Amarnath Yatra Registration How to register for the Amarnath Yatra

Amarnath Yatra is a pilgrim journey that transports you to the doorstep of Lord Shiva at his abode in the Amarnath cave. The cave houses the coveted ice shrine of Shiva and is located in the Himalayan territories of Jammu & Kashmir. The yatra season will soon kick off this summer (the yatra is organized between May and October/November) and this can be a great time for you to pay your homage to the Lord of Immortality (or Amarnath).

Amarnath Yatra

Amarnath yatra requires registration since the trip is officially organized and every measure is taken to ensure safety and protection for the pilgrims. It goes without saying that the journey is an arduous one, since there are steep climbs and treks involved which can be both wearisome and adventurous. Most of the pilgrims are in the upper age bracket and it is a test of strength (both physical and mental) for them to negotiate these mountainous tracks. Furthermore, the climate is no friendlier than Harbhajan Singh is to Andrew Symonds! The weather is pretty cold even during the summer months and the frequent outburst of clouds during the monsoons can make the journey a lot more difficult.

amarnath

Therefore, the officials are very proactive in ensuring foolproof measures and security for every tourist. Facilities have to be provided in right proportion and advance bookings are mandatory. You cannot just wake up one June morning and decide to head to Amarnath. Non-registered pilgrims are denied entry, as per the government’s rule. You will have to get yourself and your family members (all those who are traveling) registered in the prescribed manner a few weeks (or months) before the yatra season commences.

amarnath yatra
Registration is a hassle-free task and can even be done online right from your homely comforts. There are travel portal website, agents, and tour planners who can do the job for you in a jiffy. They will charge a small commission but the amount will be nominal and you shall be provided all the comforts you can ask for.

Online registration for the Amarnath Yatra has already begun a long time back and is in full flow at the moment. You must not delay it further or else you may miss out the deadline. Some important documents which will be required for the registration include:

  • Name in full
  • Gender
  • Address in full
  • Telephone numbers
  • ID proof

Baba-Amarnath

In addition, you can also buy the Amarnath Yatra packages for planning your whole itinerary in advance. Such an action would help you avoid unnecessary expenditure and last-minute hassles. Besides, when you are going to remote locations like Amarnath, then it is always recommended to chalk out your schedule in advance. These packages shall also help you save around 30-40% money and would ensure comfortable stay (getting accommodations at the last minute can be very difficult in these sparsely populated hills). With the package, you can also book helicopter flight for you and your entire family since a certain portion of the yatra needs to be traversed through these flying machines.

Singapore on foot: Temples, souvenirs and durians for your itching feet

When you are in Singapore, you may very well feel that you have been sucked into a sci-fic movie. Yes, the amount of technology and high-tech engineering which this city-cum-country has absorbed is astonishing. While you can check them all with one of the tour packages to Singapore or one of those easy-to-avail international honeymoon packages we keep throwing at you, the best way to check this destination out is to travel a bit by foot.

There will be some heat, no doubt. But if you hail from continental India, you will find it a piece of cheese. Travelers trickling in from cooler western nations find it a tad tough to negotiate the afternoon summer heat at the onset. But soon, they get accustomed to the weather and become a part of this fiery city. Globetrotters enjoy running through different attractions on foot. Chinatown, for instance, is a place that fascinates; a perfect amalgamation of old and new. At the same time, the corner is a relish-worthy place for any shopper or eater. To be fair, Chinatown has multiple personalities. It will remind you of history with its heritage landmarks and will also tug at your spiritual side through its age-old temples. The eateries are mostly roadside-built and are hence easy on the tongue (and on the pockets).

Indian Temple Singapore

It is hard to turn a few corners in Singapore without coming face to face with a well-designed maverick-looking temple. The bazaars add a different spice to the culture, making this luxury-looking destination seem so simple and primitive all of a sudden.

Souvenirs need to be carefully handpicked to get the best deals and the highest quality. So, exploring the markets by foot seems the better option on any day. The local fruits will toss some unexpected surprises at you. One fruit you must try is the durian. Some travelers call it a skunk in their traveling parlance because of the disgusting smell which this lime-colored fruit radiates in all its abundance. Be a bit careful while shopping for them since they are not permitted in most of the public transports.

Chinatown Singapore

All in all, a true backpacker always makes sure to allot a day or two for exploring on foot. And Singapore is the best antiseptic for your itching feet.

World Expeditions’ Houseboat Tour from Kerala to Maldives

Kerala is such a beautiful state that one feels that God was really partial to this part of the planet. It is with no regret that travel critics have adjudged Kerala as God’s Own Country, a fitting tribute to a place where nature has chosen to be extremely magnanimous. With Kerala tour packages, any tourist, whether Indian or foreigner, can explore this green corner in the southern India. In many ways, Kerala reminds of tropical islands since its inland water content is very high. The lagoons and backwaters seem to have taken this state under its unyielding grip, giving birth to outdoor revelries like houseboat trips.

