Where Does Turkey Travertine Actually Come From?

If you are interested in purchasing natural stone for use around your home, we’re sure that you’ve heard of Turkey travertine. We’re also fairly sure that you don’t really have much of an idea where this product comes from, except that it is found somewhere in the European country of Turkey. Before you rush out and buy what is considered a quality luxury stone, we felt it was important to outline where this type of travertine actually comes from.

So, what part of the country is Turkey travertine found in?

Most of the stone that is available here in Australia has come from Pamukkale, which is a natural site of the Denizli Province in the country’s southwest. It is found in the River Menderes Valley, in the inner Aegean region, which experiences a temperate climate for most of the year. The area is known for travertine and hot springs, as well as stunning carbonate mineral terraces that have been left by flowing water.

The word Pamukkale roughly translates to “cotton castle”, which is believed to be a reference to the ancient Greco-Roman and Byzantine city of Hierapolis, which was built on top of the white ‘castle’. It is about 2,700 metres long, 600 metres wide and 160 metres high. The ‘castle’ can be seen from the hills on the opposite side of the valley, in the town of Denizli (about 20km away). The area has been declared a World Heritage Site, but can still be visited.

But where does travertine come into the equation?

The terraces found at Pamukkale are made of travertine, which is a sedimentary rock that has been deposited by water from the hot springs. In the area, there are 17 hot springs with temperatures ranging from 35 degrees Celsius to 100 degrees Celsius. The water from these springs is transported a massive 320 metres to the head of the terraces, where calcium carbonate deposits are picked up from a section that is 60 to 70 metres long.

Once the water reaches the surface, carbon dioxide de-gasses from it and the calcium carbonate is deposited. This process continues until the carbon dioxide in the water balances that in the air. Calcium carbonate is actually deposited on the surface as a soft jelly, but this eventually hardens into what we know as Turkey travertine. This reaction can be affected by the weather conditions, ambient temperature and the flow duration.

Precipitation continues until the carbon dioxide in the thermal water reaches equilibrium with the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Measurements that have been taken at the source of the springs find atmospheric levels of 725 mg/l of carbon dioxide – by the time the same water flows across the existing Turkey travertine, this measurement falls to 145 mg/l. These theoretical calculations could indicate that as much as 4.9 square kilometres can be covered.

Even though Pamukkale is a World Heritage Site, the fact that the Turkey travertine is constantly being created means that it is a sustainable source of this beautiful natural stone.

Yarrabee & Castlemaine is provides best range of stone pavers in Melbourne, Australia.

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5 Unique Liverpool Sites You Need to See

Liverpool is a city that’s proud of its history. She once offered one of the biggest ports in the world, which were integral to the world war efforts, and is a city that has produced some of the biggest and best ships in the world. There are so many things to see and do in this wonderful city, you’d struggle to fit them all into one visit. However, there are 5 unique sites you need to see when in Liverpool.

1. The Liver Building

The Royal Liver Building is synonymous with the city of Liverpool, featuring the two recognisable liver birds that sit on top of the Grade I listed building. It is rumoured one bird looks over the city, whilst the other looks out to those at sea. Legend has it that if the birds flew away from the building, the city would cease to exist. The building also offers a pair of clock towers, so mariners could tell the time as the passed along the River Mersey.

2. Penny Lane

Penny Lane is located near John Lennon’s childhood home, and is the area where the singer-songwriter would meet up with Paul McCartney to catch the bus into the city centre. The junction inspired the hit song of the same name, and is therefore a must-visit for those who want to explore the inspiration behind the famous track.

3. The Albert Dock

The Albert Dock in Liverpool was the first structure in Great Britain to be built from cast iron, brick and stone, and contained no structural wood. It was therefore hailed as the very first non-combustible warehouse in the world. During WWII, the dock was requisitioned by the Admiralty, acting as a base for British Atlantic Fleet boats. It was therefore significantly damaged during air raids, especially in the 1941 May Blitz.
Following the redevelopment in 1981, the Albert Dock was reopened as a major tourist attraction, surrounded by amazing museums and a plethora of restaurants, shops and bars. It is now a vital component of the city’s UNESCO world heritage Maritime Mercantile City.

