The Lost Chambers Aquarium, Dubai

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When I was in Dubai for a month, I wanted to come up with an idea for a day out based indoors that didn’t involve a mall and it was too hot to be outdoors during the day so I decided to visit the Lost Chambers Aquarium in the Atlantis hotel. The regular adult price is AED 100 to enter it but if you show your resident ID (Emirates ID card, passport or driving licence) and adults can get in for AED 75.

As you make your way through the 10 various themed chambers of what was once the world’s most advanced civilisation you will find over over 21 exhibits with fish from all over the world flourishing in this magnificent environment. There areplenty of weird and wonderful fish and sea creatures to look at, it is well laid out with interesting lighting and great photo opportunities. The The Lost Chambers Aquarium is home to over 500 species of marine life, including sharks, arapaimas, sting rays, piranhas, sea horses and jelly fish.

“The Earth is Art, The Photographer is only a Witness.” -Yann Arthus-Bertrand

Here are some of the pictures clicked by my brother, Farhan, when we were there.

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Interesting Facts:

  • One can snorkel and dive in the Ambassador Lagoon, the Middle East’s largest aquarium.
  • While grown piranhas feed at night, young ones feed during the day to avoid being eaten by an adult.
  • Moray Eels have poor sight, and since they feed mainly at night, they have developed a great sense of smell.
  • Starfish can reproduce by fragmentation. They detach part of an arm which grows slowly into a new sea star.
  • Jellyfish have no brain, heart or bones. Some have ways of detecting obstacles that can be compared to sight
  • Over 600,000,000 litres of water are circulated through the lagoons and pools after being drawn from the Arabian Gulf using an open-flow system. This water then passes through a four million litre reservoir, is sand filtered and cleared with ozone before flowing into marine habitats around the resort to provide the best water conditions for optimal health of the animals.
  • The Lost Chambers Aquarium has a dedicated fish hospital and nursery, with quarantine pools for newborns and marine life requiring special care and acclimatizing.

 

If you visit Dubai, this place should be on your list. :)

Love,
GirlOnTheMove

P.S. To view more of my travelling pictures search #FariIsTravelling on Instagram. To get in touch, you can write an email to me at fariblog.girlonthemove@gmail.com and reply is guaranteed. And don’t forget to give a thumbs up to this girl who is on the move.;)

Chennakesava Temple, Somanathapura

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Somanathapura is a small village on the banks of the river Cauvery in Karnataka, India, which is famous for the Chennakesava Temple (also known as Kesava/Keshava Temple). It is approx 40 km from Mysore and 130 km from Bangalore. It was built by Soma, a commander in 1268 CE under Hoysala Empire King Narasimha III. This gem of a building is the last, and best-preserved, of the major Hoysala temples. This temple is famous for its elaborate and intricate sculpturing.

The temple is enclosed in a walled courtyard that has a gate and a porch.

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Here we are…in the courtyard of Keshava Temple

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Lamp Tower

The temple entrance faces east, and is framed by lathe-turned columns.

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Lathe-turned Pillars

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Come on, let’s explore more…

 

It is built on an elevated star shaped platform.

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Star shaped platform

 

The entire fabric of the temple is covered with sculptures; hardly a square inch of space has escaped the carver’s hand.

 

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Sculptures sculptures everywhere.

The sides of the raised platform are decorated with richly carved friezes, portraying rows of cavalry, elephants and scenes from the epics. The rows above have sculptures of Gods mainly Vishnu in various forms. The shrine has three shrines and three sanctums. The temple has three intricately carved pinnacles and a common Navranga. The northern sanctum has the idol of Lord Janardhana and the southern sanctum has the idol of Lord Venugopala. The main hall has exquisitely turned pillars and ceiling panels. The image of Lord Keshava that once adorned the main hall is missing today.

 

This Hoysala temple is stunningly beautiful. Unfortunately, this temple is no longer used as a place of worship because the idols here have been broken and the temple was desecrated by the invading armies. But the beautiful temple still charms visitors and reminds people of the magnificent artistic and engineering achievements of the era.

 

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Come one inner peace, I don’t have all day!!

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This temple is as beautiful as the world-renowned Belur and Halebid temples and is worth visiting.

