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Top 40 Exotic Places To Visit In The World

If you are an adventurous soul in the mood to travel off the beaten path, check out our top 40 exotic places to visit in the world. These 40 unique or unusual places have made it to the top of our adventure travel destinations list.

Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

Also known as Boka, this marvelous bay attracts numerous travelers with its emerald waters and picturesque mountains.

The shore is spotted with beautiful medieval towns, such as Perast, where you can stop for a meal and interact with locals.

Petra, Jordan

The lost city of Petra, which rises out of the cliff between the Red and the Dead Seas, still holds many secrets.

It has several tombs and carved structures, which spread across its sandy landscape. The big blockbuster “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” was filmed here.

Gozo, Malta

The enchanting Gozo Island is a part of the Maltese archipelago. It is one of the top diving destinations in the Mediterranean region. Gozo also boasts of mystical backwaters, historic forts, and amazing panoramas.

Great Blue Hole, Belize

This submarine sinkhole is present on every diver’s bucket list. Even if you are not a diving enthusiast, it is still worth visiting for a breathtaking view.

Amer Fort, India

Because of its majestic structure and architecture, Amer Fort is a prime example of Mughal and Hindu cultural influences.

The fort is constructed of red sandstone and white marble. It consists of courtyards, palaces, halls, and gardens.

Forest of Knives, Madagascar

Photo by Moq CCSA3.0

The razor sharp vertical rocks provide a truly magnificent view. It is surprising that wildlife can even exist in this place.

You can hike around the bizarre pinnacles of limestones and observe different kinds of birds and lemurs.

Namche, Nepal

This place has no roads, and the only way to get to the Nepalese village is through a series of footpaths. On the way, you can admire the views of Mount Makalu, the world’s fifth-tallest peak.

Pisco Elqui Valley, Chile

Surrounded by fabulous Andean mountains, this village has perfect weather all year round. It is wonderful to camp here and gaze at the stars in the night sky.

Cappadocia, Turkey

This region offers caves, clefts, pinnacles and pointed rock formations, known as “fairy chimneys.” Numerous volcanic eruptions formed a surreal moonscape. This area is Turkey’s most visually striking region.

Con Dao, Vietnam

The Islands of Con Dao offers fascinating hiking and exploring opportunities, as well as empty coastal roads, deserted beaches, and a chance for observing the wildlife.

Con Dao National Park, which protects Vietnam’s most important sea turtle nesting grounds, occupies most of the area.

The Cook Islands

There is a popular opinion that the Cook Islands are the best-kept secret in the Pacific Ocean. The 15 islands boast perfect climate and exotic beauty all-year-round.

Isle of Skye, Scotland

The misty Cuillin Hills offer stunning sceneries, beautiful hikes, and spectacular photo opportunities. From the Isle of Skye, you can enjoy these beautiful rolling hills. 

Mount Rainier, Washington

This is one of the world’s most dangerous volcanoes. On a clear day, you can watch the mountain from many points in the area.

However, for a more up-close experience, you can walk through the alpine fields, hike the massive glaciers and see waterfalls cascading around nearly every bend.

Mount Roraima, Venezuela

This place serves as the natural border between Venezuela, Brazil, and Guyana. It is a truly extraordinary natural geologic formation. The area inspired Conan Doyle’s “Lost World” and “Avatar.”

Cano Cristales, Colombia

Called the “Liquid Rainbow,” this Colombian wonder is a must-visit place if you travel to South America. It is probably the most beautiful river in the world.

The best time to visit is from July to November. During these months, the river is full of colors: green, blue, black and red.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

It is the world’s largest salt flat, and it is utterly breathtaking, especially after a rain when they create a mirror effect. In the center, the salt is about 10 meters thick.

Socotra, Yemen

Photo by Boris Khvostichenko CCBYSA4.0

This isolated area looks like a set for a sci-fi movie. It hosts around 800 rare species of flora and fauna. About a third of them do not exist anywhere else in the world.

Lake Baikal, Russia

It is the world’s oldest and deepest lake, and it is a paradise for ice-lovers. You can kayak, skate or bike here. The most adventurous travelers even drive or walk on the frozen water.

Giant’s Causeway, Ireland

The result of a 60-million-years-ago volcanic eruption, this place is an important part of Ireland’s natural heritage.

A fascinating feature of this destination is the large polygonal columns of basalt arranged in perfect horizontal sections.

Lake Retba, Senegal

Photo by Arnault CCBYSA2.0

The bizarre pink color of Lake Retba is a real natural phenomenon, which is worth seeing, at least once during a lifetime.

Badab Soort, Iran

Photo by Samaee CCBY3.0

It is a scenic natural wonder, which consists of sedimentary rock and water flowing from two distinct mineral springs.

Sossusvlei, Namibia

This destination is full of picturesque sand dunes, surrounded by clay pans. The most surreal attraction in the region is the Deadvlei, where the dead acacia trees contrast the white shiny salty floor of the pan.

Derweze, Turkmenistan

Photo by Tormod Sandtorv CC-BYSA2.0

Would you like to stand at the “Hell’s Door”? Derweze is a giant illuminated hole, rich in natural gas, in the middle of the Karakum Desert. The crater has existed for over 40 years now, and the flames have been burning ever since. There is no plans to put this fire off.

Icehotel, Jukkasjarvi, Sweden

Are you afraid of the cold weather? Jukkasjarvi lies approximately 124 miles above the Arctic Circle and hosts the Icehotel, though only during the winter months.

The hotel is almost entirely made of ice, including beds. There is also a church, a hall, and a bar, where glasses are carved from ice.

Great Sand Dunes, Colorado

This destination offers the most exotic hike in the United States. These unique landforms are the tallest dunes in the country and rise to over 700 feet in height. However, if you hike up to the top, you will get the reward of panoramic views of endless dunes.

Dean’s Blue Hole, Bahamas

The name “blue hole” comes from the bright blue color, which you can see from above the hole. Dean’s Blue Hole is the deepest in the world. Its depth is around 600 feet.

Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, Maldives

The restaurant is located 16 feet below sea level. The sides and the roof are made of clear glass, which allows guests to observe the sea life, while they dine.

Pamukkale Thermal Pools, Turkey

Multiple natural hot springs cascade down and fill these thermal pools with water. The place is not just great for relaxation, but also offers a breathtaking view. So, don’t forget your camera!

Aleutian Islands, Alaska

The Aleutian Islands are not a destination for beach-lovers and sunbathing enthusiasts. This is a place for exploring nature, and it is a real paradise for adventure lovers!

One of the most remote places in Alaska, these islands boast of abundant wildlife, harsh climate, stormy seas, and active volcanoes. While there are a few settlements on larger islands, you’ll probably still meet more animals than people here.

Arashimaya Bamboo Forest, Japan

This place is just filled with famous tombs and temples. Close to the “Moon Crossing Bridge,” the forest is definitely worth exploring.

North Tanzania

Tanzania is one of the best places to go on a safari. It is also home to Mount Kilimanjaro. Make sure to visit the Tarangire National Park, one of the last undiscovered jewels of Africa.

Chernobyl, Ukraine

There are very few people in the world who haven’t heard of this place. Now abandoned, the city of Pripyat once housed thousands of families. The families of the plant workers were forced to leave after the 1986 disaster.

There are numerous striking photos of the ghost town on the Internet. Besides the crumbling houses and rusty machinery, there is a new side of the city.

In 30 years, Pripyat has been overtaken by lush greenery and transformed into a forest. The area is open for tours nowadays, though only with authorized guides. It is almost entirely radiation-safe.

Castle Stalker, Scotland

Castle Stalker is one of the most intriguing tourist spots in Scotland. The strange mountainous setting and historical design make the destination very attractive to travelers.

Today, Castle Stalker remains under private ownership, but visitors can visit during the summer season. Even though it may be difficult to get to the island, the area is definitely worth visiting.

Road to Tusheti, Georgia

Tusheti is a region in northeast Georgia, located at 5,413-14,740 ft above sea level. Such altitudes gave rise to captivating scenery. Because Tusheti is on the northern slopes of the Caucasian Mountains, it is challenging to arrive there.

The road to Tusheti is one of the most dangerous roads in the world. It lies on mountain slopes and goes up 9,842 ft over the gorges of Tusheti. So, if you are up for a little adrenaline rush, you should take a drive up to this road.

Holy Meteora, Greece

Although most tourists visit Greece in search of the sea and beach relaxation, somewhere above 400 meters lies an unforgettable sightseeing opportunity.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site, Meteora, is situated on a 60-million-year-old rock formation. In Greek, Meteora means “suspended in the air,” a fitting name for this destination. Even if you are not into pilgrimage sites, hiking to the Meteora would be an unforgettable travel experience.

As an easier plan, you can take a bus or a rental car up to the top, and enjoy the spectacular sunset from the specially designed viewing point.

Vinicunca, Peru

When you hear Peru, you probably immediately think of Machu Picchu. However, not many people know about the breathtaking natural setting of Vinicunca. It is a haven for hikers, although you should be in good physical condition, as the trek is rather challenging.

Getting to the location takes at least six days depending on your speed, but it is totally worth it! Each of the mountain peaks in this area is covered in wide lines of pastel blue, intense red, green, pink and yellow.

Thanks to the bright coloration they are known as the Rainbow mountains.

Lake Kaindy, Kazakhstan

Being almost a century old, the deep blue Lake Kaindy is not easy to find in the Kungey Alatau Mountains. Even though getting there is not easy, it is certainly worth visiting. When you arrive at the lake, you will see dozens of dark brown trunks rising from the water.

Also, the color of the water varies from glimmering blue to alpine green. These features make the place a genuinely surreal wonder hidden in the deep forests.

Alberobello, Italy

When you arrive at Alberobello, a small town in Southern Italy, and see the long series of small dimensional houses, you will surely think you are in a fairytale hobbit’s world.

Looking rather fragile, Trulli (specifically-built tiny roundhouses), is surprisingly over five centuries old. Locals, as well as tourists, still live there.

Nyaung Ohak, Myanmar

Another fairytale destination lies right next to Lake Inle in Myanmar. It is an impressive series of history sightseeing objectives, which won’t leave anyone indifferent.

Nyaung Ohak offers a unique combination of history, complex architecture, and nature, and it is surely worth the effort.

Uluru Waterfalls, Australia

The Uluru rock formation is over 600 million years old, which makes it one of the oldest in the world. Due to the climate conditions of the region, it only rains a few times during the year.

However, those who are lucky to visit after the rain, are amazed by the beauty of the water show. The large quantities of water run from the top of the rock, creating an illusion of numerous small waterfalls.

Also, the wet rocks change their color and turn from gray into various shades of red, dark red, and brown.

10 Hacks to Save Money for Your Dream Vacation

There are a lot of stunning places in the world for you to see. You want to visit these places, and you have already started planning. Sadly, it often does not go further than the planning stage. You always end up not making these plans a reality, which is utterly frustrating.

In most cases, though, it is your fault why it didn’t happen. You have not saved enough money to cover all the expenses of the trip. This should not happen again.

Also Read: 15 Money Saving Tips That Actually Works

Make sure that the next time around, the trip will finally push through. If money is the problem, there is something you can do about it. You just have to stay committed to the goal and be disciplined no matter what happens.

