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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Things to see and do at Araku Valley

The journey is a bit of a teaser and it seems natural to expect long mountain parts disappearing around unknown curves. One forgets this is a valley and the hills are not as near as they look. Araku is a village with most of the amenities of a town without the accompanying mess. Taxis can be hired at fixed rates, but drivers will demand more. Autos are available at half the price.


There are many waterfalls near Araku but Nappurai, or Chapparai (14 km), heads the list both for proximity and fun. Smooth, slanting rocks interrupt a stream, making a huge natural water slide. It would be difficult to get kids out soon enough, so carry food along. When you get to Anantagiri, take the right turn close to the State Electricity Board. Duduma Falls (82 km), the site of the Machkund Power Project, is the biggest spectacle. On the Orissa border, two huge waterfalls cascade down from over 2000 ft, each supposedly falling into a different state. The latter part of the 2.5 hr drive is especially lovely. Once you get to Machkund, take permission from the office of the Joint Electrical Officer, open everyday. The taxi from Araku and back will cost Rs. 1,500 approx. Also check out Thadiguda Falls.

Borra Caves and Padampuram Gardens

Borra caves (35 km) have been around for a million years. Then 200 years ago an Englishman came by and announced he had discovered them. The tribals here say the credit belongs not to William Hunter but to one of their cows that fell into the caves through a hole (borra in adivasi Telugu). The caves are huge, but the stalactite and stalagmite formations inside are minor. The round trip costs Rs. 500-600 by taxi.

Entry fee Rs. 25/- and timings from 09.00 am to 01.00 pm, 02.00 pm to 05.00 pm

Padampuram Gardens were initially the kitchen gardens for the British military camp in Vizag during World War II. Now a horticulture society, it is also the chief attraction for children here. A good place to pick up plants of cardamom, camphor, peeper, lychee and something tantalizingly called ‘multivitamins’. All are priced between Rs. 5/- and 20/-.

Timings : 09.00 am to noon, 01.00 pm to 05.00 pm

An Everlasting Activity To Engage The Entire Family

BingoYeah! It is true that games like online bingo combine the heart-healthy, simple-minded that we all remember and love with the habituations of modern technology. No doubt, online bingo is the everlasting activity to engage the entire family.

I know there are many websites those so called pioneers in the game world. But many of us could not get the essence of online website http://www.bingoboard.org. Yeah! This is the first online bingo website that boosts the feeling of being intimate and belonging together among the family like in the past times; where a family game night used to consist of mom, dad, and the kids gathering around the kitchen table with a board game between them.

I think all you are quite surprised about this website. You must read more information about it to know how bingo is always being the fund raising game. Yeah! It means, you can earn while fun only at this platform.

The website http://www.bingoboard.org/ is the online bingo portal what the world called it as ‘The Game of Millions’. You know what? Bingo is the favorite game played in most of the clubs and it is now the source of sustained income for these clubs. Many of us could not know the truth to get income from such platforms. Yes! It is true. I suggested all you must become a part of this best social time out.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Araku Valley -The Coolest Summer In Andhra

Araku ValleyAraku Valley lies 3,100 ft high up in the Eastern Ghats, close to Orissa.

Route from Visakhapatnam :

Sriharikota Road to Araku via Simhachalam, Veerabhadrapuram, Anantagiri and Sunkermetta

The passengers disappears 52 times on its way to Araku Valley. It emerges from the tunnels only to be lost again in spools of itinerant clouds that find their way to you through the window - outside, the green is so bright that it tears through the haze of white vapour. The paddy fields, the coffee plantations and the forests all stand broken by spears of falling water.

