Coonoor

Coonoor, Tamil Nadu – Provides panoramic view of the lush green Nilgiri hills, with its ravines, valleys and waterfalls

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Just 19 km from Ooty,  Coonoor is the second largest hill station in the Nilgiris, surrounded by tea plantations. Resting at an altitude of 1839 metres, its climate is milder than Ooty. Coonoor is essentially a small tea garden town where the weather remains pleasantly cool throughout the year. Coonoor provides the traveller with the panoramic view of the lush green Nilgiri hills, with its ravines, valleys, and waterfalls.

Places to see in Coonoor: Coonoor is populated with a number of sightseeing destinations, which includes:

Sim’s Park

The Sim’s Park is an important place to visit in Coonoor. Spread in an area of 12 hectres, the park has a collection of over 1,000 plant species, including magnolia, pines, tree ferns, and camellia. The botanical garden is partly developed in the Japanese style and derived its name from J. D. Sim, the secretary of the Madras Club in 1874. The key attraction of the park is the annual fruit and vegetable show held in May.

Pomological Station

The institute is a research centre of the State Agricultural Department for persimmon, pomegranates, and apricot.

Dolphin’s Nose Viewpoint

The Dolphin’s Nose Viewpoint is 10 km from Coonoor. It not only provides a panoramic view of the vast expanse of the Nilgiri Hills but also of Catherine Falls.

Lamb’s Rock

On the way to Dolphin’s Nose, about 5½ km from Coonoor, lies Lamb’s Rock, another vantage point to view the fantastic landscape and the tea and coffee plantations.

Droog Fort

At a distance of 13 km from Coonoor, the Droog takes one into the past, with the ruins of a fort, which was once used by Tipu Sultan in the 18th century.

Catherine Falls

Also known as St. Catherine, these Falls are located in Kotagiri that is 17 kms away from Coonoor. Cascading from the altitude of 250 ft the Catherine Falls are situated amidst lush green forests where you can enjoy the fresh breeze coming through the Nilgiri Hills. The CatherineFalls are named after the wife of MD Cocburn who was a pioneer coffee planter in Kotagiri and Yercaud. The native name of the Catherine Falls is Geddhehaada Halla. Today these Falls serve as a perfect picnic spot and are visited by tourists visiting Coonoor.

Nearby attractions of Coonoor:  From Coonoor a trip to Ooty is worth. A distance of 19 kms from Coonoor will take us to this spectacular and renowned hill station. These two hill stations are connected by a toy train route. Most tourists of Ooty love to come to Coonoor by this route. The journey is scenic and only takes about 3.5 hours.

Things to do in Coonoor: Bird watching is a popular pastime in Coonoor, as the area boasts of a large variety of species like cormorants, pipits, thrushes, parakeets, skylarks, Nilgiri verditer, etc. Travellers can take a walk through the tea gardens. There are number of trekking and hiking trails around Coonoor. Travellers can enjoy the exhilarating and unique ride on the toy train that connects Coonoor with Mettupalayam (which Indian Rail spells Metupalaiyam) and Ooty.

Best time to visit Coonoor: The best time to visit Coonoor is from October to February when the weather is pleasant and conducive enough for sightseeing and outdoor activities.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest airport is at Coimbatore 110 kms away, from where you can drive up to Connoor in about 2 hours.

By Rail

Lower Coonoor is connected by mountain rail but the nearest broad gauge railway station is in Mettupalayam (46kms). The Toy Train that plies between Ooty and Mettupalayam passes Coonoor.

By Road

Coonoor is well connected by road to all major towns and cities of Tamil Nadu.

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Where to stay ?

Coonoor, being a newly developed tourist destination has adequate accommodation options that includes both goverment lodges and private hotels.  Some are:

Hotel Tamil Nadu (TTDC): +91-0423- 2444370, 77  Website: www.ttdconline.com
Youth Hostel (TTDC): +91-0423-2443665
Kurumba Village  Resort: + 91 – 8088855855  Website: www.natureresorts.in
Shranav Holiday Home: + 91- 0423-2233990  Website: www.shranavholidayhome.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Thanjavur

Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu – Famous for the Brahadeeswara Temple, recognized by UNESCO as the world heritage site

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Thanjavur also known as Tanjore is the temple city of Tamil Nadu. Thanjavur rose to glory during the later Chola period between the 9th and 14th centuries A.D. It also flourished later during the rule of the Nayaks and Mahrattas. It has been the treasure house of art for centuries and known as the Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu. Thanjavur is well-known throughout the world for the celebrated Brahadeeswara temple. This temple is recognized by UNESCO as the world heritage site. The green paddy fields and the Kaveri River make the site a picturesque location.

Places to See in Tanjore: Being a temple city, its sight seeing spots mostly includes temples. However there are some historical sites too.

Brihadisvara Temple

It is one of the most popular tourist sites in Thanjavur. It was constructed by the great Chola king, Rajaraja I. Built in the 10th century AD, the temple of the finest example of Chola architecture. The architecture of the Brihadisvara Temple of Thanjavur is reminiscent of the Egyptian pyramids. The temple is about 63 meters high. The dome of the temple is said to be built with the help of a gigantic piece of granite. The granite which is used to built the dome of the temple is estimated to weigh about 81 tonnes. The dome of the temple is a grandeur in architecture.

Brihadisvara Temple is one of the important shrines in the city. Every year thousands of tourists come to Thanjavur to reverence to the titular deity. Moreover, it is noteworthy that Brihadisvara Temple in Thanjavur has certain restrictions about entering the shrine. According to the rules and regulation of the temple, only Hindus are permitted to go inside the temple and worship there. Others are exempted from entering the temple.

Shrine of Subrahmanya

One of the famous tourist attraction in the city, this 7th century shrine, is also known for its decorative architecture. The Shrine of Sri Subrahmanya is an example of carved stone-work. The delicate pattern and the motifs of the shrine add delight to sightseeing.

The Shrine of Subrahmanya, Thanjavur is specimen of Dravidian architecture. It is known for its delicate artistry and elaborative patterns. The temple possesses a tower, which is 55 feet in height. The tower of the shrine stands on an area of 45 square feet. The Shrine of Sri Subrahmanya in Thanjavur is adorned with beautiful paintings. The portraits of Mahratta kings beautify the walls of the Mandapam.

Annai Vailankanni Shrine

The tour to Annai Vailankanni shrine is particularly not missed by the tourists who have an inclination for religious structures. The Annai Vailankanni shrine is located on the Elliot’s beach at the place called Besant Nagar in Chennai. The picturesque location of the Annai Vailankanni shrine on the Bay of Bengal shores makes this shrine all the more popular. The shrine is located at adistance of about 10 kms from Nagapattinam. A mythical story is associated with the shrine of Annai Vailankanni. According to popular belief, Reverend P T Arulappa saw mother Mary and little Jesus in a dream. Thereafter, he established this wonderful shrine to pay homage to the Virgin mother of God. This close association of the shrine with the international religion of Christianity makes it one of the important religious structures to all the Christians around the world. Mother Mary is often related to the concept of global unity and hence stands for peace and harmony among people belonging to different socio-cultural and religious backgrounds. Innumerable people belonging to Christianity and other religions come on a trip to the Annai Vailankanni shrine.

The closest railway station of the Annai Vailankanni shrine is located at Nagapattinam at a distance of about 10 kms from Vailankanni. The closest airport is situated at Tiruchy at a distance of around 154 kms from Vailankanni. Buses can also be availed from Chennai, Nagapattinam, Pondicherry and Madurai.

Royal Palace and Museum

Also known as the Thanjavur Palace is a huge building dating back to 1550. Situated near the Brihadiswara temple, the palace was partly built by the Nayakas and partly by the Marathas. It has arsenal towers, broad corridors and gigantic halls. The palace is known to possess an art gallery, a museum and a library. The art gallery of the palace houses a rich collection of bronze statues belonging to the Chola Dynasty.

Gangaikondam Cholapuram

A Cholan architectural masterpiece, this temple has been visited by numerous travellers across centuries. The structure has been designed in a manner that at any given point of time, the sun-light shall fall directly on the idol of main deity.

Vijayanagar Fort

Situated about 2 km away from the Brahadeeswara Temple this fort is one of the popular historic monuments of Thanjavur. Siva Ganga Garden, Sangeetha Mahal, and Saraswathi Mahal Library are located in this fort.

Nearby attractions at Tanjore: There are quite a good number of excursion options available from Tanjore:

Airavatheeswar Temple

Airavateeswar Temple is an exquisitely built temple that is located 30 kilometers from the city of Thanjavur. The temple that was constructed around 12th century A.D is counted among the bests of Chola Temples in India. Going by its unique architecture, the place has been recognized by the UNESCO as a WorldHeritageMonument.

Kumbakonam

A visit to the temple town of Kumbakonam is a must for every tourist.  Just 35 kilometers off to the city of Tanjore, Kumbakonam is famous for its temples sculptures having erotic overtones. Some of the must visit temples are Sarangapani, Kumbeswarar, Nageswara and Ramaswamy temples. Kumbakonam is also the venue of the Mahamaham festival that is celebrated every 12 years.

Manora

Manora is situated 65 kilometers from the city of Thanjavur. The building is considered as the largest and tallest of the monuments built by the Tanjore Marathas. Manora is an eight-storied miniature fortress that is hexagonal in shape and is skirted by a moat. Sarfoji II constructed the structure in the year 1815 in honor of Britain’s victory over Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo.

Darasuram

Located just 35 kilometers from Tanjore, Darasuram is a magnificent temple that is dedicated to Lord Siva. The temple is among the hundreds built by Rajendra Chola. Darasuram is also famous as a silk weaving center.

Poondi Matha Basilica 

The Poondi village is about 35 kms. from Thanjavur and the nearest Railway Station is Budalur. It is a Roman Catholic Pilgrim Centre like Velankanni. Accommodation is provided to the pilgrims by the Church Authorities.

Thirukarugavoor

The Arulmighu Mullaivananathar and the Karpagarahshambigai temples are situated in the riverbed of River Vettaru a branch of the Cauvery, at a distance of 20 kms northeast of Thanjavur at distance of 20 kms southwest from Kumbakonam. This place Thirukarugavoor is ancient and has been extensively quoted by the Great Shaivite saints Thirugnana Sambandar and Thirunavukkarasar on the dieties Eswara Mullaivananathar and the Goddesses Gharbharakshambigai.

Thiruvarur world Heritage Monument

Located at a distance of 55 km, the Thyagarajaswami temple of Thiruvarur has the biggest temple chariot in Tamil Nadu. This is the birthplace of Saint Thyagaraja, the poet-saint and composer. The Arulmigu Thyagarajaswamy Car Festival is celebrated in March –April, every year. Boating at the Kamalalayam Temple tank is being organised by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. from April 1997.

Things to do in Tanjore: Apart from exploring the other sight seeing locations which are mostly the architectural master piece, try to make a visit to the famous BrihadisvaraTemple in the evening when the rocks capture a hot palette of reds, oranges, yellows and pinks on the crowning glory of Chola temple architecture. The sight is just breath taking. Thanjavur is a good place to shop for handicrafts and arts. Don’t forget to carry atleast one piece with you that will adorn your showcase by its magnificence.

Best time to visit Tanjore: The best time to visit Thanjavur is from October to March, when you can visit the temples and can opt for outdoor activities.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest Airport Thiruchirapalli is 55 kms. Indian Airlines and Air Lanka operate flights to Sri Lanka. Indian Airlines also connects Trichy with Madurai and Chennai directly.

By Rail

Thanjavur is connected by rail with Trichy, Madurai, Nagore and Chennai directly.

By Road

Thanjavur is connected with all major cities. Regular Bus Service connects all places of interest in and around Thanjavur.

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Where to stay ?

Tanjore has plenty of accommodation options.

Hotel Tamil nadu (TTDC):  +91 04362 231 325  Website: www.ttdconline.com
Star Residency:  +91-0452-4343999  Website: www.starresidencyhotels.com
Hotel Valli: +9104362 – 231584 , 231580 , 231064 , 231043  Website: www.hotelvalli.com
Hotel Raks Thanjavur: +91 -4362 -227 806

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Rameswaram

Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu – Famous for the Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple, one of the esteemed pilgrimage of the Hindus

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Rameswaram is a small island in the Gulf of Mannar located 572 km away from Chennai. It is a major pilgrim centre. Rameswaram is a holy place because Sri Rama, on his return from Sri Lanka, offered his thanks to Lord Shiva and performed pooja to wash away his sin in killing the Demon King, Ravana. Rameswaram is known for its 22 theerthas or wells in and around the main temple. This place is equally sacred to both Vaishnavites and Shaivites. According to Hindu Mythology, if one visits Rameswaram and prays to Lord Shiva one will be relieved of one’s sins. It is 197 metres long. It is connected to the mainland by road and railway bridges.

Places to see in Rameswaram: There is a number of sight seeing destinations from Rameshwaram. These include:

Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple

This temple situated near the sea on the eastern side of the island is renowned for its magnificent prakaras or corridors with massive sculptured pillars on either side. The longest corridor in the world is here and it is 197 metres long from East to West and is 133 metres wide from South-North. The temple has a Gopuram 38.4 metres tall. Different rulers built the temple as it stands today, at different periods from the 12th century A.D. Pooja is performed for an hour early morning daily to the Spadikalingam that was given by the Shankaracharya to this temple. There is a popular belief that one needs to take bath in 22 theertha kundams with in the temple premises before having darshan. There many guides who will approach us as soon as we enter the temple premises. One needs to negotiate the deal of how much to pay them if we need their services. It is believed that the water from these kundams have some medicinal properties. The history of the temple is linked with “Ramayan” and it is believed the the diety was installed by Lord Rama after the war with Ravana at the instance of the great saints to get rid of the “Brahma Dosham”.

Agnitheertham

Sri Ramanathaswamy temple faces east. The seashore, about 100 metres from the main entrance of the temple, is very calm and therefore ideal for bathing. The water at this place is considered sacred and known as Agni theertham. Pilgrims perform poojas in honour of their ancestors at this seashore.

Gandamadana Parvatham

It is a hillock situated 3 km away and is the highest point in the island. Here one can see the imprint of Lord Rama’s feet on a chakra. The entire island of Rameswaram is visible from this point.

Sugreevar Temple/Theertham

This temple is situated on the way to Gandamadana Parvatham near the Doordarshan Kendra.

