Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Tuticorin/Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu

Tuticorin is also known as Thoothukudi. Also popularly known as 'Pearl City', Tuticorin is a seaport that serves South Tamilnadu, as well as the inland cities of Coimbatore, Madurai and Tirunelveli. The city, which lies about 540 km South West of Madras in the Gulf of Mannar, has a tropical climate with hot and humid environ round the year. Tuticorin has been traditionally known for its pearl fishery and shipbuilding. It was an important seaport during the reign of the Pandyas. The major harbor of Thoothukudi is well known for as a pearl diving and fishing center. History shows that Thoothukudi was founded by the Portuguese in 1548, annexed by the Dutch in 1658 and ceded to the British in 1825. It also became the epicenter of India's freedom movement in the early 20th century. As a port city Tuticorin has one of the major attractions in the form of Tuticorin Port, which is strategically built to handle a host of international cargoes. Well protected from the ravages of impending storms and cyclonic winds, you can witness the sight of the cargoes loading and unloading, which is indeed worth a treat amidst the surging sea expanse.
Places to See:

Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park


The Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park is a unique marine biosphere reserve, located in the Tuticorin and Ramanathapuram districts of Tamilnadu. Rich in marine life, the Gulf of Mannar is spread over an area of about 10,500-sq-kms with 21 islands and continuous stretches of coral reef. 

Ettaiyapuram Palace


As a famous tourist spot, the palace is located in the town of Ettaiyapuram in Tuticorin district. The palace became a post for drawing taxes from the local chiefs under the reign of the Pandyas at Madurai

Kattabomman Memorial Fort


Tuticorin is also home to Kattabomman Memorial Fort built up by the Government of Tamilnadu in 1974. Under the protection of Archaeological Survey of India, the fort has a temple nearby, dedicated to Sri Devi Jakkammal, the hereditary Goddess of Kattabomman. 

Kalakadu Wildlife Sanctuary




Sprawling in an area of 223 sq kms in Tirunelveli district, the sanctuary is a popular hunt for botanists and ornithologists as it is home to a great variety of flora and fauna. Tourists can expect of some great fun amidst the gallery of varied species of animals and dense forests.

Panchalankurichi


Just about 18 kms from Tuticorin, this is a small hamlet with a great historical significance as the great warrior Katta Bomman known as "Veerapandiya Kattabomman" put up resistance against the British regime in the 17th Century AD here. 

The Basilica of a Lady of Snows




Built in the honor of Mother Mary, the church came up some 400 years ago. Acknowledging its antiquity and popularity, Pope John Paul II raised this Church to the status of "Basilica" in 1982 in memory of its fourth centenary celebrations.

Tiruchendur Temple




This temple is one of the six Aarupadai veedu shrines of Murugan, which is dedicated to Lord Subramanya. A spectacular sight for tourists, the temple presents a mystical aura with the sea at the backdrop. 

Tuticorin Port




Around 20 kms east of Tuticorin Old Bus stand is Tuticorin Port. Strategically built very close to the major International sea routes, Tuticorin Port handles a variety of international and domestic cargoes. The sight of the cargoes loading and unloading is indeed worth a treat amidst the sea expanse............
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Coonoor, Tamil Nadu

Coonoor, a beautiful and serene hill station of Tamil Nadu, lies in the Nilgiri Hills. Coonoor derives its name from the Coon hill tribe of the region. Tea bushes, Grassy meadows, profusion of Sunflowers, Marigolds and Rhododendrons characterize Coonoor. Coonoor is basically a small tea estate town where the weather remains pleasant all through the year. Based on its relief, the town is divided into upper and lower Coonoor. Coonoor is one of the three popular hill stations in the Nilgiri Hills, the other two being Ooty and Kotagiri.


Perched at an altitude of 1800 ft, Coonoor is second largest hill station in the Nilgiri Hills, Ooty being the largest one. It is extremely famous for the production of Nilgiri tea. Coonoor extends travelers with the panoramic view of the lush green Nilgiri hills, replete with deep ravines, beautiful valleys and imposing waterfalls. And if these were not enough, the hill station also extends travelers a number of sightseeing places, including Sim's Park, The Pasteur Institute, Dolphin's Nose Viewpoint, Lamb's Rock, Droog, Law's Falls and Ooty. 