4. St Luke’s Church

St Luke’s Church, more commonly known to locals as The Bombed Out Church, is a ruin in Liverpool city centre. It is a former Anglican parish church that was built between 1811 to 1832, but was badly damaged during the Liverpool Blitz and now stands as a memorial to all those who were lost in the war.

5. 30 James Street

30 James Street was formerly known as Albion House, and once served as the White Star Line’s headquarters. It was here the captain and crew from RMS Titanic received their orders, and the building was also RMS Titanic’s port of registry. It is now a permanent reminder of the White Star Line’s connection to the ill-fated ship and serves as 30 James Street – The Home of the Titanic , which is a hotel that commemorates RMS Titanic and the White Star Line.

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Top Things to Do In Bahrain

Bahrain is a country full of tourism gems to explore and exploit, the Persian Gulf country is both an exciting and startling tourism destination around the world. The choices are many to confuse an ordinary visitor who sets foot in the country for the first time; a visit to Bahrain National Park will give visitor an opportunity to learn important historical records of the country, the golden sandy beaches are full of welcoming gesture to many a visitor to the land. Water sports activities like surfing and power boating can be enjoyed in several beach clubs.

1. Manama Souq

Just within the capital city you will experience fun and offers by the lovely Souq within the city Center, the Souq in other word is a place offering shopping experience for all what you need in the country.The souq is well built with beautiful views of the main city skyscrapers like the Bahrain World Trade Towers; it’s popular for its stock of expensive jewels and pearls.

Just behind the famous street of Bab Al-Bahrain you will find this glamorous souq which is known internationally.The Souq is a meeting place for people of all class going to shop there, there are several well stocked stores with electronics, fashion, food stores, cinema Theater, leather products, Banks and all what you can want.

Bahrain Blue Hour at down town, image credit

2. All Faith Mosques

A visit to Manama will give you an opportunity to tour the all faith Mosque just within 30 minutes’ walk, the Mosque is unique for it allows all faiths touring except prayer times.

The guides at the mosque shares all informative issues about Muslim and their faith, they are welcoming to offer a guided tour within the mosque, the building is well decorated with both earliest and modern architectural design. The mosque is one of the largest in the whole country with an amazing capacity of 7000 in its main hall; visitors tour it annually as a tourist attraction.

The mosque is built with very expensive material of teak wood, marble and glass from Italy and Austria.

3. Tree of Life

The Tree of Life is located within a desert region known as Jabel Dukhan desert, the region is the highest point of desert in the country, it’s within about one and half hours from the main city.The mystery surrounding the tree is still marveled world over, for more than 500 years it has existed in a dry hot boiling desert yet its leaves are ever green.

A visit to this site offers tourist a chance to view this mysterious tree and explore of its wonders, the mesquite tree is regarded to have very long roots which hunts for water from far, in spite of this fact, the survival of this tree remains mystic.The tree is a symbol of persistence like in life you can go through a lot and still manage; the tree brings encouragement and lessons of endurance and determination.

4. Burial Mounds of Dilmum

Located just within around some kilometers off the National Park, the burial mounds is a place to explore and learn some deep historical facts, the area was occupied by the Dilmum many thousand years ago.The mounds are a sight to behold while here. It consists of many kilometers of over three hundred thousand burial mounds which look like houses.

Tourists come to explore the mounds for historical studies and tours, educational tours are also frequent in the area for tours.The scenery teaches visitors about the earliest civilization of the Dilmum community, the community existed in the region about 7000 years ago to civilize the region.

5. The Fort of Bahrain

Bahrain Fort is located near the coastal waters of the country; it’s one of the forts which still show the historic Portuguese occupation of the country.The Fort was built by the Portuguese way back in the 15th and 14th centuries, the Fort is one of the places where they use to do trade and transport goods.

The Fort is well-preserved by the country’s management with all its chambers available for exploration and touring, the top of the fort can be climbed by people coming to tour with lovely water views.A visit to the Fort will also give you an opportunity to enjoy yourself along the beaches, you can take a tour and soak yourself into the blue waters of the Persian Gulf and enjoy your holiday.

