Grand Island and Pequeno Island in Goa – Two most Exotic Places in Goa


Grand Island or Grande island is one of the most exotic places in Goa. There are lot of package tours to the island. The package normally includes snorkeling, fishing and a scrumptious meal. Sighting of dolphins is also normal in and around the island.


The Grand Island in Goa is accessible by boat. You can experience the underwater life, through snorkeling. Experts are there to guide you at Monkey Beach. It is quite safe to do snorkeling at Monkey Beach in Grande island.

There are package tours to this island. The Grande Island package tour costs around two thousand rupees, including boat fare and snorkeling charges. Please confirm the rates before agreeing for the package tour.

How Do I Go to The Grand Island in Goa?

The Grand Island or Grande island is on the Arabian Sea. There are boat services from the main land from every morning; starting at around 8 am. Services are there till 3 pm, depending on the bookings. It takes less than 30 minutes of travel by boat.

Bat Island alias Pequeno island

Bat Island alias Pequeno island is another famous island known for snorkeling. It is very close to the mainland, on your way to Grand Island or Grande island. Pequeno island is also known as Marmagao Goa.

Fresh Fish can be caught from the sea and barbecued at these islands.

This post on the Goa island appeared originally here.

Talakona Waterfalls in Chittoor District


Talakona waterfalls is situated inside Sri Venkateswara National Park in Nerabailu village, Yerravaripalem mandal, Chittoor District, Andhra Pradesh, India. This waterfalls is 270 feet in height (i.e. 82 meters) and is the largest fall in Andhra Pradesh and is part of the Eastern Ghats.

Talakona waterfalls is situated inside Sri Venkateswara National Park in Nerabailu village, Yerravaripalem mandal, Chittoor District, Andhra Pradesh, India. This waterfalls is 270 feet in height (i.e. 82 meters) and is the largest fall in Andhra Pradesh and is part of the Eastern Ghats.

 Talakona waterfallsView of Talakona waterfalls.

Talakona waterfalls got its name from its Telugu meaning ‘head hill’ (tala means head and kona means hill). The forests around the falls are rich in flora and fauna and is covered with Sandalwood trees and is home to many rare and endangered species of animals like Slender Loris, Golden Gecko, Mouse Deer, Indian Giant Squirrel, Panther, Porcupine, Sambar, Chital ,etc. Endemic species like Cycas beddomeii, Red Sander are found in this forests.

Those who are adventurous can choose from, many long and treacherous Talakona trekking routes, to go to the top of the hills. There are many deep caves scattered across hills, which were believed to be the meditation places for sages. Lord Siddheswara Swamy Temple is situated close to the falls. Another nearby fall, Kone waterfalls, is on the Puttur-Uttukottai Road.

How Do I Go to Talakona Waterfalls?

Talakona waterfalls is situated near to Tirupati-Madanapalli high way and is at a distance of 49 kilometers from Tirupati; the famous temple town. This Falls is at a distance of 220 kilometers from Chennai and 105 kilometers from Chittoor; the district headquarters. Bakarapeta is the nearest town to the Falls, at a distance of 23 kilometers. Renigunta Airport, the nearest airport, is at a distance of 75 kilometers from the falls.

Talakona Room Booking

Talakona room booking is available with Forest department Rooms. Andhra Pradesh state tourism department offers jungle cottages for stay at Haritha Hotel near Talakona waterfalls.

One needs to stay overnight, to enjoy the abundant beauty of nature. If you carry the required sleeping bags with you, it would be ideal to stay overnight. There are many private hotels and resorts in and around Talakona waterfalls, catering to the needs of the tourists to this great Chennai Weekend Getaway Destination.

The original article can be read at

Gavi in Pathanamthitta District


Gavi is a scenic place on the Western Ghats situated in Pathanamthitta District. This place has gained popularity with tourists from the state and also from others. The village Gavi is situated in Ranni Taluk. It is at a distance of around 284 kilometers from Vandiperiyar (idukki district).

There are around 260 species of birds and is home to many a beasts of the jungle.

