Mauritius is much more than its quiet seashores and summery cocktails. It’s a Hindu dominant island country with numerous enchanting Temples. Hinduism in Mauritius began when Indian laborers were brought as indentured labor to colonial French. These immigrants then settled in Mauritius who practiced Hinduism as their religion. As a result, more than 50% of population in Mauritius is Hindus which ultimately makes it necessary to have Hindu temples to worship and perform rituals.
One of the biggest festivals on the island is Maha Shivaratri, or the ‘Great Night of Siva’. During this annual Hindu celebration, which takes place in the months of February and March which is a four to nine days of ceremony and fasting lead up to an all-night vigil of Shiva worship and Ganesha worship. There is also a significant migrant population of Bhumihars in Mauritius who have made a mark for themselves in different fields; they are still in touch with their family members in India and there are instances of marital relations between them to keep their cultural identity intact.
While there are a lot of sacred places to see in the country of Mauritius, a visit to these temples will just add to your overall experience. . Here’s a list of some of the most beautiful temples of Mauritius! . 1. Maa Durga Murti:
The statue of Durga Maa is the biggest of its kind in the world (108 feet, 33 meters high). . The enormous statue of Durga Mata can be found on the banks of Grand Bassin or Ganga Talao, which is a crater-lake situated in the Savanne district of Mauritius. With a population of 670,000 Hindus in the Island nation, there are some Hindu temples spread out all over Mauritius. Navratri is an auspicious occasion that is grandly celebrated by the Hindus on the island.
2. The Lord Shiva Statue, also known as the Mangal Mahadev. The incredible statue of Lord Shiva is also known as the Mangal Mahadev and is as beautiful as it is majestic. This impressive statue of the Hindu God of Destruction is actually a copy of the Shiva statue near Sursagar Lake in Vadodara, Gujarat, India. The construction of the statue was finished in 2007 and it was officially unveiled with a ritual (the “Sthapan”) during the Maha Shivratri festival in 2008.
3. Sockalingam Meenatchi Amman Temple: An ethnic tamil temple in Port Loius, Mauritius. Kaylasson Temple also known as Sockalingam Meenatchi amman temple is well maintained, tranquil nineteenth-century, dravidian architectural temple. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Destroyer, and is one of the most impressive temples in the country, with regard to architecture and construction, showcasing impeccable Dravidian architecture that can be seen in every aspect of the temple. Constructed in 1854, this is one of the oldest and most colourful temples in the country, and the beauty of it is admired by both tourists and devotees.
4. Ganga Talao: Situated near Bois Cheri, the Ganga Talao Temple in Mauritius, otherwise known as the Grand Bassin temple, is considered to be one of the most sacred temples in the country. The temple stands on a crater, located around 550 meters above sea level. The temples is dedicated to Lord Shiva, among other Gods, and has a lot of devotees visiting each year during Maha Shivratri. Even tourists enjoy visiting this temple and just walking by the peaceful lake and admire the beauty of this magnificent temple.
Perched 300 meters above the coast of South West Mauritius, the Rhumerie de Chamarel lies in a fertile valley influenced by its own micro-climate. Set in a charming chalet, exhibiting tropical and traditional vibes, The Rhumerie de Chamarel Distillery will have you learn all you need to know about Rum making on paradise island. You will get to enjoy a boozily delicious rum tasting session, discovering the different flavours of rum the distillery manufactures.
It also offers a guided tour with one of the experienced guides who takes you behind the scenes to provide a detailed explanation of the rum making process while you visit the distillery. This activity lets you choose from 2 options. You can enjoy a quaint visit and rum tasting or you can choose the second option which would enable you to have a delicious lunch as well as a visit and rum tasting.
A truly unique tourist attraction, it encompasses a distillery and an agricultural plantation on an eco-friendly estate.As part of the rum tasting you will be invited to sample a selection of rums such as the: White Rum, Coeur de Chauffe, Chamarel Liquors, Exotic- Flavoured Rums and the Old Rum. Some important information is mentioned below for your understanding:
☆ The Rhumerie de Chamarel distillery tour is done in either English or French at the duration of the tour is of about 30 to 40 minutes.
