India Tour Sights

India ranks as the seventh largest country in the world and has the second highest population in the world. It is a diverse mix of culture and the modern world. There is so much to see and do while in India. Exquisite cuisines, a mix of cultures, fantastic beaches, splendid architecture, and much more. Some of the popular tourist attractions sites include;

  1. India Tour SightsThe Taj Mahal

This is the most recognizable building in India. It was built back in the 17th century in memory of Emperor Shah Jahan’s favorite wife. 20,000 workmen built it for 22 years. For the major part, it is made of white marble with delicate floral patterns and precious stones. It is most beautiful at dusk or dawn due to the color reflection on the Yamuna River. Other attractive features around the palace are reflecting pools, ornamental gardens, and other beautiful buildings.

  1. The Golden Temple

Harmandir Sahib is referred to as the Golden Temple because of its golden decorations. The splendid architecture is a mix of Hindu and Islamic styles. The most sacred of all Hindu shrines attracts people of all kinds of faith with its peaceful and spiritual atmosphere. Prayers are chanted continuously from the Sikh holy book.

  1. The Holy City of Varanasi

This city is of great significance to the Hindus as it is a pilgrimage center. Ganges River is one important symbol in the Hindu religion and Varanasi has been associated with it. It dates back to the 8th century, making it one of the oldest cities in the world to still be inhabited. You can visit the temples in the areas. You will witness an alluring view of pilgrims at sunrise set against the backdrop of the temples doing their devotions. For art, paintings, and manuscripts, Kala Bhavan is the go-to museum while Banaras Hindu University boasts of its library with over one million books.

  1. Ellora Caves

This is one of the world’s largest monastery-temple cave complexes cut from rock. The caves were built by monks from the Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist faiths between the 5th and 10th century.   34 are open to the public (17 Hindu, 12 Buddhist, and five Jain caves) but Ellora has a total of 100 caves They belong to Hindu, Jainism, and Buddhist religions. The largest single rock is found at Kailasa Temple whose size is twice the size of Parthenon in Athens.

  1. Kanha National Park

It is one of the largest parks in India and has been used as an inspiration for artists. An example being Kipling’s classic, The Jungle Book. It is among the most captivating wildlife reserves in all of Asia. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is a major a research and conservation zone area. Tigers are common in this Madhya Pradesh jungle and one can opt to take nature trails too.

  1. Goa

Goa’s coastline is home to fantastic beaches that overlook the Arabian Sea. This is the perfect go-to place for someone seeking a beach holiday for some peace and quiet. Other beaches are more crowded than others so you need to find what setting and location works for you. There is a wildlife sanctuary in Goa, home to a wide variety of plants and animals. Elephants, leopards, tigers, snakes, birds, etc., are some examples.

Egypt Tour Sights

Egypt is not only home to the ancient Pharaohs, but it is also a dazzling sight for tombs, temples, historic treasures, large desert tracts, Nile River, the beach, etc. It is a perfect mix of culture, adventure, and knowledge of the ancient days.  The adventure in Egypt never comes to an end; probably because it is the oldest tourist destination in the world.

  • Pyramids of GizaEgypt Tour Sights

These three structures are the only surviving seven wonders of the world. They were built for powerful kings and queens in ancient Egypt as tombs. To date, about 138 pyramids have been discovered in Egypt. They contain a maze of pathways designed solely for the protection of the mummies and treasures for the afterlife. The Sphinx, a stone carving of a lion with a human head, rests near the Giza pyramids to protect them. Till now, archaeologists are still trying to wrap their heads around how these were built. This is the highlight of any trip to Egypt and should not be missed.

  • Aswan

This peaceful town is along the Nile. The atmosphere is cool and relaxing which is perfect for those who want some alone time. You can stroll through the beautiful Nubian villages in the Elephantine Island, ride a camel to the desert monastery, visit the riverboat restaurants, etc. There are also other historic sites in the area begging to be seen.

