Times Square in the US

The United States of America (USA) is a federal republic, which is made of an agglomeration of 50 states and one district. Owing to its developed economy, political prominence and strong defence base, it is often regarded as the most powerful nation of the world. Inhabited by people of different descents, it is a country of mixed ethnicities, traditions and lifestyles. The US can rightly be termed as a melting point of cultures, which fascinate people from all over the world. US tours take people on memorable holidays to this nation and acquaint them with its varied facets.

Times Square
Times Square

 

Washington, D.C. – one of the federal districts of the US – serves as its national and administrative capital. However, it is the New York City (NYC), which can rightly be termed as its cultural capital in the true sense. The significant impact of this city on commerce, media, fashion, sports, education and entertainment makes it a major hub for these. It is dotted with a multitude of cultural sites, which grab the attention of millions of travellers coming here for vacations. Broadway Theatre District, Times Square, Wall Street, Chinatown and NY Stock Exchange are places, which represent the country on the international level. Amongst these, the Times Square of NYC is its most coveted attraction that receives an annual influx of around 40 million tourists.

The Cultural Quarter of the Country

 

Times Square, situated in Midtown Manhattan, is a commercial intersection, which is widely regarded as the cultural quarter of the NYC and US. Not only is it the busiest pedestrian region across the globe, but also the most-visited tourist site in the world as surveyed by a renowned international magazine. It is often referred to as the crossroads of the world as it is where people from different places come and assemble to celebrate the lively spirit of New York.

Earlier known as Longacre Square, this bustling city quarter was rechristened to its present name in the early 20th century. The assimilation of art, commerce and entertainment makes this place a wonder for visitors. Glowing neon signboards, notable buildings, iconic hotels and corporate headquarters have their dominant presence in Times Square. It has been extensively mentioned in the popular culture, be it cinema, television, literature or music. Several Hollywood movies have featured it as an integral part of the storyline. This renowned intersection even has songs written in its praises that are sung by famous artists from the music fraternity.

ball drop event
ball drop event

 

The cultural crossing is the venue of the famous ball drop event, which is organised on the New Year eve. The iconic lowering of the Waterford Crystal ball on a pole marks the arrival of the new year. During this lavish and vibrant celebration, millions of people gather at the Times Square and become a part of the extravagant festivity. Halloween and Valentines is celebrated with equal joy at this site. Holiday packages international for USA are incomplete without an inclusion of this place in the itinerary.

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An Excellent Culinary Experience in Phuket

Nestled in the heart of the Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia, Thailand is a beautiful country known for the melange of heritage and modernity. Ruled by notable dynasties in ancient and medieval times, it still is a royal monarchy in terms of administration. The long association of this country with Theravada Buddhism can be understood from the various monasteries and Buddhist temples, which are situated in its different provinces and cities. Another aspect of this country is the thriving modernity, which is evident from its high-rise buildings, vibrant beach culture and the world-famous nightlife. Most of the Thailand tours offered by leading travel portals are concentrated around these distinct facets.

 

Thailand is divided into various provinces, for the purpose of convenient administration. Each province in this nation has its own speciality and culture, which is inherited form people of different ethnicities. One such division in the country is Phuket, which has emerged as one of the top tourist destinations across the globe. Formerly known by the name of Thalang, this island is famous for its sprawling beaches, coral reefs, year-round celebrations and a unique nightlife scene. An indispensable part of the culture of this island province is its cuisine, which is primarily focused on seafood.

Explore the Dietary Delights

Any Phuket tour is incomplete without getting a taste of its delectable cuisine. As this region is surrounded by sea on all sides, seafood is found here in abundance. Succulent dishes made using the finest of ingredients are available at every street stall and restaurant of the place. What makes the overall eating experience an enthralling one is the variety in options. Traditional Thai cuisine is not the only thing found in Phuket. Tourists can also treat themselves with the most scrumptious dishes from Malay, Indian, Middle Eastern and Japanese cuisine.