Start Saving Now

The first step is to start saving money for that dream vacation. Yes, it is not easy considering all the expenses that you have to pay for, but it is not impossible. As long as you work hard to earn money and you are also willing to sacrifice, you will have enough in your savings account in no time.

You should also avoid procrastination. It is easy to say that you want to visit different places, but it is not easy committing to it. There will be a lot of times when you are tempted to not follow through with your plans. It is easy just to buy new clothes or dine at a fancy restaurant with your extra money instead of adding it to your savings.

Make Serious Plans

Another reason why your plans are always getting canceled is because you don’t have any serious plans. You keep on saying that you will go for it, but in the end, you don’t. You have not even researched the plane tickets or made advanced hotel reservations. It is one thing to say that you are interested in traveling and another thing altogether to do the necessary steps to make it happen.

The moment you start with serious planning, it is easy for you to keep moving ahead with the plans. You can ask for help whenever necessary. You should read reviews or seek out recommendations from those who have traveled before. Create a timeline that you can easily follow and make sure to go back to what you have written and see if progress has occurred.

Don’t Be Discouraged

There are times when you feel like you don’t have enough money left because of all the expenses incurred. You might also feel like the prices just keep going up each time you check. These are just additional obstacles in your plan, but it does not mean you have to give up.

Rest assured, there are other ways for you to get cheap plane tickets or hotels. You just need to keep searching. Airline prices, for instance, are not constant. They go up or down depending on when you make the reservations. Hotel rooms might be expensive, but if you can find budget hotels, you will save more money.

Find a way to cut the overall cost of the trip whenever possible. You should learn how to use public transportation, so you won’t spend a lot taking cabs. You should even know how to walk around the destinations if possible. This will help save a lot of money.

You Are the Only Obstacle

In the end, you will realize that the biggest obstacle in this plan is you. If you are determined, this trip will happen. If you can sacrifice to save more money, it will pay off. If you can let go of club memberships or stop eating out even for a month or two, it will go a long way.

Related: Common Travel Questions and Our Answers with Tips and Hacks

The moment you change your lifestyle and stick with more practical choices in life, you can easily reach the necessary amount for this trip to happen.

Save Money for Your Dream Vacation

If you still feel confused and you don’t know the concrete steps you have to undertake to save money for your journey, read the infographic below. We have compiled important tips that you can use to save up for this trip easily. They are effective in helping others to pursue their plans. They will also work well for you.

This trip will happen soon. It is just a matter of finding the right strategies and learning to make sacrifices. Before you know it, you will be in your dream destination. The best part is that after the trip, you arrive home without any regrets because you did not blow up your budget.

One Last Step

There are wannabe travelers all around, planning a trip that is never going to happen. We are saying “never going to happen”, because the majority of us have full-time jobs and a tight budget.

How are we going to make that trip to Hawaii or Singapore? We keep thinking, planning, plotting but the vital link we all forget is “money.” Now that we have covered the money part, there remains one last step.

Decide Your Destination

You must decide where you want to go and carefully narrow your lists of available options. Pick a destination that fits both your budget and your dream. Those who want to travel abroad might like to take a decision on a country where their currency is valuable than the local currency.

For example, Americans can plan a trip to Thailand, Indians can go to Hong Kong, Europeans can go to Hawaii. A Smart way to choose your destination is to check your currency value. And…cheap flight tickets.

Use Google Flights

Google flights is hands down the best free tool that you can use to find a flight that is both viable and available. Even if you are planning a last minute trip. You can set your home destination and then play with the dates (into future) to find a cheap deal.

We hope that you have found our article helpful. By keeping the tips we have shared with you in mind, we’re sure that you will be able to make every dollar count in your trip.

We wish you safe travels!

Author’s Bio

Sarah Smith loves to travel. She has been to several countries and has also inspired others to pursue their travel goals. Despite running several businesses, she has still managed to achieve her travel goals. She also loves to explore places most travelers ignore. Learn more about money saving tips on her blog Personal Income.

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8 Destination Ideas For A New Year Vacation With Kids

The week after Christmas is the perfect time for a family trip. Kids are off from school, and you can have a very nice weekend away together over the New Year. Here are some of the best family-friendly destinations for a New Years vacation.

London, England

If you want to have some fun, head towards Dickens World Amusement Park in the capital of Great Britain. This “Winter Wonderland” has everything you wish for in a family weekend: music, dance, rides, boat rides, party poppers, and other exciting attractions.

The indoor snowfall, to the sound of Big Ben’s chimes at midnight, is a performance you will not soon forget. Plus, the fireworks display at Big Ben is a must-see event in London. And for New Year gifts for your kids, visit Hamleys, the largest toy store in the world.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai by jimmyweee CC BY 2.0

Dubai has tropical weather all-year-round, with temperatures of 25°C all winter long. In addition to the lovely weather, theme parks abound in the capital of the United Arab Emirates. In 2016, four new parks opened their doors to visitors from all over the world.

The four parks are IMG Worlds of Adventure, Motiongate, Legoland and Bollywood Dubai. Aside from lounging by the pool and wandering on the beach, you can also wear out your kids on new roller coasters, water rides, and film-themed attractions, like Shrek and Kung Fu Panda.

Coffs Coast, New South Wales

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Among New Year destinations for kids, Coffs Coast has some of the best attractions to offer your little ones. The New Year Carnival, magnificent fireworks, ample food and loads of exciting activities for children of all ages make it a very popular family destination. Your kids will love to feed and pet the dolphins at the Pet Porpoise Pool.

Other activities include go-carting, ice skating, bowling, and horse riding. Also, Butterfly House and Zip Circus are great photo locations, and Jungle Bungle is an indoor play area just for toddlers. Come to Coffs Coast for exciting holidays and a unique experience!

Sentosa Island, Singapore

Sentosa Island in Singapore celebrates the New Year with fantastic colorful pyrotechnic displays and a most vivid dance party. Songs of the Sea is a one-of-a-kind performance of fireworks, waterworks, and light. Also, the Underwater World is sure to make your kids excited with electric eels, turtles, pink dolphins and a huge variety of fish.

Combine your trip to Sentosa with a tour around Singapore, and you’ll have yourself a wonderful family vacation!

Related: Top 9 Destinations to Spend New Year in the USA

Yellowstone National Park, California

For a family holiday vacation in the United States of America, we recommend visiting one, or several, of the country’s national parks. Yellowstone is one of the most fascinating. Plus, it is also one of the best places to camp in Wyoming, as well as in the entire United States.

The park’s three hundred geysers will make people of all ages excited! The most famous of them, Old Faithful, erupts seventeen times a day, so you can’t miss it. Also, the Junior Ranger program for kids (Ages 4+) is an excellent opportunity to explore the park together.

Kerala, India

Kerala is one of the most popular travel destinations in India. It has everything you need for a great winter vacation: a tropical climate, sandy beaches, lakes, waterfalls, mountain ranges, palaces and ancient landmarks.

In 2012, Kerala was named one of the ten paradises of the world. Tours to the region usually include visiting tea farms, wildlife sanctuaries, and cruises along backwaters. A family visit to the oldest European settlement in India will also be great fun!

Costa Rica

Costa Rica regularly tops the list of the happiest countries in the world. It offers a rich variety of wildlife adventures and activities for everyone in your family. Zip-lining and river-rafting will be an exciting experience.

However, if you want to relax, you can take a bath in one of the natural hot springs on the volcano slopes. At the same time, your kids can have fun observing monkeys, macaws, poison-arrow frogs and other strange miniature beasts. If a vacation on an island is your idea of a perfect family holiday, head to Costa Rica, and you won’t regret your decision!

Killington, Vermont

Killington North ridge BY Mark Klapper CC BY 2.5

If you don’t dream of a winter vacation in the tropics but prefer to ski, then you should choose one of the many ski resorts in the United States. If you are planning a family vacation, pick a resort where your kids will have an opportunity to learn how to ski too.

For example, Killington in Vermont provides instruction for children. It also offers a variety of cozy cabins for New Year celebrations, with interesting board games and marshmallow toasting.

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10 Most Exciting New Year Traditions around the World

Unlike other holidays, New Years is celebrated almost everywhere in the world; regardless of the nation’s religious beliefs or even their calendar. However, New Year traditions and celebrations differ from country to country.

New Year Traditions

Here are some of the unique New Year traditions from around the world.

Austria

Austria has one of the most glamorous ways of celebrating New Year.

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The operetta “Die Fledermaus” by Johan Straus is performed every New Year’s Day in Vienna. Plus, on New Year’s Eve, the capital of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire holds a traditional Imperial Ball. 

A New Years dinner in Austria traditionally contains edible pigs and peppermint ice cream. A suckling pig on the table symbolizes good luck.

Related: Top 9 Destinations to Spend New Year in the USA

Denmark

CopenhagenNYE BY Stig Nygaard CC BY 2.0

In Denmark, people save old dishes for the entire year. On New Year’s Eve, they throw them at friends’ doors. This symbolizes friendship and brotherhood. People believe that the larger pile of dishes one has in front of the door, the more friends he has.

Some Danish also leap over chairs at midnight.

China

The Chinese have their own calendar, consequently, they celebrate the New Year in February. These celebrations are always bright and loud. Firecrackers and noisemakers chase evil spirits away.

Fabulous dragons and lions dance in the streets. Plus, people give each other tangerines for good luck.

However, odd numbers are considered unlucky, so these tangerines are given in pairs. Also, the third day of the New Year is the day when mice marry off their daughters, so people try to go to bed early in order not to disturb them.

Red in China traditionally symbolizes happiness and good fortune. On New Year’s Day, people wear red and give children red envelopes with lucky money. Some people even paint their front doors red, before the celebration.

Spain

In Spain, people believe that eating 12 grapes at every toll of the clock will bring them good luck and happiness for the upcoming 12 months.

Japan

In Japan, the New Year is called Oshogatsu and is celebrated amongst family. The whole week before New Year’s Eve people clean their houses, settle debts, try to resolve all disagreements and forgive all offenses. After that, they are ready to welcome the New Year. Also, before midnight, the Japanese ring 108 bells. These rings symbolize the elimination of 108 troubles. And the day after New Year’s Eve is the First Writing Day when people write their dreams, hopes, and plans for the new year.

There are three traditional symbols for the Japanese New Year. A pine branch, or kadomatsu, represents longevity. A stalk of bamboo symbolizes prosperity. Lastly, a plum blossom denotes nobility.

Sri Lanka

Sinhala and Tamil New Year in Sri Lanka BY Amila Tennakoon CC BY 2.0

The New Year in Sri Lanka is called Aluth Avurudhu and it is celebrated in mid-April. Traditional rituals include a proper house cleaning, the lighting of the hearth, taking an herbal bath, preparing traditional dishes and strengthening family relations.

India

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In India, people celebrate New Year in mid-April too. However, these traditions vary greatly amongst the different regions. For example, in Odisha, the festival is held on April 13th or 14th, and involves worshiping the deities and offering them fruit-based drinks, called “pana”. In Kerala, people also worship the deities during New Year and make offerings, which have the name of Vishukanni.

In Tamil Nadu, locals light lamps to eradicate the darkness and they use auspicious tools, which symbolize prosperity. Furthermore, the people of the Bengal region believe that the way you spend the first day of the year marks the way you will spend the rest of it.

Germany

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In Germany, lead is believed to predict the future.

