain.

3. Saddle Peak and Alfred Caves

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With 732 meter height from the mean sea level, the Saddle Peak is considered as one of the highest peaks in Andaman. While trekking one could see the Alfred caves and the transparent river. The peak is abundantly blessed with indigenous species of 6 trees, 13 birds and 36 insects. Alfred caves are formed by the combination of 22 caves. The only river that flows through this peak is the Kalpong River.

4. Baratang Caves

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Baratang caves are famous for rock climbing. The cave is formed due to the deposition of limestone years ago. Once you reach the island you can trek through the dense forest. During the trekking, you will come across mangrove creeks. It needs only 15-20 minutes to trek the caves. Near to Baratang Island, you can spot the nomadic tribe called the Jarwa tribe. As aforementioned interaction with the Jarwa by the visitors is strictly prohibited. Don’t forget to carry a camera to capture the stunning pictures of the interior of the caves and also its beautiful surroundings.

From the above paragraphs, you might have clearly understood the places in the Andaman that appreciate trekking widely. As the mountains on the island are not so scary when compared to mountains in our country, trekking in Andaman will definitely boost one’s enthusiasm and courage. There are many more places on the island that showcases a dazzling part of nature. Avail of the packages from the prominent travel operators and be part of the virgin nature as soon as possible. If you have queries regarding the services of Andaman Tour Travel without any hesitation you can directly contact their customer executives. Don’t waste your time. Grab the package before it expires.

Eleanor’s Tomb as the Epitome of Love in the Old Munnar of Kerala

The hill station of Munnar was even more beautiful and pristine in the late 19th century when the colonial powers did annexe many regions and started farming. You might have been to the CSI church at the hilltop of Munnar casually on your vacationing in Idukki. Moreover, the ancient spiritual structure built by the British in the early 20th century can be appreciated for its distinctive stained glass windows laid very beautifully amid the large primitive stone by which it was constructed. Nevertheless, the nearby laid tomb of Eleanor has got various touching stories behind it that are almost unknown to the present world. Below given are some intriguing facts which prove that the mysterious tomb for Eleanor was indeed an epitome of love.

Eleanor could predict her death

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The British deemed the place as a hot honeymoon destination and a young couple of Henry Knight and his young bride Eleanor Isabel May visited them. On reaching the picturesque location, Eleanor was very impressed by the impeccable beauty of Munnar. So on their casual talks, while they were strolling in the hills, she requested him that if she had breathed her last in this beautiful land, she must be buried here itself. It is believed that she was having an intuition that her final days were approaching hurriedly. Even an unlikely death at such a young age due to Cholera was quite tragic.

The graveyard was constructed well before the Church

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The popular spiritual centre of CSI Church of Munnar was only built 17 years later the graveyard was constructed where the young couples had been roaming in the hills. It was for the first time ever in the history that such as act was happening. Moreover, the church does follow the ancient architectural style of large Gothic buildings. The structure situated in the hilltop of this part of Munnar is laid out by hewn granites and marbles that were brought from England. At present, the British Association for Cemeteries of South Asia had included the tomb and graveyard in the ‘International Directory of Cemeteries.’

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People on tour to Munnar would inevitably get mesmerized of the aesthetic beauty of the place created by lush green shrubs, flowers and large trees. They can even be found hanging in every old structure quite adorably. However, quite strangely, the fresh flowers spread on this particular tomb of Eleanor that is being watched by a dog on most of the days are still a mystery. One could realize the true spirit of real love at such a sight. Henceforth, tourists who are travelling to this part of Kerala and those who believe in the concept of true love should never skip their visit to the ancient church and longing tomb, even if they are not readily included in their tour packages.

Eleanor used to be mourned by her husband at the tomb almost every day

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Her fond husband Mr Henry Mansfield Knight could not accept the sudden death of his wife at such an early age. Furthermore, there was only a 3 days gap since she had informed him about her last wish. Fulfilling her final demands, a graveyard was built in the same spot where they had spent their last romantic moments together. Before arriving at this particular spot, they had already strolled alongside the large Eucalyptus trees and expansive tea plantations. So the sweet memories that they cherished about the place were very close to their heart. The separation of Henry from his dear wife made him desperate and was seen breaking down every day near her tomb.

The adjacent CSI church was a place of refuge in the 1924 deluge

When you are travelling up to Munnar in any tour packages, once reaching up to Kochi by air, you would never feel that you are on tour in a disaster-hit region that had even fought back in 2018 Kerala floods. However, in the onset of heavy monsoon in 1924 was absolutely unpredicted in these high range parts. The mighty river of Periyar was in brimming with floodwaters. By the heavy shower, even the sleepers of Kundala Valley Railway (as it was called then) were washed off. In that gruesome instant, both the displaced locals and foreigners rushed on to the CSI church situated in the uphill. In the strongly built church was a place of refuge for them, just as the people from different communities stayed safe in the churches, temples and mosque, gurudwaras of Ahmedabad in the major floods of 2017.

