Cocooned with splendid vistas, lush forests and unspoiled fauna, Andaman Islands boast of its flabbergasting beauty in the lap of nature.

Overflowing with pristine white-sand beaches, lush green rainforests, abundant marine life and ancient tribes, Andaman is always a perfect destination for any kind of traveller. Dive in the mesmerising clear waters or snorkel to celebrate the beauty of untouched marine life. Meet the hospitable locals and enjoy scrumptious delicacies, explore Andamans, it’s truly enchanting!

Here’s a glimpse of this amazing destination:

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Soft, spicy and full of flavours, visit Lucknow for this tasty Kabab.

It is said that the softest kebab was first made in Lucknow for a toothless Nawab with a secret recipe full of flavours and spices. Tunday, which means ‘without an arm’ in Urdu, has authentic flavours with silky soft texture that melts in your mouth. Known for its divine taste, this ‘Lucknowi’ favourite has won hearts of all who have sampled its juicy flavours. Tunday Kabab is prepared out of minced meat of lamb mixed with yogurt and spices, making it a MUST have dish for meat lovers.

Take a look at the sumptuous video, we promise it will have you drooling!

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Planning a trip to Lucknow?

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A song full of passion for the Almighty, a sanctuary full of energetic and emotional devotees, Nizamuddin Dargah in Delhi is a gateway to heaven.

Hidden away in the coil of bazaars selling ittars (perfumes) and rose petals, is the mystical and beautiful shrine of Muslim saint Nizam-ud-din Auliya in New Delhi, the capital of India. Here, the melodious sufi music draws you in from a distance and introduces you to the devotional tunes known as Qawwalis. The faith hidden in the Urdu lyrics becomes more mesmerising when devotees come together and sing along with passion and reverence. At the Nizamuddin Dargah, qawwalis usually begin on a gentle note and gradually go on to high energy tempo levels that induce a hypnotic state among both the singers and the listeners.

Watch as this form of devotion sweeps you off your feet.

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Planning a trip to Delhi?

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Popularly known as the ‘Land of Gods’, Himachal Pradesh paves the way for gorgeous views of the mighty Himalayas. Apart from the rustic mountains, snow-clad peaks, raging rivers and fruit-laden orchards, this northern Indian state is also home to a lot of hill stations, resorts, skiing centres and trekking schools, making it a very popular tourist destination. With the overload of information online, we know planning a holiday can be overwhelming, which is why Alefiya Rashiq simplifies it for you with this quick and handy travel guide.

 Himachal Pradesh is home to some of the most beautiful vistas of the country

Himachal Pradesh in northern India is home to some of the most beautiful vistas of the country

Best Time To Visit Himachal

 Escape the summer heat, by running away to the mountains!

Escape the summer heat, by running away to the mountains!

Himachal Pradesh is home to some of the most beautiful vistas of the country. The summer months of April to June are ideal to visit Himachal Pradesh and owing to the delightful weather, this season attracts the maximum number of tourists. The winter months of October to February are very cold and you may face extreme conditions. But if your sole purpose of visiting is to experience the thrill of snow based activities, then winter will be just perfect to undertake a trip. In July to September, the state receives heavy rainfall, which transforms it into a lush green heaven, but it may restrict you as a lot of tourist attractions shut down during monsoons.

Things To Carry

 Travel light, but wise!

When planning a trip to Himachal Pradesh, make sure you travel light, but wise!

While you should aim to travel light, there are certain things that must be in your travel bag. Make sure you pack the following:

  1. Woolen clothes: Even in the summer, you can’t be entirely sure of the weather conditions.
  2. A good pair of walking shoes: Being a mountainous region, you will be required to walk, a lot!
  3. Trekking shoes: Especially if you are planning to test your adventurous side.
  4. Power bank: You don’t want your phones to die on you when you’re in a remote place.
  5. Good quality camera: This one is a must, you are going to witness some of the most picture-worthy landscapes; we suggest a selfie-stick too!
  6. Moisturising lotion: To keep your skin from getting dry in the cold weather.
  7. A good amount of cash in hand: An ATM may not always be there in some remote parts of the state.
  8. Rain-wear: Protective gear to keep you dry when it rains.
  9. A first-aid box.
  10. Emergency lights and torches.

How To Get To Himachal

Fly to Delhi Airport, then embark on a road-trip to Himachal Pradesh

The best way to travel to Himachal Pradesh is to fly to Delhi, then take a road-trip to the state

Travellers from outside India can fly to Delhi and then make their trip to Himachal Pradesh by road. Alternatively, you can also fly to Bhuntar Airport in Himachal Pradesh from any of the major Indian cities.
There are regular buses plying from Delhi to both Shimla and Manali, and after an overnight journey, you can wake up to welcome the morning sun in the lap of the Himalayas. Those travelling by road should be aware that being a hilly region, the roads may sometimes close down due to landslides or heavy rainfall.