On the New Year, people pour molten lead into the cold water and observe what shape it takes. The shape of a heart predicts marriage in the near future. A round shape signifies good luck. An anchor shapes mean that you may need help soon. Whereas, a cross symbolizes someone’s sad demise.

Puerto Rico

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In Puerto Rico, people clean their houses properly before New Year. They also throw buckets of water out of their windows. They believe that this ritual will clean the odds of the last year and get the spirits out of their homes.

Philippines

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In the Philippines, people believe that all round things are lucky, attracting fortune and money. So, during the New Year, they consume grapes, wear polka dotted dresses and keep coins in their pockets. The Filipinos also throw coins during the New Years celebration to increase wealth and prosperity.

That’s the end of our top 10 list. So which New Year traditions attracted or intrigued you the most? Comment below.

 

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Top 5 Haunted Places To Visit In India

Haunted places hold a lot of interest for travelers. Different questions arise in our hearts that why strange happenings take place in these destinations. You even want to visit the spooky spirits of the place. Today’s travelers aren’t scared anymore. They are curious to discover the unknown. That is why we bring to you a list haunted places in India.

AGRASAN KI BAOLI

You will be surprised that even though being at the center of the city it is eerily quiet and deserted here. It was a baoli made to store water by Maharaja Agrasan. But in ancient times also the water here was black and tempted people to sacrifice their lives. Now also you can hear voices in this structure of the fourteenth century. You want to feel the spook. Then you can visit this haunted place.

AGRASEN KI BAOLI by MILIND KULKARNI CC BY-SA 3.0

GP BLOCK OF MEERUT, UTTAR PRADESH

Being located in a busy zone you might think that this place could be nothing but ruins. But don’t presume such, this place is a notorious place for ghosts. There is a house in this block which is said to be haunted by a group of ghosts. 

Locals say that they see four male figures drinking alcohol in light of a single candle. It can be an illusion too but what about the screams and strange sightings of girls. Traveling here is going to be immensely exciting if you are not a weakling.

DUMAS BEACH, GUJARAT

The beach itself has got an evil vibe coming from itself. The black sands here say that it was once a burning ground. Then how can it not be a haunted place? Night watchers and morning walkers seem to report that they see spirits walking towards the beach. It has a strange lure that many people have died here. Hope the eerie whispers don’t scare you off from the next destination.

Dumas Beach by Rahul Bhadane CC BY-SA 4.0

RAMOJI FILM CITY

You can visit this dream of every filmmaker. It contains everything that is required in a good scenic movie. But the hotels here are said to house evil spirits. Watchmen, who guard lights at the top, have been pushed by a dark force many times.

Even though you ignore this, there have been complaints by girls that there is an invisible spirit that rips off their clothes and even knocks on the washroom doors and locks them inside. The mystery behind this haunted place is, this film city is built on a ground where a brutal battle had taken place.so may be dead still live here.

India – Hyderabad – 040 – vast studio sets at Ramoji Film City by McKay Savage CC BY 2.0

SHANIWARDA PORT,  PUNE

Built by the Peshwas in the 1700s this port is full of architectural brilliance. You wouldn’t want to leave the opulence of it but wait until you hear the screams. Tales say that ghost of the prince haunts the palace. He was said to have died brutally. So since then on during the darkness of midnight, you hear his screams. During full moons, the screaming is scarier and louder. You can feel the chill in the air after reading this.

Shaniwar Wada fort, Pune by Ramakrishna Reddy y CC BY-SA 2.0

Pack your bags and visit the haunted places in India. Maybe you can solve those mysteries or even better befriend a good ghost.

 

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5 Exciting Things to do in Coorg, India

Coorg is an off beaten destination in Karnataka. You can experience the wondrous beauty of this hill station. You might be tired of visiting famous tourists destinations. Coorg is popular among adventure seekers and nature lovers. The lush green forest will call you. Trek on the jeep to witness the gorgeousness of Western Ghats.

RAFTING IN BARAPOLE

We recommend this, only if you don’t have a weak heart. Rafting in Barapole can play havoc with your senses. It is around six kilometers long rapid. An experienced rafter will have fun against the turbulent waves. Rapids are also available for beginners.

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The experience in Barapole will put your heart in your throat. The sense of adventure on swelling waves is something worth remembering. It is the best place in the country for whitewater rafting. Take your chance here if you are a novice at rafting.

JEEP TREK, MANDALPATTI

When you drive through the dense jungle of hilly regions, you will be astounded. You will see animals coming out to greet you. The cascading waterfalls will surround your senses. The adventurous trek in Coorg is full of natural beauty.

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Head to Mandalpatti to have a golden view of sun kissing the horizon. Your drive might be a bit of inconvenience. Jungle roads are not smooth. But the pain will be worth it when you reach 1600 meter high.

JUNGLE HUTS IN NAGARHOLE

There is a kid inside all of us who wants to live in the woods. Trees are looming above you, thickets under your feet and wild sounds in your ears. That is something you wouldn’t like to miss. Stay at the jungle huts in Nagarhole national park. It is a tiger reserve. But it is also home to deer, elephants, and wild dogs.

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Huts are safe places to stay. You can come out during dusk and watch predators on the prowl. Do so from a safe distance, so that you don’t end up being dead meat. Streams are winding all through the forests. Tigers generally cool themselves near a water body. If you want to see a tiger, camp near a pool.

SELFIE IN COFFEE PLANTATION

Switch on your camera, compose the background. Smile! Then click. That was a selfie in the coffee plantation. Coorg is widely popular for its coffee plantations. Even Tata has its private coffee plantations here. You can stroll along the plants if you want to feel free.

Or ask the coffee pickers the process of manual coffee making. There are homes for tourists in the nearby region of plantations. Stay near the coffee plants. So, each morning during your stay you can get a whiff of coffee.

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A SCENE OF GOLDEN TEMPLE

Coorg has its own golden temple. It has the largest number of Buddhist in India. The Namdroling monastery present here boasts golden statues of Buddha. It is just at a distance of thirty minutes from Bylakuppe.

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You can interact with the Tibetan monks in the monastery. They are refugees staying in Namdroling. The atmosphere in here is one of peace and holiness.

 

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Adventure destinations in India

India is a symbol of the diversity of nature. From blistering temperatures to snow laden mountains, India has it all. If you are fed up with the clichéd Taj Mahal or Ooty, head out for some adventure. India has many destinations which will provide you adventure. Gear up for some scary fun with nature. Warning- Only for the daredevils.

CAVING IN MEGHALAYA

Lighting a fire on your own, and warming yourself up inside a cave! It sounds like you have gone back many centuries. But trust us, you will love the feel of it. Meghalaya is sprawled between lush forests. The green landscape is enhanced with gushing waterfalls. You have to pack your bags carefully.

Caving adventures in Meghalaya India by Sharada Prasad CS CC BY 2.0

Nobody knows when you will run out of food or water. Keep in mind to pack sufficiently. Use your resources wisely. When you are at the heart of nature, you will be enchanted by it. The beauty has a wildness to it. Make sure you carry a weapon for safety. You might encounter jungle friends on your way.

SKYDIVING IN MYSORE

All those who fear heights, this is your chance to conquer it. You can feel the wind on blowing your face. And The weightlessness of your body when you freefall. You might be scared to dive from the heights. But once you take the leap you will want to be in the air. The view of Mysore is stunning. With crystal, blue sky overhead and dense valleys below your heart will skip a beat. You might scream out loud when you jump. Then you can drink in the scenery around you. Take the lead of an expert. You will be safe.

MOTORCYCLING IN SHIMLA

This trip is for those who love being on the road. Nothing feels as good as discovering unchartered destinations. Gang up with your friends who share a common passion. Hit the road from Shimla to Leh. You might freeze your bones on the way.

Shimla India Ridge by Betelgeuse CC BY-SA 3.0

Dress warm and carry rum with you. You will desperately need a sip. It is best if you join the rally “The Raid de Himalaya”. The tour will take you through freezing places. But at the end of the day its adventure, remember?

BUNGEE JUMPING IN UTTAR PRADESH

Now you would have warmed up to height a bit. It is the perfect time to let the fear go. Rishikesh has an 83 meters high podium. It might be high. But what fun is bungee jumping without the super height? Jump from heights of ecstasy. You will land in the holy waters of Ganges. Rishikesh has a wide range of adventure sports options you can pursue. River rafting and paragliding are also on the menu if you want a taste of it.

SCUBA DIVING IN ANDAMAN AND NICOBAR

These gorgeous islands are a part of India. But they are not so visited by tourists. Their untouched beauty and tribal culture are popular. You can take a dip into the turquoise waters of Andaman. What you will see before your eyes will amaze you. Under the blanket of blue waters, there are beautiful basalt formations. The natural coral barriers are colorful when the sun shines on them. You can do a lot of Water sports in the islands. The hotels here cater to luxury. You can pamper yourself with the adventurous experience.

FLY-BOARDING IN GOA

The sandy beaches and sea shells call for a lemonade. But you will not have enough time for lounging in Goa if you are into adventure sports. All kind of water sports can be performed here. Are you a speedster? Do you love water? Then what are you waiting for? Flyboard! Tourists from all around the countries travel to Baina beach. Help your girlfriend on the board. It will feel good when someone grabs you tight when you ride on.

TREKKING IN ROOPKUND

Your fear will start now. Even though you did not feel a thing while jumping or diving, you will be scared by trekking here. We are not joking. The scene here is something taken out of a horror movie. The path winds around the Roopkund lake. It is littered with skeletons. Researchers say that the skeletons belong to the ninth century. People died in a hailstorm, and their skeletons still line the glacial lake. You will need to wear warmers. Not because it is Uttaranchal but because it is located at high altitude. Dare to travel beyond. That is what adventure is all about.

 

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Travel to the Longest Man-Made Dam

“Hirakud“ the name suggests a place of diamonds. If water is diamond, then Hirakud lives up to its name. It is the first multi-purpose hydro project built in India. Located on the river Mahanadi, it is the longest man-made dam in the world. It runs for 25.7 kilometers. Many places are hidden to us. We can’t visit them because they are not highlighted.

Hirakud is one such beautiful place which is underrated. Being the longest dam, you would think it is flocked by people all time of the year. No, Hirakud is a quiet place. Not many tourists visit it. What will I do here? You might ask. For that reason only we have listed some of the activities you can do when you visit Hirakud.

CLIMB ATOP GANDHI MINAR

If you are not afraid of heights, you can climb the spiral staircase of Gandhi Minar. It is located adjacent to Hirakud dam. At the tower, the view is gorgeous. Minar will start rotating if it is not overcrowded with people. You can see the vast body of water submerging nearby mountains.

The artificial lake Tehri is beautiful from here. When you visit it in monsoon, you can see the clouds crawling over water. The monsoon wind will blow over the minaret. And in flood situations the gates of the dam are open. You can see massive crests of water bubbling out of the dam. Watch nature in its untamed glory. Climb and withhold the communion of nature and man. Before heading here remember to book a pass at the counter on your way up.

DRINK FROM LOCAL CAFÉ

Once you have the view of the longest man-made dam, You can come down. The temperature here is always pleasant. A cup of tea sounds heavenly when the river is roaring beside you. Or if you crave something cold too, you can have ice-cream. It is more of a stall rather than a café. Just to add a romantic twist to tea, there are mini huts here. You can seek shelter there if it’s drizzling. Cuddle up with your partner and sip tea. The view of the river from the hut beside the café is lovely.

