Must-see places in Cochin

Cochin, also known as Kochi, is a major port on the south-west coast of India in the state of Kerala. It is known as the Queen of the Arabian sea. With an extensive history of being occupied by the Portuguese, and later by the Dutch and the British, it was the first of the European colonies in India. With a rich history, culture and heritage, it is one of the best tourist places to visit in India.

1. Mattancherry Palace:

mattan

Mattancherry Palace was gifted to the Raja of Kochi, Veera Kerala Varma by the Portuguese in 1555. The palace was later renovated in 1663 by the Dutch, which gave it an alternate name, The Dutch Palace. The Mattancherry neighbourhood is full of colonial buildings. The palace lacks the grandeur that is often expected of a palace; however, there is a small museum and some rare art inside, including paintings of previous kings and some preserved Hindu murals, depicting scenes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata and Puranic legends in intricate detail. People who love history should definitely check this place out.

2. Kerala Folklore Theatre and Museum:

kerala-folklore-theatre

The Kerala Folklore Theater and Museum is a privately owned museum located in the outskirts of Ernakulam. Opened in the year 2009, the museum showcases the rich heritage that Kerala exudes through its numerous art and dance forms. Artifacts that bear the scent of bygone era like masks, sculptures, in wood, stone and bronze, costumes of traditional and ritual art forms, musical instruments, traditional jewelry, manuscripts of rare medicinal and astrological secrets, and Stone-Age utensils are all preserved in this museum with utmost care. It is a great place to start if you are interested in learning about Kerala’s culture. Its architecture is magnificent. Stage performances usually take place at 6.30 p.m. everyday.

3. Paradesi Synagogue:

Kochi_Jewish_Synagogue_C

Built by the early Jewish traders in 1568 adjacent to the Mattancherry Palace, this synagogue was partially destroyed by the Portuguese and rebuilt again by the Dutch. It features an ornate gold pulpit and elaborate hand-painted, willow-pattern floor tiles from Canton, China, which were added in 1762. It’s magnificently illuminated by Belgian chandeliers and coloured-glass lamps. The graceful clock tower was built in 1760. Shorts, sleeveless tops, bags and cameras are not allowed inside.

4. St. Francis Church:

St-Francis-Church-Fort

 

St. Francis Church was built in 1503. It has great historical significance and is considered to be the oldest European church in India. The Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama died in Kochi in 1524 and his body was originally buried in this church, but after fourteen years his remains were removed to Lisbon. Originally built by the portugese, it was subsequently claimed by the Dutch and British.

Advertisements

Must-see Places In and Around Coimbatore

1. Aliyar Dam:

aazhiyaar-dam-aaleeyaar-dam-images-photos

Aliyar is a reservoir near Pollachi town in Coimbatore District. Located in the foothills of Valparai, it is about 65 kilometres from Coimbatore. The dam offers some ideal getaways including a park, garden, aquarium, play area and a mini Theme-Park maintained by Tamil Nadu Fisheries Corporation for visitors enjoyment. The view is scenic with mountains surrounding three quarters of the reservoir. Monkey falls, which is also a famous destination for tourists, is located at about a distance of 6 kilometers. Overnight stay is possible in the forrest rest house.

AliyarReservoir

2. Kodiveri Dam:

kodiveri

Kodiveri Dam is located on the Bhavani River. The name ‘Kodiveri’ is originated from ‘kodivari’ in Tamil meaning ‘Tiger’, which represents the forest area around the Dam where large number of tigers lived. The Maharaja of Mysore constructed the dam in the 17th century by harnessing the strength of a workforce that included his prisoners and elephants. A 20-foot wall of rock was carved in order to construct the dam. The stones were then interlocked with iron bars and lead was used as mortar. These are, however, not visible except in the dry season when the water level in the river drops considerably. Some improvement were carried out during the British rule without tampering the original design. The lush green fields around are a pleasure to watch. For tourists, it is a great place to eat delicious fresh fish and bob in the water on a coracle.

3. Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary:

parambikkulam-palakkad-3

Parambikulam is a wildlife sanctuary established in the year 1973. It is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a world heritage site. For people seeking an adventure out in the wild, this is a great place to trek, although prior permission needs to be obtained from the officials. The sanctuary, which is a part of the western ghats, is rich in flora and fauna and is a treat to the eyes of nature enthusiasts.