How To Move About Himachal

Sit in the back-seat of your car and hold onto amazing views

Sit in the back-seat of your car and soak in some amazing views on your road trip to Himachal Pradesh

A private taxi is the best way to move around. Be sure to go with an experienced driver who can handle the zip zap zoom through the narrow and curvy hilly roads. If you come across a local state bus, hop on; a fun conversation with the Himachali people and some ‘pahadi’ folk music in the background will guarantee a fun experience.

Must See Places In Himachal

 Every town is more picturesque than the other

In Himachal Pradesh, every town you visit seems to be more picturesque than the other

The capital city of Shimla, although commercialised by scores of tourists, has its own charm and relics that take you back to the British era. Manali is another popular hill station that is set on the Beas river and is a famous spot for trekkers and honeymooners alike. You can go skiing or paragliding in the nearby Solang Valley or drive right up to Rohtang Pass at an elevation of 4,000 metres. Kullu, Dharamshala, Kasol, Kasauli and Chamba are worth a visit too when you’re in Himachal Pradesh.

What To Eat In Himachal

 The Tibetan Momos are a must have!

Piping-hot Tibetan Momos with chilli sauce are a must have item when you’re in Himachal Pradesh!

Being a tourist-friendly state, you will find every type of cuisine being served across the many towns of Himachal Pradesh. However, we recommend you try out the local specialties. Apart from the Tibetan Momos and Thukpa (and maggi too!) that you will find at every nook and corner, there are a few ‘pahadi’ dishes to die for. Hog on Madra, a dish made of soaked chickpeas, Siddu, a type of bread, Mittha, sweetened rice mixed with dry fruits, Dham, a dish made of red kidney beans, and Cha Gosht, a dish made of marinated lamb meat.

If you’re planning a holiday, head for the mountains and Himachal Pradesh. Now that you’ve got everything you need to know about this fabulous destination, you’re sure to have an amazing time. So pack your bags and set off on your own adventure through the Land of Gods!

We hope this comprehensive guide lured you into planning your next trip to Himachal Pradesh. Let us help you.

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Author Bio:

Alefiya Rashiq

Alefiya Rashiq

A Pune’ite who is in love with the world, Alefiya Rashiq is a copywriter and a communications professional. Breaking into jigs, making quirky observations and her untimely giggles keep her going when she is not writing. Life is NOW, she believes!



Cox & Kings reviews the Russian Federation and tells you about destinations to visit, what to eat, where to stay and things to do!

Article Credit: Alefiya Rashiq

Inspiring masterpieces of Orthodox art create a magical Russia (seen here: St. Basil's Cathedral, Moscow)

Inspiring masterpieces of Orthodox art create a magical Russia (seen here: St. Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow)

Fact File

Population: 146.5 million (approx. in Jan 2016)

People: Russian (81.0%), Tatar (3.7%), Ukrainian (1.4%), Bashkir (1.1%), Chuvash (1.0%), Chechen (0.8%), Others (11.0%)

Religious Groups: Orthodox Christians (75%), Other Christians (12%), Muslims (10%), Buddhists (1%), Others (2%)

Languages: Russian (official), Tatar, Ukranian, Others

Government: Federal Republic

Capital: Moscow

Time Zone: UTC +3 (Moscow Time) to UTC +12 (Magadan Time)

Currency: Russian Ruble

Voltage: 220-240V, 50Hz, Plug type C/F

Telephone Country Code: +7

Internet Country Code: .ru

Geography And Location

The world’s largest country, Russia, is sprawled across most of eastern Europe and northern Asia. Its landscape exhibits captivating diversity, which ranges from the frozen Siberian Tundra and the mighty Ural Mountains, to dense Fir forests, mysterious lakes and sub-tropical beaches. Russia’s coastlines extend to the Arctic and the Pacific oceans, and includes the Caspian, Baltic and Black sea.

The frozen Tundra region of Siberia beautifully marks the Russian landscapelly marks the Russian landscape

The frozen Tundra region of Siberia beautifully marks the Russian landscape

The Weather In Russia

Russia’s climate varies considerably and one may get to experience extreme temperature, ranging from the deep Arctic chill in the far North to the piercing desert heat in the inland areas of the south. Although it is difficult to generalize the climate, it can be described as highly continental with warm summers and very cold winters. Spring and autumn are very brief. Most tourists visit Russia in the summer months of June-August, while September to May see a drop in hotel prices.