RIDE ON THE DAM

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? The thought will cross your mind here. Two minars are at each end of the dam. One is located in Burla, the other in Hirakud. There is a straight road connecting the two minars above Mahanadi. Just standing on the minar you will want to drive on that risky road. An epic ride on longest man-made dam!

Hirakud Dam Panorama By Quarterbacker    CC BY 3.0

But you need a pass to take a ride along that road. Because it is dangerous, it is not frequented and is closed to locals. But if you have planned your trip ahead of time, you might get a pass. “ Water water everywhere not a single drop to drink.” We are quoting Coleridge, as that is how you will feel when you drive above that angry current of water.

RELAX IN THE PARK

When Hirakud was inaugurated in 1957, it was popular. Maybe because it was the longest man-made dam in the world, it was thought to become a tourist attraction. That is why there are some attractions created to lure tourists. Sadly, the number of visitors have decreased. But the park is still beautifully lush. You can walk hand in hand with your partner along plantations. Coconut trees are towering above the garden. The nearby Tehri Lake is also worth a look if you want to have a picnic.

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HAVE LUNCH AT HONG KONG

We are not talking about the city! But the restaurant. After your sightseeing, you can head to Sambalpur. It is 15 kilometers from Hirakud. After reaching there in no time have a delicious meal at Hong Kong. It is an exclusive Chinese restaurant. The little red lanterns hanging everywhere give a Chinese feel to it. You should try the momos here. They are lip-smackingly delicious. But if you prefer vegetarian you can order a hot and sour soup. What tastes better than it on a cold day.

 

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Top 5 Things To Learn About Indians Before Visiting India

Things you can learn from Indians will be very handy. India is a colorful country with rich culture and tradition. That sounded cliché, didn’t it? We are here to give you something different. It’s okay to write about the incredible heritage of India. But writing something on skills of Indians is rare. Mainly Indians are thought to be smart. But they do have many tricks up their sleeves. We will tell you a few tips of Indians you can spot while you visit India. You can even use it yourself.

HOW TO DRESS ACCORDING TO TEMPERATURE

We know India is located on the tropic of cancer. It accounts for the excruciating temperatures in summers. But when you visit Himachal Pradesh or foothills of Himalayas you will encounter chilling temperature. A tourist will obviously be worried about how to get dressed. Don’t you worry! You can buy clothes while you are on road. Clothes are cheap and comfortable in India.

But the Indians have a quality of wearing the same dress at high as well as low temperature. Say for instance saree. A three layered dress. But still, it’s airy enough for summers. With a petticoat below and bare back and waist.They can even carry it well in winters because they can drape it over their bodies for warmth. Aren’t they smart dressers?

THEY LITERALLY RECYCLE ANYTHING & EVERYTHING

The plastic water bottles have a direction on them-please crush it after using. But Indians don’t crush anything.They use it again and again till it decomposes. Meaning they take full advantage of everything. It might be a polythene bag or an ice cream stick they will surely put them to use. Whenever you are broke or if you need anything urgently think what an Indian would do in your place and you will get a smart solution.

Spilled Water Bottle by Dsw4 CC BY 3.0

THEIR APPETITE FOR STREET FOOD IS INSATIABLE

We have told you earlier about the mouth watering Indian street cuisines. And people in India can have it for breakfast or lunch or even dinner. You can see them eating in the stalls more than in restaurants. It’s because they know not to be fooled by looks. As a Hindi saying “unchi dukaan,phiki pakwaan”, it means a high class restaurant serving substandard food.Well well well… Nobody can teach you better how to taste the zing in food like an Indian.

RESPECTING THEIR FAMILY

If you are a tourist and only interested in travelling destinations then you shouldn’t care about this.But if you are a reader of personalities and culture then you will find one prominent thing in India. They respect the bonds of family. Their decisions are made to make their families happy.they stick close. Respecting their elders is a value inculcated in them. When an elderly Indian visits united kingdom he is called by his first name by a kid. But when an elderly English man visits India he is respected as a sir by a kid. It is a thing you should know about Indians.They respect.

An Oberoi Hotel employee doing Namaste, New Delhi by Saptarshi Biswas CC BY 2.0

INDIAN SHOPS ARE VERY AFFORDABLE

This is what a tourist must know. There will be many vendors who will try tricking you into giving more money than required. But be informed there is nothing which is too expensive in India. You can literally buy many things for under $10 USD. You can buy from authentic shops where you will find tags in everything. Do avoid buying from streets if they demand sky high rates.

You can enjoy the busy hustle of India’s market without hurting your pocket.Make a trustworthy friend before visiting India who can show you around. Indians are really friendly towards tourists. They will help you. But you also need to use your common sense before walking straight into a trap.

 

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Top 5 Street Food to Try in India

India’s streets are lined with delicious delights which are impossible to miss. It is nation well known for its rich and spicy food. The mouth-watering aromas will surely make your tummy rumble.

So why miss such opportunity? If you are visiting India, then you should try some of the best street food of this vibrant country.

Street Food in India

Puchka (Image Source)

PUCHKA

It’s the Bengali version of gol gappe or pani Puri. Puchkalooks like a small bowl filled with stuffing. It is a spherical crunchy snack. The filling consists of boiled potatoes mashed with spices and “chana”. Then it is dipped in tangy tamarind and mint flavored water. It will burst in your mouth. If there would be a street food restaurant then gol gappe would be a perfect starter.

Vada Pav (Image Source)

VADA PAV

Are you visiting the Bollywood city and missing on vada pav?Go, fix your mistake soon. It is Mumbai’s burger. A steamy vada with a touch of ghee. And in between those layer of vada, you will find a yummy potato chop. Taste it with fried chilies and your mouth will be on fire wit a tsunami of spices. It’s a snack for each and every class of people in Mumbai. There are a number of stalls which serve this lip-smacking vada.

Cholle Bhature (Image Source)

CHOLLE BHATURE

This is a typical Punjabi cuisine. Bhature is flat bread fried in a pan of butter. Cholle is a hot and spicy curry of cooked green peas. Cholle bhature is an answer to every Punjabi’s breakfast. Now, this dish is widespread throughout India. You can taste it in any street corner. But the king of it all will be a plate of cholle bhature with a touch of Punjabi tadka from Amritsar. Start your day with this hearty meal.

Idli & Sambhar (Image Source)

IDLI & SAMBHAR

It’s a famous South Indian cuisine. The dough of idli is kept overnight and then steamed. Sambhar is more like a curry based dish which is flavored with tamarind. A coconut chutney accompanies the Sambhar. This healthy yet overpowering cuisine is sure to make your day in Chennai worth it. Idli Sambhar is also served with hot and crispy vada to enhance the texture of this already amazing dish. We hope you like the tang of Sambhar on your tongue.

Chaat (Image Source)

CHAAT

India’s most popular street food is chaat. You can see stalls filled with smoky pans surrounded with fried potatoes,papdi, spices and colorful garnish. It can be an aloo chaat with potato and masala chaat with fried peas cooked in gravy. Both of them can look luscious and taste even better when you put them in your mouth. Yogurt, coriander leaves and a pinch of chaat masala are sprinkled above Chaat. Indian street food is scrumptious, bombastic and exotic. Above all it’s cheap. You can pick any delectable cuisine and not regret it hurting your pocket.

 

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2697 Days: A Personal Story of Becoming a US Citizen

I am going to America, I muttered to my family of five while having dinner at our rented home during a hot Delhi summer of 2008. All of a sudden, a deep silence, screaming fear, frustration, and failure yelled  back at me through those eyes.

Those were the eyes of my dad, mom, brother, and sister. I still remember those eyes. There were no questions from any of us because we all knew the answer. It was not possible considering our financial situation.

The Struggles

We were already under heavy debt as my dad lost his business. We were barely making month to month. So, I decided to remain quiet that night! But in my heart, I knew that I am going to America – the land of freedom and dream chasing!

The next morning while I was getting ready to go to college, my mother pulled me to a corner in our kitchen so nobody could hear us. She told me that she is on my team and she has some jewelry and she could sell them.

Selling my mom’s jewelry? No way, but it seemed at the time that, that was our only option. The money from her jewelry would be sufficient for my one-way flight ticket and a couple of months of survival cost in America.

Here I was, a young 20 years old, a naive stupid boy who has watched “The Pursuit of Happyness” a million times and thought he can pull it all by himself. Guess what, I somewhat did pull it.

The Path

I would attend college during the day and do a call center gig at night. I used public transportation, drank 2c street-side water, ate 40c meals, and used to stay in cheap lodging. I even stayed with a group of Chinese Christian missionaries in a church guesthouse in Gurgaon.

I was able to save money to buy a one-way flight ticket. With hard work comes luck. I found a university that would transfer my college credits to US Universities and gave me 50% tuition scholarship if I kept up my GPA above 3.0. North Dakota State University (NDSU), Fargo accepted me.

It was one of the coldest places in the country. NDSU was offering me all the goodies, financial aid and 6 months of snow. I said, “I’ll take it. I’ll adapt, survive, and thrive.” By the summer of 2008, I was all set to attend NDSU beginning Spring 2009 session.

I have managed to save enough money for a one-way flight ticket, visa expenses, and to survive the first couple of months. I landed my feet in New York, America on Jan 4, 2009.

Persistence

For next 3.5 years, I took various odd jobs to survive such as cleaning job/ushering, donating blood plasma for a minimum wage, selling soaps door to door (thanks to Amway), and sharing a 3 bedroom apartment between 5 students (with a stunning rent of $108pp).  

My college sweetheart broke off, I graduated in spring 2012 with $17,000 in debt (Failure #1092), I was killing it. Not soon after, my college sweetheart broke off with me. I went through and understood what “depression” really means. I happily graduated in spring 2012 with $17,000 in debt and 1092 failures behind me. You can see, I was killing it.

Two months post-graduation, I got a contracting job with Dell Services. To save money to pay off my debts, I chose to sleep on the carpet in a shared unfurnished apt with a whopping rent of $206 pp. I waited on buying a car and instead took 2 hours long train to commute. I was able to pay off the bulk of my debts in 6 months. That was my trade-off, savings over self-sacrifice.

The end result, I was relaxed and at peace. I saved quite a lot, switched my gigs and moved out to Orange County, California. I soon bought a brand new luxury car, rented a beach condo, and I was on top of the dating scene. This time, I was really nailing it until I got a phone call from home at 4:30 am. 

My mother was crying on the other side that Dad is on a ventilator from the past 9 days and has got a poor outlook on survival. She didn’t ask me to come back because she knew that my visa won’t allow me to travel to India and return back to the U.S.

I had just turned 25 the day before, but after that phone call, I suddenly felt like a 40 years old man surrounded in a bubble of stress. All kinds of stress. What happened? Where did it all go wrong? I was frustrated, scared, sad, and numb.

My decision was clear and I wanted to stay in the US and add value to society. I knew I want to do something with my life. I knew I want to live in a free land. So I exercised the law of attraction. I took immediate action, whatever I could do. I spoke to multiple doctors for the best treatment for my dad. I remained positive and calm.

Fourteen days later, my dad made it back to life and arrived home with a smile. However, during this time I lost my job and was back to square one. I had exhausted my savings. I was back to square “none”.

