Trichy | Hassan | Chennai | Madurai | Cochin | Bangalore | Periyar | Mysore | Kanyakumari
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It appears as if the gold pieces are spread all over the city and that is the place of temples many of them are of lord Vishnu. Kanchipuram (Means a city of gold) is shining in south and attracts tourists with temples and handmade sarees. Move in to Mysore a place made and nurtured by brave king Tipu Sultan (the inventor of Rockets). Periyar is famous for elephants. Tanjore is a center of attraction for Tanchhoi silk sarees.
Chennai Capital of the south-eastern state of Tamil Nadu, Chennai is one of the four major metropolitan cities in India. Today, it is hard to believe that a place that was till 1639 just a small fishing village would become such an enormous and beautiful city. Situated on the shores of the Bay of Bengal, Chennai is perhaps the most peaceful and green metropolis in India. Chennai has a number of attractions for the tourists to see. One of them is the beautiful Marina beach, where the blue waters of the Bay of Bengal mingle with the golden sands. The city also has its share of forts and palaces reminding the tourists the glory of bygone eras.
Visiting , Kapaleeshwarar Temple : A masterpiece of Dravidian architecture, this ancient Shiva temple, is the biggest in Chennai . Fort St.George : Located on the seashore near the harbour, Fort St. George was built for the East India Co. in 1960 AD. Marina Beach : the pride of Chennai is the second longest beach in the World and has a wide sandy foreshore.
One of the oldest cities in South India, Madurai has been the centre of learning and pilgrimage for centuries. Spread along the rocky banks of the river Vaigai in the state of Tamil Nadu, this modern industrial city is today famous as a temple town.
The history of Madurai dates back to prehistoric times. Archaeological evidences unearthed from this region suggest the existence of settlements in the Megalithic Age and the Neolithic Age. The earliest recorded history of Madurai, available from the fourth century BC, can be found in the Tamil and Greek documents. The ancient city had links with Greece and Rome and traded primarily in spices. Madurai also finds mention in many ancient texts and especially the Puranas, where sage Agastya eulogizes the greatness and glory of the city.
The city of Madurai has been ruled by various dynasties. The Cholas took over the city in the 10th century AD. The Pandyas regained control in the 12th century AD, only to loose it again to the invaders under Malik Kafur. In 1364, the Vijayanagar kingdom was established with the overthrowing of the dynasty established by Malik Kafur. The Nayaks, who were the local governors of Madurai, took over the city after the fall of the Vijayanagar kingdom in 1565 and ruled it till 1781. It was during this period that Madurai reached its cultural zenith. The city was taken over by the British East India Company in 1801.
Along with its burgeoning industrial set up, the legends, myths and the thousands of pilgrims swarming the city have given Madurai a unique character and ambience. The architectural marvels of the temples and the exquisite sculptures fascinate all those who have a look at them. You can also participate in the many festivals and regale in the rich tradition of the locals. Some of the major attractions in the city are the Meenakshi Temple, Tirumalai Nayak Mahal, The Gandhi Museum, Koodal Azhagar Temple, Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam and Pazhamudhirsolai.
Known as the garden city of India , Bangalore is one of the most visited destinations of southern India . There are many stories and legends related to the city. However the present look of the garden city was given to it in the 16th century. Because of the initiative it took in the wake of the Information Technology revolution in the country, Bangalore has been nicknamed as the Silicon City of India.
City tour visiting the Vidhan Soudha - The building is a massive neo Dravidian architecture presently functioning as the state legislative assembly , Cubbon Park in the heart of the city, Lal Bagh which is famous for the wonderfully bloomed red roses and the Bangalore Palace are some of the other must see of this garden city.
One of the finest natural harbors on the Arabian Sea coast, Kochi has been a port of call, for foreign traders from early times. One of the most interesting towns in South India; its cosmopolitan character is reflected, in its low rise, picturesque buildings and structures. A prime tourist destination and commercial hub of Kerala; with its wealth of historical associations and its settings, in a stunning location, between the Arabian Sea and Backwaters, the city of Kochi, perfectly reflects the eclecticism of Kerala. A city of peninsulas and islands, it is one of the largest ports of India, a major naval base, and one of the finest natural harbors in the world.