Satchi Hanuman Temple

The temple is considered to be the place where Hanuman delivered the good news of finding Sita to Rama with satchi or evidence, Choodamani or the jewel that belonged to Sita. It is just 3 km from the main temple, on the way to the Gandamadana Parvatham.

Badrakaliamman Temple

This is a temple for Devi Durga, situated 2 km from the main temple on the way to the Gandamadana Parvatham.

The Five-faced Hanuman Temple

Just 2 km from the main temple, here the idols of Lord Ram, Sita and Hanuman brought from Dhanushkodi during the 1964 cyclone were placed here. The floating stone, used to build the Sethu Bandanamor the bridge between India and Lanka can be found in this temple.

Jada Theertham

It is about 3.5 km from Rameswaram on the Dhanushkodi road – legend has it that Lord Rama, on his way back after killing Ravana, worshipped Sri Ramalinga (believed to be installed by him). Before doing so, he washed his hair (Jada) in this theertham to purify himself.

Nambu Nayagiamman Temple

This is greatly venerated by the people of Ramnad District. It is situated 8 km from the main temple in Rameswaram on the way to Dhanushkodi.

Nearby attractions from Rameswaram: From here you can make excursions to places like:

Kothandaramaswamy Temple

This is located 12 km away from Rameswaram. A popular belief is that Vibishana, brother of Ravana, surrendered before Rama here.

Dhanushkodi

The southern tip of the island, Dhanushkodi was completely washed away by the 1964 cyclone. This is a strip of land about one km wide and 18 km long on the eastern end of Rameswaram island. On one side are the waters of the Indian Ocean and on the other the waters of the Bay of Bengal. The two seas otherwise known as Ratnakaran and Mahodadhi with their confluence is shaped like a bow while the strip of land resemble an arrow poised for release. Devout Hindus consider the Adi Sethu or the arrowhead, a sacred place to perform religious rites. It is also place worth visiting for its scenic beauty and bird life.

Villoondi Theertham

This site is situated 7 km from the main temple on the way to Pamban.

Annai Indira Gandhi Road Bridge

Also known as the Pamban Bridge this place is just 12 km from Rameshwaram  that connects the Rameswaram island with the main land. It is the longest sea bridge in India and its length is nearly 2.2 km and stands as a fine example for Indian architecture. The bridge was constructed with sufficient elevation. The islands nearby and the parallel rail bridge below are clearly visible from this bridge.

Things to do in Rameshwaram: Explore this sacred pilgrimage and feel the spiritual ecstasy in its air.

Best time to visit Rameshwaram: Rameswaram has a tropical climate and can be visited any time of the year. But the best time to visit is from October to April.

How to go ?

By Air

he nearest airport is in Madurai, 163 km from here. If you are traveling from some distant location then taking a flight will be the best decision. 

By Train

You can easily get regular trains to Rameshwaram from other major cities of the country. It is well connected by rail with cities like Chennai, Coimbatore, Thanjavur and Trichy.

By Road

There are regular buses from other major cities like Chennai, Coimbatore, Thanjavur and Trichyof  to Rameshwaram.

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Where to stay ?

There are adequate accommodation facilities in Rameshwaram. Some options are:

Hotel Pearl Residency :+91-04573-222262, 63, 64 Website: www.hpr-rsm.com
Blue Coral Cottage: +91 4573 221 703, 95780 76352 Website: www.bluecoralcottage.com
Hotel Sunrise View: 04573-223434,  04573-222453 Website:www.hotelsunriseview.com
Hotel Vinayaga: +91- 04573 222361 , 222363 Website: www.vinayagahotel.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Kodaikanal

Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu – At an altitude of 7200 ft, this small hill town is a must visit for its scenic beauty and cool, misty weather

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Standing at an altitude of 7200 feet above sea level Kodaikanal is situated in upper Palani hills of the western ghats near Madurai in Tamil Nadu. Kodaikanal is also popularly known as the princes of Hill Stations. Its name in the Tamil language means “The Gift of the Forest”. Kodaikanal is one of the very popular and most sought after holiday destination hill resorts in South India. The cool and misty weather, the scenic beauty of the rolling hills and the wooded forest of Kodaikanal and its surroundings will mesmerize any visitors there.

Places to see in Kodaikanal: The calm and serene surrounding of Kodaikanal, admired with high-forested mountains will offer you a true romantic escape. The location is dotted with a number of sight seeing spots. These include:

Bryant Park

Named after a British officer Glenn Bryant, Bryant Park holds an annual flower and vegetable show each year which attracts a large number of tourists all across the country. There also stands a glass house in the garden which hosts a wide collection of flowers, ferns and other plants. The glass house in the park hosts an annual horticulture show every year in the month of May.

Shenbaganur Museum

Shenbaganur Museum located in the city of Kodaikanal is a very beautiful museum depicting rare pieces of architecture from South of India. The museum is an initiative of the Sacred Heart College of Kodaikanal and it also houses a wide collection beautiful flowers and bird species which appeals to the senses of every new visitor of the place.

The Boat Club

The Boat Club in the city of Kodaikanal is known for giving rented boats for the purpose of entertainment. The club has 65 single, 10 punts, 18 two seater and 4 seater pedal boats at the disposal of the visitors. The club also offers membership to people and at present 900 people are permanent members of the Boat Club.

Kodaikanal Lake

It is a magnificent man-made lake, which spreads out in the shape of a star over an area of sixty acres among the greener surroundings of the place. Boating and Angling facilities are available at the KodaikanalLake. If you wish to have a panoramic view of the Kodai valley, then you should climb up the Pillar Rocks measuring to a height of about 122 meters.

Coaker’s Walk

Coaker’s Walk derives its name from Lt. Coaker, who prepared the map of Kodai and it is about a kilometer from the Kodaikanal Lake, which runs along a steep slope on the southern side of the Kodai This place is a heaven for the lovers of nature and all those who seek few moments of tranquility far away from the crowd and noise of the city. One needs to buy an entry ticket to enter the place.

Guna Cave (Devil’s Kitchen)

The sobriquet associated with the place itself makes one stop and take notice. Devil’s Kitchen is named so because it is a hidden ravine and has a deep fall but it looks like a small gutter which makes it more prone to the accidents. It is advisable to take along one of the locals familiar with the place in order to avoid any mishap. Telescope Houses provided at the place enable the visitors to have a panoramic view of the valley and the nearby towns.

Kurinji Andavar Temple

The spiritually inclined people can visit the Kurinji Andavar Temple, about 3.2 km from the Lake. The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Murugan. In Tamil literature “Kurinji” means “Hilly Region” and “Andavar” means God. From this temple, one can get a picturesque view of the northern plains and the Palani Hills.

Silver Cascade and Bear Shola Falls

Located at the Ghat Road about 8 km from Kodaikanal, Silver Cascade fall from a height of 180 feet and it is a great delight to look and hear the loud noise of these falls amidst the tranquillity that surrounds the place. Bear Shola fall is the place where once the bears used to come and drink water, hence it was named so. It is a popular tourist attraction of Kodaikanal and one can often spot families and young couples having a good time here.

Nearby attractions from Kodaikanal: The area around Kodaikanal falls in the Nilgiri Belt and thus offers lots of natural wonder to explore. Therefore there is no scarcity of excursion destinations around the city of Kodaikanal. These include:

Dolphin’s Nose

Dolphin’s Nose is located about 10 kilometers from the downtown Kodaikanal. It is a flat projecting rock from where you can have a breathtaking but intimidating view of the chasm below. The place is best for the photographers to click good pictures.

Perumal Peak

The Perumal Peak is about 11 kilometers from Kodaikanal. The place is considered a trekker’s delight in Nilgiris. Climbers begin their ascent from the Neutral Saddle and cover the entire distance in around 4 hours. No permission is required for trekking to PerumalPeak.

Kukal Cave

Kukal Cave is situated at a distance of 40 kilometers from Kodaikanal. The place serves as a camping site for trekkers. The place is great to view stalagmites and stalactites.

Berijam Lake

Located just 21 km from the city bus stand; Berijam Lake is surrounded by Upper Palni Shola Forest reserve hosting a large variety of flora and fauna. Some of the very useful medicinal plants like Digitalis, Pyrethrum, Dioscorea are grown here. A number of initiatives are taken to protect the lake and the area surrounding it from increasing pollution which is a threat to the green surroundings of the park. Tourists traveling to the state of Kodaikanal visit these parks in large numbers.

Things to do in Kodaikanal:Boating is a popular pastime and otherwise the pleasant weather and panoramic natural beauty which brings time to a stand still is what makes a stay here relaxing and rejuvenating.

Best time to visit Kodaikanal:  the best time to visit Kodaikanal is from September to May.

How to go ?

By Air

The airport nearest to Kodaikanal is Madurai, about 120 kilometres away which is well connected to all major cities in India. From the airport, you can easily get a bus or car to Kodaikanal.

By Train

The nearest Railway station is Kodai road, which is about 80 km away from Kodaikanal. Coimbatore junction is the major rail head which is well connected to cities like Delhi (Kerala Exp), Kolkata (Guwahati Exp), Chennai (Duronto Exp) and Bangalore (Bangalore Exp) along with various other small and big cities across the country.

By Road

Regular bus services are available from the cities of Chennai, Coimbatore, Pondicherry, Madurai and many more.

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Where to stay ?

You can find a number of nice resorts and hotels in Kodaikanal, offering decent accommodation and dining facilities.

Hotel Tamilnadu- Kodaikannal (TTDC): +91-04542241336, 9176995824, 8939896393
Hotel Pleasant Stay: +91-73730-93335 Website: www.pleasantstayhotel.com
Hotel Sivapriya: +91 -04542- 241226, 27, 28, 29,  242352,  53,  54  Website: www.hotelsivapriya.in
Hotel Ruby International: +91-04542- 243155, 246403  Website: www.hotelrubyinternational.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Valparai

Valparai, Tamil Nadu – A serene, desolate & pollution free land with its evergreen natural beauty on the Anamalai mountain range

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Resting at an altitude of 3,500 feet from the sea level on the Anamalai mountain range of the Western Ghats, Varpalai does not mean only a single town. It is a serene, desolate and pollution free land standing majestically with Green Spread Mountains and forest all around. This is the most prestigious, impressive, inspiring hill resort of Tamil Nadu. Enveloped with lush green tea garden, the scenic beauty of Valparai is seems to be the live portrait of a landscape.

Places to see in Valparai: Valparai  is an ideal base to explore a number of tourist attractions. These include:

Monkey Falls

4 kms from the Azhiyar park, near the Valparai- Navamalai diversion, this is one of nature’s finest and purest sources of minerals and ayurvedic formulations, these falls truly rejuvenate your body and mind.

Loam’s View Point

A beautiful view point from where you can see Aliyar Dam, the surrounding mountains of western Ghats and the Pollachi town. This is situated in 9th hairpin bend towards Valparai from Pollachi.

Balaji Temple

10 kms from Valparai, Balaji temple is owned by the Peria Karamalai tea Industries. Situated in Karamalai it is a famous and beautiful temple. Just 10kms from Valparai, you can reach temple either from Valparai town or take a detour from Hair pin bend 40. You have to park your vehicle much ahead of temple and walk uphill for 500 mts to reach temple.

Chitti Vinayagar Temple

Chitti Vinayagar Temple is owned by Jayshree tea Industries, Sholayar. The temple is situated in a beautiful garden environment and It only of 5 km from Valparai town.

Nirar dam

This dam is built for multi purpose project such as irrigation, Hydro electricity production. Dam is situated in a wonderful location covered by a dense forest. There is a waterfalls near by the dam which resembles the Cascade.

Chinnakallar

Chinnakalar is a geographically important place. It is the second highest rain fall area in India. Always found wet and misty. A greenish dense forest with tall majestic trees all along the road to Chinnakalar is a pleasure to enjoy. There is a falls in Chinnakallar which sounds like a roaring lion.

Nallamudi Poonjolai

A beautiful view point located near the Sangiliroad in Valparai. One must walk for about 1 km inside the tea estate to reach this view point.

Number Parai

This is also a beautiful view point, near by Sangili road near Valparai.

Grass Hills

It is a part of Indra Gandhi wildlife sanctuary & national park. Surrounded by a green grass environment, this is a beautiful site of high green grasses on a mountain slope, which is a protected area. Visitors have to obtain permission from the wildlife warden to enter the Grass Hills. grass hills is a picturesque spot located in the Valparai hills range, at a height of approx: 2400m msl, with cool climate getting cooler at night, a part of Indira Gandhi Wild Life Sanctuary. Right now all efforts are being undertaken by the government to preserve the flora and fauna of this location. Nilgiri Thar is native of this place apart from Elephants, Bison, Indian Gaur, Bear, Nilgiri Langurs etc.. and a wide variety of birds including Hornbills.

Kadamparai Dam

This is a beautiful place to visit. Prior permission from the forest department is necessary to visit this place.

Chinna Kallar

Considered to be one of the wettest places in India at par with Mawsymram, Cherrapunji and Agumbe. The waterfalls in this area can be reached by an adventurous trek upon a hanging bridge, a legacy of the British.

Balaji Temple

Fables will tell you that the presiding deity here is not any less powerful than Thirupathi Balaji himself. A private estate makes sure that the abode of the lord is maintained in pristine condition.Located amidst serene tea gardens, the silence and the climate prevailing here makes it an ideal place to reinforce one’s conviction in the almighty. There is also a play area and a lawn for the tiny tots.

Iraichal Parai Falls

8 kms from Valparai near the Balaji temple, the water originates from the springs in the Grass Hills and it forms the perennial Nadumalai River which flows through Valparai. Bathing in the falls is strictly prohibited as it provides drinking water to the surrounding region. There is also a check dam on the river.

Nearby attractions of Valparai: The visit to Valparai ends not only by its sight seeing tour. There are also many places to visit around the spot. These are:

Aaliyar Dam

Aliyar or azhiyar Dam is a reservoir located 27 KM away from pollachi on the foothills of Valparai, in the Anamalai range of the Western Ghats. The dam offers some ideal getaways including a park, an aquarium and a mini Theme-Park maintained by Tamilnadu Fisheries Corporation. It is an ideal picnic spot.

Tiger Valley

Approximately 35 kms enroute Valparai, it provides a spectacular view of Kadamparai and the upper Azhiyar projects. Wind mills situated on the plains can be a feast to the eyes, try zooming in your binocuars for a couple.

Athirapally Falls

It is near to the entrance of the Sholayar range is a place of great scenic beauty. Here, the water plunges from a height of nearly 80 feet before joining the Chalakudi river. This picturesque spot is adjacent to dense green forest, and is a part of ChalakudiRiver, 50 Km from Valparai towards Chalakudi, Kerala.