☆ Price for the Rhumerie de Chamarel Distillery Tour – 11 Euros, per person (adult) 6 Euros, per child (3-12)
La Rhumerie de Chamarel is one of the rare distilleries still in activity to cultivate its own sugarcane. They are carefully selected and grown exclusively for the production of the Chamarel Rums: here lies the first secret of its quality. The harvest is done by hand, without ever burning the crops, and extends between July to December. The identification of the various crops and their traceability will allow the Master Blender to select the finest lots for the White Rums and the Old Rums.
The freshly harvested sugarcane is then transferred within 4 hours to the Distillery to preserve its freshness and aromas. The first pressed sugarcane juice is filtered, then taken to 25HL stainless steel vats to initiate the alcoholic fermentation. Their selection of yeasts and controlled parameters allow the development of a unique aromatic bouquet.
One of the highlights of the distillery’s guided tour is definitely the Rum tasting. At the end of the tour, unique rum tastings are offered where one can try the selection of the agricultural Rums produced by the distillery. As opposed to the traditional rum produced by the distillation of molasses, the agricultural rum is obtained by distilling pure cane juice, a process which gives it its specific aromas and flavors.
At the Chamarel Distillery, various means of distillation are available thanks to the complexity of their devices. The White Rum is distilled in a Barbet type plate column, entirely made of copper. This column allows the separation of heads, heart and tail, which guarantees an optimum quality. The Double Distillation Rum is distilled in two 20HL copper stills, following the Cognac method. This distillation technique allows for a remarkable finesse. This process is very uncommon for Rum preparation, and makes it a unique product.
The distilled rum is stocked for at least 6 months in stainless steel vats for a slow and gradual decrease of the alcohol content, allowing it to acquire a pleasant roundness and its full expression. Part of the White Rum is transferred to ageing cellars. Barrels, casks, ovals, French oak, American oak, 18 months, 3 years, 6 years, …an array of combinations and mystery allow the White Rum to obtain its aromas, its roundness and its colour. As long as the angels are watching over the Rums, they have all their time
Do add this to your itinerary whenever you visit Mauritius next! Hasta-La-Vista!
The pristine blue waves, the sunny hues, the sandcastles and the salty breeze are what keep me going back to Goa. Now, anybody who has been to Goa even once would have surely visited a few popular beaches here. Be it the shacks, cocktail starry nights, soulful music, seafood, the rocking nightlife or the tranquillity it offers – different people chase different things in Goa! There are many popular beaches like Baga Beach, Anjuna Beach, Calangute or Vagator, the list is pretty long. I am an absolute beach person and as a beach-craving soul, I went on to explore some unexplored beach spots in Goa during my last visit.
I am listing down my top 5 favourite unexplored beaches of Goa, check them out below!
1. COLA BEACH:
Cola Beach is in the Canacona region of South Goa, 31.1 kms from Margao and 9.6 kms from Agonda Beach. Cola Beach is an unexplored beach in South Goa that not many tourists are yet aware of. With its tall coconut trees and beautiful terrain, it almost feels like a private beach.
The beach is divided into two parts – North Cola, and South Cola, with a small hill separating the two.
North Cola Beach is 800 meters long, while South Cola at 145 meters is much smaller.
There is a small river (Khola) that creates a lagoon on the northern side, which is why Cola Beach is often referred to as Khola beach. The river and its lagoon give Cola Beach a unique landscape, different from most other beaches in Goa. There are a handful of hotels and accommodation options around, and only a few beach shacks, keeping Cola’s serenity intact.
The tranquillity of this beach is incomparable. If you’re someone who likes peace more than the party spots, then Cola Beach is the place for you!
– Exact Location: Cola Beach Road, Cola, Goa!