City tour visiting , St.Francis Church : Built in 1503 by Portuguese Franciscan Friars, this is India's oldest European church. Chinese Fishing Net : Lined along the sea front, these fishing nets exhibit a mechanical method of catching fish, introduced by Chinese traders from the court of Kublai Khan. Jewish Synagogue : Constructed in 1568, this is the oldest synagogue in the commonwealth. Destroyed in a shelling, during the Portuguese raid in 1662, it was rebuilt two years later by the Dutch.
A soft pearly light dims the stars and lifts the opaque veil of darkness from Mahabalipuram and the pyramidal contours of a diminutive temple swim into view silhouetted against a vast cathedral sky, like a wondrous unreality spun out of early morning magic. The colours deepen; the virginal blush of dawn smears the sky. Delicate skeins of pale gold and searing orange lie intertwined in intimate embrace across the smudged horizon, suffusing the idle waters of the Bay of Bengal—an unabashed foreplay of colours. A thin hot wedge of vivid red emerges out of the sea, growing every moment into a flaming, pulsating disc that soon disowns the theatre of its birth. The lone temple, that guardian of the shore, is a becalmed spectator. It has been an apathetic witness to this impassioned spectacle every dawn for the last 1,200 years.
Mahabalipuram (or Mamallapuram, its ancient name) is one of history’s intriguing enigmas. Situated just 60 km off Chennai on the Bay of Bengal coast in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Mahabalipuram was a flourishing port town of the Pallava rulers of South India who chiselled in stone a fabulous open-air museum of sculptures under the vault of a burning sky. That much is known. But was this sculptural glorification a king’s fancy? A celebration of war victories? A queen’s fantasy? No one actually has any answer. The mystery of Mahabalipuram lingers, unravelled, but its sculptural extravaganza is a living testament of the virile artistic temperament of the Pallavas who were trendsetters in South Indian art.
SightSeeing : Places to visit in destination - Mahabalipuram
Mahabalipuram with its picturesque location on a rocky outcrop between the beach and a lagoon is a happy combination of history, good beaches, hassle-free tourism and fabulous fish and lobster! Despite the many visitors, drawn by the former Pallava dynasty town, the place is friendly, relaxed, and the villagers are remarkably unperturbed by their crowds of visitors. Mahabalipuram is renowned for its series of charming rathas and the spectacular carved relief depicting Arjuna’s Penance. The magnificent Shore Temple, built by king Rajasimha in the seventh century, is a unique temple that houses the shrines of both Shiva and Vishnu while the Varaha Cave is a rock-cut mandapam with two incarnations of Vishnu—Varaha and Vamana—besides scenes of kings and queens. The Krishna Mandapam has a bas-relief of Lord Krishna lifting the Govardhan hill in his fingertips. Other important attractions of Mahabalipuram include the Mahishasuramardini Cave, Kotikal Mandapam, Ramanuja Mandapam, and the Dharmaraja Cave.
Excursions : Places nearby city - Mahabalipuram
Mahabalipuram is a part of the Golden Triangle circuit of South India along with Chennai and Kanchipuram. As such, it is generally visited in combination with these two places. Kanchipuram (65 km) is the synonym for some of India’s finest silk saris. This dusty, small town, popularly called the Golden Town of a Thousand Temples, is renowned for the Kamakshi, Varadarajaswami, and Kailasanathar temples, all more than worthy of a visit. And about the Kanchi weavers, any ode would fall short! Vedanthangal is the site of a bird sanctuary, one of India’s largest, while Covelong is famous for its golden beach and other historical monuments.
Periyar National Park nestles in the hills of the Western Ghats in Kerala. The place is an enchanting combination of the forests of Periyar tiger reserve and the mountains of Munnar. 200 km from Kochi lie the densely forested wildlife sanctuary at the Periyar Tiger Reserve and the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.
The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary at Thekkady is country's major sanctuary and the drive to Thekkady is mesmerising because the road curves through the tranquil countryside, rich plantations and thick jungles and makes the scene unbelievably gorgeous. The wildlife sanctuary is encircled by the Periyar lake which adds to the beauty of the place.
The animals seen in the sanctuary are elephants, Gaur, Wild Pigs, Sambar, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Dole or Indian Wild Dog and very rarely, a Tiger. The rare lion-tailed macaque, the Nilgiri Langur, Common Langur and Bonnet Macaque are also seen. The sanctuary is the home of the elusive Nilgiri Tahr which is nearing extinction and is rarely seen. The best season to visit Periyar wildlife sanctuary is from the months of October and June.
Hassan is a picturesque town in the heart of malnad with a pleasant climate, is about 180 KM from Bangalore . The Hoysalas rulers brought world wide acclaim to the district through their unique style of Architecture.