Manompally Forest

This reserve forest truly provides the icing on the cake for Valparai. located at about 20 km from the town, this place is sure to get your jaws dropping in fascination. Graced by the manompally river(with a few crocodiles, of course), this reserve forest provides adventurous treks, a high probability to sight some of endangered species. There is a trekking shed( rest house) on the banks of manompally river which doubles up as a base camp for those bent on adventure.Prior permission from the Forest Department required.

Karamalai Annai Vellankanni Church

Lot of miracles happened by Vellankanni Matha Fesitival takes place every year during September 8th. New church was built in the year 2003. The place is idyllic to enjoy spiritual peaceful environment. Many people visit this Church daily.

Sholayar Dam

It is the second deepest dam of Asia. Situated at a distance of 20 Kms., from Valparai, it is a beautiful place to visit.

Things to do in Valparai: Sight seeing to the beautiful locations along with trekking is a wonderful thing worth enjoying here. If doing nothing then enjoy a nature walk to explore the spectacular surroundings.

Best time to visit Valparai:  The best time to visit Valparai is from  January to June and September to November. The  weather is extremely pleasant during this time.

How to go ?

By Air

Coimbatore is the nearest Airport from Valparai which is connected by rail routes with all major cities of India.

By Train

Pollachi & Coimbatore is the nearest railway station from Valparai. Coimbatore connected with all major rail routes of the country.

By Road

Valparai can be reached by cars & buses from Pollachi, Coimbatore, Palakkad.

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Where to stay ?

There are some budget and luxury hotels at Valparai. Some options are:

Hotel Green Hill: +9104253-222861-3, 222562 Website: www.valparaigreenhillhotels.com
Hotel Holiday Break: +91-04253-222255, 222234  Website: www.hotelholidaybreak.com
Krishn Inn : +91-9443504742  Website: www.valparaikrishnainn.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Kanyakumari

Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu – The southernmost tip of India, famous for the Kanya Kumari Amman Temple & Vivekananda Rock Memorial

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Surrounded by Majestic Hills and the plains bordered by colourful sea-shores, coconut trees and paddy fields, Kanyakumari is a beautiful town in Kanyakumari District in the state of Tamil Nadu.  It lies at the southernmost tip of the Indian sub-continent. This place was formerly known as Cape Comorin, is the southern tip of the Cardamom Hills, an extension of the Western Ghats range along the west coast of India. Here you will find a beautiful blend of few elevated patches of red cliffs with valleys and plains between the mountainous terrain and the sea – coast. Closely interwoven with Temples and Churches and other constructions, it is a heritage site with the magnificent Kanya Kumari temple dedicated to Devi Kanya Kumari, considered to be a sister of Kṛiṣhṇa. The place takes its name from this virgin goddess. Kanya Kumari is notable for pilgrimage, from the goddess. Women pray to her for marriage.

Places to see in Kanyakumari: The pristine site Kanyakumari  is admired with diverse spots of tourist interest which include: 

Kanya Kumari Amman 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. 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. Then she resumed her penance and remained virgin.

Kanyakumari Beach

The beaches in Kanyakumari attract a large number of tourists to this coastal town every year. This picturesque town is located in Tamil Nadu, in South India. Tourists love to savor the beauty of sunrises and sunsets from Kanyakumari beach.  Away from the city life, Kanyakumari beach can be a suitable spot to spend a holiday. Sea in this part is not very calm. The rocky seashore does not allow the visitors to get too close to the water. Tourists are restrained from going near the seashore and a continuing wall has been erected along the Kanyakumari beach for the security of the people.

Gandhi Memorial Kanyakumari

The Gandhi Memorial, Kanyakumari is temple built in 1956, in the honour of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, better known as Gandhi.  The Gandhi Memorial, Kanyakumari is built in the semblance of typical temples pf Orissa, yet it has a hint of modernism in its design. It has been built in such a way that the rays of sun at 12 noon lights up the place where the ashes of the Gandhi were kept before disposing off. An urn has been placed in for the general public to pay homage to the sole of Gandhi. The serene setting intertwined with the memories of Gandhi counts for the peaceful and inspiring ambiance of the temple premises. The temple also houses the last belongings of Gandhi, the accessories that were with him in his last hours.

Kuttralam

Kuttralam has become pretty famous over the years and increasing number of tourists take the way from Kanyakumari toKuttralam. The chief reason for the popularity of Kuttralam is the presence of the numerous natural waterfalls, which are known o have medicinal value and hence healing properties. Ayurveda and natural way of healing has become very popular the world over. To encash on this excellent opportunity and return something more to the tourists to Kuttralam, the Kuttralam resorts have been built. The Kuttralam Resort is especially built with the objective of providing the goodness of natural healing to the visitors to the place in a more synchronized style. There are also spas that make the experience even better with ayurvedic massage facilities. The resorts have made the place itself so special, that Kuttralam is now called the ‘Spa of the South’.

Excursion from Kanyakumari to Mundathurai Tiger Sanctuary is indeed an exciting expedition. The Mundathurai Tiger Sanctuary is a famous tiger reserve park, which is located in the Western Ghats of India. Being watered by the rains in two-thirds part of the year, the Mundathurai forest is an evergreen forest the only one of its kind in south India. Apart from Tigers, which are the specialty of the region, the Mundathurai Tiger Sanctuary is also home to a variety of animals. The Mundathurai fauna include leopards, elephants, jungle Cat, common, langur, gaur, sambar, chital, wild dogs, crocodile, mouse deer, lion tailed macaque, bonnet macaque, sloth bear, nilgiri langur wild boar, giant squirrel and slender loris. Besides there are a large variety of avi fauna in the forest, which makes it an ideal destination for bird viewing.

Nagercoil

Famous for Nagaraja Temple, dedicated to the Serpent God, Nagaraja Nagercoil is a place worth a visit. The images of Anathakrishna and Lord Shiva are also enshrined in the temple. The figures of Jain Thirthankaras and Mahavira have been beautifully carved on the pillars of the temple. The entrance has been constructed similar to that the Buddhist monastery. The sanctum inside the temple is an interesting feature of this temple. It has a roof made out of bamboo sticks and coconut leaves and the surrounding walls are made of mud. The place surrounding the enshrined images are quite muddy. The prasadam distributed to the devotees comprise of sand scoops of this place. The temple is the symbol of the four religions – Jainism, Buddhism, Saivism and Vaishnavism. Inside the temple cobras are found in plenty. However, no fatal incident of snakebite has ever taken place in the surroundings of the temple. The trip from Kanyakumari to NagarajaTemple, Nagercoil is altogether an unusual experience to cherish for a life time.

Vivekananda Memorial

Vivekananda Memorial or the Vivekananda Rock Memorial is the temple compound on one of the huge rock islands, lying some 500 meters off the tip of the Indian peninsula. On these rocks, which were considered sacred since ancient times, Swami Vivekananda had attained enlightenment after a prolonged meditation in the year 1892. He had reached the place by swimming through the harsh waters of the adjoining sea. His had stayed for three days from 24th of December to 26th of December. This is the best place to watch the confluence of the three major water bodies that surround India: the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. The Vivekananda Memorial comprises the temple premise and the mediation hall. The Shripada Parai or the Shripada Mandapam is located nearby. It is believed that the brown pigmented area, somewhat resembling a human feet, is the footprint of Devi Parai, who attained austerity in this very place. Besides that there is a statue of Swami Vivekananda. The Vivekananda Memorial was built in 1970. The mediation hall is very famous and tourists are allowed to approach the same for meditation. Reaching the island is easy. There are regular boat services, which ferry passengers from the coast to the Vivekananda Memorial. There are of course specific timings.

Suchindram Temple

The SuchindramTemple lies some 11 kilometers from Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu . This is a temple dedicated to the three chief Hindu Gods, Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. While Brahma stands for creation, Shiva stands for destruction and Vishnu stands for balance in nature. This temple has two interesting legends associated with it. This 134 feettemple of Suchindram is architecture of amazing dexterity and endeavor. The whole of the front face of the temple covered with sculpting from the Hindu mythology. Inside the temple is the Lingam, representing the three Gods. The Suchindram temple is very famous for the musical pillars. The pillars are constructed in such a way that when they are tapped, they give off various musical notes. Besides, there are also sculptures of Hanumana, the devotee of God Rama and several other Hindu deities.

Nearby attractions of Kanya Kumari: Some of the most popular tourist attractions around Kanyakumari are:

Tirunelveli

Excursions to Tirunelveliare often undertaken by tourists, who wish to visit the city for the many historical places and temples, which are found here. Not all temples are located in the city proper but in the outskirts of the city, within the Tirunelveli district. The most important temples and religious destinations of the Hindus include the Muruga temple, Tenkasi, the Sankarankovil. Besides this, there is the famous Courtallam waterfall. The Courtallam pulls the maximum crowd during the summer season. The water here has healing properties and the scenic beauty is a balm for eyes, tired with the drab sight of city life.

Udayagiri Fort

The Udaygiri fort situated in the Kanyakumari district lies at a distance of 14 km from the town of Nagercoil. It covers an area of 90 acres enclosed by isolated hills that are almost 260 feet in height. The 400 years old Udayagiri Fort was constructed in 1600 AD. After being destroyed by Raja Raja Chola, it was re-built during the year 1729-1758 AD by King Marthana Varma. Inside the fort is a tomb of a European prisoner named Eustachius De Lannoy who was defeated and imprisoned by King Varma. Later on, a Flemish captain was captured by the king who remained loyal to him for 37 long years. As De Lannoy spent the rest of his years at this fort, the fort is also named as Dillannai Kottai.

Vattakottai

This place is worth a visit for the Vattakottai fort. The Vattakottai fort was built in the 18th century by Marthanda Varma in his attempt to fortify the Nanjil Nadu region. The place was famous for its pearl trade and seriously needed a strong military base to protect the wealth of the state from plunderers. The defense lines of the Vattakottai fort were ravaged when British commander Leger entered Nanjil nadu region using the Ambroly pass. The wall of the Vattakottai fort is guarded by a wall, which is 25 to 26 feet high wall. The front portion, which includes the parapet, is about 29 feet in thickness. The corners and the rear areas are 18 feet and 6 feet respectively. The fort is enclosed by walls 25 to 26 feet high, including the parapet, 29 feet thick at the front, 18 feet at the corners and 6 feet at the rear in thickness. The Vattakottai occupies an area of about three and a half acres of land. There was previously a tunnel, four feet in width, which connected the Circular fort with the Padmanabhapuram but later this path was sealed due o various reasons.

Things to do in Kanyakumari: Visit the famous Kanya Kumari Amman Temple, where pilgrims give her thanks in an intimately spaced, beautifully decorated temple, where the crash of waves from three seas can be heard behind the twilight glow of oil fires clutched in vulva-shaped votive candles. Visiting the Swami Vivekananda Memorial in the midst of the violent sea is a thrilling experience. Don’t miss the spectacular sunset in the Kanyakumari beach.

Best time to visit Kanyakumari: The ideal time to visit Kanyakumari is between the months of October to March.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest airport is Thiruvanathapuram which is 80 km away. It has both the domestic and international terminals. From Thiruvanathapuram, you can take a taxi or a bus to Kanyakumari.

By Train

Kanyakumari is well connected by rail services with all the major cities in India. Superfast trains connect Kanyakumari with the northern rail junctions and Intercity trains are running from almost all the southern cities.

By Road

Kanyakumari has a good road network which connects it to the major cities and towns in South India like Chennai, Bangalore, Madurai, Pondicherry, Thiruvanathapuram and and so on. Tourist taxis and auto-rickshaws are available for travel in Kanyakumari.

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Where to stay ?

You will find an array of accommodation options in KanyaKumari suitable to budget. Some options are:

Hotel Tamilnadu- Kanniyakumari: +9104652-246257, 58  Website: www.ttdconline.com
Gopi Nivas Grand: +91-04652 -24 61 61, 24 62 62  Website: www.sangamgrouphotels.com
Hotel Srimaniya: +91-04652 -246202, 9994121088  Website: www.hotelsrimaniya.com
Hotel Sivamurugan: +91-04652-246862 , 246872,  246892, 98421 50255, 9698888888 Website: www.hotelsivamurugan.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Tiruchendur

Tiruchendur, Tamil Nadu – Renowned for the Tiruchendhur Murugan Temple

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Just 62 km from Thirunaveli, Tiruchendur is a land of architectural excellence with golden granules of sand and rowed palm trees. Tiruchendur is the headquarters of the Thiruchendur Taluk. Tiruchendur is famous for the Murugan Temple on the beach. Tiruchendur temple is located on the shore of the Bay of Bengal. Tiruchendur temple is the second of the six abodes of Lord Murugan, enshrining Senthilandavar and is very popular with pilgrims.

The location of the temple is ideal and draws a perennial stream of devotees. The temple overlooking the sea is an inspiring sight. It has been venerated by the Tamil Sangam Period work Tirumurugatruppadai and by 83 Tiruppugazh hymns of Arunagirinathar. The other abodes are situated on top hills; this one is located on the seashore in the southern part of the state. It is situated on the Kanyamumari – Tuticorin – Rameswaram bus route. It is one of the most visited shrines in Tamilnadu.

Places to see in Tiruchendhur: The place is loaded with a number of sight seeing locations which include:

Tiruchendhur Murugan Temple

Tiruchendur Murugan temple is known as the second Arupadai Veedu of Lord Muruga. The Seashore temple of Muruga Perumal at Tiruchendur is one of the delightful spots sanctified and worshipped by every Hindu. As one of the first spiritual centres for the salvation of man, this shrine has been an attraction for Hindus for ages. It is the only one among the Six sacred temple complexes to be situated near the sea shore. Other five are situated in mountain region. The puranic name or historical name for this temple is jayanthipuram. It is one of the largest temple complexes (by area) of India and it is one of the most visited temple complex in India (devotees from countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, England, Australia). This temple is not constructed by Kings, it is built by three holy saints. It is one of the richest temple (by wealth) of Tamil Nadu. The temple and its gopurams of nine floors are a landmark visible at sea for twelve miles.

Ayyanar Sunai

A natural water spring in the desert near AyyanarTemple attracts local tourists.

Manapad

It is on the sea-shore at the Bay of Bengal. An ancient Roman Catholic Church is here where the Cross is said to have been brought from Jerusalem, This Church is also associated with St. Xavier, the famous missionary from West. Since there are other small Churches here in this place, it is called as “Chinna Jerusalem” (Small Jerusalem).

