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Friday, 29 March 2013

Top Great Churches in Europe for visit

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Westminster Abbey, London, UK  

You cannot visit London and not go to Westminster Abbey, where most of the royalty have been crowned, married and buried. A Gothic monument, it is referred as the Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster. Legend has it that the church that dates back to the 7th century was built on the site earlier known as Thorn Island. A fisherman named Aldrich saw a vision of St Peter from the Thames River, which prompted the tradition of fishermen gifting the Abbey salmon caught in the river. The church, which was rebuilt in the 11th century by Edward the Confessor, was again constructed in the present form by Henry III in the 13th century.

Notre Dame De Paris, France 

Standing tall and basking in the evening light, this 12th century Gothic cathedral lies on the Ile De La Cite, an island in the Siene in Paris. The church, which houses religious relics, has about 390 steps on top that take you across spiral staircases from where you can enjoy a panoramic view of Paris.

Basilica De Sacre Coeur, Paris, France One of the most beautiful and serene churches in Paris, the basilica is built atop the Montmartre, the highest point in the city. Besides enriching the skyline of the city, this white monument looks stunning against the blue sky. It is built of travertine, a form of limestone that lends the colour to the monument. One can walk up to the top of the dome for a view of Paris.

High Cathedral of St Peter, Cologne, 
Germany The most towering landmark of Cologne in Germany is the 13th century World Heritage Site that was virtually left midway through construction during medieval times. This Gothic church with the largest façade in the world was left unfinished in the 15th century. Work restarted after almost 400 years in the 19th century. Although the city was completely damaged during World War II, the cathedral did not collapse at all. Climb up the cathedral and enjoy the spectacular view of the Rhine that flows beside it.

St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican, Italy I was just awestruck looking at the Papal Basilica of St Peter in the Vatican. As you enter St Peter’s Square, the iconic dome stands out in the spree of monuments. One of the largest and most sacred of all churches in the world, the architecture is of Renaissance and it has been designed by a slew of architects, including Michelangelo. It is believed to be built above the tomb of St Peter’s and is also the burial site of the First Bishop of Rome.

St Peter’s Church, Vienna Inspired by the design of St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican, this 18th century Baroque Roman Catholic church is referred to as Peterkirche. It was one of the first monuments that I saw in the beautiful city of Vienna, filled with churches, cathedrals and castles, the dome sparkling in the light. There was a Roman church built on this site during the medieval era and it was believed to be the oldest in the city. It was replaced by another Romanesque church, attributed to Emperor Charlemagne, which was burned down in the 17th century.

St Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna An entire square is named after the impressive cathedral that graces the centre of Vienna. We got off at Stephanplatz to visit Stephandom, one of the tallest churches, that is also the seat of the Archbishop of Vienna. As the sun sets, the 350-feet-tall spire shines, radiating a glow in the evening light while the multicoloured tile roof catches your attention. The church, built of limestone in a fusion of Romanesque and Gothic styles, was constructed on the ruins of a medieval monument. The cathedral was protected from destruction from German armies during World War II, when one of their captains refused to accept an order to demolish it. The church is today not just a landmark but one of the symbols of the city.

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona Spain Sagrada Familia is unlike any other basilica I have seen in the world. It has been under construction since 1882. Designed by maverick architect Antoni Gaudi, this masterpiece is a living monument and a testimony to the architect’s style. It is is one of the key landmarks of Barcelona. The Nativity Façade, which shows images from Christ’s birth, has the architectural stamp of Gaudi in its symbolism. It represents Christmas and is referred to as the Façade of Life. It is a fusion of Gothic and Art Nouveau. While many debate over the style and the ornate design of the monument, Sagrada Familia continues to be built with donations from people even after 130 years. View a slideshow about Sagrada Familia

Segovia Cathedral, Spain I chanced upon the Segovia Cathedral after a sumptuous dinner at Plaza Mayor. Dedicated to Virgin Mary, the cathedral stood glowing in gold, lit under the night sky. We came back to visit it the following day and learnt that the original cathedral was built next to the Fortress, the Alcazar, but was reduced to ruins in a war. Built in Gothic style in the 16th century, the church is one of the key landmarks of the city, apart from the fortress.