  • Alexandria

This modern city has a rich historical background with a tranquil atmosphere. Its founder was Alexander the Great and it was home to Cleopatra. It sits on Egypt’s north coast with the Mediterranean Sea looming at it. The historic remnants that remain from this city’s past are mostly buried in song and books. However, its former glory is still imminent making it a popular destination for travelers. Part of this reason is the lighthouse, which was once among the seven wonders of the world, although not as visible today. The Alexandria museum will help you understand the history of this great city. The seaside city is great for trying out new cafes, shopping, and walking along the seashore.

  • Valley of the Kings

It is a burial site for 62 ancient pharaohs, located near Luxor, behind the Theban Hills. Popular burial sites in the area are tombs of Tutankhamen, Amenhetep, and Ramses. Local guides can explain more on the history of the area along with the mysterious curses and legends regarding early grave robbers.

  • Islamic Cairo

The narrow lanes of this district are laden with mosques, madrassas, and monuments from days of old. The place hosts old Islamic empires with spectacular architecture. Visit the mosques and climb the rooftop of the medieval gates for a fantastic view of the district. It is a religious site greatly valued by the Muslim community.

  • Catherine Monastery

Believed to be one of the oldest monasteries in the world, this stands at the foot of Mount Sinai. It is of great religious significance to the Christian community as this is where Moses is said to have received the Ten Commandments from God. Manuscripts, art and other collections are found in this monastery. It is also home to the burning bush. The hike up Mount Sinai to see the sunrise or the sunset is also worth it. You can climb the Mountain using the camel path or the popular steps of repentance.

 

Rhine Valley Tour

The Rhine is not only one of the most important waterways, but also one of the most captivating rivers in all of Europe. It flows for 1320 kilometers winding its way from Switzerland, Netherlands and finally to the North Sea. A favorite tourist attraction site is the German Rhine Valley section. Along the valley, the scenic beauty comprises of the historic towns and the several castles which have been an inspiration for artists, composers, and authors. The Rhine Valley has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Some of the sites you will experience include;

  • The Palatinate ForestRhine Valley

This one of the largest forests in Germany found on the Upper Rhine. Its highest peaks boast of ruins of old castles. The area has excellent trails which make biking and hiking an everyday activity in the area.

  • Spa Town: Wiesbaden

As its name suggests, this town is a hub for spas, saunas, and thermal baths since time immemorial. It is a beautiful city famously known for its thermal springs with magnificent buildings.

  • Boppard’s Roman Legacy

Boppard is a small town that dates back to 2000 years ago. It is of great significance to the Romans as evidenced by the fortress they set up to guard the river. Other Roman fortifications can be seen in the Roman Camp, considered in Europe one of the best kept late-antiquity fortresses. An old wall, nine meters high, and 28 semi-circular towers are the remains found in this 4th-century site.

Ritter-Schwalbach-Haus, from the 15-century, is another old building to visit. It was a home to the members of the town’s aristocracy. You can also visit the site’s first Christian church which now has Romanesque St. Severus Church in its place.

  • Braubach and Marksburg Castle

The picturesque town of Braubach sits in the section that forms the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage. There are several beautiful towns with crooked streets and old timbered buildings which are exciting to explore. The Schloss Marksburg castle sits atop a hill at the town’s center dating back to 1117. In the Rhine Valley, it is the only hill top castle that has stayed put. The castle and the grounds can take hours to explore. If you prefer, you can have a guided tour.

  • Koblenz

You will find this town at the intersection of the Rhine and River Mosel. Previously, the Electors of Trier called this beautiful location home. This city is well known for its numerous historic sites such as St. Castor’s Church, Neoclassical Koblenz, Ehrenbreitstein, among others. The Deutsches Eck or the German corner is the point where Rhine and River Mosel make a spectacular and famous site. There exists another area known as Deutschherrenhaus. These are castle remains formed from the Teutonic Order. This place hosts several evening music concerts, especially during the summer.

There are several more beckoning sites to see in the Rhine Valley if you are in no hurry. Historical sites, great cities, exquisite cuisines, medieval castles, and a lot more.

SRM Travel for Better Paris Travel Ideas.

