Taking the Holy Trip to Puri on a Holiday in India

Puri is located in Southern Orissa and is usually visited by those seeking spiritual gratification. This area has a wealth of natural beauty and has a moderate climate, making it a comfortable place to visit. There are plenty of hotels in Puri to choose from so you won’t struggle on that front, though it is wise to book early in the busy season and not just turn up. Hindu pilgrims make the journey here as Puri is considered one of the holiest pilgrimage places in India.

As a result of this religious significance, it is the most frequented pilgrimage destination in Orissa. However, there are many other aspects of the city that are overshadowed. For this reason, many local and foreign holiday makers also make the trip to this area as it is a popular holiday destination. So pack your bags, get your holiday insurance and make the trip to Puri!

Lord Jagannath Temple and surrounds

Built in the 12th century, the temple is a fine good example of Oriya architecture. It is a towering 65 meters, making it the tallest monument in the area. Although entry is limited to Hindus, tourists can savour the sight from afar and savour the temple food. While in Puri, you can also visit some of the other temples in the area which are also exquisitely built.

Other attractions in the area include: the Narendra, Markandeya, Sweta Ganga and Indradyumna tanks. These are believed to contain water that is holy. Many people come here to take a dip in these waters that are credited with curative powers. An excursions out to the Konarvk Sun Temple is a must do activity. Here, you can take a look a various architecture, art and sculptures in Orissa.

Leisure Time

The breathtaking beaches of Puri are magnificent. The Golden Beach, names thus because if its golden sand, is great for surfing and swimming. Tourists flock to these beaches to experience this beauty and interact with the local fisherman and fishing villages. The Lakes in the area are known for their beautiful, scenic environment. The surrounding islands with their birdlife are a good way to spend an afternoon and are often included in tours.

Festivals

Cultural festivals are a great way to learn about the cultural or religious practices of a community. In Puri, there is a festival of chariot over the entire summer period. This colourful festival is elaborate and unique and will have you seeing Lord Jagannaths 35 square feet chariot on display. Other festivals such as the Hundu New Year are equally colour and fascinating for visitors to the area,

If you are travelling to this area of India, you should consider going with a tour operator or guide. There are many unscrupulous changers at these monuments and there are also many rules that you need to adhere to. So, for the sake of harmony try your best to be respectful of the spaces you enter.

While the city is largely geared towards these religious observations, it also has many other activities that visitors can participate in. Its popularity continues to grow and many visitors find their trip her fascinating and educational. The landscape can be enjoyed by people from all walks of life and ages.

This is a guest post from Daffyd at Top Backpacking Destinations

5 Hot Travel Tips for 2013

Go to India

If there is ever a time to visit India, it’s now! Not only has the economy matured, but there are so many new developments that have made the tourism industry so much more exciting. It’s also easy to travel there with great prices on flights with major airlines like Delta, Go Air and Lufthansa. Of course there are the traditional attractions that include the many Hindu and Buddhist temples, the luxurious Maharaja hotels, the long, beautiful beaches, as well as the stunning forest landscapes. For hardcore travellers, the thrill lies in living like a local in the bustling Indian cities. New developments like the opening up of Jammu and Kashmir, the hosting of the world economic forum, as well as the rapid growth of Bangalore signal a new era in tourism. Prices in India are as flexible as you want them to be, so you can travel in luxury or on a budget, and the experiences as authentic as you need them to be!

Russia

Another travel spot to look out for is Russia. The last few years have been disappointing for the former Soviet giant, but the government is going all out to rectify that. That can only mean two things: more investment in tourism and cheaper prices for the time being. If you have seen the grandeur of Moscow, and experienced the culture of St. Petersburg, then venture out further to old and well preserved cities in Russia. Travel to the “Cities of the Golden Ring”, a collection of three cities which have well preserved Russian sites dating back to the medieval days. You can also go to the city of Kazan, the “Third Capital of Russia”. Here, Christian and Muslim culture meet to create an unforgettable city tour experience. Rush and experience a holiday in Russia before the rest of the world discovers it and takes over!