Valli’s Cave

Valli’s Cave is an amazing tourist destination which is broadly famous as Dattatreya’s Cave. The Cave is located under the sandstone cliff, overlooking the sea. It is located on the sea shore in the northern part of Thiruchendur Murugan Kovil. A little removed from the main shrine and on the northern seashore under a cliff of over-hanging hardened sandstone there is a picturesque grotto carved out of it. Two images are installed there, one dedicated to Valli and another to Dattatreya. The frontal shrine has been embellished by a stone mantapa of 16 pillars, 24-1/4 ft. long 21-1/4 feet broad. Behind the frontal cave, there is a circumambular passage with another grotto carved from inside, with a figure of Valli in a niche. The cave overlooks the sea as its waves dash against its sides. The walls of the mantapa have recent paintings of Nambirajan. The cave and the expansive sea in front of it has a special charm; and the worshipper is reminded of the immanence of god Muruga.

Kudirai Mozhitheri

A lovely attraction of Thiruchendur, Kudirai Mozhitheri, is popular for its natural fresh water spring. It is a famous picnic spot in Thiruchendur.

Nearby attractions of Thiruchendur: From Thiruchendur excursions can be made to a number of places like:

Panchalamkurichi Fort

Panchalamkurichi Fort also known as Kattabomman Memorial Fort was built by the famous Panchalamkurichi King Veera Pandya Kattabomman in the 17th century. He is a brave man who raised his voice against the British regime in the 17th century AD. With the passage of time the fort was dilapidated. It was reconstructed in 1974, by the government of Tamilnadu. The Memorial hall, has beautiful paintings depicts the heroic deeds of the saga which give a good idea about the history of the period. Sri Devi Jakkammal Temple, the hereditary Goddess of Kattabomman, is located in the fort complex. Cemetery of British soldiers can also be seen near the fort. The rest of the old fort is protected by the Department of Archaeology.

Kanyakumari

It is located 85 Kms from Tiruchendur. It is a paradise for both the nature-lover and landscape-photographer. A unique feature of Kanyakumari district is that it has all kinds of natural eco-systems. Thus, one can see beaches, mountain valleys, evergreen forests in the deep interior, rubber and clove plantations on the highlands, etc.  –  all in a 50 km radius of Nagercoil.

Vattakottai

This small 18th century fort overlooking the sea is worn visiting. It is located at a distance of 90 kms from Tiruchendur. The sea is not rough and suitable for bath. Overlooking the sea, it is a circular serene tourist spot. It is a beautiful picnic spot and an ideal spot for relaxing with abundant coconut trees.

Kulasekara Patnam

The Mutharamman temple is located 20 Kms from Tiruchendur (Thoothukudi Dist) is known for the popular Dasara festival where folk dance artists from all over the state participate in the festival. More than 1500000 devotees gather together and celebrate Navarathiri in this village. This coastal village used to be a port in its earlier days. This place has other two famous temples including Katchiappar temple and Chidarambeswar temple.

Things to do in Thiruchendur: You can make sightseeing tours to different spots in Thiruchendur. Visiting Tiruchendhur Murugan Temple to pay homage to Lord Murugan deserves special mention. Apart from that you can also make excursions to the nearby places around Thiruchendur.

Best time to visit Thiruchendur: The best season to visit Thiruchendur is the winter season. The favorable months to visit the place are between October to March. The climate remains pleasant during these months offering tourists the best holiday experience.

How to go ?

By Air

Nearest airport to Thiruchendur is the domestic airport at Madurai. Madurai has regular flights to Chennai International airport. Trivandrum International airport is only about 150 km away. Taxi services are available from Madurai and Trivandrum to Thiruchendur.

By Train

Tiruchendur is connected with Tiruneveli Junction by rail at a distance of about 60 kms. Tirunelveli is well connected with Madurai, Trivandrum and Chennai by regular trains. Taxi services are available from Tirunelveli to Thiruchendur.

By Road

Bus services connect Thiruchendur with Chennai, Madurai, Tirunelveli, Trivandrum and Kanyakumari. Tamil Nadu Road Transport buses are frequently available at Thiruchendur.

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Where to stay ?

Thiruchendur, offers a number of accommodation options, ranging from luxurious hotels, village resorts and home-stays to budget lodges. Some options are:

Hotel Tamilnadu-Tiruchendur:  +91-04639243471   Website: www.ttdconline.com
Hotel Chitra Park: +91 -04639- 243766, 243866  Website: www.hotelchitrapark.com
Hotel Udhayam International: +91-4639-242566, 77, 88  Website: www.hoteludhayaminternational.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.  

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Kotagiri

Kotagiri, Tamil Nadu – Furnished by tea estates & beautiful green landscapes, this place is ideal for refreshing one’s mind & soul

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One of the three popular hill stations in the Nilgiris, Kotagiri is situated at an elevation of 5882 ft. It is the oldest hill station of Tamil Nadu to be settled by the British during the Raj. Kotagiri is about 29 km east of Ooty and 19 km northeast of Coonoor.  The name Kotagiri means ‘mountains of the Kotas’ as the Nilgiri hills have been the traditional home of the Kota Tribe. Surrounded by tea estates and beautiful green landscapes, Kotagiri offers plenty of opportunities for trekking and rock climbing.

Places to see in Kotagiri:  Kotagiri is dotted with a number of sight seeing locations. These are:

Kodanad View Point

This view point offers a breath taking panoramic view of the distant plateaus, tea estates, Thengumarahada village, Kil-Kotagiri region peaks, the Moyar river and more. Kodanad View Point is situated 18 km from Kotagiri.

Rangaswamy Peak

Located at a distance of 12 km from Kil-Kotagiri, the highly captivating Rangaswamy peak is a place of worship and is a sacred place for thousand of families in and around porangadu seemai (kotagiri region),Located at the altitude of 1800M Above MSL. It is the most sacred hill on the plateau. Visited by devotees during the summer month and pray Lord Rangaswamy. According to Hindu Legend Lord Rangaswamy used to live at Karamadai in Coimbatore district on the plains but quarrelled with his wife, came to live alone here. Two-foot prints on the rock not far from Arakadu village below the peak are stated to be the proof for this.

Rangaswamy Pillar

Situated 4 km from Kil-Kotagiri is another sacred pillar. It is an extraordinary isolated rocky pillar rising in solitary grandeur to a height of some 400 feet (120 m) and has sheer narrow sides that is not possible to climb.

Nearby attractions of Kotagiri: Kotagiri can act as a very good base to visit the spots like:

Ooty

Located at a distance of 30 km, Ooty is called the Scotland of the East and is a popular tourist destination in southern India. This scenic town houses the exquisite Botanical Gardens which were established in 1847. There is a beautiful Rose Garden atop a hill, and the placid Ooty Lake is another major attraction of the hill town. Ooty is also the base town for many trekking expeditions, including the Dodda Betta peak.

Coonoor

This second largest hill station in the Nilgiris is situated at an altitude of 1839 m and is 17km from Kotagiri. It is surrounded by tea plantations. The popular activity is bird watching and the place is a visual treat for bird spotters. The botanical garden called the Sims Park is the main attraction. The park plays host to a thousand varieties of trees, plants and flowers and there is also a small lake. The Dolphins Nose is a view point near here. The famous Pasteur Institute is also located in Coonoor.

Droog Fort

Droog fort is located near Coonoor. To visit this fort, tourists have to do some physical exercise, as the path is a good trekking trail, but it is worth the effort. This fort is located at a height of around 6,000 ft (1,800 m) above the surface. It is said that this fort was used by the great Tippu Sultan for his outpost.

Elk Falls

This is a tourist attraction to visit in Kotagiri. This place is very well known for the amazing waterfalls and the beautiful European house built during the days of the British colonial rule.

Things to do in Kotagiri: The site provides us ample scope for trekking and rock climbing. Besides trekking, there is nothing much to do in Kotagiri except take leisurely strolls through the plantations, watch the workers pluck tea leaves and soak in the cool climate of the region.

Best time to visit Kotagiri: The weather here is pleasant. The best time to visit Kotagiri is during the month of October but Kotagiri can be visited throughout the year.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest Airport is Coimbatore Airport, roughly 100 Kms from Kotagiri. Coimbatore Airport is well connected to the places in India and abroad such as Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bangalore, Cochin, Pune, Sharjah, Bangkok, Singapore and Ahmedabad.

By Train

The nearest Railway station is located at Coimbatore, roughly 21 Kms from Kotagiri. Coimbatore Railway station is the best option as there are recurrent trains from all parts of the State.

 By Road

There are many ways to reach Kotagiri. It is well connected with all the major cities of the state. Kotagiri is 29 Kms from Ooty, 63 Kms from Coimbatore, 126 Kms from Erode, 194 Kms from Salem, 258 Kms from Trichy and 294 Kms from Bangalore via Tamil Nadu State Road Transport Corporation.

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Where to stay ?

You will find an array of accommodation options in Kotagiri. Some of are:

Patience Villa Guest Houses: +91 -04266 271890, 94430 22890 Website: www.patiencevilla.com
Heavenly Stay: +91-98422 72716, 94875 85716 Website: www.heavenlystay.in
Hotel Top Hill: +9104266- 271473
Golf Dale Holiday Resort: +91-94864 65850, 94430 77830, 99434 55077 Website: www.golfdaleholidayresort.in

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Hogenakkal-Falls

Hogenakkal Water Falls, Tamil Nadu – It is located at the intersection of rivers Cauveri & Chinnar

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The name Hogenakkal is derived from Kannada. It means smoky rocks. This place is popular for the Hogenakkal Water Falls. When the water falls on the rocks it appears as if hoge (smoke) is emanating from the top of the kal (rock) because of the force of the water, hence Hogenakkal. Situated on the Melgiri hill, Hogenakkal water fall is formed by the intersection of the two rivers of Cauveri and Chinnar. The setting of the descent of the Cauveri at Hogenakkal is panoramic. Surrounded by hills at various heights, Hogenakkal offers the visitors a different ambience and is a refreshing place to relax.

Places to see at Hogenakkal: The Hogenakkal Waterfall is the main highlight of the place. This waterfall is often called the Niagara Falls of India. Waterfalls here fall from a height of 60 to 1000 ft.

Nearby attractions around Hogenakkal: You can make a trip to places like:

Theerthamalai:

Theerthamalai, a popular pilgrim centre 16 km from Dharmapuri is an interesting place that you can visit Hogenakkal. Theerthamalai is an important Sacred place.The temple situated about one k.m up the steep slope of a hillock derives its name from the five springs in the temple. Lord Theerthagireeswar (Lord Shiva) is the worshipping deity.

Pennagaram

Just 15 km from Hogenakkal, Pennagaram is a village with lush fields of mulberry. On the outskirts of the rural settlements en route are their fascinating guardian deities, often referred to as Iyanars. Made of terracotta or plastered brick, these giant figures are brightly colored and generally depict fearsome and mustachioed warriors. As the scrub-covered slopes give way to thickets of thorny vegetation and then, almost imperceptibly, when tall trees began to rise, the air reverberates, with the soft roar of running water becoming more and more assertive as one reaches lower and lower.

Things to do in Hogenakkal: A boat ride here is a thrilling activity and a good way to get a slice of adventure. It is a spectacular experience. One can also take bath in the falls. The forest department maintains a mini zoo and a crocodile park here which is worth a visit.

Best time to visit Hogenakkal: Hogenakkal can be visited through the year.

How to go ?

It is better to reach Hogenakkal by train, though it does not have any railway station. Coimbatore Jn (CBE), Salem Jn (SA), Erode Jn (ED), Bangalore Cy Jn (SBC) and Mysore Jn (MYS) are 5 nearby train stations connected to Chennai. From there you can reach Hogenakkal by hired cars or bus that will take you to the village boundaries.

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Where to stay ?

Hogenakkal has of few accommodation options, for example:

Hotel Tamil Nadu (TTDC) : +91-04342 – 256447
Hotel Adhiyamaan Palace: +91-04342 – 270007

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Chidambaram

Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu – An important pilgrimage having the famous Nataraja Temple

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The erstwhile capital of the Cholas, Chidambaram is also known as Thillai, since the place was originally a forest of the thillai. It is an important pilgrim centre and a holy place for Saivites as the famous Nataraja Temple is located here. In terms of its antiquity, richness in terms of worship & festival traditions, in architectural & sculptural splendour, in its association with music & dance, Chidambaram is a center second to none in representing the rich cultural heritage of India. Several rich legends are associated with Chidambaram. The best known, are those describing the Cosmic Dance of Shiva, the dance duel between Shiva and Kaali and the more recent one describing the re-discovery of the Tevaram hymns.

Places to see in Chidambaram: The sightseeing spots in Chidambaram includes:

Nataraj Temple

Chidambaram is an important destination for followers of the Hindu god Shiva and exponent of the fearsome, frenzied Tandav Nritya or the dance of destruction, so sightseeing will include the main temple. At the centre of the town is the large NatrajTemple complex dedicated to Shiva as the divine dancer or Natraj, the foremost of all dancers. Spread out over 40 acres this complex, dedicated to the god who is usually represented by the phallic symbol, houses other temples, a tank, and the ‘thousand pillared hall’. Non-Hindus are allowed into the complex but not the gold plated sanctum sanctorum that houses the idol.

Thillai Kali Amman Temple

This temple is located to the north of the world famous Nataraja temple in Chidambaram. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali Amman and is one of the known Shakthi (Parvati) shrine.

Nearby attractions from Chidambaram: Pichavaram, also called “Sunderban of the South” 16km east of Chidambaram, has a huge mangrove forest. There’s a range of sports for the taking like canoeing, rowing and parasailing. The huge sandbar that keeps the sea out can be reached by boat. TTDC provides boating facilities, lodging, and a restaurant for those who’d rather not carry a picnic hamper.

Things to do in Chidambaram: Being a revered temple town the activities and things to do are centered around the famed Natraj Temple. After paying a visit to the Nataraj Temple, relax at Pichavaram “Sunderban of Tamil Nadu” where one can go boating and the adventurous ones can enjoy a wide range of water sports.

Best time to visit Chidambaram: The best time to visit Chidambaram is between January to March.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest airport is at Tiruchirapalli,which is connected to all major cities of the country and abroad, about 195 km from Chidambaram. Nearest international airport is at Chennai, about 245 km away. Taxi services are available from both airports to Chidambaram.

