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Kanyakumari

TOURIST PLACES IN KANYAKUMARI

Tuticorin is called as Thoothukudi in Tamil. Dating back to 1658, Dutch called this place as Tuticorin. There are two more famous names for this town namely pearl city and its direct tamil translation muthu nagar.Tuticorin area was ruled by Pandian Kings until 1532. Until 1658 Portuguese controlled this area. Later from 1658 to 1782 Dutch captured and ruled. In 1782, British took over. Except few years with Dutch it is fully ruled by English until India got Independence in 1947. Obviously the port has played a major role for everyone to come down here for easy transport and PEARLS from this region.
Kanyakumari Temple also known as Kumari Amman is located on the shore and is devoted to a manifestation of Parvati. The temple is located picturesquely and commands breathtaking views of the surrounding natural beauty. You will be amazed to find that the diamond nose ring of the deity can even be witnessed from the sea.

Fountain at Kanniyakumarikan_01

Kanyakumari district, which lies in the southern most tip of Peninsular India, is famous for its majestic hills, virgin beaches, pristine rivers and meandering rivulets. The district has a fragrance of architecture culture and customs of neighbouring Kerala mixed with the rich deep traditions, culture and architecture of Tamil Nadu. However, for want of promotional campaign and lack of basic amenities most of the tourists coming to this district return back after seeing just Kanyakumari and Padmanabhapuram Palace. It was at this juncture that the district administration decided to take up tourism promotion initiatives in a major way.

Mahatma Gandhi Memorialkan_02

The place has been associated with great men like Swami Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi in whose names memorials have been here. They are very beautiful and add to the attraction of this place. The beautiful Gandhi Memorial completed in 1956, is situated as a memorial to the Father of the Nation. An urn of Mahatma Gandhi was kept here for public to pay homage before immersion.Text Box: Mahatma Gandhi visited Kanyakumari twice in 1925 and 1937. Mahatma Gandhi visited Kanyakumari in January 1937. In 1948 his ashes were immersed in the sea waters in Kanyakumari. In commemoration of this event a beautiful monument has been constructed here. Its central shape is 79 feet high representing the age of the Mahatma at the time of the sun at Mid day on 2nd October would fall on the peedam through a hole in the roof.

Thiruvalluvar Statuekan_03

Thiruvalluvar is the immortal poet of Tamil Nadu and has given to the world Thirukkural. The memorial statue of Thiruvalluvar is in Kanyakumari. The pedestal of the statue is of 38 feet height and the statue over it is 95 feet tall with a grand total of 133 feet for the entire sculpture. The 3 tier pedestal known as Atharapeedam is surrounded by an artistic Mandapa known as Alankara Mandapam with 38 feet height. Surrounding the Alankara Mandapa stand 10 elephant statues signifying 8 directions with earth and space down. The father of Sri. Rama, the hero of Ramayana was called Dasaratha as he was able to charioteer in ten directions. To help the tourists to worship the holy feet of Thiruvalluvar 140 steps are constructed inside the Mandapa.

Kamarajar Manimandapam kan_04

Another monument Kamarajar Manimandapam was raised and dedicated to Late. Sri. Kamarajar, The freedom fighter, Former Chief minister of Tamil Nadu, President of Indian National Congress. He was popularly known as Black Gandhi among the masses and king maker during congress regime. This monument was constructed where his ashes were kept here for public to pay homage before immersion into the sea.

Vivekananda Rock Memorialkan_05

Vivekananda Rock Memorial is another place in Kanyakumari which attracts large number of tourists. As its name implies, it is essentially a sacred monument, built by the Vivekananda Rock Memorial Committee to commemorate the visit of Swamy Vivekananda to “Shripada Parai” during 24th, 25th and 26th December 1892 for deep meditation and enlightenment.
From very ancient times, the rock has been regarded as sacred place. In Puranic tradition, it has been known as “Sripada Parai: meaning the rock, that has been blessed by the touch of Shripada feet of the Goddess.On the rock, is a projection similar in form to a human fort and a little brownish in complexion, which has traditionally, been revered as a symbol of Shripadam.