 

Prawns, shrimps, lobsters, crabs and fish cooked in spicy sauces and herbs make the entire culinary experience an unforgettable one. Apart from seafood delicacies, tourists can easily get the usual chicken, mutton, beef and pork dishes at any of the vendors and hawkers.

Tom Yam Goong
Tom Yam Goong

The exotic Thai cuisine includes dishes like Tom Yam Goong – the national soup and Pad Thai noodles, which do not need an introduction.

Pad Thai noodles
Pad Thai noodles

Som Tam is a spicy papaya salad, which is heath and delicious at the same time.

Som Tam
Som Tam

Kao Tom, a dish made using boiled rice and meat, is a wholesome and tasty meal.

kao tom
kao tom

A variety of dim sums can also be eaten at the food stall of Phuket.

Pad See Iew
Pad See Iew

Some typical Thai dishes that must not be missed while being here are Pad See Iew, Kway Tio, Tom Kah Talay and Pad Pak Ruam.

 

Tom Kah Talay
Tom Kah Talay
Pad Pak Ruam
Pad Pak Ruam

While exploring culinary delights of the region, tourists should not forget to taste the street snacks, which are cheap and delicious. Thai pancakes with a wide range of sweet and salty fillings are worth a try. Grilled, fried and steamed meatballs made of beef, fish and chicken are served with spicy dips at every nook and corner of Phuket. Ice cream sandwich is something that is loved by every sweet lover coming to the island on a holiday.

Touring the Beautiful City of Copenhagen

Europe tours – the use of this phrase evokes a sense of beautiful hamlets, snow covered peaks, bustling urban locations, gushing waterfalls and many more in the minds of vacationers. This continent is frequented by globetrotters and travel enthusiasts from every nook and corner of the globe. Though it is the second smallest continent in the world, there is no dearth of attraction spots. Moreover, it has such a wide variety of the best of natural as well as man-made wonders that it amazes travellers looking for a long holiday as well as short sojourns. Even adventure enthusiasts can find this place a paradise as the countrysides are abundant with a host of such activities. Among all the popular countries, Denmark needs special mention for its wondrous locations, which attract visitors from world-over.

The most prominent feature of tourism in Denmark is the plethora of beaches found here. It is located in the northern region of the continent and in the southern side of Norway. Most of the vacationers come to visit Copenhagen, its capital city. Vacationers come to this city all around the years to enjoy its mesmerising environs.

Copenhagen

Copenhagen – the official capital of this beautiful country – is a coveted tourist destination for international travellers. From heritage architectures and historical landmarks to the rich culture and vibrant nightlife, it is known for the plethora of delights it offers for tourists.

Frederik Church
Frederik Church

The inner region of this city is famous for old buildings, which are remarkable specimens of traditional Danish architecture. While the Frederik Church earns fame for its beautifully-designed dome and beautiful statues, the Church of Our Saviour is known for its unique corkscrew spire.

Church of Our Saviour
Church of Our Saviour

Equally famous are the Christiansborg Palace and City Hall, which have similar spires like the aforementioned church.

 

Christiansborg Palace
Christiansborg Palace

This city can be termed as a verdant one as it has several public parks and gardens, which are adorned with sculptures, monuments and stunning landscapes. Jazz music forms an integral part of the culture of this city, which hosts an entire festival related to it. Art galleries, museums and libraries present in the region speak of its glorious literary and cultural heritage. Not only the culture, but Copenhagen is widely recognised for its delectable cuisine and earns fame as an international gourmet destination.

There are ample opportunities for those vacationers who want to book international holiday packages from India to this wonderful location of Denmark. The itineraries have been so designed to meet the various requirements of travelers going on Europe tours. If the people are looking for short sojourns they can opt for a week long holiday to this destination. However, if they are in for a long holiday, itineraries as long as spanning for a month available. All arrangements comprising flights, hotels and conveyance at the destination are taken care by tour organisers. The trips are so planned that vacationers get to enjoy the beauty of the place to the maximum extent in the shortest possible time and minimum expenditure.