Luckily, the unique skills set that I have developed in the healthcare industry, it wasn’t hard for me to find a new job. I found a new contract within 6 weeks and took the first flight to North Carolina when I heard back about my job offer.

I started all over again but this time besides my 9 to 5, I had a side gig too for some passive and side income. You see, in this economy, it is not wise to put all your eggs in the “job basket.” Would you? If you have no savings?

In December 2014, I visited India after 5 years. When I returned after almost half a decade, so much has changed. I bought a new house for my parents, returned jewelry to my mother, and just enjoyed family time.

My younger sister has grown so much. Wow, it has been 5 years. With that visit, I also knew that it will be a long time since I’ll see them again, thanks to the system, BS. But when the time came to return, I also knew that it will be again a long time before I’ll see my family, thanks to the broken immigration system.

It takes over 10-15 years for regular people from India to immigrate to the U.S. And during this long wait time, people often don’t see their family for years. This is BS. In October 2015, I decided to quit my well-paying job to join US Army Reserves.

I had the following in my mind:

  • I’ll have a chance to become a US Citizen.
  • I want to give back to the country that has served my dreams.
  • I was craving to succeed and achieve a milestone after a million failures.
  • I know that Army training can push me harder and make me a better leader.
  • Good can go bad but only greatness leads to greatness. Being good was not good enough.
  • I have a strong desire to inspire and give hopes to the underdogs, scared and lonely people out there.

And this was the perfect platform. I love America! Indeed, the USA is a land of opportunities. Anyone can make it here if they are willing to work hard and sacrifice. I have made my dreams come true. A new set of dreams and goals have now evolved for me. It was a relentless pursuit, be it good or bad.

I am grateful for every single event which has contributed to nurturing the seeds of past actions to successful fruition.

So come and join me to celebrate a day of triumph over the failures, the success that comes from the hardship, hope to a better future and a shout out to the land of the free and home of the brave.

Now I can visit back home (to India) every year just to celebrate festivals, eat my mom’s food, take care of my father, and to sleep in my childhood bed. May 24th, 2016, I was naturalized through the US Army Reserves.

I am a US Citizen now. And, I am ready to continue my journey to greatness.

Guest Post by Mukul Jain. Edited by The Art of Travel for clarity. All rights reserved.

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121 Fun Facts To Know Before You Travel To India

Traveling to India? India is a vast country with thousands of years of culture and history. in this blog post, we are outlining some fun facts about India that will make you sound you smart and well-read in bars and at airports. 😉

Kama Sutra is an ancient Sanskrit literature (2nd century) written by Vatsyayana describing human sexual behavior. “Kama” which is one of the four goals of Hindu life, means “desire” including sexual desires and “sutra” means a “thread” that holds things together.

Yuktibhasa, written by Indian astronomer Jyeshtadeva, is considered to be the first mathematical treatise on calculus.

The Directive Principles in India, which are guidelines for the government while framing laws and policies, were inspired by the Irish nationalist movement.

Chakara is a rare and peculiar marine phenomenon observed along the coastal waters of Kerala.

St. Thomas the Apostle performed the first baptism in India in 52 A.D and established India’s first Church the same year.

The state of Punjab gets its name from the fact that five tributaries of the river Indus – Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas, and Sutlej – run through the state.

The Indian film industry is the largest film industry in the world (by the number of films produced).

Cherrapunji in India is the wettest place in the world with the maximum amount of yearly rainfall.

Kuttanad in Kerala is India’s only region below sea level. Chicken’s Neck (a narrow strip of land that connects mainland India to its north-eastern states) is only 24 km wide.

The Indus Valley civilization is one of the oldest civilization in the world, dating back at least 5,000 years.

 

India is the 2nd largest country by population (currently approaching 1.3 billion). Soon it will overtake China to become the World’s most populous country (likely by 2040).

India is the 12th largest economy in the world in terms of currency conversion and 4th largest in the world in terms of purchasing power.

World’s first university was established in Takshila, India in 700 BC.

Kolkata, India is called the City of Palaces because of its abundance of European-style buildings.

The Casino Goa in Goa is the only legal casino in India.

Singer and Queen frontman Freddie Mercury was born to Indian parents in Zanzibar and studied in St. Mary’s High School in Mazagaon, Mumbai.

Indian physician Susrutha (6th century BC) is called as the “Father of Surgery”, for his seminal and numerous contributions to the science of surgery. Sushruta authored a series of medical treaties, collectively known as Sushruta Samhita, in which he describes over 120 surgical instruments, 300 surgical procedures, and classifies human surgery in 8 categories.

Wearing the Gandhi cap became a steadfast tradition during the Indian independence movement that is continued by Indian politicians to this day.

A small village in Tamil Nadu called Naluvedapathy remained unscathed by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami because of a record 80,244 casuarina saplings planted on the coast two years earlier.

The Kandariya Mahadeva is considered one of the best examples of Hindu temples preserved from the medieval period in India.

Nivedita Bhasin of Indian Airlines is the youngest woman pilot in world civil aviation history to command a jet aircraft at the age of 26.

The cast for the Academy Awards-nominated movie Little Terrorist had never acted in a movie before, and the crew worked for the movie free of charge and even traveled to India at their own expense.

Shuka Saptati, originally authored in Sanskrit, is a collection of 70 erotic love tales narrated by a parrot to prevent its mistress from committing adultery while her husband is away from home.

Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy is the longest single-volume novel ever published in the English language.

The Cellular Jail in the Andaman Islands in India had a forked structure and derived its name from the fact that it comprised only isolated cells.

Maulana Mehmud Hasan organized an armed rebellion against the British Raj with Turkish support but was arrested just before his return to India.

A USD $500 million ski village project promoted by Alfred Ford in Himachal Pradesh, India was rejected by the local priests claiming gods spoke to them about the project being detrimental to the population of Kullu.

The Cheraman Juma Masjid, the oldest mosque in India, was originally constructed in traditional Hindu architectural style.

Colóquios Dos Simples e Drogas da India was a scientific text published in Goa in 1563 that included the first published verses by Luís de Camões, Portugal’s national poet.

Kolachal was the location of a battle in 1741 where for perhaps the only time in Indian history, an Indian kingdom defeated a European naval force.

Human sacrifices were once offered in Chitpur, now home to Kolkata’s latest passenger railway terminal.

In 1932, Paramahansa Yogananda urged young people to pool resources, buy land, and create World Brotherhood Colonies, nearly 40 years before the intentional community movement of the late 1960s.

Kadambini Ganguly was one of the first female graduates in the British Empire and the first female doctor (allopathy) in South Asia.

The Urdu movement, which sought to establish Urdu as the lingua franca of the Muslim communities of India, emerged from the fall of the Mughal Empire and became an integral part of the Pakistan movement.

A monkey named Ramu in Orissa was jailed for 5 years on the charge of disturbing communal harmony.

There are significant breeding populations of 35 mammalian species in Kaziranga National Park, Assam, India, of which 15 are threatened species according to the IUCN Red List.

The world’s tallest statue of Hindu god Lord Shiva is located in Murudeshwara, a coastal town in Karnataka, India.

A Vihara is an Indian Buddhist cave monastery that takes its name from the Sanskrit word for “a secluded place in which to walk”.

The Kalka–Shimla Railway track, a narrow-gauge rail track in Himachal Pradesh, has a length of 96 KM, passing through 102 tunnels and crossing 864 bridges.

The Siribhoovalaya, a unique work of multi-lingual literature composed by Jain monk Kumudendu Muni is written entirely using Kannada numerals, without the use of any alphabets.

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway was the second railway in the world that was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

More than 500 varieties of mango are showcased in the International Mango Festival held in Delhi.

The three universal Hindu icons are the Aum, the swastika, and the Sri Chakra Yantra.

 

Poet Rabindranath Tagore was the first Asian Nobel Prize winner.

The women courtiers in the erstwhile Mysore Kingdom were expected to be adept in 64 arts, with Kasuti embroidery being one of them.

The town of Channapatna in India is known as the “Toy-town of Karnataka” due to the popularity of the wooden toys manufactured there.

Mother Theresa University, in Vilpatti Panchayat, South India, is the nation’s only university exclusively devoted to women’s issues.

Patacara, who became a Buddhist while disconsolately wandering naked through the Indian city of Savatthi, rose to become the foremost bhikkhuni of Gautama Buddha in her mastery of the Vinaya.

The relics of Sariputra and Mahamoggallana, Gautama Buddha’s two chief disciples, were the subject of more than 2 million Sri Lankan pilgrimage visits after their discovery by Sir Alexander Cunningham.

Kosambi, a city in ancient India which was a frequent site of sermons by the Buddha was one of the places considered suitable for his Parinibbāna.

One of the largest rainwater harvesting projects in the world is being implemented in the rural areas of the state of Karnataka, India.

The world’s first birth control clinic was set up in 1930 in the Mandya district of the state of Karnataka, India.

Roman trade with India was so large that it almost drained gold resources from Rome and involved the despatch of 120 ships full of gold every year.

Shivappa Nayaka, a king in 17th century Karnataka, India, introduced a unique and variable tax system called Sist.

In 1985, Texas Instruments became the first multinational to set up a base in Bangalore.

Ghum is the highest railway station in India at 2,225 m (7,407 ft).

Vijaya Dasa, an 18th-century Hindu saint from the Karnataka Haridasa tradition, composed about 25,000 devotional songs in the Kannada language.

Narayana Hrudayalaya, located in Bangalore, India and one of the largest pediatric heart hospitals in the world, offers a telemedicine service for FREE!

Government Sanskrit College was one of the first modern college established in 1791 in ancient India, in the city of Benares (aka Varanasi).

 

The St. Philomena’s Church in the city of Mysore in India was built in a Neo-Gothic style drawing inspiration from the Cologne Cathedral in Germany.

Romulus Whitaker won the Whitley Award for establishing a rainforest research station at Agumbe in India to conserve King Cobras.

The biggest walk-through aviary in India is located on the shore of the Karanji Lake in Mysore.

In the Indian Gaarudi Gombe ceremonial dance, dancers are required to wear full-body doll-suits made of bamboo sticks.

Karnataka Khadi Gramodyoga Samyukta Sangha, in the city of Hubli, is the only unit in India authorized to manufacture and supply the Indian Flag.

The Sangam poems, an important source of ancient Tamil history, were composed by a total of 473 poets over a period of a few centuries.

Some rocks at the Kupgal neolithic site, near Bellary, India, produce gong-like musical tones when struck with boulders.

The Oleoresin extracted from Byadgi chili is used in making nail polish and lipstick.

The Kumortuli neighborhood of Kolkata supplies images of Goddess Durga to Indian communities in about 90 countries.

Karnataka is home to the largest concentration of Siddis (a tribe of African descent) in India.

The Roman merchants who traded with ancient Tamil country used the monsoon winds to reduce the travel time between Egypt and India to forty days.

The Narasinganavar family residing in the Indian state of Karnataka is one of the largest undivided families in the world.

The Kallanai Dam, built by Karikala Chola to support agriculture in the ancient Tamil country, is considered the oldest water-regulation structure still in use.

Hindus in the ancient Tamil country worshiped different deities depending on the landscape of the region they lived in.

Bangalore Palace in India, which was built to resemble Windsor Castle in England, has hosted music concerts of bands like Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones, and Deep Purple.

Women in the Early Pandyan Society dressed their hair differently according to their marital status.