Louvre Paris France
Louvre

Here at SRM Travel we try to give ideas for our friends and clients who travel. We like to give you tips on what to do and see. For this post, we will give you some ideas on things to do and see in Paris.

OK, everyone knows about the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and the Louvre. What are some of the fun things that don’t necessarily make it onto everyone’s list of things to see and do. Here are some ideas in no particular order.

  1. The Sainte Chapelle – OK, so this is on a lot of people’s list. But not necessarily these details. First, don’t go on a cloudy day. We have been on a sunny day and later went on a cloudy day and what a disappointment in comparison. It was still impressive for the people seeing it for the first time, but, if you have a choice. Wait till its sunny. Second, you can wait for a long time in line to get tickets. Here is how to avoid the line. Go to the Conciergerie next door. You can get a dual ticket to see both. The tour of the Conciergerie is really fascinating and is one of the oldest buildings in Paris. The heavy gothic architecture in the dungeon area is impressive. When you finish you go out to the court yard and there will be a long line for the Sainte Chapelle. Walk to the front of it and hand the person your ticket and walk in. Everyone in line is waiting to purchase a ticket and you won’t have to wait. What a great feeling to walk past them all and not be butting in line but doing it totally legitimately.
  2. House of Nicolas Flamel – 51 rue Montmorency – in the Marais – If you have read Harry Potter, this name will ring bells with you. He was an alchemist and built the house in 1407. It is the oldest stone house in Paris.
  3. Half timber houses – Paris was a very medieval city and was mostly half timber houses. This construction was later banned because of the fire hazard. But modern Paris was in large part a reaction to the Revolution. The streets were narrow and easily barricaded and were difficult for the king’s troops to maneuver. General Haussman, under Napoleon III undertook a project to reinvent the city. Many of the buildings were knocked down and current wide avenues and the stone buildings were built in the middle of the 1800s. This was partially make it easier to put down resurrections and partly to clean up the city and reduce disease. Up until this work, there was essentially no sewer in Paris and the stench must have been horrendous. So now there are very few half timber houses left making it hard to imagine what Paris used to look like. There is one at 3 rue Volta which was actually built in the 1600s as a replica of earlier half timber houses. It is not far from Flamel’s house. Others nearby are two at 11 and 13 rue Francois Miron, and one at 12 rue des Barres. There is also one in the courtyard at 5 rue de Braque. It is private so you might not be able to see it.gothic church paris
  4. Place des Vosges – It is the oldest planned square in Paris and is beautiful.  It is also in the Marais not far from the half timber houses.
  5. Paroisse St. Eustache – A church near the old Les Halles. Les Halles was the market place for Paris where meats and vegetables were shipped in to supply most of the stores and restaurants in Paris. The traffic became too much and they moved the market to the suburbs. Now it has been converted to a mall. But we think St. Eustache is prettier than Notre Dame. It is in the flamboyant gothic style.
  6. Basilica of St. Denis – An abbey church in the St. Denis area of Paris that has the tombs of most of France’s kings and queens and other notables. Worth a look, especially if you like history.
  7. Catacombs – One of the weirdest things you will see anywhere. You go down these narrow stairs and there are rooms and passages stacked floor to ceiling with human bones and skulls. What is bizarre is that they have created elaborate designs with them by stacking them in different ways.
  8. Gobelins Tapestries – You know all those tapestries you see in museums and palaces. Well, a lot of them were made by the Gobelins Tapestry works and it is still in business. The tour is very interesting. They still have the cartoons (what the call the designs that the tapestries are based on) going back several centuries and if you wanted (and had enough money) they could recreate some of these ancient tapestries.
  9. Marche aux Puces – which translates to Market of the Fleas, or Flea Market. It is the largest in the world and can be found near Porte de Clignancourt. It not only has junk, and clothing but has fine antiques as well. It just seems to go on and on. I know people who have bought paintings there and then found out it was a Picasso or Degas. Also, at the cafes you often have students playing jazz which is excellent. Highly recommended. Only open Saturday, Sunday and Monday but I would choose Saturday and second choice would be Sunday.