The Magnificent Remains of Pompeii and Herculaneum in Italy

Over the years, Italy has been recognized for its history, fashion, art treasures and breathtaking landscapes. It is the birthplace of famous historical personalities like Christopher Columbus, Benito Mussolini, Galileo and Leonardo da Vinci. This European country has been a significant site of several civilizations, conquests, wars, treaties and other historic events. There are several sites within this nation that narrate stories of its ancestry and antiquity. Two important places, which provide an insight into its history are Pompeii and Herculaneum. Both of these ancient Roman cities are considered World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Tours to Italy provide a chance to delve into the glorious past of this country by taking tourists to these places.

Ruins of Pompeii

Ruins of Pompeii
Ruins of Pompeii

Pompeii is a city known for its ancient ruins, which provide information about this Roman habitation. According to available historical records and local beliefs, it was founded around the 6th and 7th century BC by the Osci people. There are several buildings in this Italian city that date back to 2nd century BC century, before Pompeii declared a war against Rome. It was later conquered by L. Cornelius and was declared as a Roman colony. The tomb wall and a portion of the arch supporting the temple of Venus were destroyed due to a volcanic eruption in 1st century AD.

 

In present times, this excavated site is regarded as an outdoor museum, showcasing the remains of ancient Roman settlements. The two main attractions, which have survived the hardships of the time are Forum Baths and Amphitheatre.

Forum Baths
Forum Baths
Amphitheatre
Amphitheatre

Along the Forum Baths, there is an athletics field named Grande Palestra and a few public buildings. The Amphitheatre is surrounded by a huge portico and the Temple of Jupiter.

Temple of Jupiter
Temple of Jupiter

This temple was the site of discussions related to political, commercial and administrative issues. In addition to these edifices, there are various exhibits like jars and frescoes, which draw the attention of visitors.

Ruins of Herculaneum

 

Ruins of Herculaneum
Ruins of Herculaneum

Herculaneum is another ruined and excavated city in Italy that is visited by thousands of travellers during their Italy vacations. After the Vesuvius volcanic eruption destroyed this place, a new town called Resina was built over its remains.

Bodies of People Died During Eruption
Bodies of People Died During Eruption

In 1969, this place was renamed as Ercolano, which translates to ancient Herculaneum in Italian. This was done on a request made by the Town Council in the honour of the old city. Excavations of the town were started in 1738, after which half of this ancient settlement has been excavated till date.

Villa of Papyri
Villa of Papyri

One of the important building at this place is the Villa of Papyri, inside which around 1800 carbonised papyrus scrolls were found preserved. According to records, this building was built and owned by the father-in-law of Julius Caesar. Inside Casa del Tramezzo di Legno, tourists get to see a carbonised wooden partition along with three doors. Some other buildings, which can still be seen at the main site are the House of the Mosaic Atrium, Casa del Nettuno ed Anfitrite, Terme and House of Bicentenary. The National Archaeological Museum in Naples houses ancient artefacts discovered from Pompeii and Herculaneum.

(Pompeii was also famous as one of the prostitution hubs of the ancient world. The following classic documentary from History Channel brings out this rather stark fact about the society of Italy during those times. This documentary contains matters related to sex and viewer discretion is solicited.)

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and its Mesmerising Islamic Architecture

United Arab Emirates or UAE is one of the popular travel destinations. Tourists from all over the world travel to the country to explore several places of interest in cities like Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman and Fujairah. One of the famous places is Abu Dhabi where one gets to see landmarks, such as Ferrari World, Saadiyat Island, Yas Links, The Chorniche and Monte Carlo beach Club. UAE holidays to several religious sites like Sheikh Zayed Grand, Al-Falah and Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Mosque, have allowed the travellers to know more about Islam.

 

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

 

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque At Night
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque At Night

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is situated in Abu Dhabi and is visible from main bridges of the city – Mussafah, Maqta and Sheikh Zayed bridges. Having a capacity to accommodate up to 40000 devotees, it is regarded as one of the largest mausoleums of the world. This structure is also reckoned for its huge chandeliers, which are nearly 10 meters in height and weigh up to two tonnes. It was constructed under the supervision of most powerful personalities of UAE like Deputy Prime Minister, Armed Forces Deputy Commissioner and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince, among few. The mosque was opened to its devotees in the year 2007 and since then thousands of travellers from various parts of the world have visited it during their UAE tours.

