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Yercaud

Posted by on Sep 8, 2014 in Chennai | 0 comments

Yercaud

Pondicherry For a traveler who seeks a diversified travel experience, Pondicherry offers an excellent destination. The city has four finest beaches namely the Promenade beach, Paradise beach, Serenity beach and Auroville beach, which present visitors with a rejuvenating holidaying experience. Another chief attraction of the place is the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, one of the best known ashram and meditation center in India. Auroville City, also known as City of Dawn, attracts tourists with its unique culture, heritage monuments and architecture. Pondicherry houses a number of monuments and statutes including the Gandhi Statue, the Matrimandir, the French War Memorial, Joseph Francois Dupleix statue and the marble statue of Joan of Arc located on Goubert Avenue. Other attractions of the city which demand a visit include the Pondicherry Museum, Jawahar Toy Museum, the Botanical Garden, Ousteri Wetland, he Bharathidasan Museum and National Park, Arikamedu, The Statue of Dupleix and the Raj Niwas. The city has an interesting amalgam of religious places that consist of churches and Hindu temples. The most visited religious spots of Pondicherry are The Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges (also known as The Church of Our Lady of Angels), the Church of Sacred Heart of Jesus, The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple, Varadaraja Perumal Temple and Kanniga Parameswari Temple. City of Unique Architectures Pondicherry, a city blessed with sea and unique architecture, gives a mind-blowing to travelers when explored on feet. The entire city is constructed in a grid pattern and is best known for its significant degree of French influence. Many streets of the city have French names and palatial houses as well as villas built in colonial architecture offer a magnificent sight to the visitors. The city is separated into two quarters namely the French quarter (also known as White Town or Ville Blanche) and the Indian quarter (known otherwise as Black Town or Ville Noire). The former is characterized by building built in typical colonial architecture, and the latter boasts of ancient Tamil styles and designs. The fusion of these two unique styles gives the city of Pondicherry an air of elegance and distinctiveness. Amazing Cuisines Pondicherry, with its culture imbued with French and Tamil influences, offers a mosaic of culinary wonders to food lovers. Travelers can enjoy authentic French baguettes, brioches and pastries in this city along with traditional Tamil and Kerala cuisines. Le Club, Blue Dragon, Statsanga, Rendezvous, Sea Gulls, Le Café, La Coromandale and La Terrasse are some of the recommended places for exquisite dining experience. The streets and boutiques of the city serve as paradise for those who enjoy shopping. The wide ranging array of handicrafts, fabrics, stones, wooden sculptures, mats, pottery, perfumes, incenses, mirror works, lamps and candles offers an excellent shopping experience to those who stroll through the city. International Yoga Festival during December, the French Food Festival during the month of August and the shopping festival of January rate among the most frequented festivals of the region. How to reach Pondicherry The city of Pondicherry enjoys good connectivity by rail and road. The region is pleasantly weathered and draws travelers from across the globe all through the year. Best time to visit Pondicherry With its unique cultural traits, excellent food varieties and a wide range of sightseeing options, Pondicherry is a true delight to travelers who long for...

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Kalahasti

Posted by on Sep 8, 2014 in Chennai | 0 comments

Kalahasti

Kalahasti is the informal name given to Srikalahasti, a municipality near the holy town of Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh. This town, which is also considered one of the holiest places in India, was founded on the banks of the River Swarnamukhi. Srikalahasti gets its name from the combination of three words; Sri, Kala and Hasti. The word Sri stands for spider, Kala for snake and Hasti for elephant. All the three animals are known to have prayed to Lord Shiva and attained salvation at this place, and a statue picturing these three animals is placed in front of the main shrine. Srikalahasti is among the most important Shiva Kshetras or Temples of Shiva in the southern part of India. It is one among the Panchabootha Sthalams symbolising air, of the five elements.   In fact, the popular and revered Srikalahasti Temple is built on the area between the base of the hill and the bank of Swarnamukhi. This is the reason the place is famously referred to as Dakshina Kailasam. Srikalahasti is known as Dakshina Kaashi in reference to the holy town of Kashi located in the northern part of India. Srikalahasti in Legends The place is representative of the Vayu Sthalam or the element of Air. According to a legend, Lord Shiva took the guise of Vayu or Air and witnessed the devotion with which the Spider, Cobra and the Elephant worshipped Him. The God was so impressed with their devotion that he freed them off their curse and these animals are believed to have attained salvation at this place. The town of Srikalahasti finds mention in three Puranas namely the Skanda Purana, the Shiva Purana and the Linga Purana. According to Skanda Purana Arjuna came to this place to worship Kalahastiswara (Lord Shiva) and met Rishi Bharadwaja on the peak of a hill. The first poetic reference to Srikalahasti can be seen in the 3rd century works of Nakkeerar who was a poet during the reign of the Sangams. It was Nakkeerar, a great poet who gave the town the name of Dakshini Kailasam. Dhoorjati was a Telugu poet who settled in Srikalahasti and wrote hundred stanzas in praise of the town and Sri Kalahasteesewara. Bhakt Kannapa Sri Adi Sankara also came to the place and was impressed by the devotion of Bhakt Kannappa and mentioned it in Sivanandalahari. Kalahasti is almost synonymous with Bhakta Kannapppa, popular among the devotees of Shiva, who gave his eyes for the Lord! The story of his devotion is well known to the worshippers of Shiva and the Hindu community at large. Temples with distinct architecture Srikalahasti is best known for the temples built in this place which attract millions of pilgrims every year. The temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu who are worshiped in various forms. Kalahasti was came under the rule of many dynasties which had many temples constructed in there. Thus, every temple in the town has its unique style of architecture that is in keeping with the styles of the time and the preference of the then king. The Kings belonging to the Chola and Pallava Dynstasies as well as those of the Vijayanagra Empire have all left their indomitable mark on the architecture of the various temples that were built during their times. It is...