– How to Reach: From Margao, you can reach the Cola Beach by first taking the MDR41 and then the MDR49. You have to hire a car or a bike to reach this beautiful beach.
2. KAKOLEM BEACH:
Another tranquil beach that has made it to our list is Kakolem Beach. It is one of the raw beaches of South Goa. Also known as the Tiger Beach, Kakolem Beach is one of the most secluded and naturally beautiful beaches in Goa. You will hardly see any people around, and it is a haven for peace lovers! It is squeaky clean and can only be accessed from
Cola village or if you take a boat to reach here. There are a few eco-friendly resorts as you reach Cola village, in case you want to stay.
Would you like to know that why this beach is called Tiger Beach?
According to an urban legend, this used to be the spot to hunt tigers. But truth be told, no one has really spotted tigers here, recently.
– Exact Location: Kakolem Beach, South Goa, Located 31 kms away from the city of Margao, Kakolem Beach is about 7 kms to the South of the Cabo de Rama resort.
– How to Reach: One can reach this beach only by private transport, such as cabs, auto-rickshaws available from Margao. You can also reach the beach by boat or motorboat.
3. VELSAO BEACH:
Now let me tell you about one of the most beautiful beaches to visit in Goa, which is another hidden gem here. Velsao Beach is located in Vasco da Gama, quite close to the Dabolim Airport and is richly blessed with silver sands, coconut groves and lakes decked up with lilies.
Situated on the southern coast of Goa, Velsao Beach connects with the Bogmalo Beach lying to its north side and the Majorda & Colva Beach lying to its south. It’s a beautiful beach lined with thick coconut trees. It has a lovely long stretch of white sand which is a treat to the eyes and makes for a perfect place for relaxation, soothing walks and sunbathing. It’s such a peaceful beach which lets you be close to nature, you can hear the chirping of birds and peaceful sounds
of nature. The soothing air, cool breeze and water of the beach simply create a perfect picturesque view. It offers a mesmerising view of the sunrise and sunset, so make sure to be here at the time of dawn and dusk.
– Exact Location: 9V3M+QG9, Consua, Goa 403712. – How to Reach: There are direct buses services available from Panaji to Velsao.
4. BUTTERFLY BEACH:
Butterfly Beach is situated in the Canacona region of Goa. This beach is also known as the Honeymoon Beach which is in the form of a small cove surrounded by dense trees. One of the most secluded and lesser-known beaches of Goa, Butterfly Beach is mostly accessible by a boat (ferry) ride from the nearby beaches, which only adds to the overall charm of this beach.
You can bag the best time of your vacation at Butterfly Beach which is north of Palolem Beach in Southern Goa. Enjoy your solitude, away from the rest of the world and also experience the wonderful aquatic life out in the open front of the beach.
It’s a haven for the newlyweds and lovebirds for a secluded vacation, and hence it’s also popularly called the Honeymoon Beach. It’s a fun picnic spot; you can spend quality time with your family, friends, BFF or your partner. You can also get to witness the wandering sea urchins, redfish, goldfish and sea cucumbers here. You would rarely get to see this sight anywhere else in Goa. Bookmark this one right away!
– Exact Location: This place is located at the end of Palolem Beach.
– How to Reach: You can opt for a ferry from Palolem or Agonda Beach or even a boat ride is available too.
5. SINQUERIM BEACH:
Sinquerim Beach is located just beside Aguada Fort, a major tourist attraction in Goa with immense historical significance.
Beach is located around 13 kms from Panaji and has a spectacular stretch of sand.
It is located in the south of famous beaches like Baga, Calangute and Candolim. An ideal place for swimming, this beach at Sinquerim lies adjacent to the Aguada Beach.
This beach stretches all the way north to Baga, making it great for casual walking, enjoying the spectacular sunset views & capturing them in your camera. Its beauty is enhanced several times during the sunset, and taking a walk on the beach then is an altogether different experience. There are a few tourist resorts, hotels and some amazing restaurants at this beach. You can catch a taxi, motorbike or a bus to go to Sinquerim.