Remnants of past histories like the Eleanor’s Tomb are quite many in the scenic hill station of Munnar, as it was a hot destination among the British. It was them who introduced and further expanded the cultivation of the major crop of tea in the vast slopes of Munnar and the nearby regions. In addition to the tea factories built by them, they had constructed many other monuments that are spread in various other locations in the state. So to travel up to those historically significant spots smoothly, you may contact Gogeo Holidays. The reputed tour company had set many varied kinds of tour packages to fulfil the travel requirements of each of the tourists to its fullest. Moreover, the popular travel firm had gained a remarkable customer satisfaction after working efficiently for all through these years of experience.

The Best Ever Houseboat Cruise across Ashtamudi Lake in Kerala: A Soothing Travelogue from Delhi

It was the first time ever that both me and my younger brother watching such a vast experience of water in such a serene environment. And we were in happiness that knew no bounds watching such a sight. When mom said that Kerala was the God’s Own Country, all of us thought that she has got biased opinions for her native place. But once we had reached that beautiful destination, we realized that what she was saying was indeed true. Although she is a Bhojpuri, she was born and brought up in Kochi, as our Naana used to work there during those years. She has always got boundless words when appreciating about the aesthetic beauty of Kerala.

So when we thought of a perfect place for our tour in puja holidays, it was she who suggested KeralaMoreover, my younger brother Chotu was having asthma issues so we could not choose any cold hill stations. Once the main location was confirmed, both I and dad were busy searching about the possible tourist sites in the place, where we could visit on our vacation. We got to know about the tour packages offered by a popular travel firm of Kerala called Dream Holidays as they had good ratings and attention-grabbing ads on the web. They had one of the best ratings among all other companies. Moreover, they had the packages to varied locations such as those based in hill stations, backwaters, beaches and whatnot. Quite surprisingly, most of them were at the cheapest rates.

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So on the very next day after Chootu’s school exams, we were at the airport in Delhi. I was also having semester break at my college and I never had to worry about the number of days that would take for our trip. Dad had also taken his weeklong leave from the office. From the Indira Gandhi International Airport on the scheduled date and time, all of us boarded a flight and reached the Trivandrum International Airport within a flying time of 3 hours and 20 minutes.  Since we had boarded an early morning flight, we were not feeling much hungry but were thirsty. The moment when we were moving out of the main building, we saw somebody standing with a placard showing ‘Gupta and family.’ Dad went up to him and confirmed that it was our tour guide. His name was Somadev.

As per the instructions given by him, we had to travel for around 2 and a half-hour of the journey. After moving some distance, we saw a roadside vendor selling tender coconuts. We pulled over the car and all of us sipped the natural drink. It was truly refreshing. Later in the journey when we had covered the urban spaces of Kollam city, we crossed over numerous bridges and sights on both sides were indeed scenic. I didn’t know whether that was a lake or river, anyways there were just too many water bodies whichever directions we turned our heads at. The next striking factor that I noted was that the greenery here can be seen nowhere else in the country! Chootu missed all of this, as he had slept after sipping that natural drink. Finally, we arrived at our resort where we to stay for our holiday in Kerala.

There were many smiling faces around us. All of them seemed friendly right from the very first moment. The staffs there welcomed all four of us with a flower garland and adorned with a pinch of Kumkum on our foreheads. Quite strangely, Chootu was getting intimidated at this friendly gesture for which all of us burst out laughing. As the resort was on the banks of the lakeside, it already had natural landscaping. Chootu was with dad when they went for checking-in, meanwhile, both I and mom took many selfies. Our guide was back to us when we were settling in. Later he informed was what we were badly waiting for. The houseboat ride across the Ashtamudi Lake!

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The boat that we were to cruise was already moored at their private jetty. It looked classy and elegant. They were owned and maintained by the same resort that we had relied on our tour. We quickly rushed into the massive houseboat. Just then I got realized that we were provided with a boat with all the facilities that a suite room of a hotel is comprised. It had a living area, two bedrooms, one kitchen and a balcony. Everything was set beautifully and was spacious. The materials from which they were made were even more exciting. Out of curiosity, I enquired this to the guide. He said that they were made in traditional Kerala architecture with natural materials such as coir, bamboo and woods of coconut and areca nut trees.

Our houseboat started moving slowly. The sun was scorching then, but we were not at all feeling warm, as a cool breeze was hitting us from the lake waters. Coconut palms were lined all across the banks of the lake as most of them were seen slanting towards the water. A staff was there to help us with the cooking in the kitchen. After moving some distance it was halted and to our surprise, we saw him fishing with a traditional net. And for the first time ever, both I and my brother saw live fishes. Our guide later announced that those were pearl spots and large lake shrimps. Meanwhile, we saw various country boats and most of them were paddled manually. I thought for a moment that, the oarsmen would be healthy and the process would be fruitful during fuel price up.