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Tirupati

Posted by on Sep 8, 2014 in Chennai | 0 comments

Tirupati

Besides visiting the popular temples such as the Balaji Temple or the Venkateswara temple in Tirupati, Varahaswami temple, Tiruchanur temple of Goddess Padmavati, Govindaraja temple, Srinivasa Mangapuram,Avanakshamma temple, Tirupati, ISKCON Lord Krishna Temple etc. TheKapila Theertham is a place of worship dedicated to Lord Shiva, Parasurameswara Temple in Gudimallam, Kodanda Rama Swamy Temple etc are interesting places around Tirupati to be visited. One can also visit the Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park which is home to several species of animals and birds. There is also Shilatoranam, the rock garden which can be paid a visit. A visit to Tirupati is incomplete without tasting the special sweet rice and laddu. One should also not miss the local handicrafts which include woodcarvings, whitewood toys, Kalamkari art, Tanjore gold leave painting and most importantly the Chandana Dolls. City of Fairs and Festivals Tirupati is not just a religious centre; it is also a rich cultural centre. It is quite famous for its festivals and fairs. One of the most popular festivals is the Gangamma Jatra held in May. It is known for its unusual rituals. During the festival, devotees camouflage themselves and walk across the temple streets in the belief that it will ward off evil forces. After this practise, they apply sandalwood paste and cover their head with garlands made of jasmine and enter the temple premises. The Jatra ends with the smashing of the earthen idol of the goddess. Devotees from far and near throng to be a part of this festival. Brahmotsavam is the most famous and biggest festival of Tirupati. Other famous festivals of the temple city are the Vijaynagar Festival, the festival conducted at Chandragiri Fort and the Rayalseema dance and food festival. Best Time to Visit Tirupati The best time of the year to visit Tirupati would be the winters during the months of December to February. Tirupati Climate The summers are extremely hot and unpleasant hence it is not advisable to visit at that time of the year. The monsoons are a welcome respite from the heat, and the light monsoon enhances the beauty of Tirupati. Since Tirupati is predominantly a temple city and considered holy, there are a few things that travellers need to keep in mind. One should wear appropriate clothing; avoid headgear such as caps or hats. Flowers are not to be worn on the hair as it is meant for the gods. Non vegetarian food and alcohol is not easily available, and its consumption is discouraged. Temple premises do not allow gadgets such as phones and cameras. Tirupati is definitely a must visit for every devotee as well as travel lover, who is interested in religion and culture. How to reach Tirupati Travelling to Tirupati is easy. The nearest airport to Tirupati is Renigunta which is 15 km away from Tirupati. There are direct flights from Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai to Renigunta. Tirupati also has a railway station that is connected to all major cities of India. Buses, both government and private, are available at regular intervals from cities such as Chennai, Bangalore,Vizag and Hyderabad. Travelling within the city is also easy as rental cars and buses are easily available. Taxis can be rented for a whole day at nominal rates....

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Thiruthani

Posted by on Sep 8, 2014 in Chennai | 0 comments

Thiruthani

It is believed that Thiruthani is one of the six places where lord Muruga win a battle over evil forces. The other five holy shrines of Lord Muruga are Palani Dandayudhapani Swamy Temple, , Tiruchendur Senthil Andavar Temple, Tiruparamkundram Subramanya Swami Temple, Swamimalai Swaminatha Swami Temple and Palamudhircholai Subramanya Swamy Temple. It is believed that one need to offer prayers at all these temples to get the blessings of Lord Subrahmanya. Thiruthani has more in store than the Subrahmanyaswamy Temple for a tourist. Santhana Venugopalapuram temple is another religious destination in and around the area where thousands of devotees and tourists visit every year. Thiruthani Weather The climate here is humid and hot throughout the year. The best season to visit the place is during the winter which falls in the months of September to March. How to reach Thiruthani Thiruthani is well-connected by railheads and roads. Chennai is the closest railway station to this place. Buses and taxis frequent to Thiruthani from major places of Tamil...