City tour visiting the Temples made by Hoysalas rulers the main attractions are Belur and Halebid . Besides these, there are various other smaller temples and Jain temples that are worth a visit.
Excursion To Belur
This quaint hamlet - 38 kms from Hassan - is located on the banks of the river Yagachi. It was once the capital of the Hoysala Empire, today made unforgettable for its exquisite temples. The Chennakeshava Temple is one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture. It took 103 years to complete and you can see why. The facade of the temple is filled with intricate sculptures and friezes with no portion left blank. Elephants, episodes from the epics, sensuous dancers. they are all there - awe-inspiring in their intricate workmanship. Inside are hand-lathe-turned filigreed pillars. The Veeranarayana Temple and the smaller shrines are well worth a visit.
Excursion To Halebid
It is 27 kms north-west of Hassan and 17 kms east of Belur. The temples of Halebid - like those of Belur - bear mute testimony to the rich, cultural heritage of Karnataka. The Hoysaleswara Temple, dating back to the 12th century, is astounding for its wealth of sculptural details. The walls of the temple are covered with an endless variety of gods and goddesses, animals, birds and dancing girls. Yet no two facets of the temple are the same. This magnificent temple - guarded by a Nandi Bull - was never completed, despite 86 years of labor. The Jain basadis nearby are equally rich in sculptural detail. Belur and Halebid are 222 and 216 kms from Bangalore, respectively. Channarayapatna, Ramanathpur, Gorur and Manjarabad are the other places of interest around Hassan.
Excursion To Shravanbelagola
51 kms southeast of Hassan, this is one of the most important Jain pilgrim centers. Here is the 17 m high monolith of Lord Bahubali - the world's tallest monolithic statue. Thousands of devotees congregate here to perform the Mahamastakabhisheka -a spectacular ceremony held once in 12 years, when the 1000 -year- old statue is anointed with milk, curds, ghee, saffron and gold coins.
Situated at around 140 km from Bangalore, the city of Mysore extends from 12°18’ North to 76°42’ East. In spite of being close to the industrialized city of Bangalore, Mysore hasn’t been touched so much by modernization and still retains its serenity and old-world charm. A visitor to Mysore has always been fascinated by the city’s quaint charm, rich heritage, magnificent palaces, beautifully laid-out gardens, imposing buildings, broad shady avenues and sacred temples.
Mysore was ruled by the Wodeyars since the 14th century except for a brief period of 40 years in the later 18th century when Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan ruled over the city. The Wodeyar family managed to get back the kingdom when, in 1799, Tipu Sultan surrendered to the British. The benevolent rule of the Wodeyar kings is evident in the city’s meticulous planning. The city’s architectural heritage and its long-held tradition of music and dance, art and literature were nurtured under their patronage.
You can visit the city at any time in the year but it is advisable to avoid the rainy season. The city has pleasant weather throughout the year. The summers are warm, with temperatures varying between 21°C and 34°C, while the winters cool, with the temperatures ranging from 16°C to 27°C
SightSeeing : Places to visit in destination - Mysore
The city of Mysore offers a visitor an insight into the lifestyles, cultures and traditions of its erstwhile rulers. The palaces and temples around the city speak volumes about heritage and architecture of the medieval times and the kind of patronage the city received from its rulers. Some of the interesting places to visit around the city are the Mysore Palace, Chamundi, Hills Srirangapatnam, Brindavan Gardens and Lalitha Mahal Palace.
Excursions : Places nearby city - Mysore
A visit to the places around Mysore casts light on the region’s rich heritage. The temples of Somnathpur, Belur and Halebid give an insight into Hoysala dynasty and the Bandipur National Park and the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary showcase the region’s bio-diversity.
Excursion : Places nearby Mysore
Places to visit nearby destination - Mysore
Located at a distance of about 87 kilometres from Thiruvananthapuram, Kanyakumari is the southernmost part of the Indian mainland. The place is the meeting point of the Indian Ocean, the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. Kanyakumari has great religious significance for the Hindus. The place is dedicated to the Goddess Devi Kanya, believed to be an incarnation of Parvati, Lord Shiva’s wife. Pilgrims come here to visit the temple and bathe in the waters here, as they are considered sacred.
One of the major tourist attractions at Kanyakumari is the Vivekananda Memorial. The memorial is built about 400 metres offshore. It was here that Swami Vivekananda meditated in 1892 before embarking on a journey to usher in the religious reforms throughout the country. The mandapam built here in his memory reflects the architectural styles from all over the country.