Get good travel insurance

Do not get inconvenienced during your tour without proper travel insurance. The value of a good insurance cover cannot be overstated. Not only does it ensure that you get adequate compensation in case of emergency, it can also be the difference between life and death in some circumstances. If you suffer a violent illness while abroad, it pays to have a good insurance cover that can adequately cover treatment and even rescue costs. Today, getting good insurance cover is easier. Do proper research, surf the internet for reviews, and read in between the lines to get a clear picture of what your travel insurance really does for you. If you are going on a long trip travelling, then getting around the world travel insurance is even more important so you are covered in case things don’t go to plan.

Book cheap flights

Air travel suffered in the last year. As a result, quite a few air services have closed shop, with some major players recording lower profits and increased loss. This is bad news for shareholders, great news for travellers. As airlines struggle to get business booming, a lot of offers are likely to come your way in 2013. It is therefore a great idea to do proper market research in order to get the best deals on airfare. Book cheap flights by travelling during off-peaks and choosing small jet airlines for shorter travel routes. The savings you will experience can go a long way to adding more value to your actual tour experience.

Get your papers in order early

Nothing is as frustrating as being stranded in the airport without proper papers. Calling your embassy (which may be in another country!) to bail you out may just not work out. What’s more, you waste money on airfare and get turned back at the checkpoints. Avoid these costly mistakes by making sure your papers are in order at least two weeks before you travel. Check out visa requirements and even cross check them with your travel agent if possible. Do not ruin your holiday before it even starts!

Travel Alert: Win a Trip to the Bahamas from Ore-Ida

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The folks over at Ore-Ida are offering up the chance to win a trip to the Bahamas.

Here are the prize details:

Grand Prize (1): A 6-day/5-night trip for four to Atlantis, Paradise Island Bahamas, including round-trip coach class air transportation for four (4) from the major airport nearest the winner’s home city to Nassau, Bahamas, ground transfers to/from airport/hotel, five (5) nights’ Royal Tower harbor-view accommodations at the Atlantis Paradise Island (based on quad occupancy), daily breakfast and dinner and $1,000 spending money, awarded as a check. (ARV: $11,500). Actual value depends on location of winner and dates of travel.

Sounds like a wonderful chance to go someplace warm this winter.

This sweepstakes is open to  legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, who, as of the date of entry, are 18 years of age or older.

Limit: There is a limit of one entry per person/email address, per day.

Deadline: You must enter by January 15th, 2014.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO ENTER!!!

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Video: Man Travels to Every Country in the World Without Flying

What an amazing journey!

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Air Travel: Stunning Footage of Take-offs and Landings at Las Vegas International Airport

UltraHD 4K airplane landings and takeoffs at las vegas airport. Shot with Red Epic using timelapse, slowmotion, interval settings, 800 and 600 mm canon zoom lenses. Created by the Educational Technology at Utah Valley University.

Some very stunning images!

Travel Alert: Win a Trip for Two to Rio de Janeiro Brazil

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The Travel Channel is offering up the chance to win a trip to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

Here are the prize details:

ONE (1) GRAND PRIZE: A trip for two (2) to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil consisting of the following: (i) round-trip, coach-class airfare for Grand Prize Winner and guest between the major continental U.S. airport nearest Grand Prize Winner’s residence and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (aiports determined by Main Sponsor in its sole discretion); (ii) six (6) days, five (5) nights first class hotel accommodations (one double occupancy room, room rate and tax only); (iii) half-Day Biking Tour for two (2) through Ipanema Beach and Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon; (iv) cog train ride for two (2) through the Tijuca Rain Forest to Christ Redeemer and Sugar Loaf Mountain; (v) $500 cash for Grand Prize Winner; (vi) round trip airport transfers to/from hotel in Rio De Janeiro and (vii) all taxes related to accommodations and airfare. The trip must be completed by June 30, 2014, or Grand Prize Winner forfeits the Grand Prize in its entirety.

