Best Things to Do on Your Trip to Tirupati

 

If you’ve been to India or live in the country and have still not visited Tirupati, it’s time to get there! There are very few cities or locations that boast of such rich cultural heritage, architectural splendors and amazing festivals.

With its convenient airport, you can take advantage of regular and affordable flights from around India, such as flights from Hyderabad to Tirupati or from any other major city in the country. Famous as one of the most sacred pilgrimage spots within India, every year, thousands of tourists and pilgrims flock to this city located in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

When you do plan a trip to Tirupati, make sure you have sufficient time for the major attractions:

  • Sri Venkateswara Temple – This is a must-see temple in Tirupati, and the ancient temple is dedicated to Lord Sri Venkateswara. Also known as Tirumala Temple or Tirupati Balaji Temple, the Sri Venkateswara Temple is perched at the height of 2799-feet on the seventh peak of Seshachalam.
  • Talakona Waterfall – The Talakona Waterfall is very scenic and the highest waterfall in Andhra Pradesh. You need to trek for about two kilometers to reach the spectacular waterfall that is deep inside the forest. There is a wonderful lush aura around the waterfall during the rainy season.
  • Sri Vari Museum – Located near the Tirupati Venkateswara Temple, the Sri Vari Museum is known as a rich source of Vaishnavism, Traditions of Tirumala, and Hinduism and boasts thousands of historical and archaeological items.

  • Chandragiri – A major heritage site in Andhra Pradesh, Chandragiri is an ancient town that is famous for its magnificent palaces and excellent fort. Built by the Vijayanagara rulers, the castle is fortified by strong walls and is located at a height of about two hundred meters. The palaces and forts are an excellent example of Vijayanagara architecture and are made from brick, stone, and lime mortar.
  • Kapila Teertham – Another popular waterfall in the city, Kapila Teertham is located at the base of Sheshadri Hills, and its water body ends as a pond inside the Kapileswara Swamy temple. The beautiful waterfall is a major pilgrimage spot of Tirupati.
  • Srikalahasti – Known for its historical and religious significance, Srikalahasti is an ancient temple town, and all its temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva, Rahu, and Ketu. The religious significance of Srikalahasti lies in its name and is seen as the abode of Lord Shiva. It is also identified as the Kailash of the South, and this is what makes it one of the popular sites to visit in the city.
  • Deer Park – The Deer Park of Tirupati is maintained by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam. Although it is named a deer park, one can enjoy observing several other species other than deers as the park is known for its impressive range of flora and fauna. There is immense nature surrounding the park, and it is a nice way to escape the bustle of the city and enjoy a peaceful afternoon.

Apart from the above main attractions of the city, there are many other places of interest near and around Tirupati. For example, travelers can visit Tiruchanoor Temple, which is just about 5 km from Tirupati. Some other temples around the city include Sri Kalyana Venkateswaraswami Temple, Sri Veda Narayanaswami Temple, Sri Venugopalaswami Temple, and many sub-temples too. The Navratra and Dussehra festivals are also very popular here, and one can visit the city during those times to enjoy the colorful and festive celebrations.

 

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Simple Browser Extension Automatically Finds Cheaper Flights

If you are dreaming of a vacation getaway post-COVID, but are strapped for cash, don’t worry. We got you covered. And no, you don’t have to use a new website to save money. That’s the beauty of the browser extension BuyLo: it works with your favorite airline/booking site (see full list of supported sites here). 

Here’s the basic premise: You go to your favorite airline/booking site (Southwest, Kayak, etc), search for a flight that works for your time and budget, proceed to checkout, and then BuyLo pops up, automatically detects the ticket you selected, and scans hundreds of booking sites for a lower price on the exact same flight. It only takes about a minute and BuyLo promises to find prices as much as 54% cheaper.

When taking it for a spin on Southwest, they show $21 off a flight that Southwest quoted at $115.

 

Quick note: the cheaper flight needs to be booked through Kiwi.com. In the case of this ticket, the BOS -> BWI flight is actually the first leg of a connecting flight. These are “hidden city” flights and can only be found on websites such as Kiwi.com/Skiplagged, whose algorithms are uniquely equipped to find them.

Let’s try a different flight. This time from London to Boston:

 


This one is significant. It’s almost £1,000 off a £1,600 flight! 

How is this possible? Well, the underlying concept is pretty much an open secret now. Flight ticket prices don’t just vary based on when you book and what you book. They also vary based on:

  • Browsing history – if you are someone who has repeatedly searched for the same flight, algorithms might jack up the prices to create a sense of urgency to buy
  • Device – algorithms love jacking up prices for Mac users
  • Flight booking site – different flight booking sites utilize different algorithms for searching for flights

Take a look at this:

 


If you book a Finnair flight through Skyscanner, it would cost $833. BuyLo found it on SmartFares for $796.

But if you used the Skyscanner link to go to SmartFares, it would be $808, which is $12 more than what BuyLo found.

So let’s quickly summarize, the pros and cons of BuyLo:

Pros:

  • Automatically get a lower price – who doesn’t love that?
  • Supports all currencies and booking classes (Economy, Business, First)
  • Supports one way and round trip flights.

Cons:

  • It takes about a minute.
  • Multi city flights aren’t supported for now.
  • You have to leave your current booking site. If you like booking direct with airlines, you’re out of luck. If you entered a bunch of information at checkout, you’ll have to re-enter them.