 

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Interiors
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Interiors

Besides the shrine, on the northern side lies tomb of late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who was the first President of the UAE and was the founding father of this shrine. It is believed that this religious site reflects his vision, which was – every dream can be easily achieved if it is done with a pure heart. Through this mosque he wanted to spread the message of harmony, patience and diversity. On visiting the temple, travellers get to see several examples of modern architectural designs reflecting different Islamic styles like Mamluk, Fatimid and Ottoman. Most of the materials used in making this structure have been procured from countries like India, Italy, New Zealand, Greece and Austria.

 

There are about 82 domes and four minarets within the snow white structure each of these reflecting various values and concepts of Islam. The vibrant colour combination of colourful carpets, marbles and walls give an artistic look to this holy building. Several Islamic patterns are made using a variety of glasses including mosaic, sand blasted and carved. The domes feature crowns, finials and marble claddings. Visitors are often found drawn by the exquisite Moroccan artwork done on the interiors of dome using reinforced plaster called CRG. In addition to this, there are several verses from Quran, which are inscribed in golden colour on the interior walls of the dome. The roofs of underground bathing facilities have green grass domes, which are visible above the grounds. One of the major attractions of this mausoleum is its lighting system, which depicts different phases of the moon. Soft waves of bluish grey clouds are projected on the domes and façades of shrine. The colour of this illumination gets darker as the moon cycle progresses.

Remains of Some of the Ancient Castles of Alsace in France

France is located in Western Europe, and is considered as one of the popular tourist hotspots in the world. It is surrounded by famous travel destinations like Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Spain. Every year, thousands of travellers spend their France holidays by visiting some of its prominent beaches, mountain ranges, palaces and rivers of the country. Over the years, visitors are drawn by the beauty of numerous places of interest, such as Chartres Cathedral, Dune of Pyla, Chateau de Chambord and George du Verdon, to name a few. In addition to this, there are several famous regions in the country that have rich historical backgrounds. Some of these historic cities include Alsace, Bourbourg, Paris and Vienne.

 

As per the geography and history, Alsace is the Germanic part of France, where majority of people speak Alsacian, which is a dialectal form of German. The region is partitioned into two parts namely – Bas Rhin and Haut Rhin. It is worldwide reckoned for making different types of wine. There are several huge vineyards within this place which are mostly located along the eastern foothills of Vosges. In addition to this, the region is well-known for the tourist attractions like Fleckenstein and Hohlandsbourg Castle, Colmar, Struthof and Mulhouse.

 

Fleckenstein Castle

Fleckenstein Castle
Fleckenstein Castle

Fleckenstein Castle is one of the prominent ancient structures that is situated in Alsace and is built at an altitude of nearly 330 metres. Every year more than thousands of travellers visit this fort so as to explore the beauty of its remains. While standing at the castle ruins, travellers get a perfect view of the Sauer River Valley. It was built in the 12th century and has been regarded as an impregnable structure. The main objective behind constructing this fort was to enable the French military to have a close check on the roads connecting Lorraine and Alsace and the Haguenau city. In 1680, the fort received its first blow and most of its parts were destroyed by the French troops. After this blown, only the square tower and few rooms on the cliff side have been completely restored.

 

The fortress features a south facing terrace café, which gives a perfect view of the structure and picturesque surroundings. This on-site restaurant has a seating arrangement for about 60 seats and serves a variety of mouth-watering delicacies and beverages. There is a souvenir shop within the fort from where travellers can purchase postcards, theme books, hiking maps, medieval toys and guides, which will keep their visit to the fort alive for several years.

