Location of Cherrapunji and its highlights | Road map and driving directions to Cherrapunji from Shillong

Location of Cherrapunji and its highlights | Road map and driving directions to Cherrapunji from Shillong


Cherrapunji

Cherrapunji is at a distance of 56 kms from Shillong.   It takes 2 hours to reach Cherrapunji in the narrow roads and high mountains.  Visitors who enter Cherrapunji expect to see dense forests.  But, would be shocked to find dry grass lands, children and women carrying pots of water etc.  The hills are full of coal and limestone mines.

Cherrapunji has an average elevation of 4,283 feet and is a plateau in the southern part of Khasi hills.  The original name is Sohra Punj. Soh means fruits and rah means available.  This was the main business center for British.  Coal, lime stone and sand stone production center.  They could not pronounce the name correctly and used to call this place Cherrapunji which gradually became Cherrapunji.  Locals call this place Sohra.  Many of the uneducated does not even know that their place is called Cherrapunji by others.

Road map and driving directions to Cherrapunji from Shillong:
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Market place and touristic attractions of Cherrapunji

Market place and touristic attractions of Cherrapunji

Cherrapunji

Heavy rains wash out the top soil on the plateau and now Cherrapunji remained as a market place.  People of nearby villages come and sell their things here.  This market is held for every 8 days.  Government offices and hospitals work compulsorily on that day.  Taxis and Buses are also over crowded on the market day.
Though rainfall has decreased there are many places to be visited in Cherrapunji.  Nahkalikai waterfall is the 4th highest waterfall in the world. Honey, pepper, betel nuts and cinnamon are cheaper here.  Nohsngithiang waterfalls which are also called Seven sisters falls are another attraction.  This is at a height of 4,500 feet and Bangladesh is clearly visible from this height.  Mawsmai caves are located nearby.

Presently main attractions are Cherrapunji are the waterfalls and the limestone caves.  Mawsmai is one such cave. The ceiling of this cave is 30 – 40 feet at some places.  Water trickles from the ceiling.   These caves are very dark. Trekking and adventure caving facilities are available for those who are interested.

Cherrapunji is famous for root bridges.  These are formed with the roots of big trees.  These bridges can bear the weight of 50 people.  October – April is the best place to visit Cherrapunji.

Most interesting tourist places of Maldives – the world most low lying country | Travel tips for Indian tourists to visit Maldives

Most interesting tourist places of Maldives – the world most low lying country | Travel tips for Indian tourists to visit Maldives

Capital city of Maldives is Male.  It is spread over an area of nearly 3kms length and 2 ½ kms width.  Total population of Maldives is 3 lakhs.  Maldives are a best example of living near the sea.  All these island look like a chain in Indian Ocean.  So these are called Maldives.  Though there are nearly 1190 islands, people live in only 201 islands.  These are called Coral islands.  Only passport is needed to visit Male.  There is no necessity to have a visa.

As there was no place available to construct an airport in Male, it was constructed in another island which is nearby.  Maldives has five more airports but the air port near Male is the international airport.  Time of Maldives is half an hour behind Indian Standard time. Motor boats are available from Airport Island to Male.

Maldives are at a height of 1 ½ kms from the sea level.  If there are any natural calamities like Tsunami these would be the first to disappear.  People of Maldives should be praised for the way they made this place such a comfortable place to live.  Watching Shopping malls, small streets, foot paths, citizens who strictly follow the traffic rules is pleasurable.  Male Island that has one lakh population has thousand of motor cycles and cars.  Language of people of Male is Dhivehi.  Dhivehi sounds like a combination of Tamil, Malayalam and Sinhala languages.  Tourism is the main means of lively hood for Maldivians.  All the people here can swim.  Currency of Maldives is Rufiyaa.

South Indian food is available here.  All the ingredients needed for south Indian cooking are available at some Malayali shops here.  But the prices are a bit high.  Fishes are available in abundance here.  No item is made without using fish.  Drum stick trees, Mango trees and song of cuckoos remind the visitors of Andhra Pradesh.

Special feature of these coral islands are the coral debris around the islands.  These act as a natural barrier against sea.  They protect the island from erosion due to waves.  Maldives has been divided into group of 26 islands.  These are called Atolls.  Each atoll consist 30 – 40 islands.

One of the Atolls in Maldives is ‘Baa’.  An island by name Kuda funafaru has island hotels that offer packages to tourists.  Model of transport in Male is boats.  Ocean looks as a mixture of green and blue colours up to a distance of 1 km into the sea.  After that distance, sea appears in dark blue colour.

Maldivian air taxis are available to travel from one island to another.  These are very small.  Only 20 persons can travel in these air taxis.  Air taxis takeoff and land on water only.  There are many resorts in these islands.  Ferries are used to reach the resorts.  The resort at Kuda funafaru is called ‘Zithali’.  Employees of these resorts receive the guests very well.  These resorts look like a wonderful world with sweet coconut water, green trees, white sands and blue and green sea water.  Tourists are taken to the water bungalows from the reception in Buggies, small motor vehicles.  Water bungalows are constructed on the sea water.  Tourists can enjoy to their hearts content in these islands.  But the food available here is sea food and European cuisine.  Vegetarians will have to satisfy their hunger pangs with fruit juices, bread and cornflakes.

As Maldives are situated at the equator, sun rays fall straight and bright on these islands.  During day time, we cannot directly look at the sand.  Foreign tourists enjoy the sun tanning here.  Many small islands around Male like Hulhumale, Villingili are also can be visited.

Another important island in Maldives is Sun Island.  Foreign tourists visit this island in large numbers.  This is a good picnic spot.  Scuba diving, water skiing facilities are available here.  Thousand of varieties of fish can be seen here.