Convent of St Theresa, Avila, Spain In Avila, a city walled almost on all sides, I walk into a small shrine built on the home of the famous saint, St Theresa. The 17th century convent, built after her canonisation, is largely closed to the public but opens its doors to tourists who want to visit St Theresa’s chapel inside the Baroque church. We see scenes from her life, besides her relics – a finger from her right hand, rosary beads and other personal effects.
St Mary’s Church, Krakow, Poland Built in red brick with a wooden altar, the 14th century church rebuilt in Gothic style stands in the heart of Krakow and was built on the ruins of an earlier church, which was destroyed in a war. The church is characterised by two tall towers, a legend that refers to two brothers who built the church; one was murdered by the other due to jealousy. We wait near the Main Market Square to hear the trumpet played from atop the taller tower, a tradition that continues every day. The tradition, referred to as Hejnal Mariacki, is the playing of a Krakow anthem as a tribute to the 13th century bugler who was killed during a war when he tried to warn the people.
St Mary’s Church, Gdansk, Poland One of the largest brick churches in the world with a capacity to hold 25,000 people, this 14th century church is located in the Main Town and it seems rather different from the rest of the churches I have seen. The white walls and the many large windows reflecting the sunlight give it a rather arresting look, while the sculptures glow in the light. The church took almost two centuries to complete and has been used by both Catholics and Protestants during the Reformation. It was damaged extensively during World War II. As you walk along the 30 chapels looking at various pieces of art adorning it, one cannot but help look at the large astronomical clock that grabs your attention.
source ( )

Top Hotels in India to Stay

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Raj Palace Hotel

Exhibiting a seamless blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture, Raj Palace was turned into a luxury heritage hotel by Princess Jayendra Kumari Ji since 1995. Although the heritage hotel features accommodation alternative from basic to most opulent at different cost, the most expensive ‘Shahi Suite’ will start functioning from October 2014 at a cost of USD 45,000.

Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur

A heritage hotel owned by Taj Group, Taj Lake Palace has by far won several accolades for being the most romantic hotel in the world from travel magazines. But does it fall in the category of most expensive hotel too? Well this can be adjudged with the fact that the grand presidential suite of this hotel has a whooping price of Rs.6, 60,000 (USD 11,825).

The Leela Kempinski, New Delhi

Located in the posh environs of Chanakayapuri, the Leela Kempinski New Delhi is owned and managed by the Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts. The Maharaja Suite boasting of dedicated lift, Rolls Royce Phantom and bullet proof windows for security reasons cost about 4.5 lakh rupees (USD 8,063).

Oberoi Gurgaon

India’s first and only luxury hotel featuring an exclusive cigar lounge, Oberoi Gurgaon is situated in the major business and shopping district of Gurgaon. Stretched to an area of 5300 square feet, the Presidential Suite featuring two bedrooms, a spacious living area and a dining room & separate study will ease you with a price of Rs. 3, 00,000 (USD 5,375).

Oberoi Mumbai

Overlooking the Queen’s necklace, Oberoi Mumbai embraces you with spacious, serene and stylish stay. The Kohinoor Suite (presidential) situated on the 21st floor of the hotel costs up to Rs.3, 00,000 (USD 5,375) and has played host to President Bill Clinton and her daughter Chelsea.

Oberoi Amarvillas

Offering picturesque views of the epic monument Taj Mahal, the Kohinoor Suite, situated on the 5th floor, embodies the concept of ‘home away from home’ and is available at a price of rupees 2.5 lakh (USD 4,480). Kohinoor Suite set with a spacious bedroom, a living room, a dining room and an entrance foyer is truly worth the price.

Taj Lands End, Mumbai

Situated in the heart of new Bandra, close to the business districts of Worli and Andheri, Taj Lands End is a perfect base for business travelers and executives. The ultra-luxe Presidential Suite is the best option to experience perfect indulgence with a master bedroom, stylish living room, dining room, kitchenette and Jacuzzi set bathroom. It costs around Rs.2.5 lakh (USD 4,480).

Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad

The former abode of Nizam of Hyderabad, today, Taj Falaknuma Palace bears the hallmark of prestigious Taj Group. Once the abode of the Nizam, the Grand Presidential Suite housed in this heritage hotel is an autonomous oasis of luxury. It costs around Rs. 1.95 lakh (USD 3495).

The Leela Kempinski Udaipur

Situated on the right banks of Lake Pichola, The Leela Kempinski Udaipur reflects the romance and grandeur of bygone era. Offering breathtaking view of heritage monuments, the Maharaja Suite truly reflects the monarchy feel and can be availed at the cost of Rs.2 lakh.

Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Mumbai

Just stone throw away from Gateway of India, this luxury hotel is the flagship property of the Taj Group. And to your surprise, it is the least expensive hotel on our list with its Grand Presidential Suite available at Rs. 1.7 lakh (USD 3,046).

Thursday, 28 March 2013

The world's top Islands for tourism

Ambergris Caye, Belize

Ambergris Caye hovers in a holiday sweet spot: just enough amenities to make it exciting, but not so overdeveloped that you’re tripping over flip-flopped tourists. A mangrove swamp is the eye of this white beach island, the largest in Belize, and golf carts are the main form of transportation along the sandy roads. Reef divers drool over the Belize Barrier Reef and the Blue Hole, a 400-feet deep circle of limestone that teems with angelfish, elkhorn coral, cleaner shrimp and stalactites.

St John, US Virgin Islands

Ecotourism is alive and kicking on St. John. There's more than enough to do on land, from watching for wildlife in the national park to hiking miles of trails or strolling sandy white beaches. Hit the water for amazing snorkeling, swimming, even underwater photography—of course. This is the Caribbean, after all.

Bora Bora, Society Islands, French Polynesia

The relatively small island of Bora Bora is an activity giant, offering visitors the chance to experience a 4x4 safari, sunbathe and swim at white sandy beaches, dive in a natural underwater park among fish and corals, experience thrilling shark feedings, or circle the turquoise lagoon by boat. And Bora Bora is a superlative romantic spot. Fall captive to this lush gem of a Polynesian island by sharing an intimate midnight dinner on the beach; visiting the Lagoonarium, the Diving Centre, the Coral Gardens or the Leopard Rays Trench; or taking it all in from the lofty heights of 2,300-foot Mount Otemanu.

San Juan island, Washington

An island holiday on San Juan Island in…Washington? Don’t mistake it for a tropical destination. San Juan Island is a scenic scape that proudly features beaches, orca pods and one of the country’s largest lavender farms. Lime Kiln Point State Park is the perfect place for whale watching, while Pelindaba Lavender Farm will set you up with a lifetime supply of the fragrant purple plant. The bustling Friday Harbour is a jackpot of restaurants and shops, plus unique attractions like the 19-acre sculpture garden at Westcott Bay Reserve.

Santorini, Cyclades, Greece

Glamourous Santorini is deliciously different. Geographical newness is in part to thank. The island’s popular black volcanic Perissa and Kamari beaches are big draws, as is its arguably most famous Red Beach near Akrotiri (which is the place to go for archaeology buffs). Santorini curves round a giant lagoon in the Cyclades islands, offering stunning views from sky-high towns, eclectic cuisine, lovely galleries, thriving nightlife and excellent wines.

Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres offers a wide variety of tempting options for beach lovers, and is a relative bargain. Snorkel with tropical fish amid coral reefs, skim the blue waters by kayak or boat, or windsurf along the shores of soft, sandy beaches. On land, you can sunbathe, dine on seafood, dance to Latin rhythms, tour on a moped or belly up to the bar for fresh, delicious drinks.

Moorea, Society Islands

The world's largest coral reef eco-system actually consists of 3,000 separate reefs. The island of Moorea serves as the perfect base camp for snorkelers and scuba divers seeking to come face-to-face with the diversity of life that darts among the coral. Non-swimmers can enjoy the same parade of astounding creatures from the dry perch of a glass-bottomed boat. Formed when half of a monolithic volcano crumbled to the blue-green sea, Moorea is an achingly exquisite heart-shaped island that is simply paradise found.

Koh Tao, Surat Thani Province, Thailand

Drifting serenely in the Gulf of Thailand, the palm-fringed island of Ko Tao takes its name from the abundant sea turtles that reside on its shores. White sand beaches sheltered by steep hills – some only accessible with four-wheel drive vehicles – and 300 days of sun per year invite long afternoons of lounging.

Easter Island, Chile

Located in the South Pacific more than 2,000 miles off the Chilean coast, Easter Island’s not the easiest place to reach. (If you’re interested, the easiest access is by air from Santiago or Tahiti.) But isolation has helped preserve the 1,500-year-old mysterious congregation of volcanic rock sculptures (maoi) that’s the island’s biggest claim to fame. After exploring the unique landscape, relax on an uncrowded beach and ponder one of the most mysterious places on Earth.