4. Siruvani Water Falls:

kovai-kutralam

Situated at Siruvani Hills at a distance 37 km away from Coimbatore, Siruvani Water Falls is an enchanting waterfall, known for its magnificence. The water is famous for its taste and it is typically known to be the second sweetest water in the world. With an outstanding panoramic view, the water fall and the dam nearby is extremely beautiful and breathe taking. The best time to visit this place would be summer. It is also known by the name Kovai Kutralam.

Please visit iCityZoom for more information on various places to visit in Coimbatore.

Must-see Places in Bangalore

1. Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace:

Tipu_Sultans_Palace_Bangalore

An example of Indo-Islamic architecture, this marvelous structure was once the summer residence of Tipu Sultan. The construction of this palace was commenced by Hyder Ali and it was completed during the reign of Tipu Sultan in 1791. After the death of Tipu Sultan in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War, the British Administration used the palace for its Secretariat. The government of Karnataka maintains the palace today, which is located at the center of Old Bangalore near the Kalasipalyam bus stand, as a tourist spot.

Built entirely of teak, it was adorned with pillars, arches and balconies. There are beautiful floral motifs embellishing the walls of the palace. The site also holds a painting of grand throne visualized by Tipu Sultan himself. The rooms in the ground floor have been converted into a small museum showcasing various achievements of Tipu Sultan and his administration. There are newly done portraits of the people and places of that time. There is a replica of Tipu’s Tiger, which is in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Tipu Sultan’s clothes and his crown are present in silver and gold pedestals. The silver vessels given by a general to Hyder Ali is also displayed.

2. Bangalore Palace:

Bangalore Palace

Bangalore Palace was built by Rev. J. Garrett. He was the first Principal of the Central High School in Bangalore. Construction began in the year 1862 and was completed in 1944. The palace was built in Tudor style architecture with fortified towers, battlements and turrets. The interiors were decorated with elegant wood carvings, floral motifs, cornices and relief paintings on the ceiling. The furniture, which was neo-classical, Victorian and Edwardian in style, was bought from John Roberts and Lazarus. The ground floor has an open courtyard containing granite seats covered with fluorescent blue ceramic tiles. It also contains a ballroom for holding private parties. The first floor contains the Durbar Hall, where the king used to address the assembly. The glass windows on one side of the hall are Gothic in style. The interior walls of the palace are adorned by old paintings belonging to the mid-19th century, including some Greek and Dutch paintings.

3. Lal Bagh:

Lalbagh_Glasshouse_night_panorama

Lal Bagh, in English, means the Red Gardens. Like the Tipu Sultan Summer Palace, the garden was originally commissioned by Hyder Ali, the ruler of Mysore, and later finished by his son Tipu Sultan. It has a famous glass house which hosts an annual flower show. Lal Bagh houses India’s largest collection of tropical plants, has an aquarium and a lake, and is one of the main tourist attractions in Bangalore. The Lal Bagh Gardens are based on the design of the Mughal Gardens that once stood at Sira. If you are a nature lover and need to spend some time away from the bustling city, this is a sure place to visit.

4. National Gallery of Modern Art:

ngma-banglore-4

National Gallery of Modern Art, inaugurated in the year 2009, is an art gallery in Bangalore. The gallery showcases modern Indian art and houses paintings by Raja Ravi Verma, Jamini Roy, Amrita Sher-Gil, Rabindranath Tagore and a large number of Modern and Contemporary artists. It currently houses approximately 500 exhibits. You need at least half a day to see the entire space. The exhibits have been displayed – classified into broad categories – according to different time periods, art schools and by artists.

5. HAL Aerospace Museum:

HAL Museum

HAL Aerospace Museum is India’s first aerospace museum. Established in 2001, the Museum is part of the HAL Heritage Centre and Aero Space Museum, and showcases the growth of the Indian aviation industry and HAL for six decades. The museum houses displays of various aircraft and helicopters, Aircraft engine models, Flight simulators, a mock Air Traffic Control Tower and exhibit of Indian aviation history. The Museum is maintained by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. It’s a great place to visit if you have a thing for flying metal.