The History Of Russia

Ancient Russia was a collection of cities that gradually coalesced into an empire. By the late 9th century, the Vikings invaded the country and created the nation of Rus. But by the 13th Century, the Kievan led Rus was destroyed by the Mongol empire. Over the years, a series of invasions by Napoleon and his counterparts followed, and it was only in 1922, that the country was declared as a federation in the form of USSR. By 1991, the fall of the Soviet communist party gave rise to the independent Russia that we know now. Economically, Russia has witnessed a lot of ups and downs, but is only growing for the better.

Russian Food

Russians have hearty meals with good portions of bread, potatoes and meat. The Russian Salad, formally known as the Salat Olivier is replicated world over, and is a preparation of fresh vegetables with a dash of mayonnaise. Borsch, a beet and cabbage soup is the traditional belly warmer sipped on colder days. Other must-haves include the Smoked Salmon, Shashlik or kebabs on skewers and Blini – Russia’s version of French crêpes with sweet/savoury fillings.  In Moscow, a lavish meal in a restaurant can take you on a culinary high, while at the same time, classic Russian fare from street stalls and eateries tastes just as good.

Russian Shashlik or kebabs; don’t you want to dig into it right away?; Artur (RUS) Potosi, flickr.com

Russian Shashlik or kebabs; don’t you want to dig into it right away?; Artur (RUS) Potosi, flickr.com

People Of Russia

The Eastern Slavic tribes (originated from the region that is now Poland) are the ancestors of modern Russians, and have shaped most of their cultural traits, social structures and religious beliefs. The Russians have made a long journey from the Soviet times of total control to the current republican scene, hence, they are very adaptable to change. Their heritage exhibits a lineage of the different kinds of arts, especially literature, with world notable writers like Pushkin, Tolstoy and Chekov to boast of. A well-educated lot that reads avidly and enjoys theatre, philosophy and ballet, the Russians have had a considerable influence on the contemporary world culture.

Getting To & Around Russia

When in Russia, moving around is never a problem. The country’s extensive transport system boasts of vast networks of roadways, railways and airways. Within the densely crowded Moscow, the metro is the best way to travel, while roads are generally traffic-filled. To and fro between Moscow and St. Petersburg can be easily done aboard the Sapsan, a high speed bullet train. Russia is also connected to most European countries via rail.

At 250 km/h, aboard the Sapsan, life is sure going to feel FAST!

At 250 km/h, aboard the Sapsan, life is sure going to feel FAST!

The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is home to a collection of 3 million priceless artworks instated within the historic buildings of the State Hermitage Museum. Founded by Catherine the Great in 1764, the museum exhibits some of the finest art from Western Europe. When you are done touring this world-acclaimed museum, do drop by to admire the elegance of the Winter Palace, a former residence of the Tsars.

With an exception or two, no museum in the world rivals the Hermitage museum in terms of size and quality

With an exception or two, no museum in the world rivals the Hermitage museum in terms of size and quality

A Historical Tour Through The Kremlin, Moscow

You cannot holiday in Russia and not go to the Kremlin. A self-contained city, it forms the heart of the country’s political life with palaces, churches and domes linking the modern nation to its glorious past. At night, the streets glitter which gives a stunning view. The tower-studded, 250-acre grounds are home to many museums, including an armoury filled with royal treasures of the yore. The famed marketplace, Red Square and the onion-dome shaped St. Basil’s Cathedral lie adjacent to it.

The Kremlin is a fortified complex in the heart of the city

The Kremlin is a fortified complex in the heart of the city

Enjoy The Bolshoi Ballet & The Russian Circus

The cosmopolitan and luxurious Moscow is also a centre stage for a variety of performing arts. You can see every shade of grace at The Bolshoi Theatre, one of the oldest establishments specializing in ballet, masquerades and other forms of entertainment. The Russian Circus has been acclaimed since the Soviet days and is a delight to watch even today. The fine display of acrobatics, somersaults, dancers and animal acts will leave you screaming louder than imaginable!

The ballet put up by the Russians is a treat for the soul

The ballet put up by the Russians is a treat for the soul

Undertake The Trans-Siberian Railway Journey via Lake Baikal

This week long voyage from Moscow to Vladivostok is perhaps one of the most iconic rail journeys in the world. It takes you through some of Russia’s most remote places, and travellers generally use the train as an overnight accommodation from one destination to the next. To complete this trip of wonder and wilderness, plan a halt at Lake Baikal in Siberia, one of the clearest lakes on Earth.

