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Goa off the beaten path, Whole Goa in One Day!

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Usually when we talk about Goa we refer to warm sea, pristine beaches, clear and sunny sky and lots of tourists from around the world relaxing and enjoying together with their family or loved ones. However, this time when I was in Goa for nearly two weeks, my Russian friend came up with an idea to further explore Goa in one day away from the beaches. She came across one Russian travel agency operating in Goa “tvoy Goa” and there we saw a tour package of Complete Goa in one day. In no time, we booked with the agency.

Their office was in Candolim, where we stayed. The place is a mini Russia in itself. The office was also giving a complete feel of a Russian office. Everything was written in Russian; receptionist, managers and all employees were Russian. It was strange and funny that to see India, I was with a Russian tour agency with my friend and her mother. They were accepting fees in US Dollars but I am glad that for me they accepted Indian Rupees as well.

Whole Goa in One Day!

The Complete Goa in One day package included a visit to Temple of Sri Mahalasa, Dudhsagar Falls, Spice plantation garden, Lunch, and Old Goa in the respective order.

Our Russian guide greeted us as soon as our trip started. After 2-3 minutes of talking, she realized I am a non-Russian and her quick question was “vse govarit po russky?” (Does everyone speak in Russian?) We all responded with yes, and she was surprised with my presence and my Russian language. Throughout the way, she was introducing the group to Indian culture, some common myths and beliefs about the Indian society and I was there to help if she needed clarification. The bus became a platform for intellectual discussion on Indian culture with everyone participating and asking questions out of their curiosity and observations.

Passing through the serene roads accompanied by the green trees and zigzagging through the Goan territory, we reached Sri Mahalasa temple. It was like seeking blessing of the goddess Mahalasa, Mohini avatar of Vishnu, before continuing with journey. The temple was shifted from the Velha conquistas (Saxty/salcette) to avoid destruction during the forcible Christianisation of Salcette, Goa.  The temple boasts a magnificent deepastambha and a holy pond. Visitors cannot go with swimsuits inside and need to cover their sleeves up to the half-length and legs up to the knees. Footwear need to be removed outside the temple. Taking picture of the front view of the temple is not allowed. However, you can take pictures in the other areas of the temple.

mahalasa-temple Whole Goa in One Day

deepastambha mahalasa-temple Whole Goa in One Day

The next stop in our trip was of course, Doodhsagar falls. I would say this was the main highlight of the trip, and it is not in Goa, :P but in the adjacent state of Karnataka. Last time I came here when I was studying in Bangalore. We trekked along the railway tracks and the view was much better from there. You could actually see the fall very close on a height! The name Doodhsagar came from Sanskrit. It is made up of two words, Doodh (milk) and sagar (sea) so you can guess why it is called so.

Private vehicles cannot go up to the waterfall. We had to get down and take a safari jeep provided by the administration whose fees was included in the tour package. As soon as you get down from the bus, number of local people will come to sell bananas and tomatoes to you for feeding the monkeys. I have fed monkeys a lot, it is quite dangerous and I do not find it exciting anymore. However, I bought it because my friend wanted to. I was unaware of the fact that feeding monkeys was illegal there and we cannot take any eatables inside. At the entrance of the protected area, government officials started checking our bags, though they were not so strict. They were asking politely and as polite was the response from all the fellow Russian tourists, “no, we do not have any bananas.”

From that point, it took another 45 minutes to reach the falls through unmetalled roads and crossing rivers that filled water up to our feet in the jeep. As soon as we got down, I was surprised to see everyone taking out bananas and feeding the monkeys. I was laughing because I thought only Indians do such things, breaking the rules! Probably it is the effect of extra freedom, which Russians enjoy now, after the 74 years long strict soviet rule!