NOTE:
Entry Ticket: Rs. 5 for Indians (Rs. 100 for foreigners)
Timings: 8.30 am to 5.30 pm

 

Love,
GirlOnTheMove

P.S. To view more of my travelling pictures search #FariIsTravelling on Instagram. To get in touch, you can write an email to me at fariblog.girlonthemove@gmail.com and reply is guaranteed. And don’t forget to give a thumbs up to this girl who is on the move. 😉

Qutub Minar, New Delhi

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When we look at Qutub Minar, and the other monuments near it, we are looking at history between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries. Qutb-ud-din Aybak was the governor of northern India from year 1193 and, later, the ruler from 1206-1210. The construction of Qutub Minar started in the year 1193. During Qutb-ud-din’s lifetime, the base of the Minar was completed. Qutb-ud-din’s son-in-law, Shams-ud-din Iltutmish, became the ruler of Delhi in 1211. Iltutmish ruled from 1211 to 1236. During his reign, three stories were added to the Qutub Minar. Iltutmish died in the year 1236 and appointed his daughter Razia Sultan as his successor. But a woman ruler was not acceptable to the nobles and there a period of instability and power struggle in which Razia and others lost their lives. Finally, Ghiyas ud din Balban, became the ruler of Delhi in the year 1266 and ruled till his death in 1287. After his death, there was again instability till Jalal-ud-Din Firuz Khilji became the ruler from 1290-1296. Jalal-ud-Din Firuz Khilji was succeeded by his nephew, Ala-ud-din Khilji. Ala-ud-din Khilji, ruled during the years 1296-1316.

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Qutb Minar (pronounced Qoot-ub Minar), a UNESCO World Heritage Site is located in Delhi, India. The Qutb Minar, constructed with red sandstone, marble, lime mortar and rubble masonry, is the tallest brick minaret in the world, with a height of 72.5 metres (237.8 ft). It has five storeys and each floor is separated from the one below it and the one above it by a series of elaborately decorated balconies. Each of the first three storeys is tells about the architecture in vogue at the time. There were originally seven storeys. A copula that made the top two fell in an earthquake. The Mughals tried to replace it. The new copula didn’t chime in well with the rest of the building so it was removed. Currently, it contains 379 stairs to reach the top, and the diameter of the base is 14.32 m while it is about 2.75 m on the top.

The Entrance into the Minar

The Entrance into the Minar

Before 1981, the general public was allowed access to the top of the minar accessed through a narrow staircase. On 4 December 1981, 45 people were killed in the stampede that followed an electricity failure that plunged the tower’s staircase into darkness. Most of the victims were children because, at the time school children were allowed free access to historical monuments on Fridays. Subsequently, public access to the inside of the tower has been banned.

Grieving relatives  of the deceased

Grieving relatives of the deceased

Bags and other possessions  of the deceased piled up outside the gate  leading to the steps

Bags and other possessions
of the deceased piled up
outside the gate
leading to the steps

The Minar comprises several superposed flanged and cylindrical shafts, separated be balconies carried on Muqarnas corbels. The first three storeys are made of red sandstone; the fourth and fifth storeys are of marble and sandstone. At the foot of the tower is the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque. The minar tilts just over 60 cm from the vertical, which is considered to be within safe limits, although experts have stated that monitoring is needed in case rainwater seepage further weakens the foundation. Qutub Minar is not a standalone construction.

The top two floors of the Minar, covered with marble.

The top two floors of the Minar, covered with marble.

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It’s an amalgamation of several buildings in the vicinity of one another. The important buildings surrounding this tower include: Alai-Darwaza, Tomb of Iltutmish and two mosques. The Darawaza (Gate) is a quintessential example of Indo-Islamic architecture which flourished after this period on the Subcontinent. The architecture of the mosque is idiosyncratic in several ways. The most visible are the columns inside the mosque; of which none resembles the other. This was in stark contrast to other mosques in other parts of the world, where uniformity was highly priced. The nearby Iron Pillar is one of the world’s foremost metallurgical curiosities, standing in the famous Qutb complex. Tradition assigns the erection of the Pillar to Anang Pal Tomar, whose name it bears, with the date 1052 C.E. According to the traditional belief, anyone who can encircle the entire column with their arms, with their back towards the pillar, can have their wish granted. Because of the corrosive qualities of sweat the government has built a fence around it for safety. The quality of Iron used in the pillar is an excellence of technology. The smoothness of the pillar surface makes it rust proof. The amalgamation of different metals with Iron produces such high quality of smoothness.