The dreamy Lake Baikal is the world’s oldest and deepest freshwater lake

The dreamy Lake Baikal is the world’s oldest and deepest freshwater lake

A poet once said, “Russia cannot be understood with the mind alone. In Russia, one can only believe”.

A plethora of treasures; from artistic riches to ancient fortresses, from the tranquil countryside to the glittering nightlife, this place has everything to make you fall head over heels in love with it!

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Top 5 Things To Do On Your Armenia Holiday! – Cox & Kings Blog



Stunning mosques with cerulean domes, grand mausoleums, and buzzing chai-khanas are just some of the memories you will have from your Tashkent trip. If you’re looking to bring back a piece of this marvellous city with you, Amisha suggests nine unique souvenirs to buy from Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Uzbekistan’s capital city Tashkent is a treasure trove for travellers

Uzbekistan’s capital city Tashkent is a treasure trove for travellers

The eclectic vibe of Uzbekistan makes you feel like you’re entering a whole new world in Central Asia. And its capital Tashkent is one of the best places to know how true this is. With a melange of cultures and a heavy influence of its Soviet days, the city holds an exotic appeal. The shades of its cultural mix can easily be seen in the traditional food and handicrafts made by the local people. This also means, there are plenty of interesting souvenirs to take back home! Here are some that you must not miss:

#1 Papier-mâché Puppets

Papier-mâché dolls in Uzbek attire

Papier-mâché dolls in Uzbek attire

Believe it or not, Tashkent is home to many puppet theatres, even today. The puppets are mostly made with Khiva in Uzbekistan, using papier-mâché, but are easily found in the city’s popular city markets. Regional attire and distinct Uzbek features are what make these glove puppets the perfect souvenirs.

#2 The Nasreddin Statuette

Must have ceramic figurines rom Tashkent

Must have ceramic figurines from Tashkent include the ‘Nasreddin’, a funny man from popular folk tale

If you go to the bazaars of Tashkent and don’t stop to ask about this funny-looking male figurine, you will miss out on the legend of Uzbekistan. It is based on the character ‘Nasreddin’ from a popular tale, which every Uzbek loves to narrate. You can also find figurines for other characters and animals from their ancient tales and folklore.

#3 Lacquer-Painted Chess Set

One of the many unusual Uzbek chess sets

If you know people who love chess, they will definitely love one of these exotic and unique Uzbek chess sets

Papier-mâché chess sets are intricately painted using striking lacquer, and they’re eye-catching to say the least. You can find these sets in several vibrant colour combinations. Some sets even depict stories of medieval writers, such as Jami and Khayyam.

There are also lacquer-painted miniatures of tables and paintings, based on traditional themes. In fact, the paintings of some Uzbek artists are frequently found in international art exhibits. If such exclusive pieces of art interest you, do visit Tashkent’s art galleries or boutiques. Make sure you retain the purchase receipts of unique pieces, and if you’re lucky enough to find an antique, then you must insist on having all the required authentication certificates to export it.

#4 Ceramic Collectibles

Exquisite needle-painted ‘Lyagan’, an Uzbek specialty

Exquisite needle-painted ‘Lyagan’, an Uzbek specialty, makes for an amazing souvenir option

Ceramic ware and artefacts by Uzbekistan’s master craftsmen are loved by art connoisseurs around the world. Turquoise-glazed pitchers, needle-painted ‘Lyagan’ dishes, dragon-shaped candle holders, and delicate tea bowls are great ceramic collectibles from your time in Tashkent. If you look carefully, you may find even some exquisite pieces that have been created by local master craftsmen.

#5 Jewellery & Talismans

Beaded silver jewellery of Uzbekistan

Beaded silver jewellery of Uzbekistan

Fond of silver and cornelian jewellery? Well, Tashkent is a great place to buy amulets, ‘Kashgar Boldak’ earrings and ‘Tumor’, a talisman with lines of prayer on it. Shades of turquoise dominate all Uzbek jewellery, which makes it unconventional and interesting. Ladies, with so much on offer, you might want to buy more jewellery boxes for these (you’ll get intricate jewellery boxes in Tashkent’s markets)!

#6 Hand-Woven Silk Rugs

Uzbek carpets make for unique wall art

Common in Tashkent, the intricate designs and colours of hand-made carpets make them unique wall art

Tashkent’s markets sell hand-woven rugs and carpets made from unique Uzbek fabrics like ‘Khan-atlas’, ‘Adras’ and ‘Samarkand Silk’. The carpets are made using different techniques but, if you want something native to the region, you must pick up a piece with ‘Ikat’ or ‘Suzani’ work. Rugs and carpets made here vary in purpose, some are even designed for decorating the walls.