An excitable railway employee who's made this trip many times compares the journey's 52 dark tunnels to the 52 work logged weeks people have endured before attaining a holiday at Araku. For, even on its 'off' days, this place can make short work of fatigue. That Araku no longer has an off-season is partly the work of AP Tourism. It was a good day for them when Araku Valley was cut out from Orissa and placed on their side of the map. And today there are prompting its waterfalls, rolling hills and tribal culture with great efficiency.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Kovalam Beach Kerala

Kovalam Beach Kerala
Yeah! It is a paradise. Kovalam is famous for its beaches, among the most pristine in India. It is about 17 km from Thiruvananthapuram city, the capital of the southern state of Kerala in India. Kovalam Beach is popular region comprising three beaches situated in the state of Kerala in the south of India. The southernmost, known as the Lighthouse Beach, is the most popular of the three.

Many hotels, restaurants, lodges and shops are located here. It is frequented by outsiders who stay and enjoy Kovalam Beach. The Northern most crescent is crowded on the weekends, is very popular with the locals, day-travelers, and passing-by tourist buses. Hawa Beach, is among one of the beaches in India where top-less sunbathing is tolerated and well appreciated by the locals, who come on the weekends to admire this view free of charge.

The tourism department provides a vigilant life guard service on both Lighthouse and Hawa beach. Those expecting a replica of Goa will be pleasantly surprised by the more relaxed atmosphere,a bit more laid back,the food a touch softer and lighter.

Kovalam Beach is about 16 km (20 minutes in a taxi) from Trivandrum. Taxis can charge around 400-500 rupees to get to Kovalam. When asked where you want to go, say Hawa Beach, Leela Beach/Main Beach or Lighthouse Beach in Kovalam.

In an auto-rickshaw 250-300 rupees is a fair price, avoid going above 300 rupees. If in doubt ask to use the meter, but in reality they really don’t work at all. Advice being if they are trying to rip you off go to leave for another rickshaw and they will often back down and offer you a fair price, if not, get in a different rickshaw. Even if India is a cheap country, the prices for gasoline are international standard, so don’t expect super cheap private transportation. If you go by public bus from Trivandrum-East Fort to Kovalam Beach you only pay 8 Rps. for the half hour trip.

Buses to Trivandrum can also be caught from Kovalum Junction as well as Amabassador taxis and Autos to pretty much anywhere. Be very careful walking around the junction, especially at night, as there are no traffic lights and the street lighting is very minimal. The intersection can be busy.

Tourist taxis are the most convenient way to travel around attractions, especially while travelling in a group. Most airports and railway stations have tourist taxi services that would take you anywhere you would want to go.

A more adventurous option is to get a bike on hire. The highway is a pleasure to drive on, with the cool breeze and coconut palms lined along the way. Once on the highway, drive north for the plains, drive south for the hills. Avoid driving through Thiruvananthapuram city, it’s congested. The old highway, also called MC road, is also good to drive on. The MC road can take you deep into the hills. Try out the throaty Enfield 350 CC bikes for a truly vintage experience, check your fuel levels before you leave.

Two wheelers do not have to pay the highway toll, simply ride through the side lane.

Just Varkala Drive north on the highway for about an hour (55 km). It has a superb beach and cliff front and the usual tourist amenities. The quiet sandy beaches and large lakes of Paravur (65 km from Kovalam) are also close to Varkala and are hidden away. Paravur is a shared secret among those seeking a more peaceful getaway.

Ponmudi is also a nice semi-hill station located about 1 1/2 hours from Kovalam.

Only worth to visit at Neyyar Dam if you do not know what else to do. It is a water reservoir. No other curiosities except some crocodiles kept in cages. Better spend the time on the beach.

Backwater Tours between Kovalam and Trivandrum there are backwater trips available that can be booked at Kovalam Beach itself. Small boats for 4-6 persons. A nice experience.

If you like adventure then go for surfing. Yeah some fine waves from time to time (0.5 – 2 meters). You can hire surf boards and body boards on the beach from $6USD a day. Body boarding can be enjoyed by anyone. Surfing takes a bit more skill. It is wise to follow the life-guards’ instructions as there are some strong currents that can suddenly whisk the unwary out to sea.

Source : Kovalam Beach Kerala