Sounds Amazing!

This sweepstakes is open to only to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia who are at least twenty-one (21) years old at the time of entry.

Limit: Each participant is eligible to receive up to two (2) Sweepstakes entries per day during the Promotion Period.

You have until June 30th, 2013 to enter – so enter soon!

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO ENTER!!!

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Article: World’s Greatest Bookshops

Bookshops are a traveller’s best friend: they provide convenient shelter and diversion in bad weather, they’re a reliable source of maps, notebooks, and travel guides, they often host readings and other cultural events, and if you raced through your lone paperback on the first leg of your trip, the bookshop is the place to go for literary replenishment. Taken from Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2011, here are our picks for the best spots to browse, buy, hang out, find sanctuary among the shelves, rave about your favourite writers and meet book-loving characters.

Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/usa/travel-tips-and-articles/76233#ixzz2OZ7pIAQ6

Top 5 Attractions in Florida, USA

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Florida is one of our favorite stops when we travel. There’s so much to see and do, we really like the city of Orlando which has been tailor made for tourists.

Here’s our rundown of our favorite places to go in Florida.

Walt Disney World

No trip to Florida is complete without a trip to Disney World, the grandaddy of all amusement parks. There’s so much to see and do it’s just not possible to list it here. My favorite stop is the British village in Epcot as well as some of the most famous rides.  Always plan ahead when looking for tickets to Disneyworld Florida.

Universal Studios Orlando

Universal Studios is so much fun, it almost needs its own trip to fully enjoy it. Our favorite stop is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We’re huge Harry Potter fans and this is a must visit for any fan of Rowling’s works.

Seaworld Orlando

We love the ocean and all the animals that live within it so Seaworld is definitely one of our favorite attractions in Florida. We love the live animal shows and the focus they have on conservation of the oceans.

Kennedy Space Center

We’re huge Space nuts, so the Kennedy Space Center has been our most favorite place we’ve ever visited. Don’t just visit the visitor’s centre, be sure to take a guided tour of Cape Canaveral, where you can see all the spaceship launchpads and the Apollo Museum. It’s an amazing experience.

Key West

I’m a huge Earnest Hemingway nut, so this is definitely on the list of places we want to go next. All of Key West oozes Hemingway, where you can visit his house (and his 6 toed cats that still live there). You can even go deep sea fishing, just like he did.

What’d your favorite attraction in Florida? Let us know in the comments!

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Map: Vintage Map of Air Routes in 1920

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I love looking at this old map of global air routes from the 1920′s! Click the image to view a larger version.

Voyage Alert: Win a Trip to South Africa

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The folks over at the Travel Channel are offering up a wonderful contest with a chance to win a free trip to beautiful South Africa.

Here are the prize details:

ONE (1) GRAND PRIZE: A trip for two (2) to Cape Town, South Africa consisting of the following: (i) round-trip, coach-class airfare from the major continental U.S. airport closest to winner’s home, as determined by Main Sponsor, to Cape Town, South Africa; (ii) six (6) days, five (5) nights first class hotel accommodations; (iii) full day Aquila Game Reserve Wildlife Safari Tour; (iv) full day Stellenbosch Wine Tour (alcohol not included); (v) a drive down the Atlantic coast and Cape Point to visit Hout Bay, the navy base in Simons Town and seeing the penguins at Boulders beach; (vi) round trip airport transfers in Cape Town and (vii) all taxes related to accommodations and airfare..

Sounds like a great prize and a wonderful opportunity to explore the Rainbow Nation.

The sweepstakes is open to only to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia who are at least twenty-one (21) years old at the time of entry.

You have until January 31st, 2013 to enter to enter soon!

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO ENTER!!!