Coonoor forwards tourists a number of fun activities, which they can indulge in on their tour. Two such activities are nature walking and trekking. Travelers can take a walk through the tea gardens or go for a number of hiking trails around Coonoor. Apart from this, tourists can also enjoy the exhilarating and unique ride on the toy train that connects Coonoor with Mettupalayam and Ooty. The trip provides some breathtaking views of the Nilgiri hills in all its natural glory. Overall, Coonoor is an ideal place to spend a memorable and refreshing vacation in Tamil Nadu.

Places to See:

Sim's Park


The Sim's Park is a famous landmark at Coonoor. The park is a botanical garden, spread over 12 hectares and has a collection of over 1,000 plant species that includes magnolia, tree ferns, pines and camellia.

The Pasteur Institute


The Pasteur institute is another important attraction at Coonoor. It is situated near to the Sim's Park. The Pasteur institute specializes in the research for vaccines for rabies and polio.

Pomological Station


The Pomological station is a research center of the State Agricultural Department for persimmon, pomegranates and apricot. It is one of the three experimental fruit gardens in the Nilgiri Hills............
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Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu

Tirunelveli that is situated on the banks of the river Tambraparani was once the capital of the Pandayas. The history of this town goes back to 2000 years. Tirunelveli district is bounded by Indian Ocean in its South.

The main attraction of modern-day Tirunelveli is the twin temples of Kanthimathi-Nellaiappar dedicated to Parvati and Shiva respectively. Among the interesting sights in the temples are the golden lily tank and the thousand-pillared hall that has some exquisite sculptures. 

The city is also famous for Courtallam waterfalls that are located along the Chittar River. It is said that a dip in any of the nine waterfalls rejuvenates the body and the mind. The water is supposed to have healing properties due to the herbs that grow in the area. 

The great Tamil poet Subramanya Bharathy was born in Tirunelveli only. The poet cum freedom fighter wrote many articles on range of subjects. He emphasized the unity of India in spite of its variety in languages, religions, and cultures.

Places to See:

Nellaiappar Temple


Nellaiappar Temple is one of the largest Shiva Temples of Tamil Nadu and is in the centre of Tirunvelli city. It is a twin temple dedicated to Goddess Parvathi and Lord Shiva and has two towers (gopurams) built according to the rules laid down in the agama sastras by Rama Pandyan. The temple dates back to 700 AD and contains inscriptions made around 950 AD. The Sangili Mandapam, a big terraced hall, linking the two temples, was built in the 17th century, as were the towers. Vishnu and Agastya are believed to have worshipped Shiva here.

Sri Varadharaja Perumal Kovil

Sri Varadharaja Perumal Kovil is situated in Tirunelveli Junction, on the banks of the perennial river Thamirabarani. It is an ancient and reputed Vishnu temple. Tenkasi is a great city of nellai. it contains a kasiviswanathar temple.

Mela Thiruvenkatanathapuram temple


The Mela Thiruvenkatanathapuram temple is located 7 to 10 km south west of Tirunelveli, on the banks of perennial river Thamirabarani. Also known as Thirunankovil, it has Lord Srinivasa as the deity.

Keezha Thirupathi


It resembles the thirupathi. Near this temple about ¼ Km., to the east lies the “taen kalahasthi” temple which crowns Lord Shiva. First Lord Shiva is prayed followed by varadharaja perumal and then the "taen thirupathi perumal".




Sankaran Koil

Sankaran Koil is situated 56 kilometers North of Tirunelveli. The place is famous for the Chariot Festival in Adithabasu Vizha that is celebrated in the month of July. Lacs of people flock to this place on this occasion.


Kutrallam

Kutrallam, which is popularly called the "Spa of the south", is situated at an elevation of about 170 m high, on the Western Ghats. This is not only a tourist spot but also a health resort. The waterfall has medicinal properties to cure physical ailments.

Papanasam

Papanasam is located 60 kilometers from Tirunelveli. The famous Shiva temple is located at the bottom of Western Ghats that is very near to the origin of the River Tambraparani. The place is also famous for the Chitrai Vishu festival that is celebrated in the month of April when lacks of people congregate here.


Thiruchendur

The shore temple here is one of the six abodes of Lord Subramanya and the only one of them to be built on an unalleviated stretch of land. Thiruchendur is believed to be the place where Subramanya offered prayers for his victory. The Skandasashti festival is celebrated in November every year that is attended my scores of devotees.

Manappad

Manappad is famous for a 400-year old Holy Cross Church that contains some of the fragments of the True Cross from Jerusalem. It is one of the few churches in India that is associated with St. Francis Xavier.