Things to note:

  • Lower prices aren’t guaranteed. Flight price algorithms are a black box so your mileage might vary. 
  • For flight search websites such as Skyscanner, BuyLo only pops out if you are booking the flight on Skyscanner’s platform or you are clicking out to a supported booking site.

If you’re interested in having BuyLo get you lower prices, here’s how to set it up:

  1. Open Chrome or Firefox. (Or any browser that can install Chrome/Firefox extensions)
  2. If you are on Chrome, go to the BuyLo chrome webstore page. Click on “Add to Chrome” and confirm.
  3. If you are on Firefox, go to the BuyLo Firefox add-on page. Click on “Add to Firefox” and confirm.

 

 

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Tips to Make Your Kauai Trip Unforgettable

If you are planning a tropical escape, why not consider Kauai? The fourth largest island among the six main Hawaiian islands, Kauai offers a genuinely tropical paradise setting with an endless list of rewarding activities. Here are some easy tips to make your Kauai trip unforgettable.

 

1. Prepare for Water Photography

If you go to Kauai, you’re going to spend a good amount of time in or near the water. Whether it’s at the beach catching some rays, going for a swim or a snorkel or perhaps visiting one of the beautiful waterfalls, you’re going to get wet. But, in order to make sure you capture perfect photos of these experiences, you’ll want to be prepared.

Whether it’s a waterproof camera or a waterproof pouch for your phone, make sure the device you use to take photos is well protected. You simply won’t want to miss out on great photo opportunities as there will be plenty. Even when hiking or at the beach, you never know when the rain might start. But the rain often leads to rainbows over the dramatic scenery or landscapes consisting of colors that few would believe.

Make sure your camera is ready so that you don’t get caught in or near water without a chance to take photos!

2. Know Which Place To Stay In Kauai

There are two sides of the island where visitors generally stay – the south shore (Poipu) and the north shore (Hanalei and Princeville). The first thing you should do is see which side matches your travel style the best so that you can determine where to stay in Kauai. Knowing where to stay on the island is important as you want to be close to the activities you’re interested in and in an environment that matches your needs and interests. 

The south shore gets more sunlight and is drier for the majority of the year. In the winter, the ocean is calmer and more swimmable. The beaches are  easily accessible as well. There’s also a wide variety of accommodation options, ranging from resorts to condos but this side does tend to be more expensive overall.

On the north shore, it is more mountainous and tropical. Beaches have spectacular mountain backdrops, making for some incredible photos. It’s breathtaking in every sense of the world. But it’s also more crowded with tourists as a result.

And since there’s more rain here, along with large waves in the winter, most beaches are not very suitable for swimming. It’s great for scenery and hiking though.

3. Don’t Miss Out On Island Helicopters

Taking a helicopter flight over Kauai is popular for a reason. Often said to have the most impressive landscapes on the planet, helicopters give you a chance to see this natural beauty from an incredible angle.

Some companies, such as Island Helicopters, also allow tourists to land by the Manawaiopuna Falls in order to really have a unique experience. It’s a 400-foot waterfall on private land, which is simply magical, along with the views all around you. Combine this with canyons, coastline, mountains, jungle and more and a helicopter trip is hard to beat.

There are many companies and many different packages so it’s good to shop around and see what discounts you can get before you book a trip.

4. Fly Across The Sky With Ziplines

With an exhilarating zipline experience, you’ll soar high over the treetops on one of the most beautiful islands in the world. One of the most popular ziplines in Kauai takes you to Kipu Ranch where seven different ziplines allow you to fly over the ranch’s lush valleys. 

Tandem lines are available or you can go solo as you soar from tree house to tree house above the jungle below. Once again, be sure to ask your hotel or any contacts you make in Kauai about any discounts for activities such as this in order to get the best deal possible.

 

 

With these easy tips for your Kauai trip, all that’s left to do is enjoy this stunning location that can only be described as true paradise!

 

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Hotel Brands Want to Be in Mexico But Investors Look Elsewhere

Michelleraponi  / Pixabay

Relatively strong pandemic performance in Mexico may attract brands, but investors want the discounted pricing that comes with a troubled asset. Michelleraponi / Pixabay

Skift Take: The large supply of independent hotels in Mexico is a massive opportunity for companies like Marriott and Hilton to quickly beef up their portfolios without the drawn-out process of new construction. Investors, however, will likely favor markets that performed worse during the pandemic.

— Cameron Sperance

Read the Complete Story On Skift

Wyndham Returns to Profits on Swelling Domestic Demand in U.S. and China

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Wyndham reported a $29 million first quarter profit thanks to strong domestic demand in the U.S. and China. Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Skift Take: Many hotel companies shouldn’t expect to replicate Wyndham’s early financial success. Global companies like Accor and Hyatt have to grapple with business-oriented hotels in urban markets — areas which are still struggling from pandemic restrictions.

— Cameron Sperance

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Airlines Are Gearing Up For a Surge in Transatlantic Travel

Bill Abbott   / WikiMedia

Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787 Dreamliner flying transatlantically over water on the approach to land. Bill Abbott / WikiMedia

Skift Take: As countries in Europe prepare to open their borders to vaccinated Americans this summer, airlines are seeing a spike in demand for travel. But the industry’s focus needs to be on having sufficient manpower to verify proof of vaccinations prior to boarding.

— Ruthy Muñoz

Read the Complete Story On Skift