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According to our packages, the caught fishes will be cooked live and served to us. Those tempting aromas from the Kitchen made us hungrier. Within no time, the delicacies were at the table. They were ‘Karimeen Pollichathu’ and ’Konju Roast,’ which had to be savoured along with rice. They were supposed to be eaten with bare hands. Expect mother, all of us had a tough time in the venture. However, the distinctive taste of the spicy recipes made us forget all such difficulties. Once satisfying our tummies, we dozed off for some time. Our tour guide already informed us, the sunset viewed from these parts of the lake will be beautiful. He was right, they were indeed enticing. Witnessing the beauty of the lake, my mom revealed that it was her long lost wish to arrange my destination wedding on the beaches of Kerala! I was dumbstruck for her words. Anyways thank you Dream Holidays for making this trip beautiful and memorable and at the end of the confusing!

Top 4 Stupendous Mosques of Dubai

Dubai is no longer an unfamiliar word for anyone in the world. The emirate is famous for several reasons. I think the city gained more prominence after constructing two eminent skyscrapers called Burj Al Arab- one of the most expensive hotels in the world and the other one is Burj Khalifa- the tallest tower in the world. The seven eminent emirates that are Sharjah, Dubai, Abu-Dhabi, Fujairah, Ras AL Khaima and Umm-AL Quwain were united together to form the United Arab Emirates. After the formation of the UAE, each emirate or state was assigned with a ruler. Dubai came under the control of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. It was his dream to make Dubai city the top travel destination in the world. For that, he utilized the profit earned by exporting oil and petroleum products to various nations. But never think that with a few years the city gained today’s shape and structure. It was 2 decade’s perseverance, hard work, and dedication that Dubai got its present face.

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There is a common saying if you want to see some extraordinary things which are beyond human expectations just visit Dubai. If you can’t see there then don’t worry they might be constructing it. For Dubai nothing is impossible. They always emphasize molding Dubai into the latest trends and technologies. No wonder if one calls Dubai as a diversified emirate. Irrespective of caste and creed the city welcomes hundreds of thousands of travellers to witness the fabulous beauty of outstanding architecture. The city respects the culture and heritage of different countries by celebrating its traditional festivals in a grand manner. Some of the people visit the mesmerizing city to not only explore its charming beauty but also to discover job opportunities. People from the Asian continent are mostly seen working in the Arab city. Every year thousands of people from various parts of India such as Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Delhi and so on purchase tour packages to participate in the world-renowned Dubai shopping festival. The festival is conducted every year in the month of January and it is the occasion where people from different communities and different countries exhibit various kinds of products.

We often think a country that gives prime importance to technology and economic development will find difficult to pay attention to its religious matters. May lose its integrity, tradition and forcefully will bring changes in their unique customs and beliefs. As I aforementioned for Dubai, nothing is impossible. The emirate can be considered as a perfect example of bringing changes to the technology and growth of its country without affecting their religious and traditional values. As we all know Dubai strictly believes and follows Islamic religion, they implemented several rules and regulations for Muslims and non-Muslims in their land. As they invest huge amounts for attaining economic stability they also spend an equal amount on the building and maintaining traditional prayer halls called Mosques. We all know that women are restricted to enter Mosques. But there are a few mosques that welcome non-Muslims and even women! You can learn more about the famous mosques of Dubai by strolling down the following paragraphs.

  1. Al Badiyah Mosque

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Al Badiyah Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in Dubai. It is situated near to the coastal village in Fujairah emirate. It is also one of the smallest mosques in Dubai that can accommodate only 70 people at a time. The mosque was constructed by using burnt mud sealed with whitewashed plaster and stones. Unlike other mosques, the Al Badiyah Mosque is built in square shape and its roof is constructed using 4 domes. Photography is encouraged inside and outside the mosques.

  1. Al Noor Mosque

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Among the seven emirates, Sharjah is called as the ‘Culture Capital of the United Arab Emirates’. The emirate was adorned with the title in the year 2014. The emirate shelter more than 600 mosques but among them, Al Noor Mosque is the only Mosque that opens its door to non-Muslims and Women. It started welcoming visitors since 2005. A special area is allocated for females. The Al Noor Mosque is situated at the banks of Khalid Lagoon in Buhairah Corniche in Sharjah. The mosque was constructed by referring to the mind-blowing architecture of the mosque in Istanbul. The mosque comprises of minarets, semi-domes and 34 beautiful domes and can accommodate 22000 people at a time. The mosque is opened for visitors on Mondays from 10 am. For registration, visitors are asked to arrive a little early.  A one hour tour in Mosque will take you to a world of Islamic architecture and beliefs.

  1. Al Farooq Omar Bin Al Khattab Mosque

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Al Farooq Omar Bin Al Khattab Mosque is one of the popular mosques in Dubai. It is also called as Blue Mosque as its outer part resembles the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. The mosque is sprawled in 93,400 square feet and can contain 200 worshippers at a time. While strolling through the mosque one could come across 4000 Islamic scriptures. The architecture of the mosque is something praiseworthy. It comprises of 124 stained glass windows, 4 minarets, and 21 domes. The floors of the mosques are decorated with red and green carpets bought from Germany. The fascinating mosque was built-in 1986and it was further renovated in the years 2003 and 2011. The mosque is constructed in Ottoman and Andalusian architectural styles.

