Travel guide to Trivandrum

Travel guide to Trivandrum

Travel Guide

Thiruvananthapuram or Trivandrum the land of Sree Anantha Padmanabhaswamy, is the capital city of Kerala. The city is surrounded by Tamil Nadu in the east whereas by Arabian Sea in the west. The scenic view of the city can be seen due to the presence of the wooded highlands of the western ghats on borders of east and north east side. The city attracts the most of the tourist due to the beaches, backwater stretches, historic monuments, mosaics, sculptures, temples and other holy shrines. Tiruvananthapuram or Trivandrum is among the most beautiful cities of India due to its cleanliness and lush greenery.

 

 

Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple

The 8th century ancient temple is built in the East Fort of the city and exhibits a mix blend of dravadian and Kerala style. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The deity of Lord Vishnu is reclined on the hooded serpent. The place where the temple is located is believed to be one of the seven Parasurama kshatras and Skanda Purana and Padma Purana also mentions about the sacred temple. The hindu shrine possesses incredible idol that is situated on a single stone which is 18 ft long and said that it was made of 12008 salagramams, bought from river Gandhaki of Nepal. There are three doors in the temple and the idol can be seen from all doors.

First door displays the head and chest, second door displays hands and third door displays feet of the Lord. The temple is carved out of stone and bronze and the interiors are spruced up by paintings and vista. Copper sheet with gold platings covering the enormous sacred dhwaja stambh which is 80 ft high. Sculptural skeleton of the temple is carved with hindu deities. On the eastern side of the temple classical form of dance kathakali is performed on the ground floor in the malyalam month during the ten day annual festival.

Note: Only hindus are allowed in the temple and the dress code for men is only dhoti with no kind of shirt and for women dress code is sari, half sari or skirt & blouse.

Pazhavanagadi Ganpathy Temple

Ganpathi temple is also situated in the East Fort and is famous temple of Lord Ganesha. The temple is close in proximity if one is going to Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple as it is just at a throw away stone distance. The main idol of Lord Ganesha is very small in size with a folded right leg in sitting posture. There are about 32 types of paintings of Lord Ganesha inside the temple. The chaturthi and jayanti related to the deity are main festivals of the temple other than vijaya dashmi, mahashivaratri etc. The main offerings to the deity is coconut and the dress code for men is dhoti only and for women any traditional attire.

Sri Chitra Art Gallery

Established back in the year 1935, the art gallery is visit most by the tourists visiting Kerala. For art lovers the gallery is equivalent to paradise as one can find here the awesome creativity of renowned painters from all over the country. The art gallery of Raja Ravi Varma paintings and preserved art works of Mughals, Rajasthani & Rajputs by Svetlova and Nicholas Roerich and the ancient times Indian mural paintings are some main attraction of the gallery. The art gallery exhibits the perfect mixed blend of the ancient and modern schools of Indian Art. The gallery also holds the beautiful artwork collections of China, Japan and Tibet.

Note: The art gallery is closed on Monday, Wednesday and Forenoons.

Napier Museum

Situated in the heart of the city and built in the 19th century Napier Museum possesses a rare and unique collection of bronze idols, archaeological and historic artifacts, ivory carvings, a temple chariot and ancient ornaments. The exhibition of Mahabharata and Ramayana by leather figures of Japanese shadow play is very curious and exciting. The museum depicts the glimpse of Kerala’s rich cultural heritage. The museum was named after John Napier the former Governor General of Madras. The place is an exceptional piece of architecture that glorifies the natural air conditioning system and a beautiful combination of Kerala, Mughal, Italian and Chinese architectural style.

Note: The museum is closed on Monday, Wednesday and Forenoons.

Trivandrum Zoo

Spread over 55 acres of woodland, the place was established by the Maharaja of Travancore in 1857. With lakes and lawns the place was first planned for some leisure creation but due to excessive deforestation and danger&effect on wildlife, the goal of the place was changed to flora and fauna preservation. More than 130 years later the place got monetary and technical support from Central Zoo Authority and the place was refurbished by iron enclosures natural ambiance. There are about 82 species of fauna from all over the world.

The zoo also boasts native species like Indian Rhinoceros, Royal Bengal Tiger, Leopard, Asiatic Lion, Asian Elephants, Nilgiri Langoor and Lion Tailed Macaque. Snake farm exhibits the both poisonous and non poisonous snakes. Zoo also contains some animals from Africa like Giraffes, Cape Buffaloes, Zebras and Hippos. The zoo is a good picnic spot and also a good source of knowledge for everyone.

Note: The zoo is closed on Mondays.

Kovalam Beach

Kovalam beach is one of the Internationally famous beach with an immense headland situated on the banks making inlet of the sea look elegant and attractive. There are plenty of things to do in your leisure time like body toning massages, cultural programs, sunbathing, swimming and catamaran cruising. Visit beach in the daytime can tan your skin as tropical sun is too painful to bear. The footfalls are seen maximum during the dusk and continues till the late night. There are many places to hang around in the beach complex that includes shopping zones, ayurvedic massage centers and health resorts, swimming pools, cottages, assembly rooms and yoga centers.

There is a huge attraction of European tourists since 1930 and the place offers cuisines of all variety in different restaurants and cafeteria. The staying facility is also available starting from budget hotels to five star ones.

Sanghumugham Beach

Sanghumugham beach is the beautiful beach with magical evenings located 8 km from Trivandrum city and can be accessed easily by own conveyance or through city transportation facility. The crowd visits here in the search comfort, relief and soothing of soul and mind as the sea breeze carries cool air that rejuvenates the minds. Wooden boats and canoes can be seen in action meanwhile in the sea during daytime and resting on the golden sand in the evenings. The attractions on the beach are Starfish Restaurants, Indoor Recreation Club, Nehru Park and huge Mermaid Statue. Another attraction at the beach is Veli Tourist Village which is a renowned picnic spot located nearby and connected to the beach by a floating bridge. You can hire paddle and speed boats and have a refreshing splash in the water. The area within holds several restaurants that can be used for refreshments.

Agastyamala

The peak is a approx 1900 mt high and offers a scenic view of Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary and located in the western ghats. The peak is believed to be the pilgrimage center for Hindus. Statue of Agathiyar is situated at the peak and devotees offer prayer. Many rivers originates from the mountain which includes river Thamirabarani, Neyyar and Karamana. A Tiger reserve, Kalakkad Mundanthurai lies in the agasthyamala range. If you want to reach the top of the peak, the only way to reach there is trekking which has strict guidelines from the Kerala Forest Department. Bonacaud is the starting point for trekking and is 50 km from Trivandrum. Bonacaud to peak takes 2 days of trekking to reach and is 28 km in distance. Trekking is open from January to mid March. The peak is full of medicinal plant with over 2000 species and can be accessed only with the permission of Kerala Forest Department.

  • By air

Trivandrum International Airport is located 6 kms from city has more than 30 airlines with several countries. Jet Airways and Indian Airlines can be boarded for domestic travel from and to different parts of the country.

  • By road

Long distance buses can be boarded from Central Bus Station at Thampanoor whereas, short distance buses can be boarded from City Bus Station, East Fort.

  • By train

Trains can be boarded directly from all major stations of Kerala as well as of India

  • State