By Rail

Chidambaram railway station lies on the major rail route between Chennai and Tiruchirapalli. Trains from Chennai, Rameswaram, Madurai, Tirupati and Varanasi do halt at the station. From the station, taxi services are available.

By Road

Chidambaram is well connected by road. State transport buses ply regularly to Chidambaram from several cities of Tamil Nadu. Buses from Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka also ply regularly to Chidambaram.

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Where to stay ?

There are a couple of nice hotels in Chidambaram. Some options are:

Hotel Saradharam: +91-04144 – 221336  Website:  www.hotelsaradharam.co.in
Hotel-Akshaya: +91 – 4144 – 220191, 220192  Website:  www.hotel-akshaya.com
Hotel Grand Palace Stay: + 91- 4144-239339, 239777  Website:  www.grandpalacestay.com
Hotel Vandayar: +91 – 4144 – 225374, 225375  Website:  www.vandayarhotel.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Mamallapuram

Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu – Famous for oldest existing examples of Dravidian art & architecture, declared as a world heritage site by UNESCO

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Mamallapuram, previously known as Mahabalipuram dates back to the Tamil Pallava dynasty in the 7th-9th century. The structures here, mostly carved straight out of granite, are among the oldest existing examples of Dravidian (South Indian) architecture. Today’s Mamallapuram is purely a tourist town and one of the major attractions around Chennai. It is declared as a world heritage site by UNESCO. It is one of the most outstanding examples of Dravidian art and architecture and a precious stone in the crown of Tamil Nadu. In a land where you will find some of the best in temple art, Mamallapuram holds its own, and stands as a silent yet eloquent witness to the glory of its creators.

Places to see in Mamallapuram: Mamallapuram is dotted with numerous tourist attractions which includes:

Shore Temple

While visiting Mamallapuram, this is the first spot to visit. The temple was originally constructed during the 7th century and later it was Narasimha Varman II, (Rajasimha) completed the skilled work in his rule. This is one of the oldest of the south Indian Temples which were structural temples constructed in the nature Dravidian style. This shore temple has gained popularity and tourists gather here because it has been listed among the world heritage sites of the UNESCO. The temple is full of designs made by carvings. There are three temples of which two Shiva Temples face east and west respectively. The other one is the VishnuTemple. One can find the beautifully carved twin Dwarka Palaks (gate keepers) at the entrance of the east facing Shiva Temples. On both sides of the temple inside are the marvelous sculptures of Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu with their better halves. The top part of the Shivalinga figure inside the temple is found damaged. There are sculptures of Somaskanda – lord Shiva with his better half, Parvati, and his sons, Skanda and Ganesha are found on the near wall. Apart from Lord Shiva’s sculpture, one can find the sculptures of Narasimha and Goddess Durgha also.  The central shrine is in the form of a rectangle. It has a magnificent statue of lord Vishnu which is known as Sthala Shayana Perumal or Ananthasayana which means sleeping Vishnu. The peculiarity about this particular temple is – Vishnu reclines on the floor listening silently the sounds of names. The figure of Vishnu is found in segments which are to be looked through various doors. The other sculpture is portrayed in such a may that Lord Vishnu seated in mountGaruda helping Gajendra, the elephant, found in the southern wall and the northern wall is the portrayals from the life of lord Krishna. The grand temple is surrounded by mandapas and compound walls. There is a rock-cut of a lion rode by two young women. The lion has a small cut, a square shaped cut in its belly. A huge rock nearby the temple has been the target of the waves to touch it from the ancient days. There is also a carving of a buffalo demon running with a stick in his hand, located in the northern side.

Arjuna’s  Penance

Mamallapuram, is renowned for its magnificent sculpted walls, rathas and the magnificent ShoreTemple. Among the walls, Arjuna’s Penance is fascinating. It is a colossal art form, 27 meters long and 9 meters high and is perhaps the world’s largest sculpted base -relief. It depicts the descent of the Ganga and scenes form the Panchatantra.

Varaha Cave

Varaha Cave is a small rock cut mandapam (hall) with two incarnations of Vishnu-Varaha (boar) and Vamana (dwarf). It also has four brilliant panels of the famous Pallava doorkeepers.

The Krishna Temple

The Krishna Temple is one of the oldest. The walls of the temples depict scenes of pastoral life, one with the image of Krishna lifting the Govardhan Hill in his fingertips to protect his people from Indra.The most spectacular sight at Mahabalipuram is the ShoreTemple a sentinel of history standing up against the lashing waves. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, it is a visual delight with a plethora of architectural display like the compound wall lined with charming sculptures of Nandi, the bull and the figure of Vishnu in the sanctum sanctorum.

Nearby attractions from Mamallapuram: There are many places around Mahabalipuram to be visited. These are:

Cholamadal Artist’s Village

Just 38 km from Mahabalipuram, this village was established in 1965 to promote and develop the traditional art. Exhibitions are regularly put up to exhibit various paintings, Sculptures and crafty articles. The visitors can interact with the artists of the studies in this village.

Dakshina Chitra

This place is 12 km south of the cholamandal village, established in 1984. Separate sectors of Tamilnadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka sculptures are found here. This is a ling museum. One can find traditional architecture, artistry workers, exhibitions, workshops, archival library and graft shops etc. The other major activities here are exhibition of crafts, designs, folk arts etc.

Chengalpattu

This city lies on the National Highway between Tiruchirappalli and Chennai. It is about 30kms away from Mahabalipuram. The tourists can find remains and ruins of an ancient Vijayanagar fort. There is also a lake named KolavaiLake. Boating facilities are found in the like by the tourism department.

Kovalam

Kovalam is known as Covelong in English, which is a beautiful spot lies 15Kms from Mahabalipuram and 38 Kms from Chennai. This is a small fishing village but now a famous beach resort of the country. One can find remains of historic port and beautiful hotel resorts. The Olive Ridley Turtles visit the beach between November and March to hatch their eggs.

Mudaliarkuppam

It is about 36 Kms from mahabalipuram on the East Coast Road (ECR). There are facilities that are being developed for boating.

Nithyakalyanaperumal Temple

This is a Hindu pilgrim which is 16 Kms away from Mahabalipuram and is considered to be one of the 108 sacred shrines called as Tirupathi. The deity here is goddess Lakshmi. The events celebrated here are Garuda Sevai, on the Tamil Month Aani, Pooram in Aadi, and spring festival in Vaigasi.

Sadras

This fine beach resort is 13 Kms away from Mahabalipuram towards Kalpakkam. There is a ruined Dutch Fort. There is also a Dutch cemetery finely carved with headstones and inscriptions in the Dutch languages.

Vandalur

The Anna Zoological Park Vandalur is 35 km from Chennai and 55 km from Mahabalipuram. The area of the Zoo is 1,265 acres and is the largest Zoo in south Asia. The zoo has a natural habitat. There are various animals in this zoo. There are safari tours, Nocturnal Animal House, NaturalMuseum and Aquarium in this zoo.

Vedanthangal

This water bird sanctuary is 53 km away from Mahabalipuram, established in the year 1858 and the oldest of the country. The land area is about 30 hectares of marshy lard with a lake. 1,00,000 birds which hare migrated from other countries visit here. The birds that visit here are garganey teals, shovellers, pintails, stilts, sandpipers, coot, moorhens and terns. The best time to visit this bird sanctuary is between November and February. The park has couple of watch tourists and a viewing platform. There are bus facilities from Chennai, Tambaram and Chengalpattu to Vedanthangal. There is a forest Rest House too.

Things to do in Mahabalipuram: The department of Tourism of Tamil Nadu conducts world famous dance festivals every Saturdays and Sundays and also during holidays of the months of December and January. The festival is for 4 weeks and dancers all over the country participate and dance on the backdrop of the Arjuna’s penance. Being the ‘Heart of Indian Temple Sculpture’, it has produced many splendid sculptures. The tourists buy many small sculptures and artistry works made by the artisans. Beautiful statues are made of granite stones.

Best time to visit Mamallapuram: The best time to visit Mamallapuram, also called Mahabalipuram is from October to March, when the climate is pleasant and ideal for sightseeing and outings.
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How to go ?

By Air

The closest airport to Mamallapuram is at Chennai, which is 58km away. Chennai is well connected to the rest of India and has it’s own international airport as well. From the airport you can hire a cab to get to the small town of Mamallapuram.

By Rail

The nearest railway station is at Chengalpattu 29 kms away. The Chengalpattu station is well connected from Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu. From here you can take a bus or taxi to get to Mamallapuram.

By Road

Mamallapuram or Mahabalipuram is well connected with the rest of the state. Buses from Chennai, Pondicherry and Chengalpattu and Kanchipuram are frequent. Most tourists prefer to travel to Mamallapuram by road from Chennai. The road is good and you can rent a car and be driven along the coast – it’s a pleasant and pretty drive.

Where to stay ?

There are plenty of accommodation options in Mamallapuram.

Hotel Sea Breeze : +91-44-27443035, 27443065  Website: www.hotelseabreeze.net
Radisson Blu Resort Temple Bay : +91- 800-1800 333  Website: www.radissonblu.com
Chariot Beach Resort: +91 – 44 – 2742 – 5000  Website: www.chariotbeachresorts.com
Indeco Hotels: +91 94444 10394, +91 94450 21742  Website: www.indecohotels.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Pondicherry

Puducherry, Tamil Nadu – Erstwhile largest French colony in India, famous beach town

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Nested in the southern region of India between lush greens and the Bay of Bengal is the former French colony of Puducherry. Also known as Pondicherry, the city is tucked away on the Eastern seaboard of India. Though very small, Pondicherry was the largest French colony in India. The city has a long and interesting history of trade and war. There is a strong French influence in the city, especially in the old quarters, with Rues and Boulevards lined with Mediterranean style houses and bakeries, although the city remains very much Indian. French is still understood, and the whole city makes for rather pleasant mix of East and West. Some great food, some fine wine, and a great adventure await you here.

Places to see in Pondicherry: The place offers a number of sight seeing spots that includes:

Sri Aurobindo Ashram

This place was founded by Sri Aurobindo, who in the early ages was a revolutionist and then turned poet. His was jointly helped by The Mother, who was a Paris born painter. The Ashram is a centre for the practice of integral yoga, meditation, and of inner development.

Place du Panthéon / Aayi mandapam and Bharti park

This monument is the emblem of the Government of Pondicherry, previously called as La Place du Panthéon and later change into Aayi mandapam. This monument is surround by five parks, and is maintained to remind us the beauty of French architecture.

The Pondicherry Botanical Garden

The Botanical garden was created 1826 and was then called “The Colonial Park”. The renowned botanist Perottet brought many rare species of plants, about 1500 of them, from places like Madras, Calcutta, Ceylon and Reunion.

Pondicherry Beaches

If you want to spend some peaceful time you can go to the wonderful beaches and get yourself tanned with a pleasant sun at Auro beach, Sangamam beach, or Plage Paradiso (Chunnambar beach).

Heritage Walk

It is very beautiful to take a walk around the Boulevards of Pondicherry , which presents to you with three different kinds of architecture, The white town or the French area, the Tamil square, and the Muslim square.

Churches

Pondicherry had been under the French which have built many splendid churches, some which even have rare staingalss panels depicting saints and events form the life of Christ. The Immaculate Conception Cathedral, on Cathedral Street, was first built in1692. It took its present shape in 1791.

Auroville

Auroville was envisioned as a Universal Town, where people from different nationalities, faiths and beliefs, can live in peace and harmony. It is an attempt to realize a new society as envisioned by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Nearly people from 35 countries are living here to realize on human unity and transformation of consciousness.

Auroville welcomes people from all parts of the world to live together and explore cultural, educational, scientific, spiritual, and other pursuits in accordance with the Auroville Charter. Auroville information centre and Matri Mandir [Meditation hall with world’s biggest man- made crystal ball are the places open to most of the visitors. It offers less to see and lots to experience. Auroville also has a huge golden globe called Matrimandir, in which there is a meditation chamber which is the most unique of all meditation chambers. a place where you can get the experience of a life time.

Arikamedu

Arikamedu has a long history dating back to 2nd century B.C. It was used as a port for trade with the Romans and Greco-Romans. Wine, garum sauce and olive oil, were imported and the exports must have included textile, beads, semiprecious gems, glass and shell bangles.

The Pondicherry Museum

The museum brings back memories of the glorious past of Pondicherry, from the days of the Greco-Roman era down to the present days, providing glimpses of the art and culture of the people of this region during the pallava, a Chola and Vijayanagar days. Artifacts from the excavations at Arikamedu are preserved here.

Nearby attractions from Pondicherry: From Pondicherry you can make a visit to places like:

Mamallapuram

Mahabalipuram also known as Mamallapuram is a town in Kancheepuram district, situated 100km north of Pondicherry. It has an average elevation of 12 metres (39 feet). Mahabalipuram was a 7th century port city belonging to the South Indian dynasty of the Pallavas. It has various historic monuments built largely between the 7th and the 9th century, and has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Kancheepuram

65km away from Mahabalipuram, lies the fabled city of a thousand temples, Kanchipuram. There are 650 stones inscriptions in Kancheepuram belonging to different dynasties. The temples here reflect the efflorescence of Pallava art and the imposing embellishments were added later by the Chola, Vijayanagara and Chalukyan kings. The Ekambaranathar temple, the Kailasanatha temple, Sri Varadaraja temple, Sri Vaikuntaperumal temple… the names stretch endlessly. The city itself is dedicated to the presiding deity, Sri Kamakshi (one with eyes of love) at the Kamakshi temple. It is a city famous for its silk.

Things to do in Pondicherry: Enjoy boating at the Boat House on the River Chunnambar, 8 km from Pondicherry. The backwater and the lush greenery on both sides of Chunnambar provide an ideal setting. Pondicherry is also ideal place for shopping. The city is quite famous for highly creative and beautiful souvenirs.

Terra cotta, handmade papers, wooden handicraft, aromatics ics, leather
products, linens and garments are unique here.

Best time to visit Pondicherry: Although Pondicherry has a warm climate, October to March can be considered as an ideal time to visit.
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How to go ?

By Air

The closest airport is in Chennai, which is around 135 kms from Puducherry (approx. 2 ½ hrs. journey). Chennai has excellent connections with almost all cities in India and is directly connected to Europe, USA, Middle East and South East Asia. Trichy airport is 220 kms away. Bangalore (320 kms) and Madurai are the other nearby airports.

By Rail

Villupuram is the nearest railway junction, it is fairly well connected to places like Chennai, Madurai and Trichy, which is connected by rail routes to all major tourist spots.