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Houseboats in Kerala offer an enchanting detour of Kerala’s backwaters. But the booming business has also enabled a lot of people to cross the national boundaries and opt for international tours. With World Expeditions’ Houseboat Tour, one can travel from Kerala to Maldives, both the places remarkably similar in terms of natural beauty but geographically distanced by hundreds of miles. They are quite like the twins of old Bollywood movies who get lost and distanced during childhood only to meet several years later. So, now with such an expedition, you can check out both Kerala and Maldives at one single go.

These backwaters of Kerala let you enjoy the closest possible intimacy with nature. The houseboats are extremely varied, some even having multiple storeys while some boasting of glass-paneled windows and doors. Then there are those fragile-looking bamboo-made houseboats which can wobble precariously and often scarily but the boatmen are so skilled in their jobs that before long your nerves are all settled and you find yourself enjoying the cool whiff of the breeze and the occasional sights & sounds of song birds.

Islands-6

With Maldives tour packages, you can check out the best resorts of the archipelago island. Maldives makes you feel totally cut off from the world since its tiny islands mostly have limited number of accommodations. So, a lot of privacy and personal space are guaranteed to every visitor. Do not expect a loud lifestyle at this island. It is primarily for those who are looking for a do-not-disturb time with nature.

Snorkel in Bali for a peep into the clandestine lives of eels and rays

Snorkelling is an experience which one doesn’t forget in a hurry. Granted that it is not as big a thing as scuba diving, but it is an underwater sport which is simpler, safer and easier. Bali, being the kind of destination that Bali is, is a paradise for the divers. The waters are transparent almost like a cellophane paper through which you can gaze at the other side, peeping like a stalker into the private lives of the eels and manta rays. With tour packages to Bali, something like snorkeling should definitely be included.

snorkeling-experience

Snorkeling does not entail any risk and so it does not necessitate any formal training. As long as you have eyes and as long as the ocean has treasures, snorkeling will come across as an unforgettable experience. Bali is a top Indonesian island and has a number of beaches and diving sites. Now, the interesting bit is that each diving site presents a new story where the corals are the protagonists and the fishes form the colorful characters. Amuk Bay, Tulamben, Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Puri Jati are some of the more popular diving sites. Here, the life which is bubbling beneath is more watchable, more riveting and certainly more easily accessible to the eyes.

Going-for-Snorkeling

Depending on the season and the tantrum of the weather, the visibility varies. If the sea is turbulent, the waves will be foamy and visibility will get compromised. On the other hand, stiller water paves way to deeper and clearer visibility thereby allowing your eyes an oceanic feast.

Snorkeling and Diving in Bali-Nusa Lembongan

Also, do keep in mind that the sea is not as friendly as it seems from the shores. The undercurrents can often take you by surprise. So, it is best to stick to a group or to stay under the glare of a trainer. You do not want to become an underwater creature yourself, do you?

bali-honeymoon-1-day

Bali all inclusive honeymoon can be super-fun. Snorkeling is just another form of romance, where your muse is sea and the bed is rather sandy (and stony) but enthralling nonetheless. Also, consult the local trainer/instructor to figure out the best time for snorkeling in a particular site.

Best Romantic Films Set in Paris

Paris, with its evergreen persona, a sugar-coated romantic profile and a powerful touristy status, has always featured in the wish-list of honeymooners and photographers. So, the market for Paris honeymoon packages has remained unaffected despite the entry of new unconventional European destinations like Prague and Netherlands.

Over the decades, plenty of films (mostly romantic) have portrayed this ‘City of Lights’ in its all-colorful glory. It would be fair to say that many of those films have done better business than they would have done had they been set in some other part of the world.

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Queen

One of the better films to have come out in recent times is ‘Queen’. A Bollywood blockbuster, it has the quirky Kangana in the lead and is a soul-stirring movie which can be called romantic as well as soothing. Despite some sexed up dialogues, this film is largely about self-discovery and is a winner right from reel one to the final credits since it romanticizes life in a realistic and relatable manner.

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An Evening in Paris

Back in the past, an all-time favorite Shammi Kapoor classic titled ‘An Evening in Paris’ is set almost entirely in the French capital. With a string of melodious songs and a psychedelic portrayal of this cheesy city, this movie struck all the right cords and still mesmerizes single girls during its television reruns.

An American in Paris

An American in Paris

For those who swear by Hollywood flicks, the most mention-worthy films are ‘Last Tango in Paris’, ‘An American in Paris’ and ‘Everyone Says I love you’.