  1. The Grand Mosque

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The Grand Mosque of Dubai is situated in Bur Dhabi. It is located opposite to Dubai Museum. It can accommodate 12000 worshippers at a time. On the entrance, you can see Quranic inscriptions on the door. It welcomes non-Muslims from 8 am to 10 pm. As entry fees are exempted anyone can visit the mosque. The mosque showcases Islamic architecture.

From the above paragraphs, one could understand the Islamic architecture and their culture. So when you plan your next Dubai tour, definitely add these Islamic worship centres in your itinerary. Dubai Tour Trawell is one such travel company that curates packages from people from Hyderabad, Gujarat, and Karnataka to explore the magnificent beauty of the superlative city at affordable prices. So don’t waste your time. Grab the package before it expires.

A Romantic Day with Husband in Andaman Islands

 Andaman tour packagesIt was nearly 6.30 pm. Usually, on Friday evenings I used to take rest as Saturdays and Sundays used to be off for me and my husband. But on that day I was in a hurry burry to finish my household chores. I was a little bit tensed as on Saturday we had planned a fantastic trip to explore the hilly regions in Tamil Nadu. As I was sweeping the floor suddenly my phone ranged it was my husband. He asked me to carry some woolen clothes for the exploration tour. I kept my broomstick there and went to search for the woolen dresses. While searching for the same something fall on my leg I guessed it might be the accounts book. I switched on the lights and inquired what it was. It was an album that carried a few lovely and romantic pictures of our honeymoon. For a moment my mind traveled to our old sweet days. I was then 20 years and my hubby was 27 years. Soon after our marriage, we started to plan for our fabulous honeymoon trip. Many places came into our minds. It was my husband who wanted to celebrate our special days away from our home town, Madurai. 2 months passed and still, we did not plan our honeymoon. I got angry at him. After a couple of weeks, he approached me with a few white sheets on his hand. I inquired what it was. He handed those papers to me and asked to read it. The papers were actually tour packages for our most-waiting honeymoon trip and that too to Andaman. To be very frank at first I did not like the destination. In my concept, the island was encircled with thickly populated forests and crystal waters. I begged him to change the destination. It is not possible said to me by him.

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Every newlywed couple in the world used to tailor many dreams for their stunning romantic trip. Like every bride, I too had many concepts for the same but all my dreams scattered in a few seconds. Finally, with a broken heart, I moved with my hubby for the most waited honeymoon trip. On reaching the airport in Andaman I thought we may have to hire a cab but my hubby pointed to a person who carried our names on the placards. He was the representative of Andaman Tour Travel from whom we purchased the tour packages. With us another couple who hail from Hyderabad accompanied us in the cab. They were also of our age. We were taken to the hotel. After refreshment, we asked to get ready for sightseeing. We first visited the famous historic monument called Cellular Jail. It was the place where our freedom fighters were imprisoned and made to suffer brutal atrocities. The guide took us to each and every corner of the jail and explained about it. In my mind, I was cursing my hubby. I would be the only person in the world who is celebrating the romantic days in jail. I was angry with him. From there we moved for shopping. As revenge, I did heavy shopping. Without uttering a single word my hubby corporate with me. While returning back to the hotel our guide asked to wake up early the next morning as were have to explore some islands. I became really furious. I asked my hubby whether it is our honeymoon trip or educational tour. Does anyone wake up early in the morning? He smiled and asked me to corporate.

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The next morning we boarded a ferry and reached Havelock Island. The island is popularly known for its stunning beauty. The Radhanagar beach of the island is accredited as the cleanest beach of the island. Till yesterday I was upset with my husband. After inhaling the aromatic scent of fresh air my mindset changed I started to like the place. I was lured by its charming nature. We indulged in various water sports. We first took sunbath and thereafter we savored traditional food from the local restaurant. After resting on the beach we moved to the next famous beach called Elephant beach. Over there we clicked a few pictures of us with elephants. We swim with them. Also, we participated in Sea walking.  As I had aforementioned about a couple who accompanied us at the airport they were planning to participate in parasailing. We saw them talking the same with the guide. Their idea stroked our hearts. We also decided to do the same. Therefore our guide took us to the famous Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex. It is popularly known for parasailing activities. We asked to stand in the queue for availing of the passes. After getting the pass the instructor gave us an oral explanation for about 10 minutes to explain the pros and cons of parasailing. Afterward, they took us to the sea in the boat. After enjoying the sea in our own way we told them that we are ready to do parasailing. The instructor then tied the parasailing chute on our waist and chest and its other end will be connected to long pulling apparatus which would be locked the moment we start to fly. The moment we said we are ready the instructor pulled the long rope and we reached high on the sky. We really had a wonderful experience. For a moment I felt I am flying like a bird. I tried my best to touch the birds but I couldn’t. In my mind, I thanked my husband for his brilliant idea of selecting Andaman for our romantic trip. And felt sorry for being angry with him. Parasailing helped us to witness the fabulous panoramic view of the island.