By Road

Puducherry is well connected to all districts and major towns of various states like Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Andra Pradesh. Puducherry is best accessible by road, either by bus or by taxi. There are frequent buses, almost every 15 minutes in the day from Chennai.

Where to stay ?

There are plenty of hotels in Pondicherry. Some options are:

Hotel de Pondichéry: +91- 0413 – 4200111, 2227409 Website: www.hoteldepondicherry.com
Hotel Corbelli: +91 – 413 – 2225301 , 2225302 Website: www.hotelcorbelli.com
Lotus Pondicherry Hotels: 91(413)-2228333, 2223999 Website: www.lotuspondicherryhotels.com
The Promenade – A Hidesign Hotel: +91- 0413- 222 7750 Website: www.thepromenadepondicherry.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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Madurai

Madurai, Tamil Nadu – Famous for the renowned Meenakshi Temple

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One of South India’s great temple towns, Madurai is synonymous with the renowned Meenakshi Temple. Situated on the banks of river Vaigai, Madurai has a rich cultural heritage passed on from the great Tamil era more than 2500 years old. Madurai was an important cultural and commercial centre even as early as 550 AD. It was the capital city for the great Pandya kings. Lord shiva blessed the land and its people, divine nectar (Madhu) was showered on the city from his matted locks. This city was henceforth known as Madhurapuri. Madurai is famous for Jasmine Flowers. Madurai is famous for its temples.

Places to see in Madurai: There are a number of places of interest in Madurai.

Sri Meenakshi Temple

Sri Meenakshi Temple is one of the most well known places of interest in Madurai. As many as 10,000 tourists from different parts of the country of India come to visit this temple everyday. On Friday, this number shoots up to around 25,000. The Sri Meenakshi Temple is considered to be a wonderful piece of art. The ideal time to visit the Sri Meenakshi Temple of Madurai is from October to March and again from April to May. The Sri Meenakshi Temple at Madurai is actually a conglomeration of many small corridors and temples. This temple is considered a very sacred site by the Hindu devotees. The temple is unique as it has dual shrines meant to pay homage to a god and a goddess closely associated with the Hindu religion. The temple has been dedicated to Lord Sundareshvara, i.e., Shiva and Meenakshi. Lord Sundareshvara is actually the Hindu God for cosmic dance. One of the major attractions of the Sri Meenakshi Temple is the gopurams. The height of these gopurams ranges between 45 and 50 meters. These gopurams have intricate designs all over them. The entire temple complex stretches for about 6 hectares. The total number of gopurams in the temple is 12. The most prominent of all the 12 gopurams is the southern one. The structure of this gopuram is as high as a nine-storeyed building. The entire structure is decorated with many carved images of gods and goddesses associated with the Hindu religion.

Thirupparankundram Temple

The Thirupparankundram Temple is one of the most commonly visited places of interest in Madurai. This temple is of special interest to those who are hardcore devotees of the Hindu religion. It is situated at the top of a hill. It is located at a distance of about 8 km towards the south of the railway junction of Madurai. The Thirupparankundram Temple at Madurai built up by the Pandyas in as early as the 8th century. The tourists have to reach the temple after walking through a number of mandapas belonging to the 17th and the 18th centuries. These mandapas are located at ascending levels. One has to travel from one to another by walking up the steps cut out of stone. There are a number of shrines in the temple. Some of the most prominent shrines are dedicated to Ganapathy, Shiva, Vishnu and Durgai. The entrance of the temple is marked by as many as 48 pillars. These pillars are decorated with intricate carvings. The mandapa that is located at the entrance has pillars that are identified with the Nayaka period.

Mariamman Teppakulam

The Mariamman Teppakulam is one of the most popular places of interest in Madurai. It is actually a big temple tank, which is situated quite close to another important tourist attraction of the city called the Meenakshi temple. The distance between the Meenakshi Temple and the Mariamman Teppakulam is only 5 km. The Mariamman Teppakulam at Madurai is the biggest temple tank in the state of Tamil Nadu. The idol of Vinayaka was discovered when earth was dug out from this region, which is said to be dug out by Tirumala Nayaka. Following this incident, this place has been considered sacred by the people of the state. Therefore, this place has been transformed into a teppakulam or a tank. The Mariamman Teppakulam of Madurai has been created to pay homage to Vigneshwara or Vinayaka. Vigneshwara is a deity closely associated with the religion of Hinduism. On the occasion of the Float Festival, innumerable tourists from different parts of the country come to visit the city. During this festival, which is organized between the months of January and February, not only the Mariamman Teppakulam but also the entire city of Madurai has a festive look.

Gandhi Museum

The Gandhi Museum is one of the well  known places of interest in Madurai. This museum is of special significance to the tourists who take special interest in everything related to history. The Gandhi Museum of Madurai was established by the Gandhi Smarak Nidhi. This museum has been set up so that tourists from different parts of the country of India can view a number of articles closely associated with the life and works of Mahatma Gandhi. The museum has a number of different sections. There are 265 illustrations representing India’s struggle for freedom. A number of handicrafts that have been donated by the states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Mysore are also on display over here. There is a picture gallery, which includes quotations, photographs, paintings and some Photostat copies of Gandhiji’s letters. A number of personal possessions of Mahatma Gandhi are preserved at The Hall of Relics.

Nearby attractions around Madurai: Apart from visiting the city to witness the sheer splendor of the temples’ architecture of the city, you can well plan extensive excursions around the city.

Kodaikkanal

Among the best and most visited hill stations in India is quite near to Madurai. Just 121-km from Madurai, Kodai is located 2,130 m above the sea level in the Western Ghats. The lofty mountains with greenery all around will transport you to a world of your dreams amidst nature’s bounty.

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

As some of the most tourists flocked wildlife sanctuaries in the south, Periyar sanctuary is also called the Tekkadi wildlife sanctuary. Here the lofty ranges of Western Ghats are wrapped in dense evergreen, moist deciduous forests and Savannah grassland. Spreading across 777 Sqkm, the sanctuary is a Tiger reserve. You can enjoy the majestic elephant ride through its dense greenery. The splendid artificial lake formed by Mullaperiyar dam across the Periyar River adds charm to the park.

Megamala

Nesled among the greenery of the tea estates on the slopes of the Western Ghats is Megamalai, an idyllic place to inspire the poet in you. Plan your stay here to unwind among the verdant surroundings and beautiful wild in the proximity. All the nature’s splurge, just 130-km from Madurai.

Courtallam

An excellent health resort about 167-km on the Western Ghats, this place is also known as the ‘Spa of the South’. Located just 160-km from Madurai, Courtallam has nine superb waterfalls, which attracts a large number of visitors. You can also go for a boathouse maintained by TTDC and enjoy the rocking cradle of the rivers in the region.

Palani

You can continue your spiritual journey with a visit to Palani, a temple dedicated to Lord Subramanyam, about 118 Kms away from Madurai. The temple is perched atop a hill and attracts a host of devotees.

Kumbakkarai Water Falls

Serving as the base camp for the trekkers venturing in the hills of Kodai., the waterfall serves an excellent picnic spot. Nestled amidst the nature’s bounty, the waterfall is 105 kms away from Madurai.

Suruli Falls

The cascading waters of Suruli falls, is just 123 kms away from Madurai is an ideal spot for picnic.

Things to do in Madurai: Apart from the sight seeing, enjoy a number of festivals that takes place throughout the year in this temple town.

Best time to visit Madurai: December to February, is the best time to visit Madurai as the climate is very pleasant at this time of the year.

How to go ?

By Air

There are daily flights to Madurai from Chennai, Bangalore,Tiruchi & Coimbatore. Madurai Airport is 10 Kms away from Madurai City.

By Train

Madurai is an important railway junction of the Southern Railway and is directly connected to Chennai and Tirunelveli. Madurai is on the Madurai-Tiruchirappalli-Dindigul-Quilon line. The Vaigai Express, which is a super-fast day train between Chennai Egmore and Madurai takes 7 hours for the 495kms.

By Road

There are excellent roads connecting Madurai from all parts of South India.  Madurai City has 5 Major Bus Stand.

Where to stay ?

The site features a number of hotels. Some options are:

Hotel Star Residency: +91- 0452-43 43 999  Website: www.starresidencyhotels.com
Hotel Royal Court:  +91-452 – 4356666  Website: www.royalcourtindia.com
Hotel Pearls: +91 – 452 – 2341566, 4381566  Website: www.hotelpearls.com
Hotel Supreme: +91 – 452 – 2343151, 4372555

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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Ooty

Ooty, Tamil Nadu – It is a magical destination of dense forest, green grasslands, gorgeous tea gardens & shimmering lake

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Tucked away in a pristine, untouched valley in the Nilgiri Biosphere in South India, Ooty is the magical destination of  ‘Blue mountains’, gorgeous plantation properties and shimmering lakes. Ooty also known as Udhagamandalam is the “Queen of hill stations” and the capital of Nilgiris district. It is one of the most popular tourist resorts in India. Nilgiris means “Blue Mountains”. It is a land of picturesque picnic spots. Used to be popular summer and weekend getaway for the Britishers during the colonial days. It is situated at an altitude of 2,240 meters above sea level.  The establishment of numerous tea estates made Ooty famous. Lofty mountains, dense forest, sprawling grasslands and miles and miles of tea gardens greet the passengers on most routes.

Places to see in Ooty: Ooty is dotted with a number of sight seeing spots that include;

Botanical Garden 

Botanical Garden is one of the best tourist attraction places which attract the tourist from all over the world. This garden was laid out in 1847 by the Marquis of Tweedale and is spread over 22 hectares ascending the slopes on the hill at an elevation of 2,400 meters above Main Sea Level. An explicit collection of flowering trees, beautiful shrubs, and rare colored lilies are seen.

Ooty Lake & Boat House

From just behind the central Bus Stand (also near the Railway station) the famous Ooty Lake stretches, in an irregular ‘L’ shape, for about 2.75 kms in length and varying distances in width (100m – 140m). For the curious, this lake was artificially formed by John Sullivan, the founder of Ooty, in 1823-25 by damming the mountain streams flowing down Ooty valley.

Centenary Rose Park

Centenary Rose Park is situated in the heart of Ooty town and it is located less than a km from Charring Cross at Vijayanagaram, the rose garden is laid on 10 acres of land. This garden has been beautifully laid out in terraces with rose tunnels, pergolas and bowers with rose creepers. Today this garden has the largest collections of roses in the country, around 3600 varieties of roses like Hybrid Tea Roses, miniature rose, Floribunda, Ramblers, roses of unusual colors like black, green and many more varieties of roses that will captivate your senses.The Rose varieties planted in this park were assembled from different sources.

Doddabetta Peak

The Doddabetta Peak stands at an altitude of 2,623 meters. It is the highest point in the district, making it possibly the best vantage point around Ooty. It is merely 10kms from Ooty so you can simply grab your camera and head straight to the peak, and click amazing pictures of the valley below. On a clear day, which is honestly not that often, one can see far off areas, even the plains of Coimbatore and the flat highlands of Mysore.

Pykara Lake/ Pykara Boat House 

The placid lake of Pykara, amid the lush green valleys is a lovely getaway from Ooty. Here, a calm lake is surrounded by forests. There is a forest rest House at Pykara. A boat house by the Pykara falls and Dam is added attractions to the tourists. The major attraction of this place is the boathouse, with restaurant and a rest house to provide you with ultimate comfort. It is a clean and scenic lake in between the hills. It is an isolated lake free from pollution and maddening crowed . Boating is conducted here. You will get a wonderful experiences over here.

Nearby attractions from Ooty: From Ooty you can make excursion to places like:

Avalanche

Located at a distance of 25 km from ooty. A place that should not be missed. An exotic experience of mountain trekking could be realized in this place.

Emerald Lake 

Located at a distance of 25 km from ooty. A place that should not be missed. Emerald lake is a wonderful lake in the upper plateau region of the Nilgiri hills. It is a part of the silent valley and is beside the Red hill nature resort which is a best picnic place of the region. The site of the lake is wonderful and one would definitely love being at that place. The chirping birds and ducks and other swimming creatures add beauty to the place and the sun set and sun rise is also spectacular here.

Kalhatty Water Falls 

The picturesque waterfalls come down a 36 m drop. A popular spot for picnics and treks. his water falls could be seen in ooty mysore route at a distance of 13 km from ooty. The road runs via the Kalhatty Ghats. It is situated 2,000m above main sea level and with many water falls and rivulets. Situated on the slopes of Kalhatty, the magnanimous Kalhatty Waterfall stands pretty amidst picturesque landscapes. But falls could be seen in a particular season from September to November. The height of this falls is 40m.

The Mukkurthi Peak And National Park 

Mukkurthi is a beautiful peak while programming your Excursions in Ooty, which is located at a distance of 40-km from Ooty. Ideally located on the Southern corner of the Nilgiri Plateau, this peal attracts tourists from distinct corners. The Kollaribetta and Nilgiris Peak are the other major peaks, close to this peak which are for the famous tourist attractions in Ooty. A large number of perennial streams flowing between these peaks, make a complete picturesque reality. Furthermore, Bhavani Puzha. Silent Valley, along the Western Ghats, is a feast to the visitor’s eye.

Kodanad View Point – Kotagiri 

It is about 16 kms. from Kotagiri on the eastern edges of the Nilgiris. On either side of the road one can see the panoramic view of the tea estates and the river Moyar is breath taking. A watch tower is there to view the panoramic view of Rangasamy peak and pillar. From Kotagiri bus services are available.

Dolphin Nose 

Dolphin’s Nose around 10 km. away from Coonoor is an excellent viewpoint. It encompasses the Catherine Falls. Lambs nose is another point on the way to Dolphins Nose.

Things to do in Ooty: Explore the lush scenic beauty of the place and spend sometime of your own, away from the hustle and bustle of the city life. 

Best time to visit Ooty:  Winters, is one of the best seasons to visit Ooty. The temperature remains ideal to enjoy nature.

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How to go ?

By Air

The Coimbatore airport is the closest to the Ooty. It takes 3.1/2 hours by road to reach Ooty. There are flights into Coimbatore from all parts of India and abroad.

By Train

Ooty has its own Railway Station named as Ooty Railway Station. It is connected to the major cities of Tamil Nadu. It is situated on the major New Delhi- Coimbatore railway line and is linked with the cities like New Delhi, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Chennai, Kochi, Mysore, Lucknow, Chennai, Kanyakumari, Puri, Ahmedabad and Jaipur.