Sting ray fishes

Stingray point in Sun Island bustles with activity at 9.00pm every day.  Stingray fishes look like lotus leaves.  They have poison at their tail part.  All these fishes reach stingray point in large numbers every day at 9.00pm.  Resort staff feed these fishes with small fishes and meat pieces.  Many other species of fishes also come here.

Another view point on Sun Island is Whale sharks point. Whale sharks appear in groups near Thai restaurant.  Each whale shark is 4 – 6 feet long.  Mouth of these fishes look like shark and the body resembles whale.  Many tourists gather at these view points to watch the fishes.  Whale sharks look  ferocious.

Handi valley near Pachmarhi | Road map with driving direction from Bhopal to Pachmarhi

Handi valley near Pachmarhi | Road map with diving direction from Bhopal to Pachmarhi

Handi valley near Pachmarhi

Handi valley is another must visit tourist spot. The valley is a hundreds of feet depth with the hills on either sides.  A fencing is laid with iron bars.    30 -40 view points provide beautiful view of the nature in the surrounding of Pachmarhi.  Chess fall, big fall, little fall water falls are famous.  This water falls fall from a height of 100 – 125 meters.

The best time to visit Pachmarhi is between October and June when the weather is convenient. To visit all the places of Pachmarhi a stay of at least one week is required.

Road map with diving direction from Bhopal to Pachmarhi :

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Temples including Madurai Meenakshi are major attractions of Madurai and the accommodation facilities | Road map from Chennai to Madurai with driving directions

Temples including Madurai Meenakshi are major attractions of Madurai and the accommodation facilities | Road map from Chennai to Madurai with driving directions

Madurai Meenakshi 1 Madurai Meenakshi 2

Madurai is the second biggest city in Tamilnadu state after Chennai.  Railway station of Madurai is at the center of the city.  Bus stand is at a distance of 3kms from the city.  A big main road can be seen next to the Railway station.  On the other end of the road which is opposite to the station there is a choultry  ‘Rani Mangammal’.  This road leads to Meenakshi temple. Opposite to the railway station there are many hotels which provide accommodation to the devotees. The distance between the station and the temple is about three fourth of a kilometer.  One and a half kilometer towards south from the temple, one can see the ‘Nayakar Mahal’.   Auto riskshaw are available to visit this place.  Thiruparankundram, which has the temple of Lord Subrahmanyam is towards south from Madurai.  One can reach this place by buses and auto rikshaws.   Meenakshi temple and Thiruparankundram temple are closed by 12:00O clock in the afternoon and are opened at 04:00 pm.  There is a light and sound show at Nayakar Mahal.  This show can be seen in  Tamil at 06:00 in the evening and in English at 07:00 pm daily.  On one side of Madurai a temple tank ‘Teppakulam’ is situated.  On the middle of the tank there is a temple dedicated to Goddess ‘Adisakti’.  Boating can be done in the tank.  City buses are run to this place.  ‘Alwar Temple’, a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu is situated at the bottom of hills towards west at a distance of 11kms.  This is the most ancient temple and is very sacred for the people of Madurai.

On top of the hills at a distance of 3kms and in the midst of the forest there is a place ‘Palamudir Solai’ where there is a temple for the third form of Lord Subrahmanyam.  This is a very pleasant place.   Mini bus services are run from station to the temple.

Road map from Chennai to Madurai with driving directions:

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Taj Group converts Falaknuma Palace into a luxurious hotel | Interesting facts of Falaknuma palace

Taj Group converts Falaknuma Palace into a luxurious hotel | Interesting facts of Falaknuma palace

Falaknuma Palace-1

Falaknuma means the ‘star of heaven’. This construction is really a star.  This shines on a small hill 5 kilometers from Charminar in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.  This looks like a scorpion when watched from aero planes or helicopters and this was built by Vikar-ul-Umra Bahadur.  Construction was started in 1898 and continued for 9 years.  Total area of this building is 9.39lakh square meters.  This building was used as a guest house by sixth Nizam Mehaboob Alikhan.  As the Nizam was fascinated by this building Vilar-ul-Umar Bahadur gifted this palace to him.  Sixth Nizam died in the year 1911 and since then the palace is lying vacant.  Falaknuma palace became the personal asset of Nizam heirs.  This palace has 220 luxurious rooms and 22 spacious halls.  Taj Group which converted many palaces in to hotels in Rajasthan showed interest in Falaknuma Palace.  The palace was taken on lease from the Nizams.

Falaknuma Palace-2

Taj group has worked hard for 10 years to convert it into a hotel.  Main parts of the Palace were untouched but the rooms are converted in to palaces.  Tourists from India and foreign countries can stay at this palace to taste the culture and traditions of Hyderabad Nawabs.  This palace is in between a beautiful garden which spreads in an area of 32 acres.  There are a total of 60 suits in this palace.  Private Chambers of Nizams are converted in to suites.  Outdoor pools, spa two restaurants are also opened.  Rare artifacts and painting of the palace were renovated.  Heir of Nizam Prince Mukarram Jha, Ratan Tata and many other business and political persons are going to attend the opening ceremony of this palace.

Falaknuma Palace-3

Interesting facts of Falaknuma palace
Mir Mahaboob Alikhan used the famous RS.450crore ‘Jacob Diamond’ as a paper weight in this palace.  Old furniture and other books are arranged in this study room. Tourists will be enjoying the tutor rooms of Nizam, bed room of wife of sixth Nizam, special bath tubs that gives out fragrance, dressing hall and special rooms used for guests, Nizam Durbar hall, steps made with beautiful marble statues, musical room and billiards room.  There is a dining hall in which 101 guests can have their meals at a same time.

Falaknuma Palace-4

Falaknuma Palace-5