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After returning back to the boat I thanked him by hugging him firmly. I apologized to him. He smiled and kissed on my forehead. In the same complex various other activities such as jet riding, banana boat rides and many more also practiced there. We availed of banana boat rides and returned back to the island for exploring a few more hidden places. They also had arranged a scrumptious candlelight dinner for us. After 3 days of Andaman exploration, we returned back to our hometown safely. Suddenly someone was ringing my doorbell. I was amazed who it will be. I ran to open the door. It was my dearest husband. Only then I realized it the hour hand of the clock had reached 8. Looking at the house he inquired what I was doing till then. I showed the album of our honeymoon and told him that I was recollecting those old days. To my surprise, he didn’t get angry with me and I was happy.

Best Things to Do for Honeymooners in the Less-Touristy Locations of Gavi in Kerala

Except for the fact that the state government had put some restriction in the number of visitors to Gavi on a timely basis, everything is favourable for Honeymooners to pick them up from the rest of travel destinations in Kerala. Situated most advantageous on the highway leading to Vandiperiyar from Kollam the forestry destination is a part of the Periyar Tiger Reserve. So the evergreen rainforest is home to diverse flora and fauna. Below explained are some of the best things that honeymooners can indulge in when you are holidaying in the eco-tourist of Gavi in Kerala.

  • Go Sailing in the Lakes of Kochupampa

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Who would not love to go for romantic boating while they are honeymooning? The travel destination of Gavi also favours its visitors an enticing experience of sailing across its serene waters. You would feel refreshed once you go for paddling across the lakes of either Kochupampa or Pampa. They can be called as artificial lakes formed after the construction of the reservoir nearby. As most parts of the lake are still untouched, you will find that the waters that form small ripples in the soft movements of the boat are crystal clear.

  • Spend a Night in the Rainforest

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Such an idea may seem daring to at least some! The natural beauty of Kerala can be experienced at its best, especially when you are honeymooning in these regions of Gavi. When booked your tour packages earlier, you will be provided with the facilities of charming tents in which you could stay privately with your partner. You may avail such services of staying up a night in the jungle once paying the cheapest prices when booked online. You could feel most affective to each other in this particular venture of your honeymoon trip.

  • Adore the Beauty of Neer Veezhcha Water Falls

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Barely a 2km drive from the prominent eco-tourism spot of Gavi will take you to the splendid Neer Veezhcha Waterfalls. Strolling along the forestry path up to the cascading waters along with your partner can be pleasurable. Again the river flowing across the large rocks is yet another tributary of River Pampa. You may hire a country boat and reach near the premises of its foot. As they can be sited in proximity to Pampa Lake, you cannot easily resist from visiting the place. Moreover, everyone would love to click a picture with their loved one on these exotic locations.

  • Catch a Glimpse of Sabarimala from the Viewpoint

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Although this may sound startling when finding the name of the viewpoint, as they were indeed a controversial religious space for all the south Indians for the past few years. However, from this specific viewpoint, you both will be able to behold at the famous Hindu shrine at a far distance amid the thick forests. The pictures captured from green meadows nearby would be your perfect epic honeymoon click. The cool mists formed in the spot can bring about a romantic mood for you instantly.

  • Go for Trekking

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There is a lot to explore in the 25km stretch in Gavi for the honeymooners, especially in the dense jungles of Gavi. In such an experience, you would get to know each other very well, as you both will explore your pathways alone. Or if you are insisting to have a travel guide with you, you may demand the same with the forest officials. On an approximate rate, the trek will take around 2 to 3 hours, which depends on your ability to stroll via the rough forest path. Furthermore, it would be recommended to accompany a travel guide before setting out to very bushy and dense regions, as you may rush into wild animals inhabiting in the place.

  • Romantic Getaway in Gavi

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You would feel closest to nature when you are residing in a treehouse for your romantic getaway in Gavi.  Such an experience is rarely available in the forest of KeralaLiving in such an enclosed space with such a limited, though primitive facilities would be indeed fun. Moreover, this special tour along with your best half can be made unforgettable if you are had booked your packages once referring to any efficient tour companies who would offer you the best with affordable price. Also, there are many accommodation facilities set up by the KFDC in the destination where you may stay in.

  • Exploration by a Jeep Safari in Anghamoozhy

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This is exclusively set for the daring lots, who would love to make their honeymoon trip memorable. Via the jeep safari centred in Anghaamoozhy, you could avail the rare opportunity to endure into remote spaces of the Gavi. The jungle ride sparing the 2 hours can be experienced to its fullest if you had opted for a top-open jeep, from which you may adore at the real aesthetic beauty of the naturally blessed travel destination. Moreover, there is no doubt that you will be appreciating the rich flora and fauna for which Gavi is a bounty home.