Exact Location: Candolim Beach, Bardez Taluka, North Goa.
How to Reach: Sinquerim Beach is located just 14 kms from Panjim. You can hire a taxi or private vehicle to reach it.
Jaipur’s Royal Family becomes Airbnb’s first Royal Hosts, listing their family home, the City Palace of Jaipur on Airbnb
The 300 year old City Palace of Jaipur, home to Jaipur’s Royal Family, has played host to numerous guests over the centuries. From November 23, 2019, the Gudliya Suite at the City Palace will become accessible to outside guests, and will be able to be booked for the first time ever on Airbnb, with His Highness Maharaja Sawai Padmanabh Singh becoming the first Maharaja to offer a stay at his palace on Airbnb, in order to help support the women’s empowerment initiatives of the Princess Diya Kumari Foundation.
Steeped in history, and located in the heart of Jaipur, capital of the Indian state of Rajasthan, the City Palace is one of India’s most iconic buildings. Guests will be able to book and stay in the luxurious Gudliya Suite, located within one of the private sections of a royal palace that, until now, has been used for the royals and their special guests. The Suite includes its own lounge, kitchen, luxurious bathroom and private, indoor swimming pool.
Guests will truly get to experience what it’s like to live like royalty. A practical and down-to-earth modern Royal, the host is the dapper, polo-playing 21-year old Maharajah, Padmanabh Singh, who succeeded his grandfather in 2011 as the Maharaja of a land his ancestors have ruled for nearly a thousand years.
Built in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder of the city of Jaipur, the City Palace exemplifies the best of 18th century Rajput architecture with and other architectural influences of later periods. The interiors contain ornate chambers, large and airy reception halls, crystal chandeliers, gilded wall decorations, intricate carvings and in addition to the royal residence, the sprawling palace complex houses a large, internationally recognised museum. Notable visiting dignitaries have included Bill Clinton, Prince Charles and Jackie Kennedy, among others.
Guests of the Gudliya Suite at the City Palace will be provided an inspiring journey into the rich history, cultural heritage and artistic traditions of Jaipur’s royal family. Guests will be looked after by a private butler and guide who will arrange curated city experiences including shopping tours, guided walks through local museums and other excursions. Authentic Rajasthani meals may be enjoyed on a terrace offering an amazing view of the surrounding Aravalli hills and forts overlooking the palace, and peaceful afternoon tea can be had in the company of the resident peacocks who live in the Palace’s lush gardens.
“I am thrilled that my family and I are partnering with Airbnb to bring the splendour of Rajasthan to life for travelers from around the world. My own travels with Airbnb have made me feel very welcome in new cities and cultures, and I am happy that the experience of quintessential Indian hospitality will be shared with others.” stated His Highness Maharaja Sawai Padmanabh Singh.
The Palace has never been available to be booked by outside guests before. Proceeds from each booking will go to the Princess Diya Kumari Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting rural women and artisans in Rajasthan. For the remainder of 2019, the Gudliya Suite, priced at $8,000 per night, will be available to book on select nights at a special inaugural offer of $1,000 USD per night, with Airbnb paying the balance amount for each booking as a contribution to the Foundation. From January 1st onwards, the Suite will be available for guests to book at the full $8,000 USD rate.
The Gudliya Suite will be available for stays starting November 23. To make a booking, guests can visit airbnb.com/CityPalaceJaipur as of now.
Since inception, Airbnb has
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pioneered experiential travel creating magical stays for over half a billion
Cradled amidst the hills of Aravalis, surrounded by dancing fields of maize and mustard, rests a beautiful sprawling resort, adjacent to an international standard golf course, 20 kms off Manesar, just outside Delhi.
Let’s talk about this Stunning Golf Resort, situated just a few kilometers away from Delhi. A swift drive of one hour and you’re amidst a beautiful location. We shall talk about this resort in detail and why this should TOP THE LIST for your next WEEKEND GETAWAY..!!