After getting down from the jeep we still had to make our way to the fall, which required crossing fast-flowing mountainous rivers with the help of the rope and climbing small rocks. It was not as difficult as it sounds; people belonging to all age groups were doing it smoothly. Helping my friend and her mom cross all the hurdles, I started helping fellow tourists to cross whether I knew them or not. Girls, boys, men, women, babushki (grannys) and kids, I cannot remember how many people I pulled and guided or lifted to make them reach safe place. It was a bit strange for me, as men in Russia have to serve the army compulsory for one year; I assumed that it would be very easy for them, but I felt as if it was something new for them, and I had to guide them and pull them the same way.

Doodhsagar-fall The next stop in our trip was of course, Doodhsagar falls. I would say this was the main highlight of the trip, and it is not in Goa, :P but in the adjacent state of Karnataka. Last time I came here when I was studying in Bangalore. We trekked along the railway tracks and the view was much better from there. You could actually see the fall very close on a height! The name Doodhsagar came from Sanskrit. It is made up of two words, Doodh (milk) and sagar (sea) so you can guess why it is called so.  Private vehicles cannot go up to the waterfall. We had to get down and take a safari jeep provided by the administration whose fees was included in the tour package. As soon as you get down from the bus, number of local people will come to sell bananas and tomatoes to you for feeding the monkeys. I have fed monkeys a lot, it is quite dangerous and I do not find it exciting anymore. However, I bought it because my friend wanted to. I was unaware of the fact that feeding monkeys was illegal there and we cannot take any eatables inside. At the entrance of the protected area, government officials started checking our bags, though they were not so strict. They were asking politely and as polite was the response from all the fellow Russian tourists, “no, we do not have any bananas.”  From that point, it took another 45 minutes to reach the falls through unmetalled roads and crossing rivers that filled water up to our feet in the jeep. As soon as we got down, I was surprised to see everyone taking out bananas and feeding the monkeys. I was laughing because I thought only Indians do such things, breaking the rules! Probably it is the effect of extra freedom, which Russians enjoy now, after the 74 years long strict soviet rule!  After getting down from the jeep we still had to make our way to the fall, which required crossing fast-flowing mountainous rivers with the help of the rope and climbing small rocks. It was not as difficult as it sounds; people belonging to all age groups were doing it smoothly. Helping my friend and her mom cross all the hurdles, I started helping fellow tourists to cross whether I knew them or not. Girls, boys, men, women, babushki (grannys) and kids, I cannot remember how many people I pulled and guided or lifted to make them reach safe place. It was a bit strange for me, as men in Russia have to serve the army compulsory for one year; I assumed that it would be very easy for them, but I felt as if it was something new for them, and I had to guide them and pull them the same way.

This day gave me an unforgettable moment as I lost my slippers in an attempt to support my friend and save my mobile while crossing the river with the help of the rope. From that point, I walked barefoot throughout the trip: in the jungle, in the garden, on the streets and in the church. The result was red feet due to excessive acupressure by mother earth!

Our next stop was spice plantation garden. It was like a forest where you could see spices growing. It is an interesting place if you want to know a little more about the common spices that you include in your food daily. However, for an Indian there is not anything new. :) Nevertheless, it is a good concept to introduce foreign tourists to Indian spices and their richness. We were provided lunch in traditional Indian style on Banana leaf; tea and Goan feni (local alcohol) was served right on the table. I was having a friendly conversation with the guide when a group of girls came and occupied seats next to me, everyone was curious to know what was there on their plate. It was interesting to see that whenever we had free time, the conversation took a spiritual and intellectual turn. No matter if you visit Goa or Varanasi, if you came to India you will not go without taking some spiritual lessons from this ancient country.