By Road

Ooty  is 19 Kms from Coonoor, 52 Kms from Mettupalayam, 84 Kms from Coimbatore, 104 Kms from Tiruppur, 127 Kms from Pollachi, 136 Kms from Palakkad, 154 Kms from Dharapuram, 159 Kms from Udumalaipettai and is linked through Tamil Nadu State Road Transport Corporation (TNSRTC) and some private travel services.

For Kolkata Tourists:

There are no direct flights or trains or buses between Kolkata to Ooty.The convenient way to reach from Kolkata to Ooty is to take IndiGo from Kolkata to Bangalore then take car from Bangalore to Ooty.The fastest way to reach Ooty from Kolkata is to take Spicejet from Kolkata to Coimbatore then take hire a car from Coimbatore to Ooty.The cheapest way to reach Ooty from Kolkata is to take Hwh Ypr Duronto from Kolkata to Bangalore then take State Transport Bus from Bangalore to Ooty.

Where to stay ?

Ooty comprises of a number of accommodation options. Some of them are as follows:

Hotel Darshan: +91 – 423 2443378, 2443807 Website: www.hoteldarshan.com
Meadows Residency:  +91-0423-2224444, 2224433 Website: www.meadowsresidency.com
Fortune Resort Sullivan Court: +91-0423- 244 1415
Sinclairs Hotels: +91 33 4031 0800/01/02, 96744 57869, 96744 57868, 98305 56333,  1800-3002-6700 (Toll Free) Website: www.sinclairshotels.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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Tiruchirappalli

Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu – Popularly known for Rock Fort Temple of the Cholas

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Tiruchirappalli or Trichy is situated on the banks of the river Cauvery is the fourth largest city in Tamil Nadu. It was a fortress of the early Cholas which later fell to the Pallavas. Trichy is a fine blend of tradition and modernity built around the Rock Fort. Apart from the Fort, there are several Churches, Colleges and Missions dating back to the 1760s. The town and its fort, now in Trichy were built by the Nayaks of Madurai. This city has given great Tamil scholars whose contributions to the Tamil literature have been very significant.

Places to see in Tiruchirappalli: Tiruchirapalli is dotted with numerous tourist attractions which include:

Government Museum

The Government Museum in Tiruchirappalli is one of the most sought after tourist destinations. It is situated at a distance of 40 km from Trichy near the Pudukkottai station. The museum is home to a unique and interesting collection of objects related to Zoology, Paintings, Geology, Anthropology, Epigraphy and History of the state. However if you want to visit the museum avoid Mondays as it remains closed.

Viralimalai Sanctuary

If you love nature then the Viralimalai Sanctuary is just the right place for you. Viralimalai is a quaint little town located near Tiruchirappalli which is popular for the spectacular Murugan temple and the captivating Peacock Sanctuary. The village attracts tourists and pilgrims from all parts of the country. The sanctuary is simply a treat to the eyes as it promises sights of numerous wild peacocks roaming around and dancing freely.

Kudumianmalai

Kudumianmalai is another famous village situated at a distance of 25 km from Trichy. Kudumianmalai houses a temple dedicated to Lord Sikhagireeswara. This temple is unique in the sense that it is huge and has a hall that is made up of a thousand pillars. The temple itself is a specimen of south Indian style of architecture adorned with beautiful sculptures.

Rock Fort Temple

The Rock fort or Ucchi Pillayar Koil is one of the most important tourist spots in Trichy. The Rock Fort Temple is located at the top of a huge rock in Trichy. The complex is home to two prominent Hindu temples constructed in the 7th century. One temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the other is dedicated to Lord Ganesh. The rock on which this temple complex is situated is believed to be one of the oldest in the world.

Sri Ranganathaswami Temple

The Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple is another significant place of interest in Trichy. It is located in Srirangam which is situated at a distance of 7 km from Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, India. The temple is a popular Hindu pilgrimage center in India. The temple is one of the foremost abodes of Lord Vishnu. Constructed in true Dravidian style of architecture the temple finds mention in the early medieval literature of the state.

Tiruvanaikkaval or JambukeswaraTemple

The Tiruvanaikkaval is also a marvelous Hindu temple in Trichy. Situated just 2 km from Srirangam the Tiruvanaikkaval temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple attracts millions of devotees every year on the occasion of Shivratri.

Nearby attractions from Tiruchirapally: You can make a trip to the places like:

Mukkombu 

Mukkombu is a wonderful picnic spot where the river Kollidam branches off from the Kaveri. The place is just 20 kilometers from the Trichy and is very popular among the kids.

Kallanai

The town of Kallanai is located 25 kilometers from the city of Trichy. The city is famous for The Grand Anicut. It is an ancient dam built by Karikala Chola across the river Kaveri in the 1st century AD. This dam is still in use as part of the district irrigation system.

Viralimalai

Viralimalai that is situated 30 kilometers from Trichy is famous for a Pallava temple dedicated to Lord Subramanya. The temple is located atop a hill, which is also the site of a peacock sanctuary.

Sittanavasal

Sittanavasal is located just 60 kilometers from Trichy. The place is famous as a site for an ancient Jain monastery that is located in a cave. The caves have some of the most exquisite fresco paintings in Peninsular India.

Thanjavur

Thanjavur, the capital of the imperial Chola dynasty, is situated just 50 kilometers from Trichy. The city is famous for its temples and shrines, the most notable being the magnificent Brihadeswara temple. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Apart from that, the Thanjavur museum and Art gallery is also noteworthy. Thanjavur or Tanjore is famous for souvenirs like Thanjavur Art Plates, handicrafts, hand-woven silk and bronze icons.

Things to do in Tiruchirapally: Sightseeing is the major activity of the tourists visiting Tiruchirapally.

Best time to visit Tiruchirapally: Best time to visit Tiruchirappalli is during the month of November to March as you can get pleasantly cool weather.

How to go ?

By Air

Tiruchirapalli airport, located about 5 km far from the city. Passengers can get regular domestic and international flights to various cities.

By Train

This city has its own railway station which is connected to various states such as Bengal, Maharastra, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Delhi and many more.

By Road

Roads are well linked and offers you comfortable journey to different destinations. It is very easy to reach Tiruchirapalli from Coimbatore (206km), Chennai (330km), Bangalore (331km), Kochi (362km) and Trivandrum (391km).

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Where to stay ?

You will find an array of accommodation options in Tiruchirapalli. Some options are:

Ramyas Hotel: +91-431-4000400, 2414646, 2414747  Website:  www.ramyas.com
The SRM Hotel: +91-431- 2421303, 2421304, 2421305, 2421306  Website:  www.srmhotels.com
Breeze Residency: +91- 431-2414414, 4045333  Website:  www.breezeresidency.com
Femina Hotel: +91-431-2414501  Website:  www.feminahotels.in

 Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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CHENNAI

Chennai, Tamil Nadu – An attractive tourist destination for its historic landmarks, long sandy beaches, parks, cultural and art centers

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Located on the Coromandel coast of Bay of Bengal, Chennai is the capital of Tamil Nadu. The ‘capital of the south’ has always been an unfashionable sibling among India’s four biggest cities, with scorching southern heat, bustling city traffic, and lack of sparkling look as of other metro cities. It is the biggest industrial and commercial centre in South India, and a major cultural, economic and educational centre. With its historic landmarks and buildings, long sandy beaches, cultural and art centers and parks, Chennai is one of the favourite tourist destinations that offered many interesting locations to visitors.

Places to See in Chennai: Chennai, rich with its historical culture and heritage features a number of sight seeing spots. These include:

Government Museum

Established in 1851, Government Museum of Chennai is popular as the Madras Museum. Factually being the second oldest museum of India (after Kolkata’s Indian Museum), this museum is a treasure in itself! As a rich repository of finest masterpieces of art, archaeology, anthropology, numismatics and much more, the MadrasMuseum assures to lure one and all. Spread across an area of 16.25 acres of land, the Government Museum is also counted among the largest museums of South Asia.

Vivekananda House

This place is very closely related to the great Indian saint Swami Vivekananda who glorified Indian culture in-front of the whole world, thus making us proud. Vivekananda house or Vivekananda Illam is a museum in Chennai which is looked upon as an important landmark by the followers of Swami Vivekananda. It is treated as a place of pilgrimage as this is where Swami Vivekananda stayed after returning from his visit to the west in 1897.

Victory War Memorial:

Chennai or Madras (as most of us call it), is considered as the gateway to south India. Iconic Marina Beach, which is counted among the longest beaches in the world, is a part of the city. Victory War Memorial or the Cupid’s Bow in Chennai is one of the two war memorials located here, MadrasWarCemetery being the other one. The memorial is situated at the beginning of Marina Beach, near Fort St. George.

Kattubava Mosque

Almost 500 years old in its construction, the Kattubava Mosque or Kattubava Pallivasal is a popular mosque in the state of Tamil Nadu. Located on the Padukkottai-Madurai Highways, it is among the notable Islamic Pilgrim Centres in India.

A beautifully built structure, the Kattubava Mosque entombs a saint called Bava Fakruddin. Popularly known as Kattubava, he was the grandson of the honorable saint of Nagore Shahul Hameed. The mosque looks as peaceful from its exteriors as it is from within. The architecture of the mosque is truly phenomenal with exquisite detailings.

Big Mosque

The Big Mosque Chennai is located in the Janbazar area of Triplicane in Chennai, along Wallajah Road. It is one of the most beautiful mosques in this capital city. The mosque is located a short distance away from the Queiad-e-Milleth High Road.Constructed in 1795, the Big Mosque Chennai is one of the most important historical monuments of Chennai. Also popularly termed as the Wallajah Mosque (big mosque), it was built by the family of the Nawab Wallajah in his memory. The architecture embodies the fusion of Indian, Islamic, and Iranian influences.

The Big Mosque Chennai is built completely out of gray granite and has been successful in outliving the ravages of time. Neither wood nor steel has been used in any part of this mosque. The mosque is provided with two lofty minarets at the front. The architecture is quite typical of the medieval period. The use of iron or other such materials which are susceptible to the elements have been completely avoided while constructing this mosque.

Kandaswamy Temple

The Kandaswamy Temple of Chennai is in Cheyyur, 29 kilometers from Madurantakam. The KandaswamyTemple is dedicated to Lord Kandaswamy or Shiva is the principal deity of this temple. Besides, there are the shrines of, Lord Someswara, Goddess Meenakshi, Muthukumaraswamy, also popular as Samharamurthy. There are several other deities as well, for instance the Vinayaka, Dakshinamurthy and Chandikeswara. You shall also find the deity of Murga, known to be a son of Lord Shiva. The Murga deity is observed to be standing in five different positions. The Kandaswamy Temple of Chennai attracts tourists due to the different figures standing in specific postures.

Kapaleeswarar Temple

The Kapaleeswarar Temple of Chennai is a very old and revered temple of Mylapore in Chennai. The ‘gopuram’ (tower) of this edifice is peculiar to all representative specimens of Dravidian architecture. Consecrated to Lord Shiva, this temple contains some beautiful sculptures, among which the bronze idols of 63 Saivite Saints (Nayanmars) decorating the outer courtyard are rare examples.

Dash-n-Splash

Dash-n-Splash in Chennai is an amusement park located about 30 kilometers away from the city of Chennai, in Tamil Nadu. The park is on the national highway number 4, which leads to Bangalore. The amusement park is based at MevallurKuppamVillage in Chennai. The administrative office of the park is situated in the city itself, at Tambu Chetty Street. Dash-n-Splash of Chennai is an amazing water retreat which covers a huge area in the MevallurKuppamVillage. The park has plenty of water reservoirs and shaded locations which gives you a total family refreshment. The water slides are the most popular events to the visitors at Dash-N-Splash of Chennai.

Covelong Beach

The enchanting Covelong Beach of Chennai is located at a distance of 40 kilometers from Chennai. Covelong Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Chennai marked for its serene beauty and various other beach activities. Covelong Beach of Chennai was built by the Nawab of Carnatic. Covelong Beach in Chennai was once the hub of the French in India. There are three prominent beaches in Chennai :

Adventure lovers can involve themselves in a number of water sports in the Covelong Beach at Chennai. They can enjoy water sports like wind surfing and swimming which are the are popular activities of the tourists here. Covelong Beach at Chennai is separated from the main land by a canal that run from Chennai to Mahabalipuram. You will be pleased to see the peaceful and tranquil ambiance in the Covelong Beach in Chennai. This most popular beach on the CoromandalCoast has become an ideal spot for one who wish to meditate. Other attractions of the breathtakingly beautiful CovelongBeach near Chennai are old Dutch fort, church and a mosque. You can see the the forts and other ruins of the historical structures around the Covelong Beach near Chennai. There are ancient Catholic Church, historical monuments, mosques only few yards away from the tranquil beach. The ruins and the old historical structure in the Covelong beach near Chennai still stands erect to tell the tale of the historical past of Tamil Nadu

St. Thomas Mount

Historically speaking, the commencement of Christianity in India is credited to St Thomas. Saint Thomas spread the ‘Good Word’ among the South Indians. However, some critical circumstances led him to take refuge in the fabled Little Mount. Later, while he was on his way to Little Mount, about 3 km away, he was martyred and that place is still remember for him and aptly called St. Thomas Mount. It is located in Parangimalai and happens to be one of the most attractive spots for tourists as well as for religious devotees in Chennai. People on a holy pilgrimage to India include the other churches along with St Thomas Mount on their itinerary. The oil paintings found here are also worth a look, especially the one that St. Thomas brought with him and was drawn by his fellow apostle Luke. The church was reconstructed in the 16th century.

MGM Dizzee World:

The MGM Dizzee world is strategically located on the East Coast Road. Opened from 10 am to 6:30 pm, it is bustling with people throughout the week. With 35 acre area coverage that comes with a beach, a resort, amusement park, truly makes for a great trip. It is a children-friendly amusement park with an entire section dedicated to kids. The rides include Giant Wheel, ParachuteTower, Kamikaze Ranger, Roller coaster, Rocking Boat, among others. Revolution and Venture rides are hot favourites among teens. If you want to have a good time as well as spend some valuable moments with your family, MGM Dizzee World is the place to be. There are more than 60 rides and about 1,500 people visiting the place weekly. This pushes the overall annual footfall count crosses the 5 million mark.

Ayyappan Temple

The Ayyappan temple in Anna Nagar was constructed when a group of people living together decided to build a temple to worship the God they were devoted to. This temple started out as a simple and humble establishment but later on proceeded to become something enormous which is now a well-known landmark in Chennai. It has the Panchaloka idol of Ayyappan and also of other deities such as Ganesha, Anjaneyar, Durga and Muruga.