Please visit our official Travel Guide for more information on famous tourist spots in Bangalore.

Must-see Places in Delhi

1. Red Fort:

Red-Fort,Delhi
The Red Fort was the residence of the Mughal emperor of India for nearly 200 years, until 1857. It is located in the centre of Delhi and houses a number of museums. In addition to accommodating the emperors and their households, it was the ceremonial and political centre of Mughal government and the setting for events critically impacting the region. Constructed in 1648 by the fifth Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as the palace of his fortified capital Shahjahanabad, the Red Fort is named for its massive enclosing walls of red sandstone and is adjacent to the older Salimgarh Fort, built by Islam Shah Suri in 1546.With the Salimgarh Fort, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007 as part of the Red Fort Complex.

2. Humayun’s Tomb:

Humayuns-Tomb
Humayun’s tomb is the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun in Delhi, India. The tomb was commissioned by Humayun’s first wife Bega Begum in 1569-70, and designed by Mirak Mirza Ghiyas, a Persian architect chosen by Bega Begum. It was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent, and is located in Nizamuddin East, Delhi, India, close to the Dina-panah citadel also known as Purana Qila (Old Fort), that Humayun founded in 1533. It was also the first structure to use red sandstone at such a scale. The tomb was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993, and since then has undergone extensive restoration work, which is complete.

3. Qutab Minar:

qutub-minar-2
Qutab Minar is the second tallest minar in India. Qutub Minar along with the ancient and medieval monuments surrounding it form the Qutb Complex, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tower is located in the Mehrauli area of Delhi, India. It is made of red sandstone and marble, like many of the mughal architecture. Inside the tower, a circular staircase with 379 steps, leads from the bottom to the top storey. Qutab Minar is surrounded by several historically significant monuments, which are historically connected with the tower and are part of the Qutb Complex.

4. Lodhi Gardens:

Lodhi
Lodhi Gardens is a park in Delhi, India, which contains Mohammed Shah’s Tomb, Sikander Lodi’s Tomb, Sheesh Gumbad and Bara Gumbad. The site is now protected by the Archeological Survey of India. The gardens are situated between Khan Market and Safdarjung’s Tomb on Lodhi Road and is a hotspot for morning walks for the Delhiites. As there is little architecture from these two periods remaining in India, Lodhi Gardens is an important place of preservation. The tomb of Mohammed Shah is visible from the road, and is the earliest structure in the gardens.

5. Lotus Temple:

LotusDelhi
The Lotus Temple is a Bahá’í House of Worship completed in 1986. Notable for its flowerlike shape, it serves as the Mother Temple of the Indian subcontinent and has become a prominent attraction in the city. The Lotus Temple has won numerous architectural awards and been featured in hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles. The Lotus Temple is open to all, regardless of religion, or any other distinction.

Please visit our official Travel Guide for more information on famous tourist spots in Delhi.

Travel Photography Tips for Your Next Trip

1. Select the RAW setting:
RAW enables you to go back at any time and process the image in a different way. With RAW software and technology improving all the time, it’s good to have the original RAW file to convert again and again.

2. Use flash in sunny conditions:
A sunny and bright day can be great as well as not so great for photography. Bright light can cause shadows and dark areas in the image. Use fill-flash in bright, sunny conditions to fill the shadows and bring out colours.

3. Shoot cities at night:
Cities come alive with lights and colour at night. Every holiday destination will have something that looks great at night. Good subjects include illuminated fountains, sculptures, churches or cathedrals, and market places. Use fountains or statues as foreground interest with the main subject in 
the background.

4. Get great silhouettes at sunset:
Shooting a brilliant sunset is something we all do on holiday. Sometimes, though, they don’t quite turn out as we saw them. A great way to improve sunsets is to silhouette a distinctive subject.

5. Avoid zoom! Get closer:
Avoid using zoom as much as possible. Walk and get close to the subject. If you need to get close, and you are able to get close, then get close. Don’t depend on your camera’s zooming abilities to fill your frame. Walking closer to you subject does wonders to a photo. The experience becomes more personal and intimate. And you’ll see that in your photos. Also, zooming usually means your aperture gets smaller on most cameras and thus, lets less light into your camera affecting your exposure settings. So there’s that, too.