INDIA’S FIRST GATED GOLF COMMUNITY
️With boundaries spanning across 65 green acres; the Tarudhan Valley Golf Resort is India’s first gated golf community. The Tarudhan Valley has been carefully designed to include exotic Golf Homes dotted around a exceptionally designed 9-hole golf course by Graham Cooke. The Valley offers Apartments, Villas and Balinese style wooden cottages for gracious living, as well as a well-appointed Clubhouse, Resort Hotel, Conferencing facilities and Golf Driving Range. At the Tarudhan Valley, it’s the country life at its absolute best @lemontreehotels
Pet-Friendly Studio Apartment at Tarudhan Valley @lemontreehotels :Ergonomically designed for enhanced comfort, these rooms come with King Bed, combine living room, separate dining area with modern amenities and free WIFI to make your stay comfortable and relaxing. These apartments overlook the lush golf greens and are fully loaded with a multi-utility pantry and kitchenette to make long stay vacations close to home and complete.
.~ EAT LIKE NO ONE’S WATCHING
Lemon Tree Hotel, Tarudhan Valley offers an array of treats that are as unique as their ambience and décor. Explore lip smacking options at their themed bar and restaurant with a private dining area.
~ SKINNERS: A themed bar and restaurant with a private dining area, it is named after the famous Skinners Cavalry which served in the British Indian Army before independence. Contemporary and inviting, while the Skinners Bar offers a rich selection of wines and spirits; the restaurant dishes an eclectic all day dining menu including Indian, European, American and pan-Asian cuisine @lemontreehotels
~ Happiness is a Day At The Pool..!! ~
As they say, you’re only one swim away from a good mood, and that’s what a shiny clean pool does to you. A real fun vacation is incomplete without a dive..!! Tarudhan Valley @lemontreehotels is all that you need, to have a relaxing time..!!
.~ Deceptively Simple & Endlessly Complicated~
That’s how the game of Golf is; it satisfies the soul and frustrates the
intellect. It is at the same time rewarding and maddening – and it is without a
doubt the greatest game mankind has ever invented.
Had an amazing time learning and playing Golf, the first ever experience of Golf in my life at Tarudhan Valley Golf Resort, Manesar @lemontreehotels
Truckloads of Treasure~
Now let’s talk about the different activities that can be done in and around Tarudhan Valley by @lemontreehotels which will bring heaps of happiness to your soul..!! A truck ride around the village of Manesar (within 2 to 3 kms of the resort) is a must experience activity. Narrow lanes, beautiful houses, local people and beautiful farms are worth a visit. Spend a couple of hours with nature around the resort and you can thank me later for this unparalleled experience which will fill your heart with delight..!!
~ Let’s Spend A Day At Strawberries Farm ~
The heart-shaped silhouette of the strawberry is the first clue that this fruit is good for you. The garden strawberry is a widely grown hybrid species of the genus Fragaria, collectively known as the strawberries. It is cultivated worldwide for its fruit. The fruit is widely appreciated for its characteristic aroma, bright red color, juicy texture, and sweetness. Had a spectacular time, while exploring the beautiful farms around Tarudhan Valley, Manesar @lemontreehotels .
Had a great time at the farm close to Tarudhan Valley, exploring and meeting these amazing village women who work so hard under the sun to ensure that farms are well maintained and people like you and me get fresh fruits at our home. We really need to step out of our fancy world and see how these farmers work and need our support. Let’s try and do something for them, may be a patient hearing and some financial support can bring a change to their lives! Thanks to @lemontreehotels for taking me out for this visit.
Had a lovely stay at Tarudhan Valley @lemontreehotels. They stand out for their excellent hospitality, exquisite food, stunning studio apartments, fun activities and most importantly the beautiful golf course. This surely will be my ‘go to destination’ whenever I need a break from life, which happens once every month..!! Cheers..!!