spice-plantation-garden-goa This day gave me an unforgettable moment as I lost my slippers in an attempt to support my friend and save my mobile while crossing the river with the help of the rope. From that point, I walked barefoot throughout the trip: in the jungle, in the garden, on the streets and in the church. The result was red feet due to excessive acupressure by mother earth!  Our next stop was spice plantation garden. It was like a forest where you could see spices growing. It is an interesting place if you want to know a little more about the common spices that you include in your food daily. However, for an Indian there is not anything new. :) Nevertheless, it is a good concept to introduce foreign tourists to Indian spices and their richness. We were provided lunch in traditional Indian style on Banana leaf; tea and Goan feni (local alcohol) was served right on the table. I was having a friendly conversation with the guide when a group of girls came and occupied seats next to me, everyone was curious to know what was there on their plate. It was interesting to see that whenever we had free time, the conversation took a spiritual and intellectual turn. No matter if you visit Goa or Varanasi, if you came to India you will not go without taking some spiritual lessons from this ancient country.

In the spice garden you can see elephants, ride on them or bath with them as elephants splash water on you from their trunks. Interesting, isn’t it? My friend and I decided to take a ride on the elephant. It was for 600 rupees each (not included in the package) for a quiet small ride.

Our last stop was Old Goa where we visited some of the most magnificent churches of Goa and Asia. Cathedral of St. Catherine is the biggest church in Asia. The cathedral is known for its Golden bell, which is biggest in Goa and one of the best in the world. Once sounded, the vibration of the bell can be heard as far as 14 Km! The church belongs to 16th century, which was the time when Europeans started forced Christianisation of India. We also visited Basilica of Bom Jesus, which has the relics of the Apostle of India, St. Francisco Xavier. He is known as the most successful catholic missionary in the world in the history of Christianity.

cathedral-of-st.-catherine-goa In the spice garden you can see elephants, ride on them or bath with them as elephants splash water on you from their trunks. Interesting, isn’t it? My friend and I decided to take a ride on the elephant. It was for 600 rupees each (not included in the package) for a quiet small ride.  Our last stop was Old Goa where we visited some of the most magnificent churches of Goa and Asia. Cathedral of St. Catherine is the biggest church in Asia. The cathedral is known for its Golden bell, which is biggest in Goa and one of the best in the world. Once sounded, the vibration of the bell can be heard as far as 14 Km! The church belongs to 16th century, which was the time when Europeans started forced Christianisation of India. We also visited Basilica of Bom Jesus, which has the relics of the Apostle of India, St. Francisco Xavier. He is known as the most successful catholic missionary in the world in the history of Christianity.

It was evening already and our guide gave us options whether if we want to visit a museum or want to go back home. All of us were filled with excitement and emotions, but we were tired. We decided to return, my feet were red, with impressions of stones and rough surfaces of forest, roads and grasses. Nevertheless, I did not care, as I was lost in the bliss that Goa gave. Our guide on the way home was telling more about Indian mythology and I was lost somewhere. My friend was cutely sleeping with her head resting on the window and her mom was smiling. There was silence in the bus, not because we were tired, but we were saving the memories of the day. Thanks to Goa, thanks to tvoy goa and thanks to the guide Elena for making the day perfect!

Tvoy goa (Your Goa) is a Russian tour agency operating in Goa. Eh! you would be thinking that I am crazy. Nevertheless, the rates were reasonable, probably because it was not a British company! You can get further 5% discount if you book from their website. Children get additional 50% discount and payment can be done after the trip. Tourists, whether they have been to India or not, often have some myths about Indian culture, Indian society and religion; here is the list of top ten myths about India compiled by our Russian journalist from St. Petersburg. It is our personal recommendation for you and clear your doubts about India. :)

Your Turn!

Have you ever been to goa? Where did you go and what did you do? Share your experience, your views and tips in the comments below. Our team of international journalists would love to have discussion with you. And do not forget to share and follow us on your favourite social networking site :)

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Sanskar Shrivastava is the founder of international students' journal, The World Reporter. Passionate about dynamic occurrence in geopolitics, Sanskar has been studying and analyzing geopolitcal events from early life. At present, Sanskar is a student at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture and will be moving to Duke University.

