February 9, 2020

"Sometimes words cannot explain what we write. Even pictures cannot justify what we actually see . You must see it to believe it with your own eyes." - Quote about Sheikh Zayed 'Grand' Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE - Sachin Kumar Gupta 

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, located in Abu Dhabi, UAE (United Arab Emirates), is the largest mosque in the country. We visited the Sheikh Zayed 'Grand' Mosque when we were in UAE with family. If you are staying in Abu Dhabi you will find the place easily by taxi/cab. But even if you are staying in Dubai (150 km away) then also don't put off this place from your watch-list. Plan for it. We were amazed by picturesque architecture, outstanding positioning and spiritual feelings. 




Fee: There is NO entry fee to enter the grand mosque. So beware of any kind of agents. There are also free guided tours which last about 45-60 minutes. 

Timings:
Saturday-Thursday 09:00 am - 22:00 pm
Fridays  16:30 pm - 22:00 pm
During Ramadan, Opening times change to 9:00 am-14:00 pm (Saturday-Thursday) and completely closed on Fridays.

Address: Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed St - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates





The visitor center is little away from the mosque and that in itself is massive, well planned, accessible and most impressive. The entry process was quick, efficient and well setup. There were lots of security people and the staff were both courteous and helpful. We got our ticket in no time. The tours are offered in English and Arabic and children are welcome. Make sure to pack your sunglasses as the white building and the strong sun can make it practically blind at times. 

You do need to cover up and dress appropriately. They are strict with the dress code especially for women so be aware and we should respect that. They do however provide clean and comfy Abaya for women free of charge which they have in a few different sizes. On arrival, ladies are directed to a room where they change before entering the Mosque. The building is really beautiful, the materials used are of the finest quality and the workmanship is simply splendid. Outside white dominates with gold, semi precious stones and glass in abundance. Inside the mosque, there is more muted but nonetheless superbly worked and designed. The huge open space, cool flooring, the large chandeliers will keep you awestruck. The carpet in the main prayer hall is considered to be the world's largest carpet. 






The best time to visit Abu Dhabi is during the cooler months between October and April. Any time of day is a good time to visit this grand mosque. Due to the heat and depending on visiting month, you are advised to visit early morning or late evening. It is also preferred visiting during the week to avoid crowds. Next time, I will visit this place again in the late evening. 

I have to admit that this is a great place with beautiful architecture, and a must go place at all cost, if you are in Abu Dhabi/UAE. Enjoy the place, learn something about culture, take plenty of photos and be respectful.

November 3, 2019

It is not just a brilliant museum, but a cleverly architected web-pattern dome, appears to float on water, where you can walk and relax. - Quote about 'The Louvre Museum, Abu Dhabi, UAE' - Sachin Kumar Gupta 

'The Louvre Abu Dhabi' is an art and civilization museum, located in Abu Dhabi, UAE (United Arab Emirates). If you are in UAE, and planning to visit Abu Dhabi, then Louvre Museum and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque should be in your list at the top. Both the places can be covered in a day. The museum is located on the Saadiyat Island Cultural District. 

Museum Timings:
Saturday to Wednesday 10am–8pm (Monday Closed)
Thursday and Friday 10am–10pm 




It was quite hot in the month of October first week. We arrived here around 2 p.m. and the entrance queue was minimal, So we got tickets in no time. You can also buy tickets online (suggested in busy months.) Admission gives you access to the museum galleries, exhibitions, Children’s Museum and public spaces underneath the dome.  Please note that some shows, events and certain paid attractions are not included in the general admission. Many artwork items from all around the world have been showcased in the middle east, with particular focus placed upon bridging the gap between Eastern and Western art. When we visited, It has 'theme of Tolerance'. There are 12 designated areas each describing a different period of time with items on display from that period. Many of the items were borrowed all the way from 'The Louvre Paris' and other galleries, however a surprisingly large amount of items are owned by the Louvre Abu Dhabi. To name a few, must-see are:

- 3D artwork rooms
- Alexander the Great Statue
- Horses of the Sun by Gilles Guerin 
- La belle Ferronniere by Leonardo da Vinci
- Pablo Picasso's Portrait of a Woman
- Self-portrait by Vincent Van Gogh








In addition to the items, the museum architecture and design is amazing. Once you finish visiting the inside galleries. A seemingly floating dome structure welcomes you, its web-patterned dome allowing the sun to filter through. The building itself is stunning and appears to float on water due to it's clever construction, walls are painted white with a stunning steel dome which is a work of art in itself. The metallic ceiling of the Louvre Abu Dhabi was designed to reflect light into the museum like a natural palm frond. 