Thuthukudi

Thuthukudi is one of the major ports in the India. Thuthukudi was at one time known for its pearls and was one of the most prosperous cities on the coast. It is still a major pearl fishing center in India though the city has lost much of its splendors.


Mundanthurai Wildlife Sanctuary

Although this sanctuary is a Project Tiger Reserve you are likely to sight other animals like the leopard, sambhar, sloth bear and the chital apart from a wide variety of Indian primates including the bonnet macaque, common langur, Nilgiri langur and lion-tailed macaque.


Agasthiyar Temple and fall

This temple adjoining the falls named Agasthiyar falls is one of the most visited tourist spot in the city. The place can be reached through a 3-hour trek.


Kalakadu Wildlife Sanctuary

This sanctuary is very popular with botanists and ornithologists as it has a great variety of fauna and bird life. Among the animals that roam here are tiger, panther, jackal and wild dogs while reptile population includes cobra, python and several other snakes.

Kunthakulam Bird Sanctury

It is situated 33 kilometers south of Thirunelveli. Kunthakulam is actually a small and natural scenic village. This village is covered with natural forest and ponds. During winter every year more than 10 thousand birds from various countries like Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Australia migrate here.

Bharathar Ovari

Bharathar Ovari is a Roman Catholic Center where one can visit an ancient church. The annual carnival is celebrated for ten days in the middle of January when lacks of pilgrims congregate here............
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Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu

Kanyakumari weaves a magical spell over all those who visit this mesmerizing place blessed with nature's beauty in excess. Kanyakumari has that imposing splendor of striking sunrise and the soft sunset that simmer over the confluence of three oceans - the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the India Ocean, whose every grain seems to seep inside your body, refreshing you to the core. 

Kanyakumari is the southern most tip of peninsular India sprawling over an area of 1672 sq. km, occupying 1.29% of the total extent of Tamilnadu. With multi-colored sand on its beach, this exquisite land has a ringlet of majestic hills along with swaying coconut trees and paddy fields. 

Vast and clear coasts with Azure Ocean lapping the shore, Kanyakumari is dotted with patches of red cliffs and valleys along with temples and churches that add to the resounding beauty of the place. 

Kanyakumari is also known as Kanniyakumari in Tamil Language. As a major Hindu pilgrim center, devotees visit Kanyakumari from across the country. Delving into Kanyakumari's history, one finds the place to be onetime Alexandria of the east. The Cholas, the Cheras, the Pandyas and the Nayaks who contributed greatly to the architectural marvels of the region ruled Kanyakumari. 

Apart from being a hub of art, culture, civilization, and pilgrimage for years, Kanyakumari is equally famous for commerce and trade. The architecture of this beautiful beach land is greatly inspired by religions like Islam, Christianity and Jainism. 

Among the major tourist attractions in Kanyakumari is Kanyakumari temple dedicated to Parvati or Devi Kanya, who is also revered as the protector of India's shores. Kanyakumari is also home to Gandhi Mandapam that has oriyan architecture and built in memory of Mahatma Gandhi. There is also Vivekananda Memorial, about half a kilometer away from the mainland seated on a rock. The memorial has dhyan mandapam where you could sit and meditate.
Places to See:

Kanyakumari Temple


Overlooking the shoreline, Kanyakumari temple is dedicated to Parvati as Devi Kanya. The Hindu Mythology has it that this was the place where the Virgin Goddess did penance to obtain the hand of Lord Shiva. Devi Kanyakumari is revered as 'the protector of India's shores'. The temple is open for the devotees and tourists early in the morning from 04:30am to 11:30am and again from 5:30pm to 8:30pm. There is one downside about this temple that no one other than Hindus are allowed inside. 

Padmanabhapuram Palace


As a unique repository of some of the most ancient monuments in South India, Padmanabhapuram Palace is about 15 km from Nagercoil. Built with strategic planning and military architecture, the palace remained the seat of power for the Travancore emperors till 1790. The palace is popular for its striking aesthetic beauty, innovative designs and timeless wooden carvings.

Vivekananda Memorial


About half a kilometer away from the mainland, Vivekanad Memorial is perched on one of two rocks separated by about 70 meters. Built in 1970, the memorial is dedicated to Swami Vivekananda, India's greatest social reformer. This was the rock on which Vivekanand meditated in his quest to know the truth and enlightenment. Today this memorial has a meditation room, where you can sit in peace and reflect. The memorial has a stature of Swami Vivekanand and it also houses the different styles of temple architecture from across India. It opens from Wednesday to Monday. Tuesday is holiday. It is open from 7am to 11am and from 2pm to 5pm.