 #7 Musical Instruments

String and percussion instruments of Uzbekistan

Pick up some of the amazing string and percussion instruments found in Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan has its own range of regional and some uncommon musical instruments, such as ‘Karnay’, ‘Doira’, ‘Rubab’ and ‘Tanbur’. Most of the strings, percussion and wind instruments found here still retain the original design from centuries ago, when they were first created. Known for their rich and deep sounds, these instruments have been the reason why the music of the region has always seemed distinct and has been loved through the ages. Tashkent’s markets are great places to buy any of these beautifully crafted musical instruments as collectibles.

#8 Carved Wooden Jewellery Boxes

Intricate design on a wooden jewellery box

Women will love these wooden jewellery boxes, with intricate floral or geometric designs

 These wooden jewellery boxes made in Tashkent are intricately carved in beautiful floral or geometric patterns. You can also find jewellery boxes that are painted using fancy Islimi-style floral patterns, which look as interesting as the carved ones. Women love jewellery boxes and will always want more than one, so here’s your chance to make them happy.

#9 Tubeteika

Traditional Uzbek caps for men and women

Traditional and colourful, Uzbek skullcaps are worn by both men and women and make awesome gifts

A ‘Tubeteika’ is a traditional Uzbek skullcap, worn by both men and women. Chust Tubeteika for men, is made from glossy black satin. However, the skullcaps for women are colourful and adorned with little ornaments or decorated with the famous Bukhara gold embroidery. These can definitely be great conversation starters!

Tashkent has an amusing range of items to take back home, wouldn’t you agree? There are many markets in Tashkent but your trip to ‘Chorsu Bazaar’ should be enough to fill you bags with all kinds of souvenirs.

Happy Shopping!

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amishas-picAmisha likes to explore lesser-known places and this she does by studying maps. Once at her destination, she digs out eateries serving local food and soaks in the culture through the region’s cuisine. Being a sea person, most of her trips are to beach destinations and she intends to cover destinations along India’s coastline.



Endless beaches, panoramic tea gardens, oodles of wildlife, delectable cuisines, iconic temples and ruins; Sri Lanka is a gem waiting to be discovered. Don’t be fooled by the size of this island country; rich in culture and bursting with diversity, Sri Lanka is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Tarana Arora tells us all about Top 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, each so unique and seeped with heritage, it’ll captivate the traveller in you.

Sri Lanka is also known as the 'tear drop of India'

Because of its shape, Sri Lanka is often referred to as the ‘teardrop of India’

#1 Sigiriya

Sigiriya Rock in Sri Lanka - the ‘Lion’s Rock’ was known as the eighth wonder of the ancient work

Sigiriya Rock or the ‘Lion’s Rock’ in Sri Lanka is known as the eighth wonder of the ancient world

Soaring high at 660 feet, the majestic Sigiriya or the Lion’s Rock is an architectural marvel. It was built as a sky palace by King Kasyapa in the 5th century. The essence of Sigiriya lies at its pinnacle with ruins that offer visitors a glimpse of ancient civilisation in addition to spell-binding views. With colourful frescoes along the way, a mirror wall and the imposing lion’s paws carved at the bedrock, the citadel of Sigiriya will truly amaze you.

#2 Sacred City Of Anuradhapura

Isurumuniya rock temple in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

Isurumuniya rock temple in the ancient city of Anuradhapura is a famous landmark in Sri Lanka

To experience the richness of Sri Lankan culture, a visit to the ancient city of Anuradhapura is a must. The sacred city is said to have seen the genesis of Buddhism and the Sri Lankan civilisation. The many monasteries, colossal stupas, ancient temples here are some of the most well preserved architectural gems in South Asia.

#3 Ancient City Of Polonnaruwa

In 1982, UNESCO declared Polonnaruwa as a World Heritage Site.

In 1982, UNESCO declared Polonnaruwa as a World Heritage Site in scenic Sr Lanka

Polonnaruwa was the capital of ancient Sri Lanka for more than 800 years and here, one can feel the grandeur of past eras through glorious archaeological treasures. So, hop on to a bicycle and explore the rare tombs, spectacular stupas, statues, and crumbling temples of Polonnaruwa. That’s the best way to do it!

#4 Golden Temple of Dambulla

Dambulla Cave temple is Sri Lanka's largest rock cave temple which has 157 statues of Lord Buddha

Dambulla Cave Temple is Sri Lanka’s largest rock cave temple, with 157 statues of Lord Buddha

The Golden Temple of Dambulla, also popularly known as ‘Dambulla Cave temple’, is undoubtedly Sri Lanka’s best preserved temple complex. Sprawling across five caves, the holy complex dates back to the 1st century. It is the 157 Lord Buddha statues, ornate carvings and exquisite paintings that make the temple spectacular in every way.