 

Hohlandsbourg Castle

Hohlandsbourg Castle
Hohlandsbourg Castle

 

Hohlandsbourg Castle is located on the highest peak of a mountain and offers a breathtaking view of Alsace and Vosges Mountains. As per the fortresses records, it was built in the 13th century under the region of Lords of Habsburg. It is regarded as the largest palace in the region having a length of about 100 metres and width of nearly 60 meters. Several cultural and exchange events are organised within the building during the period from Easter till 11th November. Due to severe blows by French militants during the 30 years of war, today only few parts and walls of the structure are left for exploring. Travellers can witness these ruins of this fort during their France tour to Alsace.

Experience the Enthralling Kenya and Tanzania Safari

Kenya, located in the eastern part of Africa, is a popular tourist destination in the African Great Lakes area. This country has enchanting natural landscapes, which are characterised with craggy hills, luxuriant valleys, lush green forests and pristine water bodies. There are many regions here that are dedicated to rich wildlife habitats. Known for the Big Five – elephant, rhinoceros, buffalo, lion and leopard, this country is an ideal getaway for wildlife enthusiasts, nature lovers, adrenaline junkies and adventurers. People come to this beatific destination to enthral themselves by indulging in Kenya safaris. One of the most popular safari packages of this mesmerising location is the 14 Day Kenya and Tanzania tours. Travellers get an opportunity to enjoy the eastern part of Africa by exploring the arid Shaba as well as the verdant alpine forests of Aberdare Mountains during this tour.

 

Aberdare Mountains
Aberdare Mountains

There is a plethora of vantage points, soaring peaks, lush green forests and other natural attractions, which people get to discover during the span of few days of the Kenya and Tanzania tours. Lake Nakuru, which houses flocks of flamingos, is one of the prime highlights of this trip. Apart from beholding the breathtaking vistas of the crystal water of this lake, tourists get to witness the euphoric culture of Samburu natives and Masai tribe.

Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro Crater

Another major spot, which travellers get to explore, during this excursion, is the the Ngorongoro Crater, which is the largest among extinct volcanoes of the world. Home to rich wildlife, including lions as well as buffaloes, this place is a retreat for wildlife enthusiasts. This area features the sprawling Amboseli National Park, which is famous for its unique elephants having large tusks.

 

Amboseli National Park
Amboseli National Park

Days of Natural Exploration

Travellers, who are spending their Kenya holidays on this amazing safari tour, arrive at the bustling city of Nairobi, which has an international airport. Then they head for the Shaba and Samburu region. Home to the Ewaso Ngiro River, this area is home to vivid flora and fauna. Orynx and long-necked Gerenuk are some of the rare species, which reside in this location. The next destination during this venture is the majestic mountain range of Aberdare as well as the sprawling Lake Nakuru National Park. The latter area is home to thousands of flocks of flamingos and also one of the best regions to encounter the rare white rhino.

From Nakuru, tourists head for one of the most prominent safari regions of the country – Masai Mara. This place is popularly known as the Site of Great Migration due to the heavy footfall of up to 2 million animals and birds at this location. This place not only offers mesmerising vistas but is also a delight to the eyes of a birdwatcher. The next destination of this safari is the Serengeti National Park where tourists can indulge in various plain games, take leisurely strolls and explore the rich ecology of the vivid topography here. Other prominent places, which travellers cover during the remaining days, include Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara as well as the Amboseli National Park.

The Enchanting Walking Street in Pattaya

The city of Pattaya, positioned on the eastern coast of Gulf of Thailand, is a popular tourist destination in Thailand. This beatific site features breathtaking terrains, which are characterised with expansive sandy stretches, gleaming water bodies, verdant hills, lush green forests and sprawling grasslands. People from near and far come to this picturesque location to explore its natural landscapes.

Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden
Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden

This place is an ideal getaway for all – nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts, peace seekers and adventurers. Besides, it also features euphoric discotheques, markets, casinos and bars where visitors can shake their legs to groovy music, indulge in shopping spree, gamble and drink.

Jomtein Beach
Jomtein Beach
Sanctuary of Truth
Sanctuary of Truth

There are several prominent places of interest here, such as Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden, Jomtein Beach, Sanctuary of Truth, Sriracha Tiger Zoo, Bira Circuit and Ko Phai. One of the most vibrant market areas of this city is the Walking Street.