Gavi is part of the Periyar Tiger Reseserve. Tourists can go to Gavi from Vandiperiyar   or from Pathanamthitta by Car. Bus services are also available. There is an entry fee to be paid to explore the beauty of this forests, if you are not going by public transport.

Two Gopher trees are a specialty of Gavi forest. It is believed that these are seen only here in India. It is believed that Biblical Noah’s ark  was made with Gopher wood.

The nearest railway stations is Chengannur Railway Station at around 115 kilometers distance.  Kottayam Railway station is at around 128 kilometers distance from Gavi. Eranakulam Railway Station is at around 168 kilometers away.

Nedumbassery Airport (Kochi airport) is the nearest airport at around 160 kilometers away. Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of the state of Kerala, is at around  180 kilometers distance. Madurai airport is at around 200 kilometers away.

Rooms are available for those interested to stay overnight at Gavi. It is from Kerala  Forest Development Corporation Ltd.


Vagamon, Summer Destination


Vagamon, Summer Destination
(Vagamon Hill station – Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vagamon is an non-polluted hill station in Kerala state, India, which is an ideal summer vacation destination. Vagamon is called the ‘Asia’s Scotland’ as it resembles Scotland.

The hill station of Vagamon was discovered more than 2 centuries back by the then ruling British, who were impressed by the climate of Vagamon and found this area suitable for tea plantation.  Vagamon is listed in the “50 most attractive places to visit in India” by National Geographic Traveler.

Scenic valleys, pine forests, waterfalls, fog,  mist and tea plantations make this one of the best hill stations in India. Many varieties of orchids and flowers are seen in plenty. The road is Vagamon is made by cutting hanging cliff (rocks) along the pine tree filled forests. The road from Erattupetta  is an engineering wonder  and was constructed in the 1950’s.

Thangal hills, Murugan hills and Kurisumala hills representing  Muslim, Hindi and Christian are found in Vagamon! This shows the religious harmony of the area.

Vagamon is an ideal place for rock climbing, para-gliding, trekking, mountaineering,etc. Wagamon is part of the UNESCO heritage site of Western Ghats, which are rich in diverse flora and fauna.

How do I go to Vagamon, Summer Destination? What about hotels?

Vagamon is at a distance of 45 kilo meters from Kumaly (Thekkady) and is at 33 km distance from Pala in Kottayam district. Kottayam railway station is the nearest railway station at 65 km distance from Vagamon. Cochin International airport at Nedumbrassery is the nearest airport.

There are many hotels/resorts in Vagamon serving the visiting tourists.

Neatest tier II city is Cochin (Ernakulam), which is at around 100 kilo meters away. There are many hotels in Cochin. A new addition to budget hotels in Cochin is Greenest.


About Indian Tourist Places – PART V


About Indian Tourist Places – PART V

Front view of the Santhome Basilica in Chennai

Front view of the Santhome Basilica in Chennai (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This post ‘About Indian Tourist Places – PART V’ is about places of tourist interest in India which is not covered in other pages.

San Thome Basilica is in Mypalore, Chennai, is where St. Thomas is laid to rest on the Bay of Bengal coast along the Marina Beach near to the Chennai Light house.  Vailankanni in Tamilnadu has the world famous church ‘Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health’.

Mahe Pondicherry Karaikal Yanam are all parts of the Union Territory Pondichery,  spread across Kerala, Tamilnadu and Andhra Pradesh states.

Agasthiyar Falls is a beautiful falls near Thirnelveli in Tamilnadu.  This water fall is part of Agathiar Reserve forests which are part of Western Ghats, a UNSECO World Heritage Site.

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is near to Kottayam in Kerala. Kumarakom is India’s leading tourist destination which is famous for its backwater tourism. You can stay at Allapuzha homestay which is very near by where you can go by vehicle or by boat.

Amba Vilas Palace and Forts are in Jaipur, which are old Palace and Fort, attracts thousands of tourists every day and palace of mysore is a beautiful palace at Mysore which is famous for its Dassera celebrations. Golconda Fort in Andhra is a heritage fort.

About Indian Tourist Places – PART IV


About Indian Tourist Places – PART IV

English: Esacus recurvirostris, at Ranganathit...