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Pulicat

Posted by on Sep 8, 2014 in Chennai | 0 comments

Pulicat

Among travelers, Pulicat is best known for two things: Pulicat Lake and Pulicat Bird Sanctuary. The lake in Pulicat is regarded as the second biggest brackish water body in India and attracts millions of tourists every year. The geographical region is included in the Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary which serves as seasonal home to a wide variety of migratory birds. The abundance of rare species of birds makes bird-watching a favorite tourist activity in the area. Pulicat has a number of other attractions as well including the Dutch Church, Dutch Cemetery, lighthouse, Chintamaneeswarar Temple and Periya Pallivasal. The influence of the Dutch is nest manifested in the structures and architectural styles of churches, ancient building and tombs in the region. How to reach Pulicat Located at a distance of about 60 km from the city of Chennai, Pulicat is easily accessible by road. Best time to visit Pulicat Though the climate is tropical, the town could be visited any time of the year except the months of extreme summers and heavy monsoons. Natural beauty, exotic birdlife, heritage buildings and a rich cultural history make Pulicat an absolute favorite with backpackers and history lovers...

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Vedanthangal

Posted by on Sep 8, 2014 in Chennai | 0 comments

Vedanthangal

The region of Vedanthangal is strategically speckled with small lakes, which attract various kinds of migratory birds. Vedanthangal was transformed into a bird sanctuary during the reign of the British who realized the ornithological significance of the area. Government orders announcing the area as a bird sanctuary was released in mid nineteenth century, and the village became a popular travel destination ever since. Apart from housing a wide variety of birdlife, Vedanthangal serves as a seasonal home to a number of migratory birds including the Pintail, Blue-Winged Teal, Garganey, Grey Wagtail and Common Sandpiper. About 9 km away from Vedanthankal Bird Sanctuary is Karikili Bird sanctuary, and travelers can club their trips to cover both these sanctuaries in a single day. Best time to visit Vedanthangal The best time to visit Vedanthangal is after the monsoon (November) and before the summer heat begins (March). How to reach Vedanthangal Vedanthangal enjoys excellent connectivity by road and can be reached fromChennai within an hour and a...

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Kanchipuram

Posted by on Sep 8, 2014 in Chennai | 0 comments

Kanchipuram

This holy city is visited all through the year for its famous temples like the Kamakshi Amman Temple, the Ekambareshvara Temple, the Devarajaswami Temple and the Kailasanathar Temple to name a few. The Holy City Legend has it that the city got its name because of the numerous Lord Vishnu temples that are built within the city premises. “Ka” stands for Lord Brahma who is believed to have “anchi” or worshipped Lord Vishnu in this city thus, giving the place the name of Kanchipuram. However, there are many Shiva temples also in the city. The west side of Kanchipuram is called Siva Kanchi because it has the maximum number of Shiva temples and the east side of the city is called Vishnu Kanchi. The other famous temples of Kanchipuram are the Kailasanathar Temple, the Kamakshi Amman Temple, the Kachapeshwarar Temple and the Kumara Kottam Temple. A combination of holy and history History buffs will certainly love Kanchipuram since the city has a glorious historical past. The Pallava Kings made Kanchi their capital between the 3rd and the 9th centuries. The Pallavas put in a lot of effort and money to make the city worth being their capital. They built strong roads, building structures, ramparts as well as wide moats in and around the city. The Pallavas traded with Chinese traders and the city of Kanchipuram is mentioned in a travelogue by Chinese traveler, Xuanzang who came to the city sometime in the seventh century. In his travelogue he writes that the city had brave, kind and learned people who also believed in social justice. In the 11th century the Chola Kings took over the reign of Kanchipuram and ruled the city until the 14th century. The Cholas did not make Kanchi their capital but it was an important city even then. In fact, the Chola Kings carried out lot of construction in the city and even started expanding it towards the eastern side. From the 14th century until the 17th century the Vijayanagra dynasty had political control over Kanchipuram. Sometime towards the end of the 17th century the Marathas took over the city but soon lost it to Aurangzeb, the Mughal Emperor. With the advent of French and British traders to India, the city was soon under the control of the British Empire and was ruled by British General Robert Clive. This rich historical past of the city is still visible to the modern travelers. Influences of different cultures can be seen in the art and architecture of the various constructions within the city. Today, the city is as famous for its temples as it is for its perfect amalgamation of the different Indian as well as western influences. Kanchipuram, the silk city Kanchipuram silk sarees are acclaimed across the world, the silk thread interwoven with gold zari, was not only the favourite of the women of the glorious past, but also of the modern times. It is not only an adored aspect of Indian clothing, especially in the South, but is also a traditional and cultural aspect of the Tamils. How to reach Kanchipuram Kanchipuram is connected with the rest of the country via road and via trains. The nearest airport is at...