Then there is ‘French Kiss’ which starred the heartthrob Meg Ryan as the female lead and is another memorable film set in this city. Its Bollywoodized version called ‘Pyar Toh Hona Hi Tha’ that starred Kajol and Ajay Devgun was also set partially in Paris and did excellent business at the box office.

Pyar Toh Hona Hi Tha

Pyar Toh Hona Hi Tha

Film-makers from both India and Hollywood are so smitten by this city that someone once joked that film-making is amongst the most popular things to do in Paris.

In fact, if you are a tourist, you can make your own film (so what, if it’s in a handycam or in your Galaxy Grand)!

Ishq in Paris

Ishq in Paris

Preity Zinta seems to have run out of luck (thanks to ageing and the birth of Y-gen actresses viz. Katrina, Deepika and blah blah). We don’t want to rub salt on her wounds, but even Paris couldn’t save her latest release ‘Ishq in Paris’ which disappeared faster than the Malaysian airline.

Dolphin-watching in Goa: Is it worth it?

If you are confronted with the possibility of an expedition which will take you in the midst of the sea amongst the school of dolphins which you can watch and photograph, a la the Nat Geo experts, you are bound to feel that orgasm of super-thrill. One of the top activities in Goa is to head for dolphin-watching since the Arabian Sea has them in good numbers and the ferry-managers are always eager to take you in their midst.

Baga Beach

Baga Beach

In fact, if you happen to take a jog on the beaches of Goa in the morning, you are quite likely to be approached by ferry-wallahs who will offer you a ‘dolphin trip’. The cost can be high and they can be pushy. So, you should not fail to bargain. To be honest, they will always try to tempt you and promise you a good show, though some people are actually left disappointed towards the end.

PLaying with Dolphins in Goa

It’s not that dolphins are not sighted. But they usually make a brisk appearance and for a couple of seconds before dipping back into the oceanic depths again. Most people only get to see the fins but if you are fortunate, you may get a brief view of their snouts. It is very unlikely that you will witness the aerial leap of the grand dolphins the way they show in adventure movies, but then you may have bright stars.

Dolphin photography

Dolphin photography

Dolphin-photography can be tricky as their transient appearance leaves you with very little time to zoom in your camera, focus and take a great shot. So, you must stay prepared with your camera fully on and senses fully alert.

dolphin

At the end of the day, it is still an once-in-a-lifetime experience and definitely worth it, though not totally. The experience shall differ from person to person. The best time to check out the dolphins is early during the day at around 6 am- 11 am when you have a bright chance of sighting quite a few of them. Palolem Beach is one of the best places where you can go for dolphin trips. The rates are not fixed but they usually ask for somewhere between Rs 1000-1500. Try haggling and ask for a boat on a share-basis if you are travelling solo or are few in numbers.

With Goa holiday packages, a rendezvous with the dolphins in the wild is a cherish-worthy experience.

5 affordable ski resorts in Switzerland

Ski resorts can be expensive and the ones in Switzerland are some of the best in the world. No wonder, they can make you pay. But those who have less money or less willingness to spend money need not go back disappointed. There are affordable ones as well though it is better to narrow down the best ones before you start your Swiss tour.

La Tzoumaz

La Tzoumaz

We understand your requirements and your unwillingness to do all the hard work. So, here we have buried our head over tons of pages and have scooped up five ski resorts which are affordable and, hence, recommended for you:

Andermatt

Andermatt

  1. La Tzoumaz: This resort is situated in the same region as Verbier, the top-class ski resort and one which you must visit if you have got money. But those who cannot afford to stay put at Verbier, La Tzoumaz is a cheaper alternative. It is certainly budget-friendly and is also free from the clutter which can make you sick during peak season at resorts like Verbier. The tracks are equally enthralling. Just don’t expect the kind of luxury you can get at Verbier and you’ll be fully contended.
  2. Andermatt: Andermatt is one of the most underrated ski resorts in the world. It is a pity that it hasn’t got its due, despite the fact that it shares its neighborhood with biggies like Verbier and Zermatt. You can get away with a weekly expenditure of just 165 pounds. Didn’t we say it is dirt cheap?
  3. Grindelwald: It is not the cheapest ski resort by any means, but it is one for the budget tourists. Plus, if you can book Europe packages from India, you can expect to cash in on good discount.
  4. Arosa: Arosa has a nice landscape to offer and an equally delightful food to serve its guests. It is a ski resort which is mostly visited by families. A nice ambiance awaits you there at very decent rates.
  5. Davos: Davos is a strange resort since here you will find tourists of both clans- the wealthiest as well as extremely budget-conscious. For an inexpensive Swiss honeymoon tour, you may find this one appealing if you tread about cautiously.
Grindelwald

Grindelwald