The Indo-Burma barrier, a 1624 kilometer-long barrier between India and Burma, is being built to curtail gun running and illicit drug trafficking.

The Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health is one of the most frequented religious sites in India, drawing nearly 2 million pilgrims annually.

The 16th century Indian musician-composer Miyan Tansen laid the foundations of Hindustani classical music by mixing Sufi and Bhakti musical traditions.

Although in present-day India the former Princely states and their princes have lost that status, the Raja of Rajnagar still wears his ancestors’ tattered royal attire twice a year.

The Plaza film theater in Bangalore was modeled after the Piccadilly Circus in London.

Shakadvipi (Bhojaka) is the only division of Brahmins whose origins are said to be outside India.

Sanskrit is the liturgical language for many Indian religions and languages, it’s not spoken by common people.

Vasantha Habba, an annual cultural event organized by Nrityagram in Bangalore, is considered to be the classical Woodstock of India.

In Hindu mythology where Shiva’s consort Parvati performed penance to show her devotion to him, is Pampa Sarovar lake in the state of Karnataka.

The Hindu serpent goddess Manasa, the “destroyer of poison”, is worshiped mostly in the rainy season when the snakes are most active.

Colombia is one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relationship with India. These two countries joined hands on January 19, 1959.

India became independent in 1947 while Colombia became independent in 1810, thanks to General Bolivar.

According to Hindu mythology, the Tandava, a vigorous dance by Hindu god Shiva, is the source of the cycle of creation, preservation, and dissolution of the universe.

 

The “maidams” were burial sites of the Ahom Kingdom’s royalty and aristocracy that were similar to the Egyptian pyramids, but much smaller in scale.

The Saraswati River, a distributary of the Bhagirathi in West Bengal, is now dead but was active till around the 16th century AD.

Shaukat Usmani was a candidate for the Communist Party of Great Britain in the 1929 UK general election while imprisoned in India.

Before the launch of a satellite, a group of scientists from ISRO’s Master Control Facility at Hassan offer prayers to a miniature model of the satellite and donate it to a temple in Dharmasthala.

The early Indian Christians were Nestorians until the arrival of Portuguese in the 16th century introducing Roman Catholicism to the country.

By the end of the 19th century, there were an estimated two thousand English language schools in the Kingdom of Mysore.

The Mahāvyutpatti (Sanskrit and Tibetan), is the first substantial bilingual dictionary known to the world.

One of the first discoveries of atmospheric neutrinos was made at India’s Kolar Gold Fields.

Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama was buried in St. Francis Church in India.

Kochi in Kerala, India is where Chinese fishing nets are mostly used outside of China.

Mysore Palace, a tourist attraction in the city of Mysore, is one of the most visited monuments in India, even more than the Taj Mahal.

Tibbia College, with 84 patents in herbal medicine, is the only medical institution in India to offer education and training in two ancient systems of medicine –  Ayurveda and Unani.

Due to its numerous attractions such as Lal Bagh, Bangalore, the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka, is known as the “Garden City of India”.

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary in Kerala, India, receives migratory birds from far away Siberia.

Every year 70,000 to 80,000 migratory birds visit Raiganj Wildlife Sanctuary, an artificially created forest in West Bengal, India.

Entally was home to the poor and the depressed, and a neighborhood where Mother Teresa started her active life in Kolkata, India.

Dhakis, traditional Bengali drummers, kill more than 40,000 egrets, pheasants, herons, and open bill storks every year to decorate their instruments with feathers.

Abani Mukherji, the co-founder of the Communist Party of India, died in Soviet captivity (under communism) in the 1930s. Talk about irony!

In parts of the Kerala Backwaters, the paddy fields are at a lower level than the water in canals, held back by dikes.

Sheesh Mahal (the Palace of Mirrors) in Lahore Fort was originally decorated with frescoes that were later replaced with pietra dura and convex glass and mirror mosaic.

Migrants from India form over 40% of the total population of the United Arab Emirates.

Charyapada is a collection of poems written in the earliest-known precursor to the Indo-Aryan languages.

Birhor people are a tribal forest people, traditionally nomadic, living primarily in the Indian state of Jharkhand.

A rock edict of Emperor Ashoka found at Maski in the Indian State of Karnataka in 1915, was the first one to refer him by the name Asoka.

According to Hindu mythology, the deity Revanta was born from the union of the sun-god Surya and his wife Saranya in the form of horse and mare.

The discovery of horse bones at the archaeological site of Hallur in south India refuted the theory that horses were introduced to this region as part of the Indo-Aryan migration.

Chamunda (a fearsome aspect of the Hindu Divine Mother), was worshiped by ritual human and animal sacrifices along with offerings of wine.

Photo by Steve Browne & John Verkleir CCBY 2.0

Swami Rama Tirtha was one of the first Hindu swamis to teach Vedanta in the West.

Hawkers in Kolkata, numbering 275,000, occupy pavements and generate annual business worth around 2 billion US dollars.

The 9th-century Navalinga temple in Karnataka, India, is a cluster of nine Hindu temples, each containing a Shiva Linga.

Radha Ramana is the only image of Krishna that remained in Vrindavana during the 17th-century raids by Islamic king Aurangzeb.

The town of Melattur in Tamil Nadu, India is famous for its Bharatanatyam, a classic South Indian dance.

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Top 5 Cheapest Destinations Around The World

Whenever we think about traveling around the globe, the first thing that comes to our mind is the expenses involved (unless we are so filthy rich that money doesn’t concern us).

We make a budget, and most commonly find the trip we want to take totally outside the circle of what we can afford. We wonder what would be the cheapest destinations according to our budget.

The Art of Travel recognizes this, and therefore we bring you the top 5 cheapest destinations around the world so that you may travel without worrying for your pocket while enjoying the beauty of the place in full.

VISIT CAMBODIA

The first on our list of cheapest destinations, a country is known to everyone as the home of the infamous Angkor Wat, Cambodia has lately become a popular tourist destination. Being a country with rich ancient heritage, there are so many places you cannot just say no to.

All of this comes at the cheapest cost that one can imagine. You can find a bed for as low as $1. Most of the hotels offer free Wi-Fi facilities to the customers.

Yet, nothing steals attention more than the Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The entry ticket is mere $13 for one day or $26 for three days. We advise the three days one as the temples are so vast in number that it is hard to see them all in one day, after all, you wouldn’t want to miss any bit of the beautiful ancient architecture.

The food is just amazing around Cambodia, and of course, everything is cheaper than you can imagine.

VISIT VIETNAM

Vietnam is the second number in this list of cheapest destinations, with its various points of interest unaltered along the ages, and the expenses as little as they can be. All expenses of the day, including boarding, lodging, and food can cost as little as $5. What cheaper costs can you expect?

Vietnam is full of green natural places untouched by urbanization, and some will even make your jaws drop. When in Vietnam, don’t forget to try out Pho, one of the most famous Vietnamese dishes. Coolest tourist destinations include the city of Hue, various world heritage sites such as Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park, Hội An, and Mỹ Sơn.

You can also visit the Ha Long Bay which is another UNESCO World Heritage Sites. With all these heritage places at such low costs, who could say no to that?

VISIT INDIA

Being a country rich in culture, traditions, and its religions, you would think that a trip to India would surely take a toll on your pocket. However, it is not the case, as India is on the third among the cheapest destinations.

India offers a lot of variety in not only the tourist places it offers but also the amount one needs to spend on the living. You can travel luxuriously in the first class AC trains, or hire taxis to places you want to visit; it still wouldn’t cost you much. You can get off at as low as $20 per day, or maybe even less if you plan to follow the footsteps of a common Indian person.

With 29 states, and each state rich in culture and tourist places, it is wise to plan what all you want to see in India, as it is impossible to cover all of it in one go (unless you are planning a very long stay here). The geography has a vast gradient, from the Himalayas in the north to the coastal regions of the south.

You can visit the symbol of love, Taj Mahal, or the place where Buddhism was born, Bodh Gaya. The food varies per state, as each state has its own palate of the traditional dishes and recipes that would just make your mouth water.

VISIT THAILAND

Thailand offers a multitude of beaches, exquisite cuisines, beach resorts, amazing religious places, and Bangkok, all of these at the lowest prices. Thailand has remained a popular backpacking destination among the crowds, and the primary reason for this is the incredibly low cost it charges for the super awesome services it offers.

You can spend a night watching the water waving on the beach from the window of your beach hut, or stuff yourself up with the traditional Thai food, and all of it would still cost negligible! So pack your bags and leave now. This earns Thailand the fourth place in The Art of Travel ‘List of Cheapest Destinations’.

VISIT EGYPT

Everyone is familiar with the place of the Great Pyramids, and the home of the Sphinx. But did you know that Egypt is also one of the cheapest places you can travel to?

You don’t need to double check your bank balance to visit this amazing archaeological country, with the grandest of wonders ever created and the richest of museums. The Valley of the Kings is one of the most amazing places you would ever see in your life, and it comes with the cheapest accommodation as well as great food at negligible prices!

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5 Free Things To Do When Traveling

We all associate traveling with money. While planning a trip somewhere, the first thing you do (if you’re not filthy rich) is to make a budget.

But that isn’t always the case.

With this list, you can do the best of things at no cost at all. You will realize that pleasure doesn’t come for a price!

TOUR ON FEET

Not only is this a way to explore free of any expenses, but it is actually the best way to explore any place! When you are traveling around a city on a bus, train, or subway, it is common to miss most of the places along the way.

We do not get to interact with the local culture and lifestyle and see how the streets are, houses are, and how life goes on. Plus, it offers you a variety of options! You can tour alone or with a group. You can make friends along as you are walking (just start with a ‘hi’).

You might also find great places to eat, drink or shop. Walking around the city is the best way to know what the city actually is like.

Though it is very easy to lose your way in a new city. Therefore, download google maps or similar navigation software. You can also buy a local map, though we prefer software as the GPS lets you know your current location easily. The map can tell about the points of attraction and places of interest, so buy it anyway.

GO TO THE BEACH

Spending time just lying on the beach is one of the most beautiful ways to spend your time anywhere. And guess what? Totally free of cost. You can lie on the sand and get a tan through the day, or enjoy the cool ocean breeze during the night. Sleeping on the sand is the most peaceful sleep you will ever get in your life.

Walk along the beach. There will be places with lots of people enjoying the beach, and solitary ones as well. Choose what appeals to you and lie down.

You can carry some water to drink or a picnic basket with some food, so you don’t have to ruin your peaceful and nice rest trying to find food and water.

If you came with your significant others, lying on the beach can provide additional options (wink).

VISIT RELIGIOUS PLACES

Every place has a lot of religious places pertaining to the major and minor religions in that geography. These places have their own history, stories and most of the time amazing architecture.

No religious place ever requires payment, therefore you can tour them all you want. You would find them fascinating. You just need to be religiously open to respecting other religions and have no problem going to their sacred places.

Touring such places is not only a free way to make good use of your time, but it also helps you gain knowledge of other religions and cultures. Some of these places offer a strange mental peace that cannot be found in the huge world outside. So enjoy them to the fullest.

GO TREKKING

Trekking is the most adventurous thing to do when you are traveling in good terrain, and it is totally free too! Trekking packs a lot of adventure, fun, and thrill into one single thing.

Just pack up your bag and put on your trekking shoes, and leave for the amazing places you want to visit.