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Mahabalipuram

Posted by on Sep 8, 2014 in Chennai | 0 comments

Mahabalipuram

As was touched on earlier, it was during the rule of the Pallavas that Mahabalipuram flourished as a whole. The rock cut caves, silver sandy beach, casuarinas trees and temples cut from a single rock are some of the alluring attractions this historic town has to offer to tourists and pilgrims.   Mahabalipuram has a number of attractions to feast one’s eyes upon and they include the Krishna Mandapam, the Five Rathas, the Varaha Mandapam and the Shore Temple. The Cholamadal Artist’s Village lies about 30 kilometers from the town and is home to various paintings, crafty articles and sculptures. The Mahabalipuram Beach contributes extra splendour to the construction of the Pallava Empire and many a tourists can be found relaxing here from dawn to dusk. About five kilometres away from the town, there exists a shrine dedicated to Goddess Durga which has a number of beautiful figurines. The nearby Tiger Cave and Crocodile Bank serve as popular picnic spots for people of all ages throughout the year. How to reach Mahabalipuram The town is well connected to the surrounding towns, and cities via buses. Other means of transport are also available in reasonable proximity. Conversing with the locals shouldn’t be a problem for tourists as both Tamil and English are spoken widely in Mahabalipuram.   Mahabalipuram Weather Due to the presence of the sea nearby, the climate is temperate and...

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Sriperumbudur

Posted by on Sep 8, 2014 in Chennai | 0 comments

Sriperumbudur

Sriperumbudur is infamous as the town in which former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a human bomb on 21st May 1991. The Tamil Nadugovernment has converted the area into a memorial, Rajiv Gandhi Memorial, where several tourists visit to pay their homage. Another important tourist attraction to this town is the ‘Madras Motor Sports Club’, which organises racing events every year in Irungattukotai the race track of the club. The South India Rally and the AI India Motor Race Meet are organised by the Madras Motor Sports Club. They have gained the permission to organise Formula III racing and the races held are of world class standards, hence drawing many tourists during the prime season. Other attractions include the Vallakottai Murugan Temple which is at a distance of 10 km from Sriperumbudur, the Tambaram theme park which was established in 1995 and is at a distance of 25 km from Sriperumbudur, the Madras Atomic Power Station and the Brahmakumaris Museum among many others. A visit to Chengalpattu is worthwile during a visit to the town of Sriperumbudur. The demographics of the town are positive with high sex ratio and literacy. The official language of the town is Tamil. How to reach Sriperumbudur Sriperumbudur is easily accessible with both Bangalore and Chennai being at a close distance. Regular bus and train services are available from both the metros. Travelling within Sriperumbudur is also comfortable with public transports being inexpensive and easily available. Sriperumbudur Weather Sriperumbudur experiences a largely temperate climate. However the summers can be quite hot and humid with temperatures going up to 40° Celsius. This time of the year can be uncomfortable for travellers. The Monsoons begin from the month of June and lasts till September. Although the temperature cools down by then, the humidity is still high. The winter, experienced during the months or December to February is the best time to visit Sriperumbudur. The temperature is not too low and it makes travelling very...

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Covelong

Posted by on Sep 8, 2014 in Chennai | 0 comments

Covelong

An important attraction in Covelong, is the Taj Fisherman’s Cove. The resort overlooks the expanse of the Covelong Beach and offers a splendid view. Other attractions one has to visit while at Covelong are the temples that belong to the 5th to 8th century. Built by the Pallava dynasty, these temples exhibit the rich cultural heritage of erstwhile south Indian kingdoms. The Shore temples are an important attraction of Covelong that add to the tourist value of the region. Covelong also has options for water sports and is the only spot in the country where options for windsurfing abound. A canal running parallel to the great Bay of Bengal separates Covelong from the mainland. Other major attractions of the region include the Covelong Beach, Catholic Church, Dutch Fort anjd Muttukadu Backwaters. Covelong weather Covelong experiences the same hot and humid climate which is much characteristic of coastal Tamil Nadu. It would not be advisable to visit during summer when the temperature gets high as 38 degrees Celsius. The best time to visit Covelong is from October to March, when it is winter season in Covelong. How to reach Covelong Located in proximity to Tranquebar, Pondicherry and Chennai, the region enjoys good connectivity via...

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