There are many other things to do in Bahrain, you can also visit other beaches around and tour its many luxury hotels, enjoy water sports in several clubs around and many other attractions, all you need to do is to have a Bahrain Visa to be ready to explore the country.

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Great Reasons For Visiting Victoria, Australia

Victoria, nicknamed The Garden State, is a state in the south-east of Australia. This state is famous across the world for a number of reasons. First, it is the most densely populated state and it comes second among the most populous states in the country. More to this, Melbourne, the second-largest city in Australia, is the capital of this beautiful state. When talking of tourist destinations in Australia, Victoria is one of the most amazing places to visit. Indeed, the state has a very interesting history. At the same time, the beauty of the region and warmth of the locals will make for an unforgettable experience.

Victoria Bridge Strabane, image credit

Great reasons for visiting Victoria, Australia

Although most overseas visitors to Australia pick Sydney as their preferred destination, Melbourne is fast becoming a popular location as well. The capital city of Victoria State has several destinations that make it worth visiting.

Federation Square

The fact that the Federation Square is located beside bus and tram stops makes it one of the most accessible attractions in the city. More to this, the distinctive architecture of the buildings, the museums and art galleries are some of the most popular attractions in Melbourne. For those who would like to take a walk around this location, they will be able to see the Yarra River, which is right beside the square. After exploring the square, visitors can walk to Southbank, the entertainment and restaurant district.

Crown Melbourne

The Crown Melbourne houses Australia’s biggest casino, a factor that makes it possible for those who visit Victoria to participate in gaming tables as well as other casino games. Moreover, the building houses a number of restaurants, nightclubs and luxury hotel suites. At night, there are usually entertainment events that feature singers, theatre and bands. Indeed, this is one of the best entertainment venues in the state.

Melbourne Zoo

A fascination for Australian wildlife makes Melbourne Zoo one of the most visited tourist attractions in Victoria. Indeed, this is no surprise as the zoo is located just four kilometres from central Melbourne. At the same time, the zoo is home to about 320 different animal species. What is interesting is that the animal species are not just from Australia but from all over the world. Some of the animals featured here are kangaroos, lace monitors, koalas and wombats.

National Gallery of Victoria

The gallery houses works of art from Europe, Asia, and America and of course Australia. This would be a great place to visit for those who are interested in such masterpieces. In fact, the beauty of the pieces and the stories behind them will see one learn a lot about the same. Therefore, there is no doubt that this is another great reason for visiting Victoria.

Queen Victoria market

It is said to be the largest open-air market in the southern hemisphere. In fact, those who have been to the market say that it is busiest on Sundays. Here, visitors get the chance to buy both Australian and imported goods. More to this, shoppers can be sure of quality products at affordable prices.

Before taking a trip to Victoria, one should make sure that they make the necessary travel arrangements. This will ensure that they can easily move from one place to another during their vacation. At the same time, the travel arrangements will involve visiting an Australian visa office to apply for Australian ETA visas.

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Cycling injuries and how to avoid them- top tips from Carry on Cycling

The joy of riding a bike

Biking and cycling have long been favourite recreational activities; it’s fun, healthy, and alternating your route means it doesn’t have to be repetitive or boring.

Hours spent on a bike can however mean discomfort and pain. Cycling injuries can occur anywhere on a large scale; from bruises and aching joints to broken limbs and even catastrophic and life changing spine and brain injuries.

How to carry four empty banana boxes on the back of a bike, image credit

Repetitive cycling injuries

Too much time spent in the wrong position can cause this to happen. Repetitive cycling injuries account for a large amount of issues caused by a lot of time on a bike, and include;

  • Saddle sores
  • Knee pain
  • Hip pain
  • Sciatica
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Patellar tendonitis
  • Broken clavicle
  • Broken scaphoid
  • Neck pain
  • Lower back pain

Top tips to help you reduce the likelihood of common cycling injuries

Whether you are an avid, regular cyclist, or just like to hop on your bike to get to work, these handy tips can significantly reduce the chance of injury commonly associated with cycling;