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Most Effective Tips For Booking Cheaper Flights

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aircraft flight travel packing

When you plan your trip, one of the major expenses tend to be the airfare as it is hard to avail last minute cheap flights. In other words, airfare has a detrimental impact on selecting the destination where you wish to go as you have to cut down your expenditure somewhere. So that you do not have to change your travel destination to avail of an affordable flight we are here with some Most Effective Tips For Booking Cheaper Flights. These are as follows:

1. Try to book early

Just like an early worm catches the bird, similarly to avail Emirates Airlines Booking at a cheap rate it is necessary that you book the flight as soon as you have decided to leave. 3 weeks prior to departure, the price of the flight tends to jump by leaps and bound. If you are able to book your tickets between 3 months to 30 days prior to the departure, you are sure to get the best deals on flight tickets. Another advantage of doing so is that you get to book the seat of your choice

2. Don’t be adamant about travel dates

airport waiting

One of the best ways to ensure savings on ticket booking is by being flexible. Here, by flexibility, we imply that you need to have travel plans that can be set as per the availability of cheap tickets. If you fly mid-week or on days when people usually avoid traveling, like Christmas, you tend to get airplane tickets at a very cheap price. You can surely not be flexible to the place you are traveling to or the airport you are opting for but you can surely be flexible as far as the traveling dates are concerned.

3. Opt for a connecting flight

connecting flight

Another way of saving on your airplane ticket is by booking a connecting flight. The non-stop flight is known to be comfortable but very expensive as compared to their counterpart. However, this is only possible if you are not in a hurry to reach the destination but this way you can really save a lot of money on air tickets.

4. Take help of price alerts

It is not necessary that you have to book the flight today for the travel that you ought to make after 4 months to avail of a better deal. Instead, you can opt for setting the alerts for the price change and price drop. If you witness that prices are fluctuating then you can wait for the moment when the price drop to the best but if these are witnessed going upwards you should book instantly before letting it reach the peak.

All in all, these are the Most Effective Tips For Booking Cheaper Flights. By availing the best deals on airfare, you end up saving a lot that can then be utilized in planning the trip in a better and more lavish way. so, next time you book a flight be sure to keep these tips in mind.

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What You Don’t Know About Broadway

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New York is famous all over the world for Broadway and the West End, but there’s a lot that you probably don’t know about the area. 

Most people, for instance, are stunned to find out just how many theatres there are. At the last count, there were nearly fifty along Broadway and off Times Square, with the number steadily rising over the decades to accommodate the new global audience. 

Phantom of the Opera is the currently title-holder for the longest-running West End show. It started in 1988 and is still going today, more than thirty years later. Chicago is the second-longest-running show. 

The West End is also much more popular among women than it is men. Estimates suggest that 66 percent of the audience is female at most shows. 

Finding a show that you actually want to see on Broadway, however, can be a challenge. What makes a great theatre experience for one person might not for another. 

Fortunately, we’re offering some help. Below, you’ll find a helpful decision tree that can guide you to the type of show that you’ll like the most based on your answers to a series of questions. You’ll end up in one of five categories of musical, each designed to fit your personality and experience of the West End. Try it for yourself now. 


Get Broadway Tickets

So what did you think? Which type of Broadway-goer are you? Somebody who lives to love it up with a romantic production, or a person who just wants something that makes you feel good? 

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6 Things To Do In Dubai With Kids

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Dubai is one of the favourite tourist destinations owing to the fact that it has in store something or the other for all and sundry. It is well supplies with entertainment and attractions. Every year a lot of visitors from all across the globe come to visit this beautiful and charming city. Some come as couple and other with their friends but there are few who also get their kids along. There are a plenty of things to be done with family, friends and kids. Here we are going to share with you the 6 Things To Do In Dubai With Kids.