The Iron Pillar and the Qutub Minar

The Iron Pillar and the Qutub Minar

Posing in front og Qutub Minar, with my adorable Rehana Nani

Posing in front of Qutub Minar, with my adorable Rehana Nani

Fun Facts:

    • This is the first Indian monument to have an E-ticket facility.
    • Bollywood actor and director Dev Anand wanted to shoot the song Dil Ka Bhanwar Kare Pukar from his movie Tere Ghar Ke Samne inside the minar. However, the cameras in that era were too big to fit inside the tower’s narrow passage, and the song was shot inside a replica of the tower instead

Dil Ka Bhanwar Kare Pukar

Dil Ka Bhanwar Kare Pukar

Can you see the tiny me? :P

Can you see the tiny me? 😛

Love,
GirlOnTheMove

P.S. To view more of my travelling pictures search #FariIsTravelling on Instagram. To get in touch, you can write an email to me at fariblog.girlonthemove@gmail.com and reply is guaranteed. And don’t forget to give a thumbs up to this girl who is on the move. 😉

Burj Khalifa, Dubai

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We all know it is the tallest man-made structure in the world, standing at 829.8m, open on January 4, 2010. But what you might not know is that aside from holding the World Record for being the tallest building in the world,Burj Khalifa holds other World Records:

  • tallest freestanding structure in the world, highest number of stories in the world,
    highest occupied floor in the world,
  • highest outdoor observation deck in the world,
  • elevator with longest travel distance in the world, and
  • tallest service elevator in the world. It has the longest single running elevator, which is 140 floors.
    The elevators go 10 meters per second and are among the fastest in the world. It took us approximately only one minute to reach the observation deck on the 124th floor.

    Isn't the view just spectacular!

    Isn’t the view just spectacular!


    Burj Khalifa from the top.

    Burj Khalifa from the top.

    The Burj Khalifa is not only the pride but also the joy of Dubai, towering above the desert city and holding over 160 stories worth of the finest steel and glass in the world. If you’re visiting the UAE, you’ll seriously be missing out on a treat if you don’t add a visit to this landmark to your itinerary. Why? Well, as Marks and Spencer’s would say, it’s not just any tower – it’s the Burj Khalifa tower.

    Tom Cruise sitting on the very top of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai during the filming of Mission Impossible 4. I wish someday I get a chance to sit there and get to relish the breathtaking view.

    Tom Cruise sitting on the very top of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai during the filming of Mission Impossible 4. I wish someday I get a chance to sit there and get to relish the breathtaking view.


    Standing tall with 7 World Records: Burj Khalifa

    Standing tall with 7 World Records: Burj Khalifa


    But you are still standing behind me, Burj Khalifa :P

    But you are still standing behind me, Burj Khalifa 😛

Do share your Burj Khalifa experience in the comment box. 🙂

Love,
GirlOnTheMove

P.S. To view more of my travelling pictures search #FariIsTravelling on Instagram. To get in touch, you can write an email to me at fariblog.girlonthemove@gmail.com and reply is guaranteed. And don’t forget to give a thumbs up to this girl who is on the move. 😉

Kashmir

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Jammu & Kashmir – where snow-white mountains are immersed into deep meditation from pre-historic times
Jammu & Kashmir – where mountain streams are flowing with sweet sounds, as if little children are reciting their nursery rhymes.
Jammu & Kashmir – where green meadows, valleys of flowers and apple orchards are eagerly waiting to welcome you
Jammu & Kashmir – where you encounter experiences that are so unique and completely new.
Jammu & Kashmir – where you find colourful birds singing and chirping in dense green forests
Jammu & Kashmir – where you find local people to be always warm and smiling, looking gorgeous in their native dress.
Jammu & Kashmir – the place of magnificent Chinar trees, that stand so tall
Jammu & Kashmir – the land of Santoor (Indian musical instrument) and the world famous Pashmina shawl.
Jammu & Kashmir – the confluence of three great religions – Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam

Although my travelling experience will never be able to express more beautifully compare to these 9 lines written by Raja Basu, still I will try to write each and every minute detail I saw and felt in these 6 days.