Suchindrum kan_06

Suchindrum is a small village about 12 km. from Kanyakumari and about seven kilometres from Nagercoil. This holy place is located on the bank of the river Pazhayar, adjoining fertile fields and coconut groves and the temple is dedicated to Sri Sthanumalayan. The word denotes Siva, Vishnu and Brahmma as. Sthanu represents Siva, Mal represents Vishnu while Ayan represents Brhamma i.e. Siva, Vishnu and Brhamma in “One Form”.
Suchindrum means the place where Indra attained ‘Suchi’ i.e., purification. The Sthalapurana has it that Indra suffered a curse from sage Gowthama, when he stealthily cast amorous glances at Ahalya the wife of Gowthama.

Kanyakumari Bagavathiamman Temple

Kanyakumari derives its name from from Goddess Kanyakumari Amman, the presiding deity of the area. The most prominent temple, the Kumari Amman, is dedicated to the goddess Parvathi as a virgin. The temple situated at the edge of the ocean for Goddess Kanyakumari has the legendary account that once Banusura, the demon king got supremacy over Devas and meted out cruel punishment to them. The Devas performed a Yagna pleading to annihilate the evils. Goddess Parasakthi came to Kumari in the form of a virgin girl and began her penance. Meanwhile Lord Shiva fell in love with her and arrangements for the marriage were made in the midnight a particular day. Now the Devine sage Narada realised that their marriage would destroy the chances of annihilating Banusura because he could be killed only by a virgin. When Lord Shiva was on his way to Kanyakumari from Suchindrum at Valukkamparai 5 kms south of Suchindram, Sage Narada assumed the form of a cock and crowed falsely heralding the break of dawn. Thinking that the auspicious time for the marriage was past, Lord Shiva returned disappointed. The Goddess too decided to remain virgin after that. Then, when Banusura attempted to win the Goddess by force, she killed him with her Chakragudha, and relieved the suffering s of Devas.

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Tuticorin

TOURIST PLACES IN TUTICORIN

Tuticorin is called as Thoothukudi in Tamil. Dating back to 1658, Dutch called this place as Tuticorin. There are two more famous names for this town namely pearl city and its direct tamil translation muthu nagar. Tuticorin area was ruled by Pandian Kings until 1532. Until 1658 Portuguese controlled this area. Later from 1658 to 1782 Dutch captured and ruled. In 1782, British took over. Except few years with Dutch it is fully ruled by English until India got Independence in 1947. Obviously the port has played a major role for everyone to come down here for easy transport and PEARLS from this region.

THE HISTORY OF TUTICORINtut_01

The district of Thoothukudi (presently Tuticorin) was carved out as a separate district in the year 1986 as a result of bifurcation of Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu State. It was under different rulers like the Pandyas and Cholas. Then fell into the hands of the Portuguese and Dutch. It finally came under the administration of the British. The early years of the 19th century saw the commercial rise of Tuticorin. The natural harbour and the rich hinterland of the Tuticorin Port prompted the East India Company to plan the development of the harbour. A lighthouse was built in 1842.

PRIME ATTRACTIONS
Tuticorin Port

Tuticorin Port is situated on the East Coast of India about 540-km southwest of Chennai. Located in the Gulf of Mannar with Sri Lanka on the South East and the large landmass of India on the West, Tuticorin Port is well sheltered from the fury of storms and cyclonic winds. It is strategically located very close to the major International sea routes. The minor Port of Tuticorin has a flourishing trade handling a variety of cargoes meant for the neighbouring countries of Sri Lanka, Maldives etc. and the coastal regions of India.

Tiruchendur Temple

The Tiruchendur temple is an impressive shore temple dedicated to Lord Subramanya. It is one of the six Aarupadai veedu shrines of Murugan while the other five ‘Padaiveedu’ shrines are situated on hills or mounds. There are several literary works singing the glory of Tiruchendur.