Traverse the beautiful mountainside full of wildlife and natural beauty. Remember to take some water for the way, as trekking is a very strenuous task and there wouldn’t be much available.

Also, beware if the area is known for wild animals or reptiles like snakes. That can be very hazardous.

EXPLORE MUSEUMS

You might be surprised to know that many of the world’s museums do not charge any entry fees. And this is true for almost all the museums in Britain.

Even for the museums that do charge an entry fee (which is close to nothing), there are fixed days for a week or a month in which the entry is totally free.

Image Credit

Visiting museums is a great way to spend your time away free of cost. Museums offer a great deal of variety and entertainment.

Art lovers can enjoy Picasso, Ruben, Vinci or Gogh, while people who are more into sciences can enjoy the natural history of the world and rise of various species, see dinosaur skeletons, or visit a planetarium to know cool things about stars and planets!

 

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8 Tips on How to Travel As a Couple on a Low Budget

For some couples, a travel budget (or a lack of it!) is the primary reason they don’t travel to new places. For others, it’s more of an excuse.

But if you have been thinking about taking your girlfriend or partner away for a surprise weekend, don’t worry too much, because, with these simple budget hacks, you can have a great and fun time traveling together.

Read Next: 50 Wanderlust Inspiring Couple Travel Quotes 

PLANNING

If you are traveling to some faraway place and don’t have an abundance of resources to spend, planning well is a good first step. Calculate the money you have saved up to the point, and research the place you are planning to visit.

Learn about the lodging, places to eat, places to see, etc. so you can go through with the ones that fit your budget. A place to stay can cost between very little to more than what you earn per month. So planning is incredibly important to saving money.

SAVE MONEY

If there is some time remaining till you plan to take the trip, begin saving now. You can cook food at home instead of eating out, with no extra useless expenses like buying a cool title or some fancy shoes you don’t really need, the furniture you don’t really care about and the like.

You should save as much as you can, as the time you travel will be memorable for both of you, and each little penny might help.

EXTRA ENTERTAINMENT

You need to realize that the trip you are making is about the two of you spending quality time together.

Because it’s about you guys, you don’t need to waste money on shows, parks, events and anything that you already attend where you reside. Traveling is for trying out new things. Be wise with how you spend the time away with her.

TIME IS MONEY

Like we mentioned already, time is something you would need to manage well. This is because all extra time would mean extra expenses on lodging and food.

Therefore, make sure to allocate the necessary time to each activity before you start the trip. There might be some things more alluring than the others, so manage them well with the time you have.

LODGING

Your lodging will be the main part of your travel expense. People tend to opt for the famous chain hotels thinking they’re classier or provide more comfort. Do not adopt that thinking. Go for a smaller hotel.

You don’t need to shell out loads of bucks just for the brand value. Remember, it is about you and her. So it is okay to go small on the hotel budget. However, keep the safety factor in view too, and get lodgings in a safe place.

A LITTLE COMPROMISE

You don’t need to deny yourself the ideal vacation you have been wanting with your significant other. However, it is okay to do a bit of compromise so that the vacation is possible without putting a huge load of stress on your expenses.

If a particular destination is very costly due to its tourist popularity, you can travel to nearby places. They would offer the same environment, without overcharging you. Going in an off-season would further save you some money.

COMBINED PACKAGES

In some cases, taking combined packages can help save money when you know nothing about the place.

The total cost of food, lodging, and transportation are combined with a discount, and that can save you some money as compared to going clueless to a location and then spending on things that are available as you have no other option.

SOUVENIRS

If the trip is really about you and your partner for a romantic time away, you don’t need to worry about bringing a costly souvenir for other people. Yes, this is what it is.

When you are on a tight budget, this shouldn’t be a concern of yours. If you want to bring back something for you two as a memory of your time together, get something cheap and simple.

Shells collected from the beach or a wooden bracelet are good souvenirs. A huge plasma TV isn’t.

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Top 5 Online and Global Travel Trends

Economies are changing. Societies are changing. People are changing. Travel is changing. At the core of all new trends related to traveling (both locally and internationally) are three things:

“Traveling increases in a globalized world.”

GLOBALIZATION

People are more connected with one another than ever before in the history of mankind. (How deeply connected is a topic for another time). Most people are also receiving more education today than just 50 years ago.

If you combine literacy with internet access, you get a society which is very knowledgeable about other cultures, places and interested in exploring new opportunities.

“Traveling increases when people have friends from all over the world.”

AUTHENTIC INDIVIDUALISM

The other growing trend that we are currently seeing is “authentic self-expression”. While the social media has done a good job giving everyone a platform to express themselves in whichever way they want, I believe, having such an exposure of the world on your fingertip is a good thing.

For example, young people today from all over the world are interested in coming together for a cause and solving tough problems in creative ways.

“Traveling increases when people’s bank balance increases.”

MONEY

Finally, traveling is a costly endeavor. It is always more economical to just stay home than to go out, even locally. When you are out of your home, you have to spend money on food and drink.

If you are too far out, you have to spend on gas and car, renting a place for the night and if you are traveling too far from your home, you are now also spending on air tickets, insurance, gears and cameras among several other things.

However, as people are earning more (all over the world) and as transportation is becoming cheaper due to better technology and global competition, many more people are now able to afford to travel which would have been impossible just 150 years ago. Think about that.

So, what are the top 5 travel trends of our time?

ADVENTURE

People today wish to experience the world for what it truly is. From skydiving to river rafting to scuba diving, the adventure has become a top reason for people to travel.

One of the major travel trends has become doing “interesting things” or visiting “interesting places” while traveling.

BUDGET TRAVEL & SHARING IS FUN

Luxury travel is going to stay. Luxury feels good. Trust me on this. If you have the money, you would not pick budget travel over a 5-star resort in the Caribbean. If money allows, you would want a full window, balcony suite on a luxury cruise. That said, business such as Airbnb, Home Away, Priceline, Hostels, Time-sharing, etc. are becoming hotter than ever before. Another trend is people now tend to share more. As global trust level is increasing, traveling and sharing things with strangers are becoming a growing possibility.

GOING LOCAL

Nothing can beat the experience and the opportunity to see your own home country or town. People want to engage with a worthy cause and give back to the local communities. This trend is picking up and becoming big. Traveling which often involves a larger involvement of locals and engaging with the community.

MORE INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

Seeing the world. Particularly, the continent of Asia and Africa. Today more than ever before, many young people are committing to travel the world.

For some that may mean visiting a country from each continent while for some, it may mean visiting 100+ countries. In the past, Africa was an expensive and exotic destination reserved for only the brave or the rich.

The countries in Asia was also the land of mystery, snakes, and uncivilized tribal communities. We all know now that the truth is far from any of these stereotypes of pre-1950s.

RELOCATION AND WORKING REMOTELY

Technology has allowed us to work from anywhere in the world and be part of a truly global team. A lot of young people are relocating to warmer or cheaper (or both) destinations to work remotely for their employer, who is based in the US or in Europe.

Information Technology, programming, and software and web development can be done from anywhere as long as one has access to fast internet and electricity. No wonder, we are seeing this trend where a lot of Americans are locating to South America and even Thailand to work remotely whether for a short duration or while traveling.

What other travel trends you see? Comment below.

 

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US Green Card Holder: Countries You Can Visit Without Needing A Visa

Updated: Feb 2020

U.S. Green Card Holders (aka Permanent Residents of the United States of America) can travel to 23 sovereign countries and several dependencies without needing a Travel Visa. This is true regardless of your country of citizenship.

As long as you are a US Green Card holder, there are many countries and dependencies that you can visit just like an American citizen with an American passport.

Green Card Visa Free Travel

Photo: A sample green card from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

The Reality is that your permanent residency status in the USA doesn’t influence your need for Visas, while your actual citizenship does. So your passport issuing country is more critical to your international traveling abilities.

If you stay in the US as a Permanent Resident, popularly known as the Green Card holder, your ability to travel to other countries without a Visa depends on which country issued your passport.

For the majority of countries (not listed below), you will need to check individually whether they require a Visa from the citizens of your passport-issuing country.

Visa Free Countries for Green Card Holder

Here is a list of countries that will let you in without a Travel Visa, regardless of your citizenship, provided that you are US Permanent Resident (i.e. Green Card Holder).

Listing Alphabetically

  • Albania: Visa free travel up to 90 days with a valid passport and US Green Card.
  • Antigua and Barbuda: Visa free travel up to 30 days with a valid passport (6 months validity) and US Green Card.
  • Bahamas: Passport and green card are necessary when traveling to the Bahamas.
  • Barbados: Visa free travel (30-90 days depending on your passport issuing country). Cruise ship passengers (from any country) arriving and departing do not need a visa. More information here.
  • Belize: Passport must be valid for at least six months past the end date of stay. With prior approval from Belizean immigration, green card holders receive a Visa upon arrival. The fee is $50 USD.
  • Bermuda: A green card is enough when traveling to Bermuda via cruise. Passport and green card are both necessary if flying into Bermuda.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina: Visa free travel up to 90 days with a valid passport (6 months validity) and US Green Card.
  • British Virgin Islands: Passport, proof of accommodations on the island, and proof of return journey, and your US Green Card is required for the entry. You do not need any travel visa.
  • Canada: Under the “good neighbor policy,” regardless of your country of citizenship, green card holders are allowed to enter Canada without a Visa. When traveling by land or sea directly from the U.S., you will only need to provide proof of your U.S. lawful permanent resident status (such as your Green Card). However, if flying or transiting thorough Canada, you will need to present both a) Green Card, and b) Valid Passport
  • Cayman Islands: Green card holders can stay in the Cayman Islands for up to 30 days without having a Tourist Visa.
  • Costa Rica: Passport & Green Card must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry into the country. (Exception: If you have a refugee status you will need to apply for a restricted visa, a process which may take some time. Read more here.)
  • Dominica: Visa free travel up to 6 months with a valid passport (6 months validity) and US Green Card.
  • Dominican Republic: Passport, green card, and tourist card required. (Note: Anyone who can legally travel or reside in the U.S. does not need a Visa to travel to the Dominican Republic for tourist purposes.)
  • Guatemala: Carry your passport (with 6 months of validity) and Green Card. Up to 90 days of visa free stay.
  • Haiti: You need your Green Card and Passport with at least 6 months of validity. All foreign passport holders traveling to Haiti must pay a tourist fee set at $10.00 at the airport. (Exception: Unfortunately, this Visa waiver does not apply to Green Card holders who are citizens of Syria, Libya, Iran, Vietnam, Yemen, Chechnya.)
  • Honduras:  Carry your passport (with 6 months of validity) and Green Card. Up to 90 days of visa free stay.
  • Jamaica: Passport, green card, and round-trip tickets to the U.S. or onward tickets to another destination required. (Exception: Unfortunately, this waiver does not apply to Green Card holders who are citizens of Taiwan.)
  • Kosovo: Visa free travel up to 15 days with a valid passport (6 months validity) and US Green Card.
  • Mexico: Under the “good neighbor policy,” regardless of your country of citizenship, green card holders are allowed to enter Mexico without a Visa. You must carry a valid passport and your U.S. Permanent Resident/Green Card at all times.
  • Montenegro: Visa free travel up to 30 days with a valid passport (6 months validity) and US Green Card.
  • Nicaragua:  Carry your passport (with 6 months of validity) and Green Card.
  • Panama:  Carry your passport (with 6 months of validity) and Green Card. Up to 90 days of visa free stay.
  • Serbia: Visa free travel up to 90 days with a valid passport (6 months validity) and US Green Card.
  • South Korea: Visa free travel for 30 days for US Permanent Resident. You can transit through and stay in South Korea for 30 days, but South Korea must NOT be your final destination.
  • Taiwan: Visa free travel up to 30 days with a valid passport (6 months validity) and US Green Card.
  • Turks and Caicos Islands: Visa free travel up to 30 days with a valid passport (6 months validity) and US Green Card.
  • U.S. Virgin Islands: (Not a sovereign country but a US territory). Anyone traveling between the U.S. and its territories (including US Virgin Islands) is not required to show a passport or green card for entry. This is because they are essentially on home soil. The same applies to Puerto Rico, American SamoaGuam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Visa Free Caribbean Netherlands

  • Aruba: Passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry, and a green card is necessary. No need for a Visa to enter.
  • Curacao: Passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry, and a green card is necessary. No need for a Visa to enter.
  • Bonaire: Passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry, and a green card is necessary. No need for a Visa to enter.