When all these exciting things are said about the less-visited travel destination of Gavi in Pathanamthitta, you would be craving to visit them by any means.  As mentioned before, considering the sensitive ecology present in the location, you will not be permitted to travel in your vehicle in your schedule. So book your best honeymoon packages with Dream Holidays, who could help you around in making your trip to a most romantic one. Pick up the best travel deals that are fulfilling your requirements. Even then, if you are not pleased, you have the golden chance to customize your package with your personal favourite destinations.


My First Kerala Trip with my Family and Relatives

Kerala is prominently known as ‘god’s own country’ and it is famous not only for Indians but also for travelers across the world. The first thing that comes into our mind when we hear about Kerala is the tall coconut trees oscillating in the breeze. And the second image will be of houseboats and canoes. Many of the famous writers in Malayalam have penned down the mesmerizing beauty of the nature of Kerala. Along with the coconut trees, the state is also blessed with sun-kissed beaches, tranquil backwaters, turquoise rivers, cascading waterfalls and eye-catching varieties of flora and fauna and many more. Hundreds of thousands of travelers visit the splendid state to be part of the eccentric nature by availing tour packages to the state from the leading travel agencies.

It was my childhood dream to explore the state. When I was in the 8th standard, my parents fulfilled my dream. From Ahmedabad, we availed of tour packages to Kerala at cheap prices from Gogeo Holidays travel partners. I was really thrilled. It was for the first time we were going for a long journey. With all my cousins I really had a fun time. On reaching Trivandrum International Airport from Ahmedabad we were welcomed by a garland made out of jasmine flowers and they applied a paste made from sandalwood on our foreheads. For a moment we felt like we are chief guests.  The tour coordinators took us one of the best hotels in Thiruvananthapuram. We were amazed by seeing the secretariat, national parks and many more. Before reaching the hotel we visited the famous Priyadarshini Planetarium. On reaching the hotel we refreshed ourselves and by evening we went out for strolling through the historic streets. We did a small sort of shopping.  The next day after relishing mouthwatering breakfast we started our sightseeing. The first place which we visited was the Napier Museum. Our tour guide told us that the museum was constructed some 150 years ago and it hosts several mural paintings, musical instruments, sculptures and many more. Adjacent to it lays the famous Kanakakunu Palace. The palace was built by the King of Travancore. From there we moved to the famous Poovar Island. Over there we indulged in small kinds of beach activities. We also availed of the boat ride and it cost above INR 1000 (I exactly don’t remember the amount). By evening we returned to our hotel. After having delicious dinner we unwind ourselves.

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The next day we continued our exploration. After having ‘appam and vegetable stew’ we visited the famous Padmanabhaswamy temple. Our tour guide told that it is considered one of the wealthiest temples in the world. There are yet many more chambers to be opened and no one knows what is hidden in it. It took more than an hour to completely explore the palace. After exploring the palace we moved to the nearby beach called Kovalam. The beach is famous for its exceptional beauty. More than the locals it is the foreigners that are seen in large numbers. While playing on sand (we were making sandcastle) our tour guide shared many interesting facts about the state. I asked him how the state got the name. He told us that there are many stories behind the name. Some say the state got the name Kerala due to the presence of coconut trees in abundance and while some others tell it is because of the mythological characters. According to the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), Kerala is considered one of the cleanest states in the country. The presence of hospitals and banks in every village indicates the development of the state. By the time an ice-cream seller passed us. All of us bought ice-creams.

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After a short break, he continued. More than the exploration, travelers from various parts of the country visit the state to be part of Ayurveda treatments. The state is famous for herbal therapies. Kerala is known to have the highest sex ratio. It also stands in the top position when it comes to the matter of literacy. He asked one question of why the brides of Kerala wear heavy gold ornaments. We kids replied it maybe because gold is available at cheap rates. He smiled and said that it is not because of that it is due to the country’s 1/5 th of gold is present in Kerala. He again asked another question whether we knew the state animal of Kerala. My brother replied it is the elephant and he appreciated his correct answer. Elephants play a vital role in each and every Malayalee’s life and they are used for processions in temple festivals. The next day we trek to Agasthyakoodam Mountains. The mountain shelters rare species of plants and herbs. It is a haven for bird lovers. Karamana River provides water to the whole district, origin from the Agasthyakoodam hills. It is also called as the second-highest hill station in Kerala. It was for the first time I did trekking and it gifted me a wonderful experience. We clicked on many photographs.

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On reaching our hotel I and my cousins were very busy uploading all the images into social media. Many gave us good comments. The hotel was furnished with all modern facilities such as 24 hrs we got hot and cold water, and laundry facility was also there. In fact, there was a special play station for children below 15 years. Soon after sightseeing, we used to spend long hours here. The next morning we bided goodbye to Thiruvananthapuram. I was happy and at the same time, I was sad too. Because it was for the first time in my life I am visiting a place which is far away from my home town. The trip really gifted me with lots of sweet memories that to be cherished in my early thirties. After getting the boarding pass I entered the flight and I pleaded the air hostess to change my seat as it is was far away from my parents’ seat. She accepted my request. I grabbed that seat and hugged them firmly and thanked them for gifting me such a wonderful journey.