Panchalankurichi

Panchalankurichi is a tiny village located 3-km from Ottapidaram and 18-km from Tuticorin. This village is of great historical importance as the great warrior Katta Bomman known as “Veerapandiya Kattabomman” raised his voice against the British regime in the 17th Century AD here.
Kattabomman Memorial Fort

The Government of Tamil Nadu in 1974 constructed the Kattabomman Memorial Fort. The Archaeological Survey of India protects the remnants of the old fort. The hereditary Goddess of Kattabomman was Sri Devi Jakkammal. A temple dedicated to Sri Devi Jakkammal is located near the fort. Nearby there is a cemetery of British soldiers.

Ettaiyapuram Palace

Ettaiyapuram Palace located in the town of Ettaiyapuram in Tuticorin district is a famous tourist spot. During the region of Pandyas at Madurai, people from Chadragiri near Chittoor of Andhra Pradesh were brought and posted as “watch keepers (DhisaiKavalars) of Ilasanadu”. This was latter called Ettayapuram. When the local chiefs refused to pay the taxes to the Pandya kingdom, Ettappar at Ilasanadu collected the taxes with the help of his army. Later Pandya king appointed Ettappar as a ruler of the place. After the rule of 150 years Ettayapuram was formed in 1565 in this place.

Bharathi Mani Mandapam

In memory of the National poet Subramania Bharati a memorial was built by Kalki Krishna Murthi in Tuticorin in the year 1945 and Mahatma Gandhi showered his blessings on the occasion of opening.

The Basilica Of A Lady Of Snows

This Church at Tuticorin is the first one ever raised in the honour of Mother Mary on the South East Coast with its existence over 400 years (1582). Considering 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. Devotees of all creeds and communities from Tamil Nadu and even from Sri Lanka visit this church.

EXCURSIONS

Kalakadu Wildlife Sanctuary – Mundanthurai Tiger Sanctuary
Kalakadu wildlife sanctuary is situated in an area of 223-sq-kms in the Tirunelveli district, including the foothills of the Western Ghats and the adjoining area. It is very popular with botanists and ornithologists as it has a great variety of fauna and bird life.
The Mundanthurai wildlife sanctuary also situated in Tirunelveli district boasts of dry deciduous to tropical wet evergreen forest patches of pure reeds. The sanctuary covers an area of 567-sq-kms. There is nothing to differentiate this sanctuary from that of Kalakadu, except the absence of Elephant and the Gaur.

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Rameswaram

TOURIST PLACES IN RAMESHWARAM

Rameshwaram is an island situated in the gulf of manner at the very tip of the Indian peninsula. A very important pilgrim centre of the Indians. Rameshwaram is the place from where Lord Rama, built a bridge across the sea to rescue his consort Sita, from her abductor, Ravana. This is also the place where Rama worshipped Lord Shiva to cleanse away the sin of killing Ravana. Both the Vaishnavites and Shaivites visit this pilgrimage which is known as the Varanasi the south.

Ramanathaswamy Templer1

Ramnathswamy temple was built in the 17th century. Situated close to the sea on the eastern side of the island, this temple is famous for its 1200 gigantic granite columns. The 54 metre tall gopuram (gate-tower), 1220 metres of magnificent corridors and the flamboyant columns embellish and render fame to the temple. The water in each of the 22 sacred wells in the temple tastes different.

Agnitheerthamr2

100 metres away from the temple is Agnitheertham, where Rama worshipped Lord Shiva, to absolve himself from the killing Ravana.

Gandamadana Parvathamr3

The imprint of Lord Rama’s feet placed on a Chakra (wheel) is found in this shrine which is at the highest point on the island at 2 km from Rameswaram.