ROCK FORT TEMPLE - TRICHY
Among the many spectacular sites to visit in Trichi, the Rock Fort Temple is a must visit. The fort is a massive rocky structure built at an altitude of 83 m above sea level. Located on the banks of the river Cauvery, it is Trichi's most famous landmark. Halfway to the fort lies the Thayumanaswamy Temple, also known as the Rock Fort Temple. The temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva is an important pilgrimage site of the Hindus. This beautifully carved rock-cut cave temple of the Pallava period has a 100-pillar hall and a Vimana covered with gold. The fort on the top of the rock gives you a spectacular view of the surrounding areas.
TIRUVANAIKKAVAL TEMPLE - Trichy
Located at a distance of 7 kilometres from Trichi, Tiruvanaikkaval is an important spot to visit, especially for its religious importance. The city is famous for its Jambukeswarar temple. According to a legend, an elephant had once worshipped the linga (phallus) under the holy Jambu tree at this very site due to which it got its present name-Jambukeswarar. The temple is famous for its Siva lingam that is almost submerged in water which flows from a subterranean spring in the sanctum sanctorum. The temple has five walls and seven gopurams.
Excursion : Places nearby Trichy
Places to visit nearby destination - Trichy
Elakurichi is another important place that you should include in your excursions. The place is famous for its old church built by the renowned Catholic missionary, Constantine Joseph Beschi. Moreover, the famous temple of Vishnu located here and known as Prasanna Venkateswarar also attracts a large number of religious tourists every year.
Located at a distance of 24 kilometres from Trichi, the Grand Anicut at Kallanai is an ancient dam built in the second century AD by Karikala Chola. The Dam is made of stone and is 329 m long and 20 m wide. Situated just by the river Cauvery where the River Kollidam branches off , the dam is also a lovely picnic spot.
Located at a distance of 17 kilometres, Narthamalai is an important place to visit due to its religious importance. The place is specially characterised by its unusual stone temple, which is circular in shape. This temple has six large skilfully carved statues of Vishnu in the central hall. Moreover there are some other cave temples of historical importance too. These are believed to have been built by the Muthariyars. Here one of the 9th century Pallava cave temple is dedicated to Siva. Another temple, known as the Vijayalaya Choliswaran temple also exists here. The beautiful carvings and figures of the dancers in front of the vimana, the elegantly carved dwarapalakas and the figures of other gods on this temple structure reveal the aesthetic sense of the people of that time.
Sittanavasal is another important excursion destination from Trichi. The place is particularly famous for an ancient Jain monastery with exquisite fresco paintings inside the cave. The paintings here are exquisitely detailed pictures of animals, fish, ducks, people gathering lotuses from a pond and two dancing figures. Many of the structures here are of 9th century Pandyan period. Located at a distance of 58 kilometres from Trichi, Sittanavasal is also known for its pre-historic burial grounds.
One of the must visit excursion points from Trichi is Vayaloor. Located 8 kilometres away from Trichi on the outskirts of the city, the place is famous for its Lord Murugan Temple. Lord Murugan( the son of Lord Shiva and goddess Parvati ) is known as Lord Kartika in the rest of India. Situated amidst lush green vegetation, the place has a tranquil atmosphere giving you the much needed peace of mind.
Another important excursion point from Trichi is Viralimalai. Located at a distance of 30 kilometres, this place is an important Hindu pilgrimage site attracting a lot of visitors every year. The main temple, perched on top of a hill here is dedicated to Lord Subramanya. The temple also offers a great view of the valley below. You must not also miss a visit to the nearby peacock sanctuary.
Visiting Shri Aurobindo Ashram:Shri Aurobindo, the great seer, poet and prophet of the twentieth century, made Pondicherry his home from 1910 till his death in 1950. His vision and ideals continue to draw people from all over the world , Pondicherry Museum : On display are the findings of Arikamedu, the Chola bronzes and sculptures, glimpses of French heritage, specimens of modern and traditional handicraft, paintings, armouries, carvings and many other things of historical interest , Eglise De Sacre Coeur De Jesus : Dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, this church is noted for its gothic architecture and stained glass panels which depict the entire life of Jesus Christ , Botanical Garden : Established by C.S. Perrotet in 1826, it preserves a large variety of exotic species of plants from all over India and abroad . Overnight at hotel.