Located around 17 km from Araku Valley, Anantagiri is a lesser known but charming hill resort atop the Tirumala Hills. This is a perfect summer getaway and the serene location attracts tourists and pilgrims. From Anatagiri, you can travel to nearby attractions like Eishikond Beach, Sri Venkateswara Konda, Borra Caves and Bheemunipatnam Beach and Araku Valley.
They say a thin line separates travellers and tourists. While the tourist merely scratches the outer crust of a place, the traveller dives right in to the core to experience the flowing, changing spirit of a place. Here are few ways to get more out of your travels.
Eat where the locals eat
Every city/town has a couple of legendary eateries where the locals have dined for generations. Choose a place depending on your culinary preference and regardless of whether it is a fine dining experience or a dhaba, go for it. Continue Reading…
This 6.5-acre garden in the vicinity of Golden Temple was witness to a brutal bloodbath on April 13, 1919 – 50 soldiers unloaded 1,650 rounds of ammunition into the screaming, terrified crowd. Walk around the complex to get a sense of the sacrifice by not only the freedom fighters but also ordinary citizens including children. The bullet marks are still visible on the walls surrounding the park along with the well which many jumped into to escape the gunfire. There is a light and sound show and along with a gallery that recreates what transpired on the fateful day. Continue Reading…
In today’s competitive travel market, every other company uses tricks of discounts/offers to lure customers. But as a traveler, I ask myself, is discount all that I want from my travel partner? Perhaps no, because there are other factors which influences my buying decisions. The most important factor amongst them would be ‘Information’. And like me, every traveler wants to know things in detail, be it a hotel or holiday booking.
Second factor would be ‘ease of use’. A site with complex structure can make the user feel tired by clicking on multiple buttons/links. The end result is he/she hitting the close button of the browser in frustration. Apart from this, there are multiple factors which makes a site user friendly. Keeping all this in mind, we at Via decided to introduce some features which will make our users feel great when they surf our site.
a) All Time Cheapest International Fare chart (Don’t be confused with simple airfare calendar)
This feature is designed for those who want to know the cheapest fare available to a particular destination/sector in the current year. This is a very handy tool for those who are flexible with their travel dates and have a limited budget.
This is very unique and time saving feature that we have recently introduced. Now a user can get to know the rates for different room types in a particular hotel on the search page itself. Other websites will ask you to click on details, then go to individual hotel pages to check price and availability, before finally proceeding to book. But on Via.com, you can see, compare and book any room type from the search page itself. We have reduced your booking process by 3 pages.
c) Buy tickets using deposits (avoid transaction fee):
You must have noticed that most travel sites will ask you to pay Rs. 150-300 extra as convenience fees/transaction fees/payment fees while booking online. With Via, you can book tickets with ZERO convenience fee using our deposit model. Just sign up and deposit your ticket amount (using net banking/credit card) in your account before purchasing on Via.com. You are saving Rs. 150 – 300 extra apart from the discount.
d) Membership Bonus:
We offer several special incentives to our members. Let me mention it all here –
1) When you sign up – Get 100 bonus points
2) Buying tickets –
100 points per ticket for one way domestic flight ticket
200 points per ticket for round trip domestic flight ticket
150 points for hotel booking
200 points on every Rs. 5000 you spent on holiday booking
Think back to the hotel you stayed on your last trip. Was it simply a place to rest your head for the night or did it give you a chance to mix with the locals, be one with nature or unleash your creativity. We have whittled down the top extraordinary place to stay this year – pick one that inspires you to travel.
Mihir Garh, Rajasthan, India
Mihir Garh sits in a beautifully isolated stretch of land in Thar Desert. From the distance, it could be mistaken for a mirage;but there is nothing illusory about this stunning piece of structure. It took 150 masons, craftsmen and artisans 2 years to build what the owner describes as ‘a dream realized’. There are just nine huge uber luxurious suites within the hotel, featuring custom made equestrian-inspired curtain holders and fireplaces fashioned from clay and cow dung. The structure is designed to reflect the Rajasthani countryscape – rounded edges that mimic the huts of the Bishnoi tribe;peacock fanning a bejewelled tail across a frescoed wall and murals of elegant Rajasthani women in bright, block printed saris.Continue Reading…
A former French colonial outpost, Pondicherry is the desi version of St. Tropez and makes for a great monsoon getaway. The rains are not incessant and you can catch the sun at fairly regular intervals. Start the day by the sea with a croissant and piping hot cup of coffee at the Le Cafe. Ride a ferry to Paradise Beach;visit Auroville and later hire a bicycle from the Park Guest House and explore the charming French architecture.
Some cities lends itself well for off-the-radar adventures where you don’t have a clue about your current location. These spontaneous urban escapades are a great way to unearth the hidden gems, get a feel of the local culture and meet new people. Here is the list of cities which are best experienced without a guide book and map.
The ultimate head spinner of a city – try navigating endless identical canals and streets that veers off into blind corners while your senses are being assaulted by stunning scenery. Getting lost in Venice can be a very rewarding experience – drift away from the crowds to vendors selling fresh produce from their gondolas and peaceful sunlit courtyards.
Find your way back :- Venice is a tiny town so even if you get hopelessly lost, you are always a few minutes away from a water taxi ride. Continue Reading…
Looking for a vacation spot that’s (almost) all yours? Here’s our list of the world’s best secret islands that offer the perfect mix of seclusion and value.
Con Dao Islands, Vietnam
The Con Dao are a group of islands in southern coast of Vietnam with an ominous past. They were home to the most notorious penal colony in Indochina for many years until their abandonment at the end of the Vietnam War. These days, the islands are preserved as Con Dao National Park – a group of 16 islands teeming with dolphins, turtles and spectacular coral reefs. Couple of dive shops and a few resorts are the sparse tourist developments in the island.Continue Reading…
The perfect holiday destination to connect with nature;this secluded island has wild elephants roaming amongst fragrant Cardamom plantations and several deserted beaches. Check in at any of the numerous cheap resorts and homestays for as low as Rs. 500 a night. Travellers who are in the mood to splurge can book a room at the luxurious Song Saa Private Island resort. Getting to the island involves a 30 minute speedboat ride from Sihanoukville.
Perfect for :- Couples looking for the secluded island experience
Best time to visit :-Year around except for the rainy season (May – October)Continue Reading…
If the spike in airfare has had you having second thoughts about taking that international vacation, we got some great news for you.. There are several holiday destinations where you can offset the increased flight fares with budget hotels, cheap and efficient public transport and delicious street food.
Here are the top budget international getaways you can travel to without breaking the bank.
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Vietnam is a recent addition on the Southeast trail but quickly became a backpacker haven thanks to availability of cheap hotels. It is still possible to find rooms for less than Rs.1000 in the country’s largest city, Ho Chi Minh. Explore Vietnam’s rich culture while gorging on delicious bowls of pho and noodle soups (around 70 rs) a pint of local beer (for less than 50 rs).Continue Reading…