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Islands, Backwater & Beaches of India

 Goa : 365 days a holiday

‘Now our road takes us to the magnificent kingdom of Goa…The people of this kingdom are strong, prudent and very hardworking… The kingdom of Goa is the most important in India…It is civilized, having famous orchards and water. It is the coolest place in India and it is the most plentiful in foodstuffs. ‘The white people make a practice of going to the kingdom of Goa to enjoy the shade and the groves of trees and to savour the sweet betel. These revealing remarks on Goa come not from the hippies or ‘flower power’ generation of the sixties and early seventies who thronged the beaches of Anjuna, Vagator and Arambol in search of salvation and ‘peace’. These remarks were made over five centuries ago by the Portuguese Ambassador to China who visited Goa around the year 1511. They serve as a vivid precursor to the generations that followed in our times to the fabled land of Goa.In those tumultuous and rebellious times in the sixties, it was then not the ‘sweet betel’ that was the prime attraction but a different kind of ‘weed’. Goa, since those days of the angry generation, has moved on to attract a multitudinous, peaceful and cosmopolitan school of visitors from all around the globe. Down the corridors of time Goa has been different things to different people. To the Portuguese conquerors it was ‘Golden Goa’, the El Dorado, and the ‘Rome of the East’. Such was its beauty and grandeur, that a traveler was moved to remark: ‘Whoever has seen Goa, need not visit Lisboa’—Lisbon, which was then the grand epicenter of the Portuguese dominions. Some decades later, the early 17th century French traveller Francois Pyrard wrote: ‘Whoever has been in Goa may say that he has seen the choicest rarities of India, for it is the most famous and celebrated city, on account of its commercial intercourse with people of all nationalities of the East who bring there the products of their respective countries, articles of merchandize, necessaries of life and other commodities in great abundance because every year more than a thousand ships touch there laden with cargo.’Pyrard continued with near prophetic veracity: ‘…as for the multitude of people, it is a marvel to see the number which come and go every day by sea and land on business of every kind…One would say that a fair was being held every day for the sale of all sorts of merchandise.’ While the contemporary traveller may not come to modern, thriving Goa ‘for the sale of all sorts of merchandise’, the ‘fair’ is still very much on. The traveller is here to find something different: a balm on the busy mind, to enjoy days of freedom on Goa’smagnificent beaches, to parasail or swim with the tide of fellow visitors from all around the globe, to savour its unique cuisine and imbibe its spirits, to take a long and invigorating trek in its unexplored interiors, to marvel at its majestic temples and churches, in short, to be at one with the most friendly people in the country.

 Kerala: God’s own Country


Kerala, located on the Southwestern tip of India, enjoys unique geographical features that have made it one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in Asia. Fondly referred to as ‘God’s Own Country’, Kerala was selected by the National Geographic Traveler as one of the 50 destinations of a lifetime and one of the thirteen paradises in the world. An equable climate, serene beaches, tranquil stretches of backwaters; lush hill stations and exotic wildlife are the major attractions of this land. A unique advantage of Kerala is that most of the destinations here are just two to four hour drive from the other.

 Beaches of Kerala

Kovalam beach: This internationally renowned beach resort of Kerela has been a favorite haunt of tourists since the 1930s. Kovalam consists of three adjacent crescent beaches. The southernmost, known as the Lighthouse beach, is the most popular; Kovalam offers accommodation options to suit all the budgets.

Poovar Beach :
Poovar is an unspoilt and unexplored island, envoloped by the most serene backwaters, and opening out to the sea and a dream golden sand beach.
The Varkala Beach :
Varkala is a seaside resort and spa, as well as an important Hindu centre of pilgrimage. High cliffs with rich mineral springs rise majestically from the coastline. The 2000 year old Sree Janardhana Swamy Temple and the Nature Care Centre are the two main attractions there.
Alappuzha Beach :
This is one of the most popular picnic spots in alappuzha. The pier, which extends into the sea here, is about 140 years old.
Cherai Beach:
This lovely beach bordering Vypeen island is ideal for swimming. Dolphins are occassionally seen here.
Fort Kochi Beach:
The town was shaped by the Portuguese, the Dutch and later the British.
Kappad:
This is the historic beach where Vasco da Gama landed on the 27th of May, 1498 with 170 men in three vessels. The rock studded beach is locally known as Kappakadavu. An interesting feature of the landscape is the sprawing rock that protrudes into the sea. The temple on the rock is believed to be 800 years old

 Backwaters of Kerala


Kerala is undoubtedly blessed with a unique feature called the backwaters. Kerala backwater is a broad stretch of waterway that is a lasting source of livelihood and tourism for the state. Other than being the rippling beauty surrounded by the tall palm and coconut trees, the backwaters in Kerala is the reason that draw thousands of domestic and international tourists every year. Keralabackwater.com is a rich source of all information related to your Kerala backwater trip. You feel elated by the green surroundings, the small villages, and the vibrant people up for work. The sunset is a beautiful sight hard to miss during your visit to the state. While the serenity calms you down, the journey remains the most spirited one. In a wink of an eye, you are transported to a paradise that leaves you craving for more. You suddenly have your self, set to explore the inner beauty of the land while you relax in a houseboat.