Yes, you read it right. In Goa, there is a pretty distinct divide between North & South Goa. Enough and more has been written about both but my attempt is to illuminate three lovely places one must visit in South Goa. I mean your trip would be incomplete without a visit to these three, similar in many ways and yet quite distinct, restaurants.
MARTIN’S CORNER: One of the most popular and sought-after places in South Goa close to Utorda, Martin’s Corner has been my haunt in all my six visits to Goa. From the food, drinks to the live music and karaoke nights Martin’s Corner is a place that exudes the true Goan spirit. The moment you sit under the covered roof and side open restaurant your eyes can’t help but notice the live catch of the day. What a sight! Lobsters, crabs, prawn & fish are integral to the menu and believe me they taste delicious because the raw material is of the finest and freshest quality. Somehow their pricing seems so accurate, inexpensive for items which are meant to be (read fresh lime soda, aerated water and bottled water) and well-priced for the lovely sea food preparations. So, while we were there we indulged in Lobster thermidor their signature dish, cheese bruschetta’s, French fries and Manchurian fish. Draught beer and breezers flowed liberally and to top it all there was live music filled with classics by Clapton, Bon Jovi and Elton John. Perfect setting for a pleasant evening. I must add there is plenty of variety in their menu and a good spread of North Indian kebabs if that is your calling. A Live dessert counter adds to the fun and the service is friendly and familiar. We were lucky that the weather was good with mild rain and cool sea breeze and a large screen for live sport.
Location- 69, Binwaddo, Betalbatim, Salcette, Goa
FISHERMAN’S WHARF: My next haunt that is on my must recommend list is Fisherman’s Wharf close to the Leela Hotel. A short drive way leads you to the place with ample parking. The restaurant has a mix of open air and under the roof sitting. If you want to sit facing the sea you better reserve your table or go early. Else make do with seating in the inside portion of the restaurant which too is nice nevertheless. The interiors are done up very tastefully with lovely vintage chairs, modern bar stools (around a huge bar in the center) and drums which are filled with live catch and a price tag. Once you settle down the menu will amaze you with its spread. We gorged on the butter garlic prawns, chilli prawns, spring rolls, honey chilli chicken and hakka noodles. Blue curacao cocktail and vodka was the order of the day to wash it down, our waiter served with a perpetual smile. At the end of the meal we asked for a tiramisu and I can officially state it was one of the finest ones I have ever had after the one I had in Bali. Attractively served and melting in your mouth I almost ordered another one. And then of course was the live music by a band of boys belting out classic soft rock numbers almost like the original. We were compelled to dance after a bit and the momentum didn’t recede. Singing with such ease they effortlessly switched genres between rock and blues with country roads, mambo no. 5, wonderful tonight, sultans of swing, careless whisper and black magic women amongst many of the tracks they pelted. Oh, what a super night it made.
Location- Before The Leela, Mobor, Cavelossim, Goa
RAJ’S PENTAGON: Now this is a surprise entrant. Opened only a few summers back and owned by an ex-chef Raj, this place is very popular amongst the locals. Walking distance from the Majorda beach, Pentagon does what it does brilliantly. Live catch is brought to every table to purchase (crabs, prawns and fish) and the crooner is a fellow with a keen interest in reggae music. So, you know he played almost some calypso tunes and did it to perfection. We were a bit early and began with a pint of Bira and Pina Colada and followed that up with fish fingers, calamari, noodles and to my most wonderful surprise chicken gold coins. It reminded me of the good old Calcutta club days where gold coins were a hit. The music soon took over and the place filled up with inhabitants which were all looking familiar with the place and the food. It offers both indoor and outdoor seating and they do a pretty neat job of disinfecting the place for mosquitos. Well priced, Raj is present there in person and does shyly interact with the patrons and enquires if all is smooth. Time moves fast here and food grips you pretty hard. Considering the place has a valet parking, rather rare in Goa, the place is full and ensures you have a feast.\