6 Things To Do In Dubai With Kids

Though when it comes to an adult, we do not give a second thought to agreeing doing an activity that we have heard of but this cannot be the case when we are with kids. You ought to carefully tailor your trip so that you can have fun yourself and let you children also enjoy without posing any risk to them. The list of things to see and do in Dubai is endless, so here we are going to restrict ourselves with the popular activities for kids in Dubai.

1. Dinner Cruise Dubai Marina

If you are in Dubai with your kids then instead of exposing them to the play areas and other things immediately, it is better to take them out for a cruise dinner that is surely going to be a dazzling start from them. Kids and aged alike are fond of the cruise dinners and if it has to be one like Dubai Marina then you need not give it a second thought. Your kids are sure to enjoy the mouth-watering dishes belonging to different cuisines at Dinner Cruise Dubai Marina and a variety of soft drinks served on board. There are also the live performances to charm your children though they will be able to enjoy it a little more if they are 12 years or above.

2. Motiongate Dubai

To the major places of attractions in Dubai there has been a recent addition and it is Motiongate. Opened back in 2016, it claims to be in the list of one of the largest themed entertainment parks across the region. It also comprises of the three largest as well as the most prolific Hollywood studios including Dreamworks, Lionsgate, and Columbia Pictures. It is popular for bringing to life the most loved animated stories as well as characters. You get to be the part of the golden age of filmmaking as you get to actually go behind the scenes to get the real life experience of the movie sets in addition to exploring the inner workings of the production studio. At the end you can also witness the live action stage show that is based on movies like the The Hunger Games or Step Up.

3. Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo

Unlike the other aquariums around the world, this one is unique as it is a home to the largest acrylic sheet of the world showing off the sharks along with fish and sting rays. You simply need to walk around the pedestrian tube and you get an opportunity to go extremely close to the marine life. Exactly above the aquarium there is an Underwater Zoo which is another mesmerizing activity to do. Here you get to witness the painting otters that are trained along with the interesting insects as well as playful penguins. Do make visiting tis aquarium and zoo a priority to do item in your list and witness it doing miracle to the happiness of your child.

4. KidZania

If you have a kid accompany you to Dubai then there is one thing that you must not forget to do. It is paying a visit to KidZania. KidZania is basically a play club that is located in Dubai Mall. To children who are above 4 to children less than 16, this place offers them a safety to explore all the play dreams that they have ever had. While some can go in for exploring the role-playing activities mimicking the real-world counterparts, there are a myriad of other interesting things also to do for kids.

5. Dubai Fountains

Children are naturally inclined towards finding the fountains mesmerizing and if it has to be the one that is the tallest then you cannot even imagine the happiness that it gets to your kid. Dubai Fountain Show is based over the enormous crystal clear man-made lake in the tallest building of the world. These fountain shows take place every half hour for around ten minutes in the evening. There are two shows that take place during the day. These are very beautiful and stunning to look at and are sure to make your kid surprised and give him an experience that he will cherish his entire life.

6. Waterpark

If it Dubai, the vacation of your kid cannot be counted complete unless and until he has not witnessed the waterpark of the city. There can be nothing more soothing on a sunny day than a visit to the waterpark, primarily if you are in Dubai. This waterpark that we are talking about finds a decent location at the tip of the colossal man-made island, termed as The Palm. The waterpark is known to feature a number of heart-pumping slides that also includes The Leap of Faith, implying a 9-storey drop and Shark Attack.

7. Sega Republic

In other parts of the world you are more familiar with the term Time zone, that here in Dubai is popular as Sega Republic. Here, you get to explore the two floors of the theme park rides in addition to the endless rows of the arcade games. There is also an enormous indoor playground  to be found here that is entirely supervised so that the adults can drop off their kids free of care to compete in the round of the head-to-head car simulator racing.

All in all, these are the Things To Do In Dubai With Kids. These activities are surely going to keep your kids engaged without compromising on their safety. Meanwhile you can enjoy strolling around the place.

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