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Day 1:

My family and I landed in Srinagar on the morning of 2nd October, 2015. From the airport, we headed towards the houseboat that Dad has booked for that day. We spent 2 days and 1 night on that houseboat itself.

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And all this while, when I was inside our houseboat, it always felt that we are staying in a proper apartment. Our houseboat had 1 drawing room, 1 dinning room, kitchen, 2 bedrooms with a bathroom in each room, a-sort-of-balcony and a semi-terrace.

To see some clips of inside and outside view from out houseboat click on these: Houseboat Part-1 Houseboat Part-2 Houseboat Part-3 Houseboat Part-4 Houseboat Part-5

Every area was so beautifully decorated that the apartment/houseboat looked so rich in itself, other than the service they provided.I wish I could made you taste the food they served, it was so delicious that the very first day I planned to discontinue my diet-plan. (Therefore, I was back in my default shape by the end of this trip :/ )

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After taking a couple of hours rest right after we checked in, we went to Heritage Mughal Garden Shalimar.

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And the moment I entered that place I was spellbound. So many colors at the same time, all around me. Red, yellow, green and in the background handsome hills and above in the refreshing blue sky those delightful clouds. Everything around me was pleasant, I just didn’t want dusk to occur that day.

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By the end of the day, we were very hungry and planned to stop by in Mughal Darbar and have Kashmiri Wazwan, a typical kashmiri dish which is impossible to finish even when there are four people on the dinning table. The Kashmiri Wazwan traditionally consisted of 36 courses, but there are 7 dishes which form an indispensable part of this feast. They are Tabakh Maaz, Rista, Rogan Josh, Dhaniwal Korma, Aab gosht, Marchwagan Korma and Gushtaba. And to get recipes of all these dishes, please click on the link above.

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Day 2:

After having lunch, we were off to Pahalgam. In the middle of our journey we stopped at the Apple Orchard. I haven’t seen so many apples together before that day.

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It would be a little cliche, but since I was wearing white that day and surround by red apples in cold weather, I almost felt like a snow white for a while. (Okay, now stop laughing!) I even helped the workers in packing those apples, and I swear I didn’t hide any apple under my cap or in my pocket.

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Check out the video recorded in Apple Orchard that was uploaded on my Instagram account, Apple Orchard Video

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Day 3:

The last day was a rest day, so after checking in the Pahalgam Hotel all we enjoyed the view from our suite and had some good sleep.

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After shaking off our tiredness, we were all ready and set for another outing. This time it was Betab Valley, my parents told me it was named after a movie which was 90% shot in this area. Isn’t it cool? A place named after a movie.. 😀

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Day 4:

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Our next destination was Gulmarg and in midway there was a botanical garden, and the variety of flowers I saw there was terrific. I was really amazed to see such pretty, charming and appealing flowers around me. Have a zoomed look at some of those flowers..

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Day 5:

Finally, this day we saw some snow. We took a Gondola ride and reached Phase-2.

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The ride was so fun that it’s almost impossible to describe it. Imagine yourself in a glass shell which is hanging in the sky, actually moving in the sky.. and you could see everything that’s happening in the city. A city filled with green and red grass, horses, Kashmiri people in their Kashmiri attires, working and children playing.

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As soon as we reached at Phase-2, it was so cold, that I thanked myself for wearing a warm coat. It was blue sky and grey rocks and pretty chilling winds (which you won’t be able to see in the pictures though :P)

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After getting back to base area, we decided to have a joy ride in Gulmarg before leaving for Srinagar.

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Day 6:

We had a flight for Delhi in the afternoon, so the first half of the day we were busy in shopping. After all, going to Kashmir and not buy a Kashmiri handmade carpet, Kashmiri embroidered over-coat, Pashmina Shawls and Ferin would be so unfair. We also purchased a few packets of Kashmiri saffron and dry fruits.

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Love,
GirlOnTheMove

P.S. To view more of my travelling pictures search #FariIsTravelling on Instagram. To get in touch, you can write an email to me at fariblog.girlonthemove@gmail.com and reply is guaranteed. And don’t forget to give a thumbs up to this girl who is on the move. 😉