  • Make sure you get the right bike- so many people buy a bike and jump straight on. Your height, your weight, the length of your body and the length of your legs are all factors you should consider in the adjustment of your bike. Is your saddle too high/low? Are you comfortable? Can you reach the handle bars comfortably? Ask yourself these questions before you set off and you will have a much more comfortable journey.
  • Make sure you wear the right kit- For many cyclists, saddle sores are part and parcel of cycling, whether you ride regularly or infrequently. Saddle sores can be prevented by simply addressing your wardrobe. Cycling shorts, as opposed to just cotton underwear, provide much more padding to your seat and will reduce the discomfort experienced from saddle sores. It is also important to clean yourself before and after a ride to ensure residual bacteria growing in sweat is wiped away, again decreasing the risk and severity of saddle sores.
  • Make sure you are healthy- Your general health can have huge impact on your likelihood to sustain a cycling injury. Studies have shown cyclists to have poor bone density, and this can be combated by undertaking strengthening exercises. Maintaining your health and a good, consistent level of fitness, will make a big difference to your resistance to injury.
  • Make sure your steed is in good condition- Your bike’s health is almost as important as yours!
  • Make sure you position yourself properly- Sitting in the wrong position can be a cause of lower back pain, neck pain and tension headaches. Hunching forward is a natural instinct, but try to resist this as it is contributory to poor spinal health. This is common among cyclists, and largely attributed to bad posture and consequent back injury.  Working on your core strength can help with your posture; Pilates and other low impact toning exercises are great for this. It is really important to nurture your body into a state in which good practice posture feels natural and not uncomfortable.

Get in touch with Carry on Cycling today

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Alton Towers And Your Next School Trip

Back to school is in full swing in the UK. With that said, the teachers and the students will soon be ready for a break from all the stress, hassle, and getting settled into a new routine for a new school year. It will soon be time to take a short trip to Alton Towers, an outing filled with fun, relaxation, and release of stress. They are the number one theme park in the United Kingdom.

If your school has thought about going to Alton Towers but has never made that leap, go for it now as time is running out for 2014. The last booking for arrival is the ninth of November. There is special pricing for the students and for the teachers.

Harbour bridge from circular quay, image by Tim Harper

If you book in advance, one teacher can go for free per ten students at your secondary school. Additional teachers will pay £24. If your primary school is going, then one teacher can go for free per five pupils paying in advance. Each additional teacher will have to pay £25. Prices for the pupils range from £12 to £15.50 for secondary schools. Primary school is between £7.25 and £15.50.

The catch, however, is that in order to receive the special pricing, you must book the trip to Alton Towers through Selwyns Coach Hire. This is a good thing because they are the most trusted coach hire service providers in the United Kingdom. There is heat and air conditioning on the bus. The drivers are certified with extensive training along with extensive background checks. There are seat belts on each bus. Up to fifty-seven students and teachers can ride per bus.

There are a variety of rides to choose from at Alton Towers. Take your pick from the silly to the dangerously fun and enjoy breathtaking views from the sky. There are even rides to give you a fright for Halloween. Maybe you wish for the kids to see the gardens, see a show about sea life, or tee off a round of golf.

There are yummy treats and drinks to try. Purchase a food and drink voucher for £10 for kids up to 11 years old. The adults can purchase theirs for £20. The voucher includes a treat, drink, and meal.

Make sure the parents send money to bring home some great souvenirs. Bring those digital cameras and keep them charged. There will be plenty of selfies and group pictures to take. When arriving home they will be ready to share and post to all their favorite social media sites.

Alton Towers and Selwyns work hand in hand with the UK schools. They believe education is key for the future of the country. What better way to learn than enjoy the process and get ready for life?

Selwyns is nearly booked for the new 2014 school year. If you cannot make it or if you want to wait for 2015, Selwyns has bookings starting on March 22nd. Give them a call today to lock in your special school rate. It will be the best decision you have ever made!

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Types of Trains Run in India

Broadly classifying, there are basically two types of trains that operate in India, Freight and Passenger trains. Freight trains are the trains used for moving cargo from one place to another such as goods, coal and bulky material. Trains are an economical medium for such transportation which also makes up 70% of the revenues generated by the Indian Railways.
A variety of goods ranging from automobiles to coal are transported using railways within the country.