 Houseboats in Kerala backwaters


The houseboats are large all-wood vessel, which have the traditional name of the “ketuvalloms” or houseboats. Today, this is a vibrant industry with a large workforce depended solely on the prospects of tourism. Meeting up to the world standards, the houseboats are equipped with modern facilities and as large as a hotel suite. You have the opportunity to dine, drink, relax, enjoy a massage, or watch the beauty of the place right from a room. The rooms are often air-conditioned, have fire safety equipments, a general manager, cook, and chefs. The houseboats provide amenities like ayurveda massage, beauty treatments, and dining extravaganza

 Andaman & Nicobar Islands

Andaman and Nicobar Islands is a union territory of India, with Port Blair as its capital. It is located in The Indian Ocean, and has over 570 islands, out of which only 38 are permanently inhabited. Earlier British used them as an isolated prison for the fighters of Indian Independence, but now these 'Emerald Islands' are a famous tourist destination. It has various hotels to cater to the demands of tourists. Some of the islands in Andaman and Nicobar are hilly in places, covered with tropical jungle and with flat stretches of beaches. Adventure tourism like trekking, Island camping, snorkeling, SCUBA diving are the real attractions. The places of interest include Cellular Jail, Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, Water Sports Complex, Fisheries Museum, Chidiya Tapu, Mount Harriet and Samudrika Museum. It is also famous for its only active volcano, Barren Island. It also has many state of the art hotels to cater to its ever-booming tourism industry. Spectacular mix of nature's most prized delights; the Andaman & Nicobar Islands are a once in a lifetime holiday experience.

Cinque Island :
The lure of underwater coral gardens and unspoiled beaches specially a sand bar joining two islands are irresistible. Super place for SCUBA diving, swimming, fishing and Camping.
Barren Island :
At a distance of about 135 Kms. from Port Blair is the land of volcano, Barren Island, the only active volcano in India. The Island, about 3 Kms. has a big crater of the volcano, rising abruptly from the sea, about 1/2 Km. from the shore and is about 150 fathoms deep. Can be visited on board vessels
Havelock Island :
About 38 Kms. from Port Blair, this island provides idyllic resort in the lap of virgin beach and unpolluted environment. Camping facility is available near Radhanagar beach. A guesthouse of Tourism Department "Dolphin Resort" is available for the tourists
Chatham Island:
It has a Saw Mill lying on the tiny island connected by a bridge over a stretch of sea-water. This Saw Mill is one of the biggest and oldest in Asia. The main mainland -Island harbour is also here. The other harbour is Haddo, which is nearby
Viper Island :
The Britishers used to harbour convicts here. The first jail was constructed here which was abandoned after the construction of Cellular Jail. It has a gallows atop a hillock, where condemned prisoners were hanged. Sher Ali, who killed Lord Mayo, the Viceroy of India in 1872, was also hanged here.

 Lakshadweep Islands

Lakshadweep means ‘a hundred thousand islands’ in Malayalam, the local language. However there are only 36 islands having a total area of 32 sq. kilometers. It is the tiniest Union Territory of India with 12 atolls, 3 reefs and 5 submerged banks. Ten Islands are inhabited. They are Agatti, Amini, Andrott, Bitra, Chetlat, Kadmat, Kalpeni, Kavaratti, Kiltan and Minicoy.Theories about coral atoll formation is inconclusive. However the most prominent and perhaps most accepted one is given by the Sir Charles Darwin in 1842. According to him the base of the islands below the reef is a volcanic formation over which corals settled and built fringing reefs, which transformed to barrier reefs and finally to atolls due to geological submergence of volcanic base. According to legends, small settlements started in the islands of Amini, Kavaratti Andrott and Kalpeni first and later people from these islands moved to other islands of Agatti, Kiltan, Chetlat and Kadmat. The advent of Islam dates back to the 7th century. St. Ubaidulla of Mecca dreamt that prophet Msssohammed wanted him to go to Jeddah, take a ship from there and go to distant places. While he was sailing near these small islands, a storm wrecked his ship. Floating on a plank he was swept ashore on the island of Amini. Ubaidulla started propagating Islam in the islands.Still 93% of the inhabitants of Lakshadweep are Muslims. People are mostly engaged in fishing and coconut cultivation. The islands are virtually crime-free

 Agatti island


Get into one of the most beautiful lagoons from here. A virtual gateway to the islands, Agatti has the only airport in the island. A twenty-bedded tourist resort has been set up here. Unlike other islands it is the only island where one can stay as long or as short as one wish- an advantage given by the Indian Airlines flight operated from Kochi. Uninhabited islands of Bangaram, Thinnakara, Parali-I and Parali-II are just a hop away. Land in these tiny islands and enjoy an exclusive day excursion.

 Bangaram island

Living in an uninhabited Island! The very idea unfurls several romantic thoughts. Bangaram is an island that does justice to all that romantic imaginations. This teardrop shaped piece of land is encircled by creamy sand. Even in the hottest part of the day, you won’t feel the heat as luxuriant coconut trees shade you from Sun’s rays. For a perfect outing, there are three uninhabited islands in the same atoll, Tinnakara, Parali-I and Parali-II. The deep, warm, clear waters of Indian Ocean with its myriad flora and fauna are an irresistible invitation to the scuba diving fraternity of the world. The exquisite coral formation including the black coral formations, the variety and number of coral fishes - the angel, the clown, the butterfly, the surgeon not to mention awesome -looking but harmless sharks, mantarays, sting rays moray eels and turtles make diving here an addictive experience, enough to make impressive any divers' logbook with the stamp of the Diving School at Bangaram. A hop away from Agatti airport by a speedboat, the Bangaram Island Resort caters to high-end international tourists. This 60-bed resort is well equipped with water sports equipment and has Lakshadweep’s first Dive School. It is a real getaway from the cacophony of crowded cities and offers a memorable escape in to isolation.

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