Nosy Be, Malagasy Republic, Madagascar

“Nosy Be?” Is that a typo for “Noisy Bee?” Nope. It means “big island” and it is just that; a large island off the northwest coast of Madagascar. Here you’ll find volcanic lakes, lazy lemurs, rum distilleries, Ylang Ylang plantations and intricate coral reefs that are practically begging to be explored. Flora and fauna lovers will be in seventh heaven at the beautiful Lokobe Nature Special Reserve. Audiophiles should visit in May, to experience the four-day Donia Music Festival.
source ( yahoo )

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Top 5 Android tablets under $ 300 or Rs 15,000 with featuers

There are so many tablets in the market today that it is getting very hard to choose the right tablet. To help you out, we have listed here the top five tablets available under Rs 15,000.

Acer Iconia B1 (Rs 8,150)

The Acer Iconia B1 houses a low power dual core 1.2 GHz Mediatek MTK 8317T mobile processor and 512 MB RAM. It runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system and is aimed at consumers who wish to read eBooks, browse the mobile web, play casual games and connect over social networks. The Acer Iconia B1 features a 7 inch LCD display with 1024 x 600 pixel resolution and it supports multi-touch. By default, the tablet offers 8 GB on board storage, part of which would be reserved for system updates. One can add up to 32 GB via micro SD card to expand storage. Besides, Iconia B1 has Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi and GPS. There is a 0.3 megapixel front facing camera in the tablet to click portrait images and support video chat. Packing a micro USB 2.0 charging port, the Iconia B1 has a 2710 mAh battery that provides atlast 8 hours of operational life, as claimed by Acer.

iBerry Core X2 (Rs 13,000)

The Auxus Core X2 3G is without any doubt slim and lightweight that makes it easier to hold and carry the tablet for longer times as well. The tablet comes with a 7 inch IPS display with 1280 x 800 pixel resolution at 210 ppi pixel density. The Auxus Core X2 3G has a dual core 1.6 GHz processor form Rockchip. The processor is based on ARM cortex A9 architecture and along with that the device has a Mali 400 GPU which is present on high end smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 N7100 as well. More from The Mobile Indian. As its name suggests, it is a 3G Android tablet that supports SIM calling capability. But sadly the tablet misses out on the earpiece. The problem can be solved using a Bluetooth hands free kit. The device features a 0.3 megapixel front facing camera that is good enough for video conferencing and that's about it. At the rear there is a 2 megapixel camera which is better than the front facing one and can also record VGA resolution videos as well.

Lava eTab Xtron (Rs 6,500)

The Lava eTab Xtron offers a great and sturdy body as well as a striking design. The tablet is based on Android v4.1.1 Jelly Bean operating system running on a 1.5 GHz dual core processor, quad core graphics processor and 1 GB RAM. The tablet also has a 2 megapixel front camera. The tablet comes with a 7 inch IPS display with healthy 1024x600 pixels resolution that offers the tablet a 178 degree viewing angle. Etab Xtron has 8 GB of internal memory of which 5 GB is user available and has expandable storage capacity of 32 GB via a micro SD card. The Lava eTAb Xtron is a WiFi only tablet and has a 3500 mAh battery. The tablet however misses out on HDMI port and a full sized USB port which we believe has been done to ensure that tablet remains slim. There is support for 3G via dongle. Also there is a 2 megapixel front camera that offers video conferencing and recording solution, but no rear camera is added.

Samsung Galaxy Tab-2 311 (Rs 12,500)

The Samsung Galaxy Tab-2 311 is a WiFi only tablet and has a 7-inch touchscreen display (1024x600). The device comes with 16 GB onboard memory but has 32 GB micro SD card space. Housing a dual-core 1 GHz ARM Cortex based mobile processor, this tablet runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS. Samsung has added custom TouchWiz user interface to enhance the user's experience. Powerful internal hardware bearing Galaxy Tab weighs about 385 grams. At its rear lies a humble 3 megapixel camera which is capable of recording 720p HD videos and in the front there's a 0.3 megapixel camera for video chatting.For connectivity, this tablet features USB 2.0 port, WiFi, Bluetooth, and DLNA. The Galaxy Tab by default supports number of popular video formats such as DivX as well as Xvid.