On the other hand there is vast variety of trains under the passenger transport section. They are as follows:

Shatabdi Express:

Shatabdi Express, image by charlie

This is the fastest type of passenger trains operating in India. They are trains which cover their course the same day and have AC chair car seating. Shatabdi facilitates you with inclusive food and catering and also is one of the few trains providing you the “luxury” of english newspaper.

Rajdhani Express:

Rajdhani Express, image by charlie

These are the trains operating between the Rajdhani’sor capital cities of India to New Delhi. These are AC trains operating at high speeds having normal berth type seating.Rajdhani’s also provide food and catering, inclusive in the ticket charge. Since journeys in Rajdhanis are long, proper bedding arrangements are also made.

AC Expresses:

AC Expresses, image by charlie

These trains link major cities of India to each other and travel at similar speeds such as the Rajdhani Express, having AC berth type seating.

Duronto Express:

Duronto Express, image by charlie

These are the trains which stop at only very important stations and otherwise go non-stop point-to-point. They are a type of Rajdhani, with the exception of some providing sleeper class berths. Popular Duronto’s are Delhi-Chennai, Delhi Mumbai, etc.


GaribRaths, image by charlie

These are fast trains providing both Chair car and berth type seating and both AC and Non AC arrangements for passengers. Their tickets are relatively cheaper, however comfort is a bit compromised and this train generally is considered as an alternative to Rajdhani and Shatabdi.

Jan Shatabdi:

Jan Shatabdi, image by charlie

This type is also known as the poor sister of Shatabdi, providing the option of AC and Non AC affordable travel with Chair car, berth and 2S sleeper seatings. Jan shatabdi’s ply on similar routes to that of Shatabdi.

Express Trains:

Express Trains, image by charlie

These are the most common type of trains in India which are slower than their Rajdhani and Shatadi counterparts and which stop at more stations than Rajdhani’s but lesser than that of Normal mails and passenger trains. Majority trains operating in the Indian Railways are express trains. These often witness daily passengers as well who travel to work every day from faraway cities.

Local Trains:

Local Trains, image by charlie

These are the trains which interconnect the city and connect the city with the suburbs. They are electric trains and do not have any berths but only normal bus-type seating. These are a lifeline to metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.


Metro, image by charlie

This type has arrived recently on the Indian railways scene ever since the first metro in Kolkata. These are the AC trains connecting parts of the same city and suburbs.Their fast service and comfortable seating have made them the most preferable option for travel in the city.

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Your Gateway to the Okavango Delta Safari

One of the top African safari destination, the largest inland delta in the world is already known as legendary for its spectacular wilderness that offers an amazingly functioning ecosystem. The Okavango Delta is special for nature lovers all around the world. The Africa tours conducted in this part have even been filmed and turned into documentaries as visitors continue to be fascinated by with the hundreds and thousands of amphibians, mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, fish, and plants.
While many trips of these Okavango Delta safari tours make it a point to include traditional canoe (mokoro), others get to experience the deltaic beauty by riding aircrafts. A tour is incomplete without a local guide. You need them for both their services and love for their wonderland alike. So while you go mobile, mobile lodge or lodge based, travelling can be turned into an exciting experience with your degree of participation and the special interest it caters to.

Wild Dogs @ Chitabe Lediba Camp, image by * Beezy *

Visiting the Nature’s Masterpieces

Safari is all about the thrill, about finding yourself return back to the nature, preferring raw over the tamed, sophisticated life. At Bostwana’s Okavango Delta, you are rewarded with one such memorable experience. Annual flooding makes it attractive for innumerable animals to forge themselves a habitat here. Elephants, Cape buffalo, lions, leopards, and rhinos, all can be found in this place. The sounds of this African wilderness echoes at night, and being there is simply an otherworldly experience.

Additionally, since it is a World Heritage Site, one discovers a practically untouched freshwater wetland. Easy to access, accommodating the broadest range of safari activities, providing the most intimate of fly-in lodges for undiluted romance, the location can be the hotspot for anyone and everyone from nature photographers to newlyweds or safari enthusiasts.