Gandhi Mandapam


Quite near to the Kumari Amman Temple there is the Gandhi Mandapam, built in remembrance of Mahatma Gandhi. The memorial is said to have been built on the place where the urn carrying his ashes was kept before it was immersed in the confluence. The memorial reminds one of an Oriyan temple and was designed in such a manner that on Gandhiji's birthday (2nd October), the sun's rays kiss the place where his ashes were kept. 

Suchindram Temple


Dedicated to the trinity of Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma, Suchidram temple is just 13kms from Kanniyakumari, The temple has a captivating gopuram, musical pillars and an imposing statue of the Hanuman............
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Salem, Tamil Nadu

The name Salem is derived from word "SAILAM" denoting an area surrounded by Mountains. These mountains were important factor for Salem’s industrial Development . Salem is famous for stainless steel, magnasite and handlooms. Kottai Marriamman Temple and Sugavaneswarar Temple are located in the heart of the Town. There is a Government Museumin Salem near to the Collectorate.
Places to See:

Tharamangalam


Tharamangalam is situated 27kms from Salem. The place is famous for Kailasanathar Temple. It has beautiful statues and stone carvings. Figures of tortorise , fish , monkey , Crocodile are carved out the walls and granite roofs. Statues of Rathi - Manmatha , Vali- Sukrive of the epic Ramayana and Yali with rotating stone ball in its mouth. The rotating lotus flower in the seiling are some of the beautiful futures,which adorn the Temple.

Mettur Dam


Mettur Dam The major dam of the state across the river cauvery has been constructed in a gorge during the year 1926 . It provides irregation facilities to Erode , Trichy and Thanjavur Districts for thousands of acres of land. It is a picnic spot situated 52 kms from Salem. A beautiful park opposite to dam formed with Lawns , Parks and children play materials. A Hydro Electric and Thermal power stations are also located in this town. It is an industrial centre for Aluminum and chemical products.

Mariamman Temples


Salem is home to several Mariamman temples. Mariamman, which is a Hindu goddess, an incarnation of Shakti, is celebrated with great religious fervor every year around July in the form of Mariamman festival for a fortnight. During this period you could witness devotees walking on fire chanting their prayers. This is the best time to visit Salem City. The festival is celebrated at temples, at Fort, Shevapet, Ammapet, Gugai, Andheripati etc., Shevapet Mariamman temple car is the biggest one among the cars of Amman temples across the state. 

Kandashramam

Situated at 10 kms from Salem city Kandashramam is small hill temple dedicated to Lord Muruga. 

Siddhar Koil


Salem is also home to the heritage temple of Siddhar Koil, which is located about 10 km from the city. It is a Shiva Temple based on the foot hills of Kanja Malai. 

Aragalur

Situated approximately 21 km from Attur, Aragalur has 2 old temples and a large Buddha statue. It holds a one-day Temple Car festival in summer inviting a host of devotees in the region............
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Dharmapuri, Tamil Nadu

Dharmapuri is a city and the administrative headquarters of Dharmapuri district in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. It is located 65 km north of Salem. Dharmapuri is a part of the Kongu Nadu an ancient division of Tamilakam.

The famous Hogenakkal water falls is in Dharmapuri district. Known for its mango farming, the district also has one of the best quality marble stone reserves in the world.

Dharmapuri district forms a major horticultural belt in the state. The soil type ranges from black to mixed loam. Red sandy soils are seen in Harur Taluk, black and loam soil are found in Dharmapuri Taluk. As the area is drought–prone it has become essential to switch over to cultivation of drought tolerant perennial fruit crops in this district.

Many types of fruit and all the vegetables are cultivated, with mango being the main crop. The district accounts for nearly one-third of the state's total mango cultivation area and nearly one-half of the mango yield.

The district has the second highest area of tomato cultivation in the state, and world class tamarind is also an important crop. It's also famous for manioc/cassava/arrow root, flowers, ground nut, sugarcane, coconut.
Places to See:

Hogenakkal Falls



Hogenakal Falls is located at the border of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, around 46 km from Dharmapuri. In Hogenakal, the Kaveri River enters Tamil Nadu as a big river with gushing water. The name 'Hogenakal' is derived from Kannada means Smoky Rocks.

Theerthamalai temple


Theerthamalai is a sacred place in Harur taluk. The temple is located at the top of a hillock. Chola and Vijayanagara kings donated liberally to this temple.