Sriracha Tiger Zoo
Sriracha Tiger Zoo

Indulge in a Spree of Shopping and Gambling

Travellers planning to spend their upcoming vacations on Pattaya tours are definitely in for unleashed fun and frolic. Apart from captivating natural vistas, this place is well-known for its peppy bazaars and vibrant markets. The Walking Street area is regarded as one of the most lively streets all across the world. It is an ideal destination for fun lovers and shopaholics. An array of stalls and stands offer a plethora of items from the city and beyond. Visitors can browse for garments, cosmetics, tiaras, accessories and a host of other items across the bazaar in this street. Furthermore, tourists can indulge in various games and activities at the casinos here. Thousands of people try their luck at winning some amount at the walking Street everyday.

Mouth-watering Culinary Delights and Exotic Drinks

A plethora of dining venues has been established at this popular destination, which is thronged by people all-year round. A host of multi-cuisine restaurants serves palatable culinary delights both – regional and international. The palatable delicacies offered at these sumptuous dining venues satisfy even the most discerning gourmets. In addition, there are rows of bars and lounges where visitors can relish an array of exotic drinks, both – alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Rows of coffee shops offer freshly brewed beverages, such as tea and coffee as well as delectable snacks. There are several bakery shops, which serve scrumptious cakes, pastries, muffins and doughnuts. The Walking street is definitely a delight for foodies and a must-visit for food junkies.

Consolidated Travel Packages with Leading Travel Portals

The footfall at this amazing location is heavy throughout the year. So, travel experts recommend that tourists should consider making advance bookings of consolidated tour packages from leading travel portals. There are several benefits of choosing these comprehensive travel packages. Firstly, such deals are comparatively cheaper and help on cutting down expenses. Secondly, all-in-one deals make the tour organized and planned. All concerns, including ticket booking, local car hire, guided tours and accommodation reservations are taken care of with such packages. Leading travel portals offer an array of deals for this city that cover euphoric sites like The Walking Street and Jomtien Beach.

The Euphoric Grand Bazaar of Turkey

Turkey, a transcontinental country, which lies mostly in the western part of Asia and partially in the south-eastern part of Europe, is an ideal holiday getaway. This place has mesmerizing terrains, which are characterized with mountains, beaches and lush green forests. Encircled by water bodies on three sides, this picturesque destination has an extraordinary ecosystem and rich biodiversity. Besides, exploring unleashed natural terrains, tourists can also visit prominent attractions during Turkey holidays. There are several popular places of interest in this enchanting country, such as Turkua Zoo, Istanbul Aquarium, House of the Virgin Mary, Galata Bridge, Little Hagia Sophia and Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. In addition, the vibrant bazaars of this euphoric nation add to the zest of vacations here.

Grand Bazar
Grand Bazar

 

One of the ancient markets here is The Grand Bazaar, which is located in the walled city of Istanbul. The establishment of this market, which was initiated by Sultan Mehmed – the conqueror, dates back to the mid 14th century. It is believed to have reached its final shape by the early years of the 17th century. This shopping area is counted among the oldest and largest covered markets of the world. There are more than 60 covered streets and over 5000 shops here, attracting up to 4 lakh visitors every day.

Grand Bazar Map
Grand Bazar Map

Stretching from west to east between the mosques of Nuruosmaniye and Beyazit, this market is easily accessible via trams – local means of transport.

Architecture, Design and Layout

The marketing complex has two Hamams, four fountains, two mosques and several exquisite dining venues. The central area features a huge hall, which has a high-rise dome. This hall is known as Cevahir Bedesten and houses valuable antiques and other precious items, such as mother-of-pearl mirrors, inlaid weapons, copperware, intricately carved furnitures, amber prayer beads, icons, watches, silver as well as gold jewellery and clocks. Another major architectural highlight here is the Ic Bedesten, which features a rectangular plan. There are two rows of four stone piers each and three rows of five bays each. All bays are surmounted with domes made up of bricks and blind drums. In the inner as well as outer walls, there are more than 40 cellars (known as Mahzen in Turkish) and vaulted rooms, which have external openings.