Chief’s Island

Aptly positioned at the heart of the Okavango Delta in Moremi Game Reserve, the magical island is one of its largest. It’s fertile, therefore the mature woodlands have in abundance marula trees, leadwood, rain trees, and acacia, while the wetlands have plenty of rich shoots.

Its game concentration is hard to miss. From zebra, buffalo, red lechwe, tsessebe, reedbuck, impala and giraffe to mongoose, warthogs, vervet monkeys, and baboon, the lagoon is also full of hippos, crocs, elephants, cheetahs, lions and leopards. The gaming view is the finest you can get in Southern Africa. The habitat is excellent for bird watching too.

The Selinda Spillway

Exploring the waterway linking the Okavanago Delta to the Linyati and Kwando water systems can be spelled out in a single word: amazing. The trail can be considered a premium in terms of walking and canoeing safari. Most of the people end up prolonging their adventurous exploration to get a more extraordinary experience from easy paddling to impromptu fly camps, to going on foot to encounter a variety of species en route. The journey is as relaxing as uniquely fascinating.
It is simply impossible not to be absorbed into the wilderness that surrounds you in this place.

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Eight best snowboarding spots in Japan

If you are looking to snowboard in Japan and are unsure about where to go, here is a guide to the top ten locations, to help you plan your trip.


Made up of five resorts, being Annupuri, Higashiyama, Hirafu, Hanazono and Moiwa, you can buy a ski pass to access them all and experience a whole range of snowboarding conditions. Niseko has famous tree runs such as Strawberry Fields and Miharashi and it also has scenic powder fields and slopes. Night snowboarding is defining feature of Japan. Niseko in particular is very well lit at night, providing a new experience and challenge for snowboarders.

Teru Yoshioka hitting the sweet spot, image by glen claydon


Catered evenly towards beginners and intermediate snowboarders, Furano is a great snowboarding spot for a range of people. There is even terrain for advanced snowboarder, making it a popular choice for people travelling in groups where there are a range of skills within the group.

Nozawa Onsen

If you are looking for a good snowboarding spot, while being immersed in Japanese culture, Nozawa Onsen is a very appropriate choice. It has authentic atmosphere with natural hot springs, while providing an excellent snowboarding environment.


As Hokkaido’s third biggest resort, Rusutsu has some of the most well developed snowboarding schools. The high quality of teaching makes it one of the most appealing destinations for beginner snowboarders. Plus, Rusutsu has one of the best lift infrastructures of all the parks in Japan, making it a less stressful experience when snowboarding.

Shiga Kogen

With twenty-one resorts, Shiga Kogen is a great Japanese snowboarding destination. With overwhelming access to seventy lifts, Shiga Kogen caters for all skill sets. It features quality snow and commendable slopes.


If you were impressed by the size of Shiga Kogen, you should see Hakuba. It boasts one hundred and thirty five lifts and 1081m vertical rises. The terrain park is one of the best in Japan.


Although it is a smaller location, Sahoro is still very popular. It host excellent conditions for intermediate snowboarders, with a less extreme and relaxed atmosphere.


If your intention is to snowboard and experience a range of different active activities in Japan, Tomamu is for you. Off-piste skiing, heli-skiing, cat-skiing, a huge indoor wave pool and an ice-dome village are just a few of the extra options they include on top of snowboarding.

Author Bio:

Snowcapped Tours specialises in providing individual domestic and international ski holiday packages that cater for all levels of skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts at some of the best prices in the market.

The experienced team at Snowcapped Tours is renowned for providing the highest level of customer service and exceeding client expectations.
Contact Snowcapped Tours at and let them find the best ski holiday packagesfor you.

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Simple Ways to Make Your Chennai to Velnakanni Trip Special

Apart from having hundreds of temples, Tamil Nadu also has many famous churches to be visited. One of such famous churches is the “Our Lady of Good Health” church located at Velankanni.

Velankanni is a town situated in the Nagapattinam district and is around 350Km from Chennai. The Bay of Bengal is on one side of the town making it a very picturesque location. Roman architecture can be traced back to the fact that this town was an erstwhile prominent port frequented by Roman traders. Velankanni is well connected by rail and has trains running to Chennai. But who would want to miss out on a road trip to Velankanni, when the route is laden with beautiful locales?

