Half a Day Tour of Pisa


Half a Day Tour of Pisa

A day trip to Pisa is one the most popular tourist itinerary that people take while touring Italy. Pisa falls in the Tuscany region of Italy which is considered as one of the most picturesque parts of Italy. Although people recognise this place with its iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa but this place has quite a few tourist attractions that you can visit and the best part is that all of them are located with a hundred meter radius. A trip to Italy would honestly be incomplete without a trip to Pisa and Florence. In this blog, I have listed the best touring option and also listed the various tourist sites that you must visit during your trip.

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Complete Guide to Mahabalipuram


Complete Guide to Mahabalipuram

If you are traveling around Tamil Nadu then most probably you will be transiting through Chennai, and I would recommend you to spare two days for Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram. It’s just a short drive from Chennai and the four-lane highway is just butter smooth. The drive from Chennai will surely be picturesque as you would be able to see the Bay of Bengal to your left coming into view from time to time. I keep visiting this place often as I always prefer to take the night flight back to Kolkata from Chennai since I get cheapest air tickets on this route and extending my return date by accommodating a short trip to this place has always been my favorite.

Mahabalipuram is much more than a temple town, it’s rather a heaven for stone architecture lovers. This coastal town has some of the finest collection of early Dravidian architectural marvels. There are lots of things to see in this place. Most of the places of interest are in groups thus it’s easy for you to navigate. While doing my research on Mahabalipuram before going I had difficulty in planning my route as no site or blog points out all the places of interest in a single document thus I had decided to write this blog which would list down all the major important landmarks in this town.

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Velankanni Church


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There is very few pilgrimage site for the Christians in India and one of the most prominent amongst them is the church at Velankanni also known as Our Lady of Good Health. I still remember from my childhood days that my aunts and other relatives often making this pilgrimage all the way from Kolkata just to pray at the church. My visit to Velankanni, however, was just a coincidence more of a detour during my trip to Thanjavur. On reaching Thanjavur I was informed by the car driver that many people often make a day trip to Velankanni. This was an opportunity that I did not want to miss as I was not sure if I would ever come back to Thanjavur again or for that matter come anywhere near Velankanni.

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Snake Milking At Madras Crocodile Bank


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While on a train journey to down south I happen to chance upon this article which came as a feed from The Washington Post. It was about the infestation of Burmese Pythons in the state of Florida in the US. Apparently with no other option in the site the state had hired two Irula tribe men from India and their translator flew them all the way to Florida to catch these Burmese Python and to kill them. They had previously tried various methods to catch these but failed and these Irula men managed to catch 13 pythons in two weeks. They plan to stay there until end of February for this project.

Irula tribe is famous for their snake and rat catching ability and was used extensively by the farming community to get rid of these from their farming lands. But with the concern of nature conservation snake hunting was banned in India thus depriving the basic livelihood of these people. Poisonous snakes cause a huge number of human fatality in India and with very few supply of anti-snake venom, many saw the need of these Irula men as a key factor in closing this gap.

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Sadras Fort


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Somehow the word temple often gets associated with Mahabalipuram after all this place has some of the finest shore temples but in reality, this place has another history attached to it. All along the coastline of ancient India various trading posts were present often operated by the English, Portuguese, French and Dutch. India was the hub for exports and these European powers found the perfect place to trade in muslin, gemstones, pearl, coir and other export goods. If you look at the present map of India you would find various forts and trading posts all along the coastline and one such is that of Sadras Fort.

Sadras was obviously not the real name, it was what the Dutch called it as they found it much easier to pronounce than Sadrangapatnam or Sadrafpatan. Nestled between the major ports of Nagapattinam and Madras (Chennai) this was more of a small fort which also acted as a trading post or trading office. Sadras along with Pulicat were the two most famous trading post built by the Dutch in the Coromandel Coast by VOC (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie) or better known as the Dutch East India Company. People are aware of Pulicat but Sadras is almost forgotten.

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