Great pictures can be taken while visiting the outside bay with the steps where you can truly enjoy the horizon and the calm water, there is also a restaurant, bar, and children museum for your little ones. We spend around 45 mins at children's museum as well. It was full of puzzles and themes were kids friendly. There were quite a lot local/European attires where you can have your child get ready, and have a click, we also got a few. There are many places to sit and relax as well. 

The tour is around 3 to 5 hours to cover full museum and exhibits. I also observe few people took other private boat tour to overlook full floating view of Louvre.  If you are in Abu Dhabi, Just go and see this architecture masterpiece. It is a absolutely a must, and worth to visit.

February 9, 2019

'Vilnius, The G-Spot Of Europe', Nobody knows where it is but when you find it, it's amazing and there are many reasons to visit the place. - Quote about 'Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania' - Sachin Kumar Gupta 

Continuing from my last post about places to visit in Vilnius, Lithuania. It mentions about most interesting places to visit in Vilnius.  You will love the place even in winters even though it can be very cold. Vilnius's rivers freeze over in particularly cold winters, and the lakes surrounding the city are almost always permanently frozen during this time of year. 








I enjoyed the time fullest, and loved the TV tower during this time, and click some unique pictures. Snowfall at time to time can be enjoyed during this time of the year. Almost half of Vilnius is covered by green areas, such as parks, public gardens, natural reserves. Additionally, Vilnius is host to numerous lakes, where residents and visitors swim and have barbecues in the summer. Nightlife is simply amazing in Vilnius. Just go to Vilnius street, and witness it. Enjoy some more photographs and details while my visit to Vilnius, Lithuania during winters. 




Other interesting places/tour to do in Vilnius (as per your choice):
Tour by Bus - Hop On Hop Off
Paddle through the 'Neris River', and admire the city from the whole other perspective
Thematic Walking Tour 
Ghost Vilnius Tour
Illusions Rooms
Hot air Balloons Tour
Viking Ship/Cruise Baltic Vikings
Kayak and Snowshoe Tours 
Uzupis Republic
Belmont Adventure Park
Corn Maze
Uno Park
Liepkalnis Hill
Wake Way Cable Park
Vingis Park
Belmontas Park
Vilnius Grand Resort 
Kairenai Botanical Garden
Beer Library
Islandijos Street
Pilies Street 
A popular way to commute or just explore the city by bicycle. 



Hope to visit the place again sometime in future. 
'Vilnius, The G-Spot Of Europe', Nobody knows where it is but when you find it, it's amazing and there are many reasons to visit the place. - Quote about 'Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania' - Sachin Kumar Gupta  

Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, contains one of the largest surviving medieval quarters in Europe.  Many of its older buildings have been renovated, and a business and commercial area is being developed into the New City Center, expected to become the city's main administrative and business district on the north side of the Neris river. Vilnius lies 312 km from the Baltic Sea and Klaipėda, the chief Lithuanian seaport. Vilnius is connected by highways to other major Lithuanian cities, such as Kaunas (102 km), Siauliai (214 km) and Panevezys (135 km).

Give yourself the gift of the year – come to Vilnius and enjoy a relaxing holiday getaway, far from the crazy busy streets. During winters, It can be cold, but oh yeah it’s great, no doubt about it. Make the most of if you have 2-3 days in Vilnius. I witnessed the place for a week visit. Enjoy some of the photographs during my visit to Vilnius. 



Discover Your Pleasure Spots: These are the top places to visit in Vilnius, Lithuania. 

Cathedral Bell Tower
Cathedral Basilica 
Vilnius Cathedral Square
Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania
Campanile of St. John's Church
Ensemble of St. Anne and Bernardine Church 
Church of St. Catherine Vilnius
Church of St. Peter and Paul
Presidential Palace 
Vilnius University 
Gediminas Tower of the Upper Castle 
Gates of Dawn
Three Crosses Hill
Lukiskiu Square
Vilnius TV (Television) Tower: Now a days visitors can take a lift to revolving observation platform with a cafe, and spectacular view of the city. 
Vilnius Street
White Bridge - A pedestrian bridge surrounded by a big grass field that's perfect for picnic. 








Museums/Galleries: 

Vilnius Picture Gallery 
National Musuem of Lithuania
Amber Museum Gallery 
Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights (KGB Museum) 
Titanikas Art Gallery 
The Arka Gallery 
The National Gallery of Art
The contemporary Art Centre
Loftas Open Gallery






Enjoy my next post for more photographs and other interesting places/tour to do in Vilnius, Lithuania. 

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