The best route from Chennai to Velankanni would be the Chennai – Ulundurpet 4-lane road which passes through Tindivanam, Pondicherry, Vriddhachalam, Sethiyathope, Chidambaram, Sirkazhi and Karaikal. It is advisable to start as early as possible to avoid the city traffic, as is the case with trips originating from major cities. A 4:00am start would be ideal.

For those of you who prefer to have a cup of hot tea or coffee before the drive, Vandalur, situated at Chennai’s outskirts has many decent road-side coffee shops. The road from Chennai to Pondicherry is excellent and this is the stretch where one can stomp their foot on the accelerator.

On reaching Pondicherry, a breakfast pit-stop would be advised as Pondicherry has some excellent eateries with decent facilities for freshening up. Le Café at Goubert Avenue is a famous restaurant in Pondicherry which is open round the clock and serves tasty sandwiches. Also, the restaurant offers a beautiful view of the sea. Sunrises are beautiful. And watching the Sun rise from the shores is truly a sight to behold! Now without getting carried away with the calmness of the sea, hop in to your vehicle to reach the next stop which is Pichavaram.

The road after Pondicherry might not be as smooth as the earlier part of the journey but is very much driveable. The drive from Pondicherry to Pichavaram via Cuddalore is a little less than 2hrs. Pichavaram is part of Cuddalore district and its prime possession is a hidden mangrove forest. Do take some time off to check this spot out as these mangrove forests are home to some rare birds and fishes.

The TTDC (Tamil Nadu Tourism) offers boating facilities and early in the morning there is hardly any crowd. The ticket costs around Rs.200/- and make sure that you are taken to the dense forests to watch the avian and aquatic wildlife. Don’t miss to capture these views on your camera as there are very few mangrove forests which are easily accessible for the general public and Pichavaram is one of them. After the boat ride, recharge yourself for the next stop – Tharangambadi.

Tharangambadi (previously called as Tranquebar) is situated in the Nagapattinam district and was visited by the Danes in the 17th Museum. The Dansborg Fort is situated on the shore and one can see the waves kissing the walls of the fort. This site offers an unending view of the sea and is another hotspot for the shutterbugs.

The Danish Museum is home to ancient artefacts. There is also a 14th at Tharangambadi which dates back to the Pandian times. Within walking distance from the temple is the “Bungalow on the Beach”. This hotel cum restaurant is a recommended pit-stop for lunch not only for its tasty dishes but also for its facilities and courteous staff.

After Tharangambadi, your next stop is the final destination – Velankanni. Velankanni is an hour’s drive from Tharangambadi. The town greets you with the St Sebastian Church which is located at the entrance of the city. This is one of many churches present in Velankanni which fill the air with spirituality.

Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health is a Roman Catholic shrine and people of different faiths visit the church all round the year. The church is a 16th associated with its foundation. The basilica is situated right opposite the church. The structure is spotless white which radiates a feeling of divinity. Masses are conducted in many languages both in the morning and evening. The area around the church is a pedestrian zone and this majorly helps in ensuring that the pilgrims experience a sense of calmness. The Morning Star church is a new structure erected close to the basilica and is another architectural wonder.

Velankanni has good hotels to offer and some of the prominent ones are Seagate Resorts and Hotel Picnic. “Maria” is a popular restaurant in Velankanni and is frequented by most of the pilgrims.

Here are a few tips to make your journey as pleasurable as possible:

  • Hire a reputed taxi for rent as it is always advisable to have a knowledgeable driver at your disposal.
  • One can refuel their vehicle at Pondicherry and Karaikal.
  • Do not buy anything from touts as the church has its own stalls where candles and flowers can be purchased.
  • The church also offers rooms for accommodation at very nominal rates.
  • Evening mass starts with a Rosary. 29th draws large crowds.
  • Avoid having street food and be extremely cautious about sea food.
  • If time permits, visit the Poondi Basilica situated at Thirukattupalli.
  • Make sure you carry sufficient umbrellas and water as this part of the world remains hot for a major part of the year.
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