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Tirupati pilgrimage: spiritual grandeur

Tirupati Pilgrimage: Spiritual Grandeur

Of all the religious and spiritual tours in India, Tirupati tour tops the chart. This holy Hindu pilgrimage boasts of housing the richest and busiest temple in the world. Literally, Tirupati symbolizes ‘Maha Vishnu‘ or ‘Lord of Maha Lakshmi‘. As the name suggests, the main deity of the city is Lord Vishnu whose idol is installed in Sri Venkateshwara Temple.

As the city was ruled by a number of dynasties, the temples here depict a wonderful amalgamation of different architectural patterns with rich cultural legacy.

Beautiful Location

This revered temple town, in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, is located 137 km from Chennai, 258 km from Bangalore, and 562 km from Hyderabad. One can see the majestic Tirumala Hill, at an altitude of 3200 ft above sea level, in its backdrop. This picturesque hill comprises of seven peaks – Seshadri, Neeladri, Garudadri, Anjanadri, Vrishabhadri, Narayanadri and Venkatadri.

Prominent Holy Sites

The true beauty of the city lies in its various temples that are immersed in the divine aura in conjunction with scenic beauty. The major holy sites of the city are:

  • Sri Venkateswara temple, located on the seventh peak of Tirumala Hills, is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This is a highly revered site belonging to the Vaishnav sect.
  • Sri Varahaswami Temple, in the north of the Sri Venkateswara temple, is dedicated to Lord Varaha (an incarnation of lord Vishnu).
  • Sri Anjaneyaswami Temple is dedicated to Sri Anjaneyaswami, who is believed to be a bestower of boons and a protector from all evils.
  • Swami Pushkarini is a holy pond that is believed to cleanse pilgrims of their sins and bestow temporal prosperity.
  • Sri Govindarajaswami Temple built in 1130 AD houses a number of sub-shrines.
  • Sri Kodandaramaswami Temple is dedicated to Devi Sita, Lord Rama and Lakshmana.
  • Sri Kapileswaraswami Temple is dedicated to Lord Siva.
  • Some other popular temples are Sri Prasanna Venkateswaraswami Temple, Sri Chennakesavaswami Temple, Sri Kariya Manikyaswami Temple Sri Annapurna Sameta Kasi Visweswaraswami Temple etc.

A guide to us vacation packages

A Guide to US Vacation Packages

Traveling to the United States?  The US is a very diverse country with a vast number of attractions of interest.  Whether you’re interested in history, local culture, nature, art, recreation, or entertainment, you can find US vacation packages that suit your tastes.  The list of things to do in the US is literally endless.  From gambling at glitzy casinos in Las Vegas to whitewater rafting in Utah, you can plan just about any type of vacation here.

Family Vacations

Families find plenty of fun and entertainment awaiting them in the US.  Disneyland, Enchanted Forest, and Adventureland are some popular theme parks in the US that attract many vacationing families.  Beach destinations such as Myrtle Beach and Monterey are also very popular with families because there are a number of entertainment options, outdoor activities, shopping venues, and attractions that family members of all ages can enjoy.

Honeymoons

From an exotic camping honeymoon in the Grand Canyon to a luxurious, pampered holiday in the paradise of Hawaii, there are plenty of activities for lovebirds to enjoy in the US.  Whether you’ve just tied the knot or you’re renewing your vows, you will find a myriad of beautiful locations throughout the fifty states where you can admire gorgeous sunsets and beautiful natural scenery with your significant other.

Ski Vacations

Some of the finest ski destinations in the world are located in the US.  Popular ski resorts in the US include Lake Tahoe, Breckenridge, Vail, and Mammoth Mountain.  If your idea of an unforgettable vacation includes powdery snow, comfy accommodations right by the ski lifts, and breathtaking mountain views, consider taking a vacation at a US ski resort.

Adventure Travel

The US boasts a number of breathtakingly gorgeous outdoor settings that provide several opportunities for adventure travel.  Book US vacation packages catered to adventure and outdoor travel enthusiasts if you want to enjoy a vacation that includes fun-filled and adrenaline pumping activities like whitewater rafting, mountain biking, bungee jumping, and horseback riding.

There are over sixty national parks in the US that boast a vast range of different landscapes and climates.  From the lush temperate rainforests in Washington State to the active volcanoes flowing with lava in Hawaii, the natural attractions found at the national parks of the US are veritable treasures.

Historical Attractions

Whether you’re interested in learning about the way that Native Americans traditionally lived or you want to learn about the history of America’s founding fathers and how they built the nation, there are a number of fascinating historical sites, museums, and monuments to visit throughout the US.  In Washington DC, you can visit the White House, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, and other important sites and memorials to learn more about the history and politics of the United States.  In Philadelphia, the Independence Hall and Liberty Bell will give you a glimpse into the nation’s colonial and revolutionary history.

Royal splendour at the grand palace

Royal Splendour at the Grand Palace

The Phra Borom Maha Ratcha Wang or the Grand Palace is a building compound that serves the purpose of the official residence of the Kings of Siam (Thailand) since the 18th century. The building of this magnificent palace began on 6th May 1782 when King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke (King Rama I) wanted to move the capital of his kingdom of Thailand from Thonburi, across the Chao Phraya River to Bangkok.

King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke wanted to construct a wonderful palace that would be his residence as well as the centre of government. Initially the palace was constructed of wood, with numerous wooden buildings enclosed with a 1,900 meter high defensive wall. The iconic Temple of the Emerald Buddha was soon ordered to be constructed after the establishment of the palace.

The map of the Grand Palace meticulously followed that of the old palace at the former capital Ayutthaya. Towards the west of this rectangular palace, one would find the Chao Phraya River and towards the east one would find the royal temple, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Accordingly all structures face north, and the palace is divided into the outer, middle and inner quarters.

For much of the early Chakri Dynasty the palace was the centre government, until King Rama V decided to reside at the Dusit Palace. This practise was pursued later by his sons King Rama VI and King Rama VII. But Rama VIIII moved to the palace in 1945. But subsequent to the mysterious death of King Rama VIII, a year later inside the palace, his brother, present king and successor King Rama IX moved permanently to Chitralada Palace.

Presently the palace is only used for official occasions and events. The palace is a popular tourist destination with a record 8,995,000 visitors arriving at the place in 2006, making it the 16th most visited tourist destination in the world. For a stay in the area, Bangkok accommodation is available at the Bangkok President Park.

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