#5 Old Town Of Galle & Its Fortifications

Galle is blessed with beauty in every corner

Sri Lanka’s postcard-perfect town of Galle is blessed with beauty in every corner

A painter’s muse, a photographer’s dream and a writer’s inspiration; the old town of Galle will charm you with all its vibrancy. Built by the Dutch in 1663, Galle is one of the most romantic tourist spots in Sri Lanka. The main attraction of the quaint little town is its scenic fort, which is surrounded by the ocean on three sides. Stylish hotels, quirky cafes and European architecture with South Asian flavours make Galle a postcard-perfect town.

#6 Sacred City Of Kandy

The Temple of the Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha is built inside a palace complex

The Temple of the Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha is built inside a palace complex

Surrounded by lush rain forests and infinite tea gardens, Kandy will seduce you with its beauty. The Temple of the Tooth Relic is one of the holiest shrines in Sri Lanka, because it holds the last surviving relic of Lord Buddha. Kandy is also known as the cultural capital of Sri Lanka.

#7 Sinharaja Forest Reserve

Of 26 birds in Sri Lanka, 20 are found in Sinharaja Forest Reserve

Of the 26 endemic birds found in Sri Lanka, 20 rainforest species are found in Sinharaja Forest Reserve

The Sinharaja Forest Reserve, which translates to the ‘Lion Kingdom’ was declared as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1989. The only undisturbed rain forest of the island, it is home to the purple-faced Langur, birds like Greater Racket-Tailed Drongo, the noisy Orange-billed Babbler, Red-Faced Malkoha, Green-billed coucal and Sri Lanka Blue Magpie.

#8 Central Highlands Of Sri Lanka

Horton Plains National Park is a nature’s haven!

Part of the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka, the Horton Plains National Park is a haven for nature lovers!

The Central Highlands of Sri Lanka captures the imagination of visitor with its sheer beauty. The highlands comprises the Peak Wilderness Sanctuary, including Adam’s Peak, Horton Plains National Park and the Knuckles Range. Adam’s Peak is the centre of focus for Buddhist pilgrims as it is believed that one of the rocks here hold the imprint of Lord Buddha’s foot.

Did you know the small island nation of Sri Lanka boasts of eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites? Its ancient culture can be discovered through intricate details on legendary temples, some of which are perched on peaks while others take shelter in ancient caves.

Fact File:
Location: Located in the Indian Ocean between India and Maldives.
How to Reach: There are three international airports in Sri Lanka, Bandaranaike
International Airport in Colombo, Ratmalana Airport in Colombo, and Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport in Hambantota.
Official Language: Sinhalese, Tamil
Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)
Time Zone: SLST (UTC+05:30)
Climate: Tropical Climate
Food & Drink: Fish Curry Rice, Jackfruit Curry, Sri Lankan Dhal, Kottu.

Interested in touring Sri Lanka?

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Tarana Arora

Tarana Arora

Tarana Arora is a producer and journalist by profession. A resident of Pune, she loves everything about the charming city. Nothing excites her more than food and exploring new places. She lives for thrillers, chocolates and Rafael Naḍal.



Grab your bags, passport and your girlfriends. Singapore is waiting. Diana Kotwal tells you why it’s the best holiday destination for BFFs.

Looking for an all-girls getaway? Singapore has to be your choice!

Looking for an all-girls getaway? Spectacular Singapore HAS to be your first choice!

Deadlines have been met. Projects have been aced. Your boss’ jokes have been laughed at. Repeatedly. (Even when they’re not funny.) And most importantly, your holiday leave is ripe and ready for the taking.

Apply? Approved.

Now it’s time to blow off some steam, get some rest and relaxation, make new memories, and maybe hit a shopping mall or two. And who better to do all of the above with than your closest friends? So round up your gal pals and head out to the perfect all-girl destination – spectacular Singapore.

Prepare yourself, as you embark on a fun, goddess-worthy holiday filled with adventure, excitement, delicious food, heart-to-heart bonding and of course, shopping! But before we pop open that bottle of bubbly, here’s a little help on how to get the most out of your trip.

What To Pack For Singapore 

Singapore is tropical by nature; most days are bright, so sunglasses and sunscreen are essential. There’s always a chance of rain, so an umbrella or wind cheater could prove useful. Pack light, comfortable clothes for the outdoors, but add a few sweaters too, as most indoor places set their air-conditioning to ‘freezing’. Don’t forget that party outfit you’ve been saving up for a special occasion. Singapore loves to dress up after hours, and a girls’ night on the town is exactly what the travel doctor prescribed. Don’t fill up that suitcase, though. You’ll find out why very soon.