Sir Thomas Munro Pillar, Dharmapuri


This pillar was erected by the British India's Government of Madras to mark the association of Dharmapuri with SIR THOMAS MUNRO who lived here from April 1792 to March 1799 as Assistant to the Superintendent of Revenue in the BARAMAHAL. His house and his favourite garden where few yards away from this place.

Hanumanthathirtham


This place is situated on the bank of Pennaiyar at a distance of 10 km from Uthangarai and traditionally associated with Tirtamalai. It is believed that Hanuman was instructed by Lord Rama to bring water, but after waiting for a long time, Rama created a waterfalls , Hanuman was said to have thrown down the vessel in which he brought the holy water and this spilled water is believed to be the "Hanumantatirtham".

Adhiyamankottam


The capital of Adhiyamans, ancient rulers of Thahadoor, was Adhiyamankottam which is situated on the Salem-Dharmapuri road, 7 km from Dharmapuri. The ruins of the roughly oval shaped fort is still there. The Chenraya Perumal temple there is a protected monument and is thought to have been constructed both by the King Krishna Devaraya and the Hoysala kings.

Kottai Kovil


This is one of the temples built for Lord Shiva. It is located on the northern side of Dharmapuri. It has been renovated and is maintained by the government and people of Dharmapuri. There a rare sculptures and paintings contained in it.

Subramanya Siva Memorial


Subramanya Siva was born on 19 September 1884 in Vathalagundu, Madhurai. He was a revolutionary independence fighter who worked closely with other freedom fighters, such as V.O Chidambaram Pillai and Subramanya Bharathi, and inspired many young men to join the freedom movement. He was the first political prisoner of the Madras presidency and described his jail experiences in a book, Jail Life. He also published Gnana Bhanu, a collection of poems.

C.S.I Zion Church

C.S.I Zion Church is one of the C.S.I churches located in Dharmapuri district. It is the head of all the other C.S.I churches in Dharmapuri district.

Sacred Heart cathedral


The Sacred Heart cathedral is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dharmapuri.

Mount Carmel church

Mount Carmel church is situated in B. Pallipatty, which is known for its Grotto festival. This is a three day feast celebrated on the second Friday after Easter and is attended by more than 100,000 people seeking to receive the blessing of Our Lady of Lourdes............
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Madurai, Tamil Nadu


Madurai is one of the important cities in South India. The second largest city in Tamil Nadu, is situated on the banks of river Vaigai. As it is endowed with a rich cultural heritage and glorious traditions, Madurai is included in the group of antique cities present in India. The history of Madurai dates back to 6th century B.C. During that period, the city was the much-acclaimed capital of the Pandya kings. Back then, it functioned as an important commercial center of South India. It held sway over many small towns in the South.

Madurai is famous for its temples, monuments and ancient cultural wonders. It is even called ‘The Athens of the East’. Madurai’s Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple is one of the greatest architectural marvels of India. Built by the Pandya King, Kulasekara, and reconstructed later by Tirumalai Nayakar, the temple has patronized literature, art, music and dance ever since its inception. The entire city is built around the Meenakshi Amman temple. The city of Madurai flourished till 10th century AD after which it was captured by Cholas, the arch rivals of the Pandyas. The glory of Madurai returned when it came under the rule of the Vijayanagar kingdom and then Madurai was ruled by the Nayaks, the foremost of whom was Tirumalai Nayakar.

Madurai is firmly anchored in Tamil literature and tradition. It is home to many poets and artisans. It houses an abundance of literary wealth of both classical and modern Tamil. It was the seat of the Tamil academy in the past. The city has been a center for learning and pilgrimage for centuries. The three Tamil Sangams (academies) evolved and flourished here. The city’s ancient Tamil kings were great warriors, poets and connoisseurs of art. Tamil literature flourished because of their generosity and literary fervor.

The city is widely known as the Temple City, and is often also referred to as The City of Four Junctions (Koodal Maanagar), The Cultural Capital of Tamil Nadu (Kalaachaara Thalainagar), The City of Jasmine (Malligai Maanagar), The City That Never Sleeps (Thoonga Nagaram), Athens of the East and The City of Festivals.


Places to See:


Meenakshi Amman Temple


Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal


Samanar Malai Jain Caves


Yaanaimalai


Azhagar Koil


Teppakulam


Gandhi Museum


St Marys Church


Goripalayam Mosque


Temple Car



Other historic locations:

Vilakkuthoon


Victoria Albert Hall


Pasumalai


American College


Madura Mills


Vaigai River/ Vaigai Dam...........
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