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Turkey: The land of royal rendezvous

Till date the primitive walls of the country beckon all to get mystified to an adventure of a lifetime.

india Updated: Jun 12, 2006 19:49 IST
HT Style

Once upon a time in Turkey there was a young lad by the name of Aladdin a poor tailor's son who had the good fortune of laying his hands on a magic lamp and a flying carpet which gave him wings of opportunity to live life king-size.

Till date the primitive walls of Turkey beckon all to get mystified to an adventure of a lifetime and a chance to explore the mystery surrounding it.

Turkey is an architectures delight with magnificent palaces, mosques, parks and museums surrounding its rugged territory, one feels the air of Arabian mystery capturing the senses.

Istanbul is the main commercial centre and also the capital city of Turkey and tourist world over has always been fascinated by this rich and magnificent seaport.

A largely Muslim dominated city Istanbul is known for its hospitality and vibrant culture that lures all to fall in love with it.

It is the largest city in Turkey which is surrounded by a magnificent coast and a rich history.

It faces the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus Strait that connects it to the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara making it one of the largest cities in Europe.

And to enjoy the beauty of the place one should visit the Golden Horn which is in Istanbul, here one can feast into some Arabian delicacies that is offered in some of the finest restaurants the place boasts off.

There is more to Turkey than what meets the eye and with the famous historical tourist walk one can explore the ancient culture and unravel the mysteries that lies behind the palace walls and one such visual heritage is the Topkaju Palace which was the imperial residence of Ottoman sultans that overlooks the Sea of Marmara, and walking through the Harems of these palaces one is sure to get a royal dejavue of history gone by.

The Blue mosque better known as the Sultan Ahmet Camii is an aesthetically built mosque that got its name because of the colour of its interior tiles, and this compliments itself with its many domes and six minarets which was built to compete with the Hagia Sophia which is another 6th century Byzantine architectural marvel that is worth a visit, it displays 30 million gold tiles throughout its interior.

Besides the historical significance Istanbul is famous for the two most important elements which enhance the character of this city, firstly, it's the traditional and authentic Hammams which is a Turkish bath that is popular worldwide.

These baths are similar to the sauna baths that we have in our towns, but the USP lies in its technique and the way the masseurs manoeuvres his hand deftly, treating the body to a magical potion of traditional oil that rejuvenates to a feel good existence.

One can indulge in such baths in the Cemberlitas Hammam which is the best and oldest Turkish baths available; the others are the Galatasaray Hammam and the Cagaloglu Hammam.

The other characteristic of the place is its bustling bazaar which even though dusty is full of action; here one can shop for a variety of spices from saffron to henna for the hair to good quality Turkish carpets that is sure to add beauty to the decor of ones home, even though it will not provide the much needed wings to fly across the world.

So, get hold of your own genie (travel agent) and see your fantasy shaping into reality, to get enchanted to the magic that remains to be explored in the city of Istanbul.