A holiday this brilliant needs shades

On a glamourous holiday in brilliant Singapore? You better pack yourself some cool sunglasses!

What To See In Singapore

Grab your walking shoes, stock up on some organic energy snacks, and hand out water bottles to your fellow travellers. There’s so much to see, taste and love in Singapore, it’ll make your head spin. But with a little bit of planning, you can experience the best of what this gorgeous city has to offer. Whether it’s a unique nocturnal safari, where you meet some beautiful creatures of the night, or a glorious ride through the famous Gardens by the Bay, where you spot a ‘super tree’ or more, Singapore has it all.

You can also visit your favorite celebrities at Madame Tussauds, experience Hollywood up-close at the famous Universal Studios, or hang out with marine life at the S.E.A. Aquarium. There’s even a getaway cruise to Sentosa Island, filled with amazing on-board activities like swimming and karaoke (it’s not an ‘all-girls’ holiday’ unless there’s a bunch of girls singing Beyonce loudly, and off key!)

But don’t fret. You will be able to do it all. Soak in a signature nature spa treatment in Katong, and your gang will be ready for Singapore all over again.

Hollywood loves Singapore too

Singapore loves Hollywood, watch an extravagant parade at Universal Studios and you’ll know why!

Where To Shop In Singapore

Brace yourselves. Things are about to get crazy…at least for your credit cards. There’s nothing quite like a shopping binge with your girls, and Singapore serves as the perfect destination. This city may be a tiny little dot on the global map, but what it lacks in size it makes up for with shops as far as the eye can see. First up, Orchard Street; it’s 2.2 kilometers of pure shopping bliss. Looking for designer brands? Trendy high-street labels? Quirky souvenirs? You want it, they have it.

Craving a more authentic experience? Head on down to Haji Lane. A charming, rustic area with a vintage vibe and some highly unique shopping on offer. Whether it’s clothes, artefacts or home decor, every purchase is a rare and unique find. Now, aren’t you glad you left some space in your luggage?

Retail therapy, Singapore style.

You haven’t been shopping with your girls until you’ve enjoyed some retail therapy, Singapore style!

Where To Eat In Singapore

Holiday calories don’t count. Or so you’ll keep telling yourselves as you roll up your sleeves, loosen your belts and dive into the local gastronomical delights on every street. Singaporean cuisine is a melting pot of different cultures, including Chinese, Malay, Indonesian and even Indian. You can enjoy a bowl of laksa on Sungei Road, or gorge on the famous chili crab at the Red House Seafood restaurant or gear up for the ultimate culinary sensory experience by dining in the dark at Nox. Group binge eating has never been more fun!

When in Singapore, Don’t forget to pack a large appetite

When in Singapore, don’t forget to pack a large appetite because the food here is absolutely delicious!

What You Must Know About Singapore

Singapore is a clean, safe city that is perfect for a women-only holiday. The crime rate is low, and the people are polite, friendly and honest. However, they take their rules seriously. Be careful to follow all the laws here, as the penalties are quite severe. But the beauty in that is, you could be out and about at all kinds of odd hours and it won’t matter. Your family and better halves can rest easy knowing that you are in one of the safest cities in the world.

Singapore keeps you safe at all hours

Clean, polite, friendly, honest…Singapore is sure to keep you safe at all hours

Now that you’ve had a taste of what to see, do and expect in Singapore, it’s about time you grab your best friends, sisters, mothers or even grandmothers and set out to explore the very best of the Lion City. With something for people of all ages, you’re in for a true blue travel treat!

Interested in holidaying in Singapore?

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Africa – the land of culture dressed in bright hues of the sun; where the swirly air smells of luscious grass, salty seawater and its heartbreaking history. There is so much left unexplored on this fascinating continent; so much that one can learn from – It’s exciting! If you are planning a trip to Africa, here are three countries that you must visit to make the most of your sojourn. Kavita Sarmah tells us why these three countries are the best way to start exploring Africa!

Pink skies, vast lands of ochre, greenish blues and specs of coral and lavender wildflowers – Africa is nothing less than art, made of vibrant pastel colours

Pink skies, vast lands of ochre, greenish blues and specs of coral and lavender wildflowers – Africa is nothing less than art, made of vibrant pastel colours

South Africa: Scenic Sunsets & A Melange Of Cultures

A soothing scatter of light at sunset in South Africa

A scattering of light paints the horizon and casts shadows on land during sunset in South Africa

South Africa is also called the ‘Rainbow Nation’ because of its rich, cultural diversity. Its pastel beaches, lush mountains and starry desert sky combine to create an astounding melange of natural art. This country has a wide variety of cosmopolitan cultures that balance its ethnic cultures. South Africa also gives visitors a chance to explore its untouched wildlife, soak in its surreal landscapes and gain an insight into its tempestuous history.