VGP Universal Kingdom

VGP Universal Kingdom, commonly known as VGP, is located on the East Coast Road. It is open from 10:00 am in the morning to 6:30 pm in the evening during weekdays and till 7:30 pm during weekends. This pioneer among amusement parks in Chennai is known for its safety. The place is both affordable as well as holds much promise for fun and entertainment. The Giant Wheel and Rain Dance are its key attractions. The big ‘Family Dosa’ available at the cafeteria is in itself a major attraction. It also has a beach in close proximity. Rides for kids available here are the best ones available in the city.

St. George’s Fort

This masterpiece by the British speaks volumes about the Neo-Classical construction style the British had adopted earlier. It is open on all days except on Friday. It can be visited from 9:00 am in the morning to 4.30 pm. The entrance ticket costs a meagre Rs. 5 for Indians and $2 for foreigners. Photography is strictly prohibited in this fort. It has managed to retain its beauty over the years, thanks to the excellent maintenance efforts by the Government. It serves as a library of information, particularly about matters related to the colonial rule in India and ancient Chennai.

Mahalingapuram Sree Ayyappa Temple

Mahalingapuram Sree Ayyappa Temple is located in the busy Nungambakkam area of Chennai. This temple opens early in the morning for customary rituals and remain open to devotees till 9:00 pm. There are many people who come here hoping to cherish a calm state of mind. The magazine published by this temple is called Pushpabhishekam. This magazine propagates a vast array of well-being and tips related to spirituality, health, education, family, society and more. This temple is beautifully decorated with lamps and flowers on all major festive occasions. Devotees bring turmeric, vermilion, flowers and coconut to offer to the Gods.

Velankanni Church

The Annai Velankanni Church is located in Besant Nagar and remains open throughout the week. There are masses in English, Tamil and Malayalam every day. Annual fuctions and festivals including Christmas and Ascension Day are celebrated with great joy and feasts. VelankanniChurch is among the most revered pilgrimage destination visited by people from all around the world. The church also has a museum that displays valuables crafted out of gold, silver and the like that have been offered by the devotees.

Marina Beach

Marina Beach is the longest urban beach in India and second longest in the world running along the Bay of Bengal. The beach stretches over 13 km and is a major attraction of Chennai. Though bathing and swimming are strictly prohibited at the beach, but it has a lot more to lure its visitors. It offers best scenic views of sunset and sunrise and is famous for its shops and food stalls where you can relish best of delicacies. A stroll or a pony ride along the beach is simply mesmerising.

Golden Beach

Located at the East Coast Road, the VGP Golden Beach borders the Bay of Bengal and it takes about half an hour to go from Marina Beach to the Golden Beach. It is a resort that has a amusement park offering rides like go-karting, water chute, roller coaster, among many others. There are also cultural shows being organised by the resort.

Parthasarathy Temple

The Parthasarathy Temple, also known as Arulmigu Parthasarathyswamy, is a Vaishanavite temple dedicated to Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna is in the form of ‘parthasarathy’, the charioteer for Arjuna in the Mahabharata war. The temple is most widely renowned as one of the 108 sacred places where Lord Vishnu is worshipped. The temple is said to be unique as it has four different incarnations or forms of Lord Vishnu, namely, Lord Krishna, Lord Rama, Lord Narasimha and Lord Varaha.

Vadapalani Temple

The Vadapalani temple, also called as “Arulmigu Vadapalani Andavar Thirukoil”, is a temple dedicated to Lord Muruga and is known for its powers in blessing those who pray to him. This temple was built during the 17th century and has gained popularity as the years have passed. This temple also houses other gods besides the main deity, Palani Andavar, and hence is a place where one can worship many gods under a single roof. The other gods present here include Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha, Goddess Paravathi and Lord Hanuman. Anjaneyar / Hanuman’s image is inscribed on a pillar and the devotees offer him butter as a gift in order to get their wishes fulfilled. The temple is known for its significance in the film industry as it has featured in a number of films and the location around the temple is home to many famous celebrities as well.

Nearby attractions from Chennai: You can easily make a number of trips to the nearby destinations like:

Sriperumbudur

Among the favorite weekend getaways from Chennai is Sriperumbudur. Situated at a distance of 40 kms from the city Sriperumbudur is located in the Kancheepuram District of Tamil Nadu. Although the city is an industrialized area it still is home to numerous gardens and parks that are refreshment from the fast paced city life.

Yelagiri Hills

Yelagiri Hills is one of the most frequented nearby gateways from Chennai. Yelagiri is a 3-4 hours drive from Chennai. A hill station engulfed in tranquillity Yelagiri is actually a cluster of small villages, spread around hills. Untouched by the evils of pollution and globalization Yelagiri Hills is home to several green valleys, orchards and rose-gardens set amidst the serenity of Mother Nature. Some of the famous sightseeing options in Yelagiri include VelvanTemple, PunganoorLake, Swamimalai Hills and the Jalagamparai Waterfalls.

Tirupati

If you want to club your vacation along with a pilgrimage then Tirupati is the ultimate destination. Tirupati is located in the Chittor district of Andhra Pradesh and is situated at a distance of 152 kms from Chennai. Tirupati is regarded as one of the eight most important places of worship of the Hindu’s. Tirupati houses a 2m high standing idol of Lord Vishnu on a lotus flanked by his partners Bhudevi and Sride. This statue is said to grant any wish made in front of it. A masterpiece of south Indian architecture Tirupati is believed to shelter a host of other temples as well.

Sadras

Another popular tourist spot near Chennai is the beautiful little city of Sadras. Situated along the Coromandel Coast, Sadras lies at a distance of 69 kms from Chennai. Steeped in history this fort city was declared a Dutch Colony in the 17th century. Sadras offers a number of sightseeing options. Apart from its various forts and naval battlefields the city boasts of some of the most beautiful moments of the bygone eras of the country.

Mahabalipuram

An ancient port city lying on the Coromandel Coast of Tamil Nadu, Mahabalipuram is located at a distance of 60 kms from Chennai. This city is among the popular nearby gateways of Chennai. Having a strong historical backdrop, Mahabalipuram is home to some of the rarest historical monuments that were built during the Pallava Dynasty. Most of the temples are in the form of rock cut caves. One of the city’s prime attractions is its beautiful and unspoilt beaches which offer a host of activities like fishing and boating.

Things to do in Chennai: Apart from sight seeing, shopping in Chennai, is a truly delightful experience. The region boasts of an exceptionally rich heritage of arts and crafts. One of the most popular items for shopping in Tamil Nadu is its silk fabric. Thanjavur, Coimbatore and Kanchipuram have earned worldwide fame for the silks whereas in Mahabalipuram you can buy the stone sculptures. At the same time the bronze and brass cast statues and artifacts would leave you spoilt for choice.

Best time to visit Chennai: The winter season that is from November to February, is the best time to visit Chennai when one can rejuvenate and relishes the beholding endowments.

How to go ?

By Air

The third busiest airport of India is the Chennai International Airport which is located at a distance of 7 km from the main city. Both, international and domestic flights land at different terminals: the international flights arrive at the Anna Terminal whereas the domestic flights at Kamaraj Terminal. These two terminals are located at a distance of only 150 metres from each other. Both the terminals are well connected to the major cities of India and the world.

By Train

Chennai Central (code MAS) and Chennai Egmore (code MS) are the two main long distance train stations. There are daily trains from Chennai to Bengaluru, Mumbai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Cochin, Hyderabad, Kolkata and most of the big cities of India.

By Road

One of Asia’s largest bus stations, the CMBT,  is in Chennai. There are seven different state owned corporations which drive buses to and from various destinations within South India. There are hourly buses for places like Tirupati, Pondicherry, Coimbatore, Tirunelveli etc.

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Where to stay ?

There are numerous accommodation facilities in Chennai. Some options are:

Hilton Hotels and Resort: +91-44-222-55555 Website: www3.hilton.com
Radisson Blu Hotel: +91 44 2231 0101 Website: www.radissonblu.com
Apple Residency: +91- 044 – 28544201 Website: www.appleresidency.com
Asiana Place: +91 44 6679 88 88  Website: www.asianaplace.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Yercaud

Yercaud, Tamil Nadu – This hill station is nestled among the picturesque coffee plantations and thickly forested slopes

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This quiet little hill station on the Shevaroy hills of the Eastern ghats is the only one of its kind in northern Tamil Nadu. While the rest of this region is generally dry, including the predominantly short and rocky hills of the Eastern ghats, Yercaud presents a welcome contrast with its cool climate where temperature never rises above 30ºC and dip below 13ºC . It is a less expensive place and is also known as “the Poor Man’s Ooty”. This hill station is nestled among the picturesque coffee plantations and thickly forested slopes.

Places to see in Yercaud: It offers numerous tourist attractions that includes:

Yercaud Lake

This is a scenic lake wrapped in the lush greens and the mystical woods of Yercaud. The lake is at its full bloom during the month of May when the Summer Festival is organised. Boats are available in two options. The paddling ones for a couple or four people and the 4-seater row boats.

Anna Park

This is a beautiful park situated near the YercaudLake. It has a wonderful garden which is ideal for kids. There are few other parks nearby such as Lake Park, Gandhi Park, and Children Park which are worth a visit.

Lady’s Seat

Lady’s seat is the name given to a cluster of rocks on the south west side of Shevaroy hills that overlook the Ghat road and Salem town. Tourists can have a panoramic view of the plains below with the help of the telescope mounted at the place.

Pagoda Point

Pyramid point or Pagoda point is a viewpoint located on the eastern part of Yercaud hills. It has four piles of stones arranged in the shape of a pyramid. It is believed to be built by the local tribes and now there is a Rama temple situated between the piles of stones. This point offers a detailed view of the town of Salem and a little village called Kakambadi.

Killiyur Falls

This is an interesting and stunning waterfall located about 3 km away from the YercaudLake and is best seen after the South West monsoon or the North East monsoon. It is a 300 feet high waterfall with an attractive ambiance.

The Grange

The Grange is a castle built in 1820 by the then District collector of Salem, M D Cockburn and is considered as one of the oldest buildings in Yercaud. It is also the first commercial plantation area for coffee, oranges and apples in Yercaud.

Bear’s Cave

The Bear’s cave is located in a private coffee estate near the Norton Bungalow, on the way to ServaroyanTemple. There is a huge cave formation beside this coffee estate bungalow that was considered to be home for the bears. It is an important tourist place as it is believed to be one of the six abodes of Lord Subramanya.

Shevaroy Temple 

ShevaroyTemple is the highest point in Yercaud and is situated at a height of 5,326 feet. It is dedicated to Lord Shevaroyan and is famous for the annual festival held usually in the month of May. It features a 7-day exhibition of flower shows, dog shows, boating races and a village fair.

Montfort school

This is one of the well established residential boys school in Yercaud and was started in the year 1917 by Bro. Denis. This school has an impressive architecture and is built entirely with exquisite stones, featuring beautiful gardens. It is a perfect example of Franco-Indian building style. It also has a zoo which is open to the public only on Sundays.

Botanical Garden

Botanical Garden features a large collection of rare and endangered species of plants including the pitcher plant and the famous kurinji flower which blossoms once in 12 years. The garden is also home to the National Orchidarium which is ranked as the third largest of all the orchidariums in India. It has a collection of over a hundred species of orchids, of which about 30 are exclusively found here.

Nearby attractions from Yercaud: From Yercaud you can make excursions to places like:

Salem

Just 30 kms away, it is one of the interesting places near Yercaud. It has a Mosque built by Tipu Sultan, London Missionary Society, ruin of an old fort and the Museum that holds valuable collections of antique terracotta and sculptures.

Kodumanal

Kodumanal, is a tiny hamlet, 40 kms away, on the banks of the NoyliRiver. The small town actually is an archaeological site dating back to the 2nd century BC. You can explore some of the amazing ruins from the Megalithic, Neolithic and the Paleolithic Age.

Namakkal

Situated 48 kms away, it is a small town which lies at the foot of a hillock with an old yet magnificent fort. The town also boasts of intricately carved rock-cut cave temples, one dedicated to Narasimhaswamy and the other being dedicated to Ranganathaswamy.

Bhavani

Just 50 kms away, it serves as the most important pilgrim destination of South India. It is situated on the Rivers Bhavani and Kaveri.

Things to do in Yercaud: Yercaud a laidback hill station in Tamil Nadu has limited range of things to do. Since the life here is unhurried you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy the picturesque beauty of this small hill station town in Tamil Nadu. If you are an adventurous sort then you can go for trekking through the various trails or you can explore the caves sprinkled in the town. Take a leisurely stroll along the coffee plantations and let the heady aroma of coffee beans enthral your senses. Looking for holidays that where you can just relax and laze around then visit this small hill station of Yercaud in Tamil Nadu.

Best time to visit Yercaud:  The best time to visit Yercaud is from October to June.

How to go ?

By Air

Trichy international airport (163 km) is the nearest airport. Coimbatore (190 km) and Banglore (230 km) are other major airports nearby. These airports are well connected with Delhi and Chennai. Taxis are available and cost is about Rs 3,000 from Trichy railway station to Yercaud.

By Train

Jolarpettai (20 km) and Salem Junction (35 km) are the nearest railheads. All south bound trains passes through Salem has stop at Salem station. Salem railway station is well connected to Trivandrum (Trivandrum Exp), Cochin (Ernakulam Exp), and Mangalore (Mangalore Exp). Taxis are available from Salem railway station to Yercaud and fare is about Rs 700.

By Road

Tamil Nadu Road Transport Corporation buses connect Yercaud with other major cities in the state. Regular bus services are available from Salem to Yercaud. It is well linked with all nearby major cities of South India by deluxe luxurious tourist bus services. These buses connect Yercaud to Coimbatore (190 km) and closest metro cities like Chennai (253 km) and Bangalore (160 km).

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Where to stay ?

There are abundant hotels in Yercaud. Some options are:

Grand Palace Hotel and Spa: +91 98652 56255, 99655 56255  Website: www.grandpalaceyercaud.com
Star Holidays Inc: +91- 04281 – 223337, 223338  Website: www.starholidaysyercaud.com
Hotel Shevaroys: +91 – 4281 – 222288, 222383, 386  Website: www.hotelshevaroys.com
Hotel Tamil Nadu (TTDC): +91 – 4281- 223334, 35, 36

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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