Asus Memo Pad (Rs 9,990)

The Asus Memo Pad carries design similar to the Nexus 7 tablet and is targeted at consumers seeking an affordable table to read eBooks, browse mobile web, casual gaming, and social networking. The Asus Memo Pad features a 7-inch touchscreen display with 1024 x 600 pixel resolution. This screen offers 10-point multi-touch, 350-nit brightness and 140 degree viewing angles. Inside the chassis, Asus has packed a 1 GHz VIA WM8950 mobile processor paired with Mali-400 graphics chip and 1 GB RAM. This hardware is good enough to power the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update running on it. Asus is also offering 5 GB of web storage on its clouds servers to the users of this tablet and by default the tablet offers 8 GB on-board storage options. Also there is a micro SD card slot to expand the storage. Weighing 370 grams, the tablet is mere 11.2 mm thick and packs a 4270 mAh battery.
Source ( 

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Top luxury brands in the world

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Luxury brands are the most popular products that any shopper talks about. Louis Vuitton tops the list of the best luxury brands in the world, according to Interbrand. The world’s biggest brand consultancy, Interbrand has ranked companies based on its brand value.

Louis Vuitton
The French fashion house, Louis Vuitton tops the list of luxury brands in the world. The company’s products include luxury trunks, leather goods, shoes, watches, jewelry, accessories, sunglasses, and books.
Brand value: $23,577 million

The house of Gucci is an Italian fashion and leather goods brand. The company features finely crafted leather accessories like handbags, shoes, clothing, watches and jewelry.
Brand value: $9,446 million

The luxury French brand, Hermes is very well known for its silk scarves, leather and perfumes. Hermes specializes in lifestyle accessories, ties, clothing, watches, stationery, footwear, gloves and decorative among other products.
Brand value: $6,182 million

Founded in Paris, Cartier is very well known for its exquisite jewelry and wrist watches. Apart from having a long history of selling its watches to royalty and celebrities, the company’s collections include leather goods and accessories.
Brand value: $5,495 million

Tiffany & Co
Tiffany & Co is often referred to as Tiffany’s and is this luxury American multinational jewelry and silverware corporation sells china, crystal, fragrances, personal accessories and leather goods apart from its renowned diamond jewelry.
Brand value: $5,159 million

The British luxury fashion house is distinctively known for its tartan pattern. Apart from its popular trench coat the company is known for its accessories, bags, shoes, watches and fragrance among other products.
Brand value: $4,342 million

Prada is an Italian fashion label which specializes in luxury goods such as leather accessories, shoes, luggage and hats. Runway shows, boutiques, perfumes and LG Prada mobile phone is its business today.
Brand value: $4,271 million

Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren Corporation is an upscale American lifestyle brand which produces clothing, accessories, footwear, fragrances and furniture which are all marketed under a portfolio of brands.
Brand value: $4,038 million

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

electric car at Rs.5.96 lakh

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The Mahindra e2o is an Electric Vehicle (EV) designed as an urban mobility solution for a sustainable zero-emission society and gains relevance in the face of issues like environmental degradation, pollution related health concerns, climate change, energy security and rising oil prices, all of which plague communities globally. The vehicle is the Mahindra Group’s endeavour to offer its customers a clean, smart and economical personal mobility solution.
Powered by next generation lithium–ion batteries and a 3 phase induction electric motor; the Mahindra e2o is fully automatic and designed for city driving.
The e2o has enough interior space to accommodate four adults and a driving range of 100 kms per charge
The Connected car technology of Mahindra e2o is a unique synthesis of energy, mobility and connectivity.
For example the smartphone application can help lock the car by simply sending it a lock command and activate the car’s air-conditioning remotely. The trip planner in the application integrates the distance to empty information from the Mahindra e2o into the maps and help plan each journey with the current charge.
With 10 on board computers, the Mahindra e2o provides real time feedback of all the vehicle’s functions does a daily heart beat check of the vital systems and sends alerts if anything has to be fixed.
Customers can now literally plug in their Mahindra e2o’s to charge, like they would their cell phones, laptops or tablets.
In the rare event of running low on charge, you can use the app on the smart phone to remotely activate the reserve energy that can get you going again.
The Mahindra e2o comes with a 15.5 cms (6.2 in.) touch screen, with factory fitted GPS navigation system, radio, DVD, Blue tooth and I-pod connectivity. Locating a place or directions to the nearest charging point is now at your finger tips.
Mahindra e2o comes with full digital cluster, electrically operated wing mirrors, keyless entry & start/stop button, projector head lamps, LED tail lamps, reverse camera, 4JBL speakers & 2 tweeters
Mahindra e2o will be available in six attractive colours - Arctic Silver, Coral Blue, Eco Green, Oceanic White, Spanish Red and Sunfire Yellow.
The ‘Sun2Car’ technology, which has been developed through the creation of personal solar charging units, provides the user with sufficient energy to power an EV for life, making it a very cost-effective mobility solution.

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