The Grand Canyon -From tropical paradise to the home of Native Americans

Located in the state of Arizona, United States, is the Grand Canyon, a gorge where the Colorado River used to flow, thus creating a scenic valley that is the home of many Native Americans and a favourite place to visit for many tourists.

The Grand Canyon is managed by several bodies working in collaboration. These include Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, Kaibab National Forest, Grand Canyon National Park, and native groups like the Havasupai people, Hualapai Tribal Nation, and the Navajo Nation. The reason for the involvement of a diverse group of people in its protection is that the Grand Canyon is important on several grounds: this 446km long gorge has evidence to illustrate almost two billion years of Earth’s history in geology. It is important for the Native Americans as it is them who created settlements here over thousands of years ago and live there to date. In fact, the Grand Canyon is considered a holy place by the Pueblo people. In addition to all these, today the Grand Canyon serves as a key tourist attraction for the five million people who come to see the place.

There is a lot to do here apart from admiring the 29km wide scenery at the Grand Canyon. There is rafting, running, hiking the treacherous trails, and skydiving among other activities. Thus, many a travel agency in Sri Lanka includes a visit to the Grand Canyon as a part of their USA tour itinerary, while agencies like Aitken Spence Holidays allows you to determine the length of your visit to the Canyon with their customizable itineraries. It is always better to opt for a guided tour of the Grand Canyon as several hundred deaths have been recorded at the site through history. However, there is nothing to worry about as long as you are sensible and cautious.

 

Roland Lefevre is a travel writer who specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe. Google+

MADOL DUWA -THE ISLAND OF LITERATURE, THEATRE, AND MANGROVES

In the serene setting of Koggala Lake, less than half an hour from CoCo Bay Unawatuna is an island that is a household name among every Sri Lankan: Madol Duwa. Duwa, meaning island, Madol refers to the mangroves that are holding the island in its grasp. Madol Duwa became famous among the locals with the publishing of a young adult novel of the same name, which describes the adventures of two teenagers running away from home seeking refuge on the island. Akin to Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Fin, the novel became so popular that it was made into a movie in the 1970s, and is now translated into English, and is a part of the local curriculum as well.

Visiting Madol Duwa should be among your list of things to do in Unawatuna, Galle, Hikkaduwa, or Koggala due to its unique beauty. The island can be reached only by a boat. Set off towards the island late in the evening and you will be greeted with beautiful views of the lake mirroring the blue skies above. The island has a clear route marked through the trees, that will lead you through it. There are a stone mortar and pestle in the middle of the shrubbery, a well that is falling apart, and if you look closely, you will be able to see the fallen roof of a cave that inspired the whole story. Walking through the island is not a tiring task, but be careful not to stray from the path for there could be vipers around. However, the island is rather small that if you keep walking in one direction for a steady 20 minutes, you would reach the other end. When you visit Madol Duwa, do not forget to climb to the mound at the west end of the island. If you are lucky, a lone fisherman would be out at the lake, and you will be able to capture a panoramic view of the lake and its lonely companion with a setting sun.

Roland Lefevre is a travel writer who specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe. Google+

Iram of the Pillars – The Lost City

Oman is home to many historic attractions and spectacular locations. Countless tourists arrive through the year to explore its mysteries. Travellers to Oman are able to find accommodation at one of the resorts in Salalah such as the Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara or any other. Among the many interesting legends spoken about, the lost city named as the “Atlantis of the Sands” stands out. This is very much similar to the famous lost city of Atlantis. The city is also called by the names of Ubar and Iram of the Pillars. Research identifies this to be an area that existed in ancient times but was ruined by a natural disaster or destroyed by God.

According to the Quran a population that was named as the Ad lived in and worked towards building the city of Iram. These people had turned away from worshiping and following the ways of Allah. This is when a prophet named Hud was called to convince the people to turn back to Allah. Yet the Ad refused to abide by the preaching and direction of Hud. For this reason a sand storm was sent to the city that continued for seven consecutive days which finally drowned the city. It is believed that this is only a mythical tale said so as to convince people not to turn away from Allah. However as mythical as it may sound, there are many who believe it to be true.

An archeologist along with his team proclaimed to have found this lost city. The camel tracks were evidence that some kind of trade must have taken place in ancient times. A question arises at present as to, if this mini version of a lost city really existed in the Arabs.

Roland Lefevre is a travel writer who specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe.

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