Must Visit Best Beaches and Tourist Places in Goa

Goa is world renowned for its beaches and attracts innumerable domestic and foreign tourists every year. The perfect holiday in Goa for many tourists is to laze under the sun on the picturesque and romantic beaches of Goa. When you picture Goa the first thing that comes to your mind is pristine scenic beauty of the s tate that nature God has blessed on it. But yes, there's much more to Goa than it's beaches. The tiny emarald land can boast of its unique history and culture. The culture here shows the confluence of the east and the west. The state is home to both beautiful temples and magnificent churches. The state's history dates back to 3rd century BC.

Various dynasties such as Kadambas, Silaharas, Rashtrakutas, Chalukyas, Bahamani Muslims etc have ruled Goa. But the strongest influence was that of the Portuguese. The state of Goa was a Portuguese colony for 450 years till 1962. The Indo-Portuguese culture and architecture here speak for the Portuguese influence on the state. Tourists can get a glimpse of the glorious history preserved in churches, forts, villages and cities.




Bangalore to Goa  Trip by Abhijit Roy on Team-BHP

This was the trip which was long due but just couldn’t materialize due to many constraints. Swarup (friend & neighbour, my ex-ITC colleague) also joined in this venture. Nikhil and Eslyn was also due to join us but was forced to back out due to illness and leave issues respectively. First Swarup booked the ITC Holiday Home in Dona Paula (luckily we got vacancy) and it was upto me to decide and plan the rest. I started my research on the route and based on discussions with Mr. Kumar and others in indiahighways group, felt that the Shimoga & Sirsi routes are the best so far out of the four available routes (other two Hubli-Ankola & NH4A were rejected). I didn’t want to take the Shimoga route as I have already done it before and hence zeroed it on the Haveri – Mirjan route. A day before bought all the snacks, a tankful at OMR, tyre pressure check etc.
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Koti Lingeshwara Temple - One Crore Lingas of Lord Shiva

Kotilingeshwara is the principal deity of the Kotilingeshwara temple. This temple lies in the Kammasandra village in the district of Kolar. The Kotilingeshwara temple houses the biggest Shivalinga in the entire world. It is said that during Mahashivaratri, there are close to two lakh devotees who visit this place every year. Kotilingeshwara is about 6 kilometers from the famous Kolar gold fields.

The Kotilingeshwara temple is located in a peaceful environment. There is plush greenery surrounding the temple. This world famous temple has lakhs of shivalingas that are spread over fifteen acres of land. There are close to 86 lakh shivalingas in the temple. The shivalingas are of various sizes and this is how the temple has got its name ‘Kotilingeshwara’.

There are more than a million lingas that have been installed in and around the temple over thirteen acres of land. The temple architecture is simply superb and you cannot help but wonder how these lingas would have been installed. Just outside the temple there are two flower trees, one Nagalinga and Cannon Ball flower. It is said that unmarried women who pray and tie a yellow thread to the tree are blessed with a happy married life.

The credit for constructing the Kotilingeshwara temple rests with Swamy Sambha Shivamurthy. The temple can be visited from early morning till about 9 PM at night. The tallest linga stands at 180 feet which is about 33 meters in height. There is a very big Nandi in front of the Kinga. The other small temples in and around the vicinity of the Kotilingeshwara temple are of Vishnu, Brahma, Maheshwara, Ganapati, Rama, lakshmana, Sita temple and Anjaneya.

It is said that the epic Ramayana took place during the Treta Yuga. The war between Sri Rama and Ravana clearly depicts victory of good over evil. When Lord Rama attained victory, he travelled from Dhanuskodi to Rameshwaram and installed the Linga. This was a noble way to providing moksha to those who perished. Lord Rama offered his prayers to this Linga and prayed for people who laid their lives down in the battle. It is said that in the Kali Yuga, the Kotilingeshwara temple has been built for instilling the same culture of peace, divinity and prosperity.

How to Get to Kotilingeshwara Temple

It is possible to reach the Kotilingeshwara temple from Kolar. You have to reach Bangalore and then proceed for Kolar. If you intend on driving down from Bangalore, then be prepared for a two and half hour drive. Bangalore is the closest airport. There are trains plying between Bangalore, Mangalore, Hubli, Hassan and Kolar. Other than the summer months, you can visit the temple any time between July and January.

Facts about Kotilingeshwara Temple
  • Daily pooja is performed at six in the morning and six in the evening by priests.
  • There are drums and music at the time of the pooja.
  • Mantras are recited and holy water is poured on the lingas.
  • Devotees can offer prayers to Kotilingeshwara by installing shivalingas.
  • The Kotilingeshwara temple also has rest house facilities.
  • Devotees who want to reside in the guest houses may have to do prior bookings.
  • Annadhanam (free food) is provided to all the devotees every afternoon.

The Best Beach Destinations in USA, America

By Molly Feltner

The United States contains some of the most beautiful tourist places, travel destinations and diverse beaches in the world, and experiences can range from quirky amusements and raucous parties to formidable volcanoes and desolate acres of sand and shoreline, depending on where you travel. Whatever your tastes, we've gathered some of the most well-reviewed and widely adored beach destinations in the United States.

Anna Maria Island, Florida
The hidden beach destination Floridians escape to, Anna Maria Island has somehow managed to keep condo towers, all-fast-food chains, amusement parks, and glitzy mega-resorts off its shores. In fact, no construction on the this seven-mile long barrier island on Florida's Gulf Coast is more than three stories tall, Subway is the only franchise, and 60% of its land is open beach. And, it's affordable, especially in the summer. You can rent vacation homes with water views and pools for well under $1,000 per week and get seafood entrees at beachfront restaurants for under $15.

"My trip to Anna Maria made me feel in a nostalgic sense what beach vacations must have been like 20 or 30 years ago," says Tim Leffel, author of Make Your Travel Dollars Worth a Fortune, who visited the island with his family in 2006. "It has something other destinations have lost. It's an old-fashioned place where you can just relax and hang out on the beach with your kids, without arcades and other distractions."

While doing nothing is the island's prime pastime, there are plenty of options when you want something to do. You can snorkel, kayak, or fish in the Gulf's clear waters, or explore the island's three small communities, Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, and the town of Anna Maria. A free trolley runs up and down the length of the island, making it easy to check out the island's boutique shops or restaurants. For dining, you can try affordable local favorites such as the Cafe on the Beach, which is known for its all-you-can-eat pancakes for $4.25, and Star Fish Company, whose dockside restaurant serves the local catch with sides from $7 to $15 per meal.

Where to stay: Most accommodations on Anna Maria are vacation rentals or small condo resorts. Vacation Rentals by Owner has pages of Anna Maria Island rentals, some priced as low as $500 per week. A number of rental brokers can also set you up with a vacation house. If you'd prefer to stay at a condo resort, two of the most well-know properties are the Tradewinds Resort and Tortuga Inn Beach Resort, which are both managed by the same company. Nightly rates start $110 and $115, respectively.

Getting there: A pair of bridges connects the island to the mainland. Anna Maria is about an hour's drive from the Tampa airport and 45 minutes from St. Petersburg. To check prices from your city, use SmarterTravel.com's price-comparison tool.

Online resources: Learn more by browsing the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce website and the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau website, which also covers nearby Longboat Key and the greater Bradenton area on the mainland.