Dhanushkodir4

Dhanushkodi named after Rama’s bow, is at the eastern end of the island at a distance of 8 kms from Rameshwaram. The boulders around the sea between Srilanka and this place known as Adam’s bridge, are believed to be used by Hanuman to reach across Srilanka. Dhhanushkodi was completely destroyed by the cyclones of 1964. Kothandaramaswamy temple is the only salvage of the cyclone. Idols of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, Hanuman and Vibhishana (brother of Ravana), surrendered to Rama, here.

Erwadir5

An important site for Muslim pilgrims, Erwadi houses the tomb of Ibrahim Sahid Aulia. At a distance of 24 kilometers from Rameshwaram is Erwadi. Muslims from across the globe visit Erwadi especially during the month of December to participate in the annual festival celebrated as a tribute to the saint.

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Madurai

TOURIST PLACES IN MADURAI

The ancient southern Indian city of Madurai that has earned the sobriquet, ‘Athens of the East’, is a place of great historical importance. Said to be the oldest city in South India, Madurai stands on the banks of the sacred river Vaigai, eternalized in Lord Shiva’s exploits in the ‘Halasya Purana’. Madurai’s fame rests almost entirely on the famous temples dedicated to goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswar.

Meenakshi Amman Templemdu_01

Synonymous with Madurai is the Meenakshi Sundareswarar twin Temple, the pivot around which the city has evolved. The Meenakshi Temple complex is literally a city – one of the largest of its kind in India and undoubtedly one of the oldest too. The temple grew with the contribution of each dynasty and victorious monarchs, into an enormous complex extending over an area of 65000 Sq m. The temple first came in to being 2000 years ago and was substantially expanded during the regime of Thirumalai Nayak(1623-55 AD).
A striking feature of the temple is the astonishing structure know as “Ayiramkaal Mandapam” or the Hall of Thousand Pillars and each pillar features high, ornate, bold sculptures that look life like. View from any angle these pillars appear to be in a straight line, an architectural masterpiece indeed In the outermost corridors are situated the matchless musical pillars carved out of stones. When it is tapped, each pillar produces different musical note.

Thirumalai Nayak Palace mdu_02

About 1.5 Kms from the Meenakshi temple, this palace was built in 1636 by the ruler whose name it bears. The imposing edifice is famous for the “Stuccowork” on its domes and impressive arches. The Sorgavilasam (Celestial Pavilion), measuring 75m x 52m, constructed entirely of brick and mortar without the support of a single rafter or girder, is a marvel of indo-Saracenic architectural style. Among other striking features of the palace are the massive white pillars, several of which line the corridor that runs along the courtyard. Connected by high decorated arches, these pillars measure 20m in height and have a circumference of 4m. Elsewhere, there are polished black stone pillars of varying heights.

Alagar koilmdu_04

About 21 Kms North East of Madurai, stands a celebrated Vishnu Temple dedicated to Lord Alagar. The temple is situated on a hill amidst panoramic surroundings. The shrine is know as Alagarkoil and the hill , Solaimalai. The temple also contain some beautiful carvings and makes the visit rewarding. Palamudirsolai, one of the six abodes of Lord Subramaniya is located atop the Hill.

Gandhi Museummdu_05

Housed in the old Palace of Rani Mangammal, the Gandhi Museum depicts the highlights of the freedom struggle and contains a picture gallery of the Gandhian movement. Also can be seen are a gallery of relics, Khadi and village industries section and South Indian Handicrafts section.

Mariamman Teppakulammdu_06

Mariamman Teppakulam is a beautiful square tank spread over a huge area of almost 16 acres, located about 5Kms East of Meenakshi Temple. The tank is the scene of the colourful float festival held in January/February to celebrate the birth anniversary of King Thirumalai Nayak, who built this tank. The deities of Meenakshi and Sundareswarar are placed in a float, called “Teppam”, decorated with flowers and illuminated with hundred of lights. This float is taken around the tank to the sound of traditional music. On the Northern side of the tank a temple is dedicated to Mariamman , a famous village deity of Tamil Nadu.

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