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I was very happy when returning from school. It was not like all other days. Today I got my answer sheets of the exam which was conducted before Christmas. I scored good grades and in two subjects I became class topper. I was very thrilled. My teachers and classmates congratulated me on my achievement. I thanked them. I somehow wanted to reach my home early so that I could to share this happiness with my family. I asked the driver of the school bus to drive the bus at high speed so that I could reach home fast. The moment I entered the home I was surprised my mom was busy preparing special dishes and servant was busy cleaning our house even my room!!! (Actually, it is the rule of my house that I should clean my room). I wondered how they knew about my achievement. I asked my mom why she is preparing special food for tonight and that too vegetarian item. Before answering my question she asked the reason for my happiness and also asked whether I got my answer papers. I was surprised. I always think of how mothers understand their children’s emotions without speaking to them. I told my mom she is really genius and appreciated her sixth sense. I told her that I got my exam papers and in two subjects I am the class topper. Even though she was kneading the flour for chappathi she hugged me and kissed on my forehead and congratulated me. I again asked her who is coming today. She told that our close family relative from Ahmedabad is coming to visit us and will there with us tonight. While drinking hot tea and savoring banana chips I asked my mom is that the Ajay uncle who recently went for a Dubai tour. She nodded and said the tour package was formulated by their colleagues. He is really a lucky man I whispered and moved to my room to get fresh.

By the evening Ajay uncle and my dad reached our home. My mother welcomed them by offering fresh pineapple juice. We all sat together and engaged in a formal conversation. My dad told the main purpose of uncle visit is, he had a board meeting at his office over here in Hyderabad. And today was the last day of the meeting and my dad invited him for dinner. And my dad picked him from his office. Uncle inquired about my studies and my mom told him about today’s performance. He congratulated me. My mother asked him about his Dubai tour. He replied, it was beyond his expectation, the trip was fabulous and they all enjoyed to its maximum. He suggested my dad take us to Dubai by availing of tour packages. My dad who is least interested in long journeys did not welcome his suggestion and replied that there is nothing to see in that desert. Who said it is a desert city? asked my uncle. The city is no longer a desert. It has turned into one of the richest cities in the world and also one of the most sought tourist destinations in the world.

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My dad again questioned him by asking what is the need of wasting money to see only camel rides and belly dances in Dubai? Ajay Uncle corrected my dad’s assumption by explaining more about Dubai. Dubai is one blooming emirate of the UAE. The United Arab Emirates comprises of 7 emirates they are as follows Sharjah, Ras-Al-Khaima, Fujairah, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Umm al-Qaiwain. Abu Dhabi is called as the capital of the UAE. For a long time, I had a doubt whether Dubai is a country or a city. He told that the word emirates mean a royal state and hence Dubai can also be treated as an ordinary state ruled by a royal ruler. Each state has its own King or Sheikh for Dubai it is Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum the ruler. The capital of Dubai state is Dubai city. And hence my lifelong doubt has been cleared then. Thank you, uncle. I also asked him didn’t he feel any difficulty to spend his vacation with Arab locals who speaks only Arabic. He smiled and replied it is our myth that Dubai is composed of Arab people. Actually the city comprises only 15% of Arab locals and the rest 85% are foreigners. And among these foreigners, Indians are seen as abundantly. And about the matter of communication, most people love to communicate in Hindi and English and only the Arab speaks in the Arabic language. It was the vision of the present ruler that Dubai should become one of the best cities in the world and within two decades it has become a superlative city in the world by constructing skyscrapers such as Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, Dubai Mall and many more.

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My mother asked what the secret behind the success of Dubai is. Uncle told it is the oil, pearl diving, fishing and farming and also manpower. The same manpower we have here also she told. But uncle said that what we have here are the people above 45 years and what Dubai has is people aged between 20-45 years and that is the perfect age to work hard. As aforementioned the city comprises mainly foreigners, after earning good money they return back to their homeland at the age of 45. My dad asked uncle is it true that the ATMs over there give gold bars. I and mom were astonished by hearing the question. Uncle smiled and replied yes. He also told that due to the presence of deserts the city receives high humidity and scarcely receives rain therefore air conditioners are installed in every public place such as railway stations, bus stations and so on. What about the crimes my dad asked. Even though the city welcomes different cultures and traditions they strictly adhere to their religious beliefs and laws. Smoking is restricted in designated areas only. Women are allowed to wear short dresses. Alcohol and pork are available only to non-Muslims and so on.  Severe penalties are applied even for small offences.