English: Esacus recurvirostris, at Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This post is about some more places of tourist interest in India which is not covered earlier and is related to Indian tourism industry.

Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, 3 kilometers from the famous temple town of Srirangapatana in Karnataka, is a 6 islets bird sanctuary. Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is  the only one of its kind in India, an island bird sanctuary. There is boat facility to go to the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary which is in the Kavery River. The group of islets which are now the bird sanctuary were  formed due to the construction of some man made structures  across the river Kaveri in the year 1648 by the Wodeyar, the then Mysore King.  Dr. Salim Ali, who is considered as the father of Indian ornithology, known as the “birdman of India” , noticed that these islets are a major nesting ground for many birds. Late Dr. Salim Ali persuaded the Wodeyar kings of Mysore in 1940 and got these  islets  declared as Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary.

Full Moon Beach, Paradise Beach and Half moon beach  at Gokarna near Hoobly in Karnataka is another tourist palace worth visiting.

Periyar Wild life Sanctuary at Thekkedy in Kumali, Kerala, is a beautiful wildlife sanctuary. You can go for boating inside the lake and see many species of  animals from your boat.  Hoards of  Elephants drinking water is a common sight during the Summer months. Thoovanam waterfalls inside the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary in Idukki district of Kerala is another Kerala tourist place. Monument of Kuravar and Kurathi Statue at Idukki district of Kerala is another Kerala tourist place. Allepy boating is a major tourism relayed activity in the endless Vembanad backwaters, which is a major backwater tourism boating area in Kerala.

Some famous Kerala temples  or Kerala Hindu pilgrimage places or Kerala Hindu places of workship are the temples at Thiruvananthapuram Padmanabhaswamy temple, Sabarimala Sree DharmaSastha Temple, Guruvayoor Sri Krishna temple, Aranmula Parthasarathy temple, Ettumanoor Mahadevar temple, Kodulgaloor Bhagavathy temple, Attukal  Bhagavathy temple Thiruvananthapuram etc.

Another major historic place worth visiting in india is in the North Eastern state of Nagaland.  The War Cemetery at Kohima, a war memorial cemetery in memory of those brave soldiers who lost their lives fighting the advancing Japanese army during World War II in 1944.  War Cemetery at Kohima  is maintained by Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Manali, a major hill station in India is in the  Himachal Pradesh state on the Great Himalayan mountain ranges.

Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary in Andhra Pradesh state is another tourist spot which attracts a lot of visitors in and around Hyderabad places.

About Indian Tourist Places – PART III


About Indian Tourist Places – PART III

I will continue writing about some more Indian tourist places.

Schmidt Memorial -Beasant Nagar Eliots beach

Schmidt Memorial in Beasant Nagar Edward Elliot’s beach- Image by George T. George

Schmidt Memorial in Beasant Nagar beach is the spot where the super hit comedy pair of Ramdas and Vijayan (“Vijayan and “Dasan” in the movie), acted remarkably by The Complete Actor Padmashree Mahanlal and Srinivasan,  supposedly lands in Dubai (both were duped by conman, played by veteran Malayalam actor, Mamukkoya). This scene is in the mega super hit comedy Malayalam movie ‘Nadodikattu‘ released in 1987. This movie’s remake in Tamil by name ‘Kadhanayagan’ was released in 1988.

Meenmutty Falls in Thiruvananthapuram and another Meenmutty Falls  (falls with the same name) at Wayanad, both in Kerala, are two beautiful falls. Gavi near Sabarimala in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala where the super hit Malayalam movie ‘Ordinary’ was shot, which was released in 2012, is one of the best tourism area in India.

Dudhsagar Falls Goa Karnataka Border is one of the most beautiful falls in India. Paradise Beach which is part of Karnataka beaches at Gokarna Beach in Karnataka state are beautiful beaches.

Periyapalayam falls in Andhara Pradesh not far from Andhara – Tamilnadu border, just 10 kilometers ahead of  Puthur.  Puthur or Puthoor is famous for ‘Puthur Kettu’,  a kind of substitute for orthopedic surgery, done locally and is very famous in parts of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamilnadu states.