The country has the continent’s best safari destinations, and an amazing network of roads. You can drive or rent a coach with a guide, and dive into the wilderness at Kruger or Kgalagardi Transfrontier Park. Watching the wildlife here amid swaying trees and ever-changing skies, you will notice the little things – the chirp of a distant bird, the low hum of crickets in the bushes or even the rustle of a wandering giraffe. You can enjoy rock climbing in the ragged Cederberg, abseil from Cape Town’s Table Mountains and bungee jump from the Garden Route Bridge! For mellower activities, you can opt for a day walk in the semi-desert Karoo, do an overnight hike into the peaks of the Drakensberg and also, check out the colourful heart of the country – Johannesburg. End the trip with a beach camp near Skilkop Nature Reserve in Namakwa, amid old wheat fields covered in endless flowers, before you set out on your next adventure.

English is widely spoken throughout the country, making it easy to communicate. Local public transport is not recommended in most areas, but you can surely make use of a taxi service recommended by the hotel you are staying at. Also, remember to always carry a bottle of water along!

Kenya: The Air Of Possibilities & Nature’s Best Artwork

Wandering Elephants at Amboseli National Park, Kenya

At Kenya’s Amboseli National Park, you’ll spot elephants, with Mt Kilimanjaro as a backdrop

Kenya conjures up images of jungles painted in green, thrilling safaris and majestic elephants. This country’s magnificent landscapes will give you a taste of the massive herds of wildlife scattered through the savannahs, with magical snow-capped mountains within sight of dry desserts and fresh forests. This is also where you will come across its warm, traditional people who add their vibrant beliefs and hope to a normal life. Kenya is home to Red Elephants among other wildlife and naturally is big on conservation. There are many private and community conservancies, like the Maasai Mara National Reserve, which blend tourism with community development and wildlife conservation.

National Parks are a must here! Make sure to spend time at Amboseli National Park, with views of big-tusked elephants against the backdrop of the majestic Mt Kilimanjaro. Overlooking Lake Turkana in Northern Kenya is a small town that stands in utter contrast to the sombre shades surrounding it – Loiyangalani. Spend an afternoon here and create the sweetest memories in one of the country’s most exotic corners. You could also take a day to wander in the Lamu Archipelago. These islands have rustic stone towns, endearing local shops and delightful architecture, with a blanket of stars that twinkle bright in the clear night sky. When you want to take a break from all the adventure and just laze around, Kenya also has a coastline laced with scenic beaches.

Don’t forget to sample the Ugali, one of the famous local cuisines here. The country offers all your foodies a hearty, homely meal to keep your stomach full and your soul happy. Bonus tip: “Jambo” is a common greeting in Kenya, which means “Hello! How are you?” It’s a nice conversation starter, while you pick up on other phrases!

Tanzania: Enriching Moments & Endless Magnificence

An Acacia-laden landscape in Tanzania

The cool Acacia-laden landscape and the tropical breeze sets the tone for your holiday in Tanzania

The land of the Kilimanjaro, where slow and serene meets robust and vibrant – Tanzania is as magical as it sounds. The cooling trees and tropical breeze set the tone for the country. Here, with its peaceful islands, sleepy coastal villages and mesmerising beaches, Tanzania will make you fall in love with life.

You’ll find many National Parks here but there is so much more to explore! Take a trip to Zanzibar Town and join a spice tour in Tangawizi Spice Farm or visit the Peace Memorial Museum of local artefacts. You can choose to bask in the sun, surrounded by turquoise seawater, on the green islands of the Mafia archipelago, and take in its beautiful history. Take a boat at sunrise to Kilwa Kisiwani, a quiet fishing village, and memorise how breathtaking the sky looks in the moment. Don’t forget to strike up a conversation or two with Tanzania’s friendly locals, who form the essence of the country, for a more enriching experience.

Your time in Africa will rejuvenate your soul and change you in wonderful ways. Every once in a while, take a break from adventure, look around and notice all the little details around you. Take hundreds of photographs of yourself as you soak in the unforgettable vibrancy of this endearing continent. We hope and believe your journey here will be nothing less than extraordinary!

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Kavita Sarmah is an artist, optimist and a tea person. Life to her is writing in empty cafés, mindlessly strumming the ukulele, and starry, cinematic skies. Follow her on Instagram: @kavitasarmah