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We continued our conversation on the dining table. He praised my mother for preparing such lovely dishes. To my surprise, she prepared my favourite kheer for dessert (for becoming topper in the class). Dubai is actually a treasure of man-made wonders. it is not possible for one to describe its beauty literally to everyone. Therefore it would be good to visit the place by availing of tour packages. A trip to Dubai will be really expensive my dad said. Uncle suggested the name of the Dubai tour Trawell agency. He said that they curate packages at cheap rates and also provide excellent hospitality. My dad was impressed and assured us that he will take us to Dubai very soon.

An Auto Rickshaw Ride That Took Me to the Ferry Services of Andaman

It was one fine afternoon I was returning back from the weekly shopping from the supermarket. After waiting for a long one hour I finally got an auto-rickshaw. As the Diwali festival was commencing I had to buy many ingredients for preparing sweets for the festival. I somehow managed to keep all the things in the auto-rickshaw. The driver found it very hard to come out from the hectic road traffic. After struggling for nearly 10 minutes we manage to escape from the crowd. For the next 10 minutes, the journey was smooth and the cool breeze absorbed my sweat and tiredness. As I was started to relax suddenly I jumped like I got some electric shock. For a second I couldn’t understand anything. It took a few seconds for me to come back to the normal state. I just inquired about the matter to the driver. He just first apologized for his mistake. I asked him for what? He said he didn’t notice the hump and that was the reason why I felt discomfort. Within the next 10 minutes, I reached my home safely. Over there my parents were tensed for me being late. They helped me to carry the bags. After quenching my thirst I told them the whole incident. I started cursing the driver for his carelessness and also the government for taking measures to control the booming traffic in the city. My dad asked me to control my temper. He said that such incidents are part and parcel in everyone’s life. As I was born and brought up in a foreign country, adjusting with such limited resources in India is really difficult for me. Hearing to the conversation my mother joined us.

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 She asked me to consider the lives of people who have very little or never got an opportunity to travel by road. I just asked her are you joking mom. We are living in the 21st century and according to the reports the whole world is completely developed and I don’t think there would be anyone in this universe that hasn’t traveled by road. She smiled and kept her palms on my hair and said such people are there in the world and a small portion of them are living in Andaman. I asked her is that the Andaman and Nicobar Islands- the famous Indian archipelago. My dad nodded with a smile. It is really very difficult for me to believe that the islanders have never traveled by road. It is not like roads are not there but the islanders mostly like to depend on water transportation my mother said. She also added that there are many places on the island which are yet to be explored therefore roads could not meet all the corners. I was really amazed, over here in Madurai where we used to rarely get a chance to travel by water and over there in Andaman people have rarely seen roads in fact. So strange. I asked them, how the tourists who avail of tour packages from various parts of the world would be visiting the island. He said that either by airways or waterways.

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To travel from one island to another, islanders, as well as tourists, rely on the ferry services or row canoes on their own. The ferry services are considered as the cheapest and the best mode of transportation. Islanders have to pay low charges when compared to travelers who visit the island by availing of the tour packages. The charges may vary according to the size and facilities provided by the ferries. My dad told that there are mainly two types of ferries available in Andaman. They are known as Government ferries and Private ferries. The directorate of shipping services (DSS) directly operates the government ferries. The government may not provide all the modern amenities like a private cruise but always turn out to be the friendly transport services for the common people. As they do not have online booking services travelers will have to queue up in counters. They provide their services to not only the famous islands like Port Blair, Havelock Island, Neil Island, Baratang Island, and Diglipur Island but also to the regions which are least explored such as Mayabunder, Rangat, Campbell, Long Island and Hut Bay or Little Andaman.

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I asked my father to share something he knows about the private ferries. Private ferries are operated by private companies. Among them, Makruzz Gold is one of the prominent ferries in Andaman. It was constructed in the year 1996 and has the capacity to accommodate 330 passengers in a single go. It is also considered as one of the luxurious cruises in Andaman. Therefore the tickets are a little bit expensive travelers above age 2 are requested to avail of tickets worth 1000 INR. Traveling in Makruzz Gold will definitely provide a marvelous experience. The next one is the Coastal Cruise. The Coastal cruise was constructed in Singapore and has the capacity to carry 218 travelers at a single go. When compared to Makruzz the Coastal Cruise is really affordable. Travelers above 2 years will have to pay INR 600 onwards whereas tourists below 2 years are supposed to pay INR 105. And the last one is the Green Ocean cruise. The speed of Green Ocean is similar to that of the Government ferry. When compared to other private ferries the Green Ocean’s speed is comparatively low. As the cruise is spacious and allows passengers to walk over the deck it is a paradise for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts.

Through my parents, I came to know a lot about Andaman and their modes of transportation. I was amazed by their lifestyle. I expressed my wish to visit the stunning islands. My dad told that he will fulfill my dream by availing of the packages. I inquired from where he is planning to buy the packages. It is through the famous travel partner called Andaman Tour Travel. He also said that it is the leading travel partner who crafts the packages to Andaman at affordable rates and provides excellent hospitality services.