Besides the ABC Islands of the Caribbean Netherlands, you can also travel to the following Caribbean islands (also part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands).

  • St. Maarten: Passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry, and a green card is necessary. No need for a Visa to enter.
  • St. Eustatius: Passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry, and a green card is necessary. No need for a Visa to enter.
  • Saba: Passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry, and a green card is necessary. No need for a Visa to enter.

Travel With Care

Photo: Do your research and travel with care / The Art of Travel Partners

Many of you have messaged me or commented asking how you can keep track of future changes in Visa status? Well, here is the easy answer.

Usually, things don’t change for years or decades. When they do change, they are often excellent or awful.

In other words, either your passport issuing country has made new agreements with another country or a country has severed its ties or changed its Visa rules and/or relationships with your passport issuing country.

Note: Always double-check the destination country’s immigration website before booking any flights or trips. As many of our readers have rightly said, things can change, and you don’t want to be caught off-guard.

Note: Green Card holders who stay out of the US for more than 1-year risk having their green card canceled by USCIS (The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). When you are traveling abroad, remember, your time out of the country must not exceed one year.

Common Question

Question: Can I travel to [xyz destination] with a Green Card only?

Answer: If you are wondering if you can travel to Canada or Mexico with a Green Card only, unfortunately, the answer is you will still need your passport if you are traveling by air. If you are driving through, legally you only need your Green Card but it’s a good practice to carry your passport as well.

PS: Please comment below if I am missing any other countries or territories. This list of Visa-free travel is for U.S. Green Card holders regardless of their country of citizenship.

Read Next

Indian Citizen on H1B Visa: Countries You Can Visit Without Needing A Visa

Last updated: Dec 7, 2022

As I myself have traveled a lot (on an H1B visa in the past) and run this blog on world travel, I have compiled the ultimate checklist for visa-free travel destinations for Indian citizens living in the United States.

There are as many as 18 countries that would allow an Indian citizen to enter their borders with a valid US single or any multiple-entry visa (F1, H1, B1, etc.) for tourism purposes for up to 6 months. Are you happy? Let’s take a look.

Read: How to Overcome Travel Visa Hassles as an Indian

H1B Visa Free Travel for Indians

Photo: Sun, sand, sea / The Art of Travel Partners

  • Philippines (14 days for holders of either a valid USA, Japanese, Australian, Canadian, Schengen, Singapore or UK visa or permanent resident)
  • South Korea (30 days, Visa not required for holders of a valid visa for Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand or the USA)
  • Taiwan (30-day online travel authority is available to the citizens of India with permanent residency or valid visa of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Schengen countries, UK or USA)
  • Georgia (90 days for holders of valid visa or residence permit issued by USA, UK, Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, South Korea, Schengen and GCC countries)
  • Serbia (90 days for valid visa holders and residents of the European Union member states and the USA)
  • Montenegro (30 days for valid visa holders and residents of the European Union member states and USA)
  • Albania (Visa not required up to 90 days for holders of a valid multiple-entry visa issued by the USA, UK or a valid multiple-entry C visa issued by a Schengen Member)
  • Bermuda (90 days for holders of a multiple-entry visa issued by Canada, USA or the United Kingdom and valid for at least 45 days beyond the period of intended stay in Bermuda)
  • Mexico (Visa not required for any valid USA visa holders to enter Mexico with tourist, transit & business purposes. Legal Permanent Residents of USA, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom & Schengen States do not require visa to enter Mexico with tourist, transit & business purposes)
  • Dominican Republic (90 days for holders of a valid visa issued by Canada, USA or any EU Member State)
  • Antigua and Barbuda (Visa on arrival if holding a valid visa or permanent resident card for the USA or Canada)
  • Belize (No visa required for holders of multiple entry USA Visa or Green Card. Indian nationals are required to pay a repatriation fee of BZD1,200 i.e. ~USD600)
  • Guatemala (Visa not required for holders of a valid visa issued by Canada, the USA or a Schengen Member State)
  • Honduras (Visa free entry to holders of a valid visa issued by Canada, the USA or a Schengen Member State)
  • Nicaragua (90 days (Fee USD20) applicable to holders of a valid visa issued by Canada, USA or a Schengen Member State)
  • Costa Rica (30 days for holders of a valid visa issued by Canada, Japan, USA, EU or a Schengen Member State)
  • Panama (Visa requirement waived for holders of a valid visa issued by USA, UK, Canada, Australia or any EU member state, which has been used at least once to enter those countries)
  • Colombia (Visa not required for Nationals of India holding a valid “C” or “D” visa issued by a Schengen Member State or holding a valid visa issued by the USA)
  • São Tomé and Príncipe (15 days for holders of a visa issued by the USA or a Schengen area member state)

Read: How to Overcome Travel Visa Hassles as an Indian

US Territories

The following US Territories are essentially US soil, so you don’t need any visa as long as you board a direct flight from within the US or any destination to which you have a visa.

Also, needless to mention, you can also fly and visit:

Visa Free Travel for Indian Citizens

Photo: The Caribbean Nights / The Art of Travel Partners

Now that we have covered the H1B and F1 visa free travels, did you know your Indian passport lets you travel visa free as well?

As of January 2020, Indian citizens had visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 52 countries and territories.

  • Nepal (Indian citizens may live and work freely in Nepal under the terms of the 1950 Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship.) Read: 1950 Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship
  • Mauritius (90 days of visa free stay)
  • Micronesia (30 days of visa free stay)
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis (90 days of visa free stay)
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (30 days of visa free stay)
  • Senegal (90 days of visa free stay)
  • Trinidad and Tobago (90 days of visa free stay)
  • Vanuatu (30 days of visa free stay)
  • Bhutan (As long as you wish to stay. Freedom of movement just like as in Nepal.)
  • Dominica (180 days of visa free travel)
  • Ecuador (90 days of visa free travel)
  • El Salvador (90 days of visa free travel)
  • Fiji (120 days of visa free travel)
  • Grenada (90 days of visa free travel)
  • Haiti (90 days of visa free travel)
  • Hong Kong (14 days of visa free stay)
  • Indonesia (30 days of visa free travel but *only from select ports of entry)
  • Jamaica (As long as you wish to stay, no visa required)
  • Samoa (60 days of visa free stay. Entry Permit on arrival)
  • Suriname (90 days of visa free stay. Tourist Card on arrival. Available at Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport)
  • Seychelles (30 days Visitor’s Permit on arrival)
  • Laos (30 days Visa on arrival)
  • Madagascar (30 days Visa on arrival)
  • Malawi (Visa on arrival. They will give you an end date)
  • Maldives (90 days Visa on arrival)
  • Marshall Islands (90 days Visa on arrival)
  • Mauritania (Visa on arrival. On the airport iteself they will give you an end date)
  • Palau (30 days Visa on arrival)
  • Saint Lucia (6 weeks Visa on arrival)
  • Somalia (30 days Visa on arrival, provided an invitation letter issued by the sponsor has been submitted to the Airport Immigration Department at least 2 days before arrival)
  • Tanzania (Visa on arrival. The immigration authorities will provide you your length of stay.)
  • Thailand (15 days Visa on arrival. Visa fee of 1000 Thai Baht needs to be paid in Thai currency. Visa on Arrival has to be obtained at First point of Entry/Landing)
  • Timor-Leste (30 days Visa on arrival)
  • Togo (7 days Visa on arrival)
  • Tuvalu (30 days Visa on arrival)
  • Uganda (Visa on arrival)
  • Bolivia (90 days Visa on arrival only at La Paz airport. Land entry requires prior Visa which is free of cost)
  • Burundi (90 days Visa on arrival)
  • Cambodia (30 days Visa on arrival. 35 USD to be paid in USD)
  • Cape Verde (Visa on arrival. Generally 30-90 days)
  • Comoros (Visa on arrival. Generally 30-90 days)
  • Ethiopia (Visa on arrival. Generally 30-90 days)
  • Guinea-Bissau (90 days Visa on arrival)
  • Guyana (30 days Visa on arrival, provided holding a letter of invitation from sponsor or host; and contact details of sponsor, host or hotel; and two passport photos)
  • Jordan (2 weeks Visa on arrival. Must hold US $1000)

Getting eVisa and Special Permits

Aya Sofia, Turkey

  • Cuba (30 days Tourist Card (Tarjeta deTurista) which can be extended for another 30 days after arrival. Visitors who booked a package through an airline/travel agency usually receive the card on the plane before landing. The visitors can also buy a Tourist Card upon arrival at the José Martí International Airport in Havana)
  • Turkey (e-visa can be applied and obtained online)
  • Singapore (e-visa can be applied and obtained online)
  • Tunisia (Visa not required for tours organized by a travel agency)
  • United Arab Emirates (Tourist visa can be obtained online through Emirates and Etihad airlines)
  • Vietnam (A 30 day visa can be obtained on arrival if prior Online approval has been obtained through a travel agency)
  • Gabon (e-Visa, holders must arrive via Libreville International Airport)
  • Sri Lanka (30 days Electronic Travel Authorisation)
  • Kenya (90 days eVisa)
  • Myanmar (28 days eVisa, holders must arrive via Yangon, Nay Pyi Taw or Mandalay airports)
  • Rwanda (e-visa can be applied and obtained online)
  • Bahrain (14 days e-visa can be applied and obtained online)
  • Zambia (e-visa can be applied and obtained online)
  • Zimbabwe (e-visa can be applied and obtained online)
  • Côte d’Ivoire (90 days eVisa, holders must arrive via Port Bouet Airport)

Do I Need A Visa

As many of you have messaged me or commented that how can you keep track of the changes in future visa status? Well, here is the easy answer. You can bookmark this website. VisaHQ. Just type in your citizenship, where you currently live and where you would want to visit.

VisaHQOnline Application & check for Visa Requirements

Usually, things do not change for years or decades. And when they do, they are often “very good” or “very bad”. In other words, either your country has made new agreements with another country or a country has severed its ties or changed its visa rules and/or relationships with your country.

Lastly, yes, any valid multiple-entry visa (such as H, B, F, etc) will be qualified.

Note: Always double check the destination country’s immigration website before booking any flights or trips. As many of you have rightly said, things can change and you don’t want to be caught off-guard.

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