This area receives sunlight from the rectangular windows, which have been typically constructed right under the roof. These windows are accessible through ambulatory made up of wood. There are four entrances, which allow access to this building, namely Second-hand Book Sellers Gate in the north, Skullcap Sellers Gate in the south, Jewellers Gate in the east, and Womens Clothiers Gate in the west. Other prominent architectural structures within this shopping complex are The Sandal Bedesten and Fur Dealers Market.

Among the Most-visited Attractions

Today, this bazaar is a thriving shopping complex, which employs more than 26000 people. This place is a landmark area in Istanbul and one of the most-visited sites of the country. From clothes, to food to jewellery to antiques, tourists can browse and buy a wide range of attractive items from this place. The Grand Bazaar was the most widely visited monument in the world in the year 2011. Hordes of travelers who visit Turkey during international tours come down to this lively site to indulge in the spree of shopping, explore ancient edifices and encounter the rich culture of the nation.

Three Tier Architecture of Venerated Pura of Bali

The island of Bali is located in Indonesia and is a part of the Coral Triangle, which is the region with the highest biodiversity of marine species. People from different parts of the world opt for Bali tours to explore its vivid flora and fauna, and behold the captivating beauty of its panoramic topography. Nestled in the Lesser Sunda Islands, this region has more than 500 coral reefs, which is around seven times more than the number of reefs in the Caribbean. This beatific destination features plethora of dive sites, breathtaking vantage points and expansive beaches. Besides, this place is also known for its revered religious sites. It is popularly referred to as The Island of a Thousand Temples and typical Balinese temples are known as Pura.

 

A Pura refers to a Balinese temple, which is dedicated to Hindu deities. These are venerated sites where the followers of Hinduism in Indonesia offer prayers and seek blessings of the almighty.

Mother Temple of Besakih
Mother Temple of Besakih
Tanah Lot
Tanah Lot
Pura Luhur
Pura Luhur
Pura Tirta Empul
Pura Tirta Empul

Mother Temple of Besakih, Tanah Lot, Pura Luhur and Pura Tirta Empul are among the most prominent shrines in this isle. The layout and architectural design of Puras are different from common Indian temples. Religious structures of this island feature unique architectural design, which is quite different from that of Indian Hindu temples.

 

These are open air sites of worship, featuring enclosed walls. These areas are connected with rows of intricately carved gates between the compounds. The walled compounds have several religious edifices, towers (known as Meru) and pavilions (known as Bale). The plan and layout of Shrines in Bali follow the regional Trimandala concept of space allocation. There are three zones in almost all religious complexes that are arranged according to sacred hierarchy.

 

Nista Mandala

Nista Mandala, which is also known as Jaba Pisan, is the outer zone that connects the compound of the temple directly to the outer section as well as to the main entrance. This area is usually in the form of an open field or a sprawling garden, which is used for scared functions and events during festivals.

 

Madya Mandala

Madya Mandala, which is also known as Jaba Tengah, is the middle wing of the religious complex. This is the area where supporting facilities of the scared structure are provided and devotees perform prayers. Typical architectural features of this zone include several pavilions, such as BaleKulkul (wooden drum tower), Bale Gong, Wantilan, Pesandekan and Perantenan (kitchen of the temple).

 

Utama Mandala

Utama Mandala or Jero is the most significant section of the temple complex. This enclosed area houses a Padmasana, which is the lotus throne of the highly venerated God – Acintya or Ida Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa. Jero houses the Pelinggih Meru, which is a tower with multiple roofs similar in design to pagodas of China and Japan. There are many pavilions in this section, such as Bale Pawedan, Bale Piyasan, Bale Murda and Bale Pepelik. Devotees, archaeologists and historians visit this exquisite destination all-year round to exp[lore these holy monuments. Besides, nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts and adventurers who set off with world tour packages also come to this enchanting island.