Purani Haveli, or the Old Quarters, may perhaps be the more modest of Hyderabad’s many palaces. Certainly, when compared to the imposing sprawl of Golconda Fort or the extravagant grandeur of the Chowmahalla Palace Complex, it is easy to see why there are fewer mentions made of it in the more mainstream tours in the city. That having been said, this is still a place that many tourists should consider seeing, especially as it still hosted quite a few of the city’s historic figures and events, besides remaining one of its most beautiful old structures.
The Mystical Subcontinent that is South Asia
South Asia is home to the Himalayas, a mountain range that literally reaches the skies. The Himalayan mountains make up the planet's tallest peaks, including Mount Everest, and with more than one hundred mountains that are over 7,000 meters high, taller even than the tallest mountains outside South Asia. The Himalayas is rich with legends, mysteries and amazing natural bounty. Where else can you find mountains whose base bathe in tropical climate all year round but whose peaks are capped with snow all year round?
Also, the Himalayas cradles three major rivers, the Ganges, the Indus and Tsangpo-Brahmaputra. The Indus flows through Pakistan, India and Tibet, onto the Arabian Sea. Ganges River, on the other hand, is the most sacred body of water in India. It is, in fact, regarded and worshipped as a Hindu goddess. To the faithful, rivers in South Asia are looked upon as deities or celestial cows that give out life-giving milk. There are about 600 million people living near and along these three rivers and whose lives depend upon them.
Other than the Himalayan peaks and rivers, South Asia is also home to the exotic, mystical and beautiful Indian Peninsula, which includes Pakistan, Bangladesh and India. The fact that India has more than 1.2 billion residents and embraces four major world religions makes this country truly fascinating in so many ways. The ways people dress, dance, sing, create and express themselves are unique to this country alone.
Some of the top attractions in India are the Virupaksha Temple, Kanha National Park, Harmandir Sahib (“Golden Temple”), Jaisalmer, Ajanta Caves and, of course, the iconic Taj Mahal.
In addition to India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, other countries that complete the South Asian subcontinent are Bhutan, Iran, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Tibet and the Maldives. They work together through the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.
Those passing by the Tank Bund of Hyderabad may spot an old tank alongside the road at some point: this is the Patton Tank of Hyderabad, one of the minor memorials of the city that tourists love to check out in particular. Enthusiasts of army tanks shall note that the model is an M47, notable for having been the last of the tanks from the United States to sport the type of machine gun setup it has on its hull. To those who know the history behind the Patton Tank, though, there is far more to it than its mere model or make: there is also a triumph for India and an important war.
To understand the history of the Patton Tank of Hyderabad, one first has to take a look at the history of the country with its neighbour, Pakistan. The two countries have long had a rather friction-filled relationship, and that friction sparked off a full fire in 1971, with the [Read more…]
Everyone has a most cherished childhood memory of visiting the zoo – watching in wonder as the huge elephants eat hay, being amazed by the tall giraffes, wondering how the weather is up there, avoiding the monkey’s spit as they swing inside their cages with mouths full of water, feeling the thrill and danger as the lion stares back at you from the other side of the enclosure. Who hasn’t at one time or another felt all these in their young life? Visitors will then definitely feel young again when visiting Chennai’s wonderful Vandalur Zoo.
Visiting zoological parks always bring out a sense of wonder, amazement, thrill and excitement in all of us. Not just for children, zoos have the ability to make adults feel like young boys and girls once more. [Read more…]
Nagarjun Hill is where three of Nepal’s most popular tourist activities take place: hiking, sightseeing and religious pilgrimage. There are not many modern tourist structures to see in Nepal, but the country does promise so many natural treasures and ancient sites to choose from. Found in the district of Baitadi in western Nepal, Nagarjun is about seven kilometers away from the capital city of Kathmandu. One of its major attractions is a Buddhist stupa on top of the hill. The hill is quite steep and difficult for a few tourists, but to many, climbing it is part of the adventure. The stupa on the hill reaches a total altitude of 2,128 meters.
A typical hike package to this popular destination involves the following activities. As tourists or hikers arrive in Kathmandu, they [Read more…]
One of the top reasons why people come to the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal is to see its magnificent centuries-old temples, one of the most popular of which is Narayan Mandir temple. Commonly referred to as Changu Narayan, this historic temple is located on a hilltop to the east of the valley, 22 kilometers from the capital city of Kathmandu and six kilometers from Bhaktapur.
Changu Narayan exudes an eerie charm that can only come from a religious structure that has existed through a number of centuries. It was rebuilt in 1702 after it was destroyed by a fire, but the original temple is believed to have been built in the 4th century. Some of [Read more…]
One of the world’s most unique names for a street is Freak Street, found in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. It was christened in the 1960s by Western hippies and social deviants who were immensely attracted to this street, making it their own not-so-private hideaway. There were referring to themselves as dusty-haired freaks. The street’s real name is Jochne but Freak Street caught on at the beginning of the 70s. Its beauty was irresistible during those times. There were children running while fluttering prayer wheels, the smell of incense never left the air, and throughout are tiny shops selling items of enlightenment. It was a perfect place for free-spirited hippies, freaks who dressed, danced and acted as they pleased. The 70s’ groove, the loved-ins and psychedelic motifs have long been gone, but the street remains extremely popular today for what it used to be many decades ago.
For many years, this area in Kathmandu was notoriously known as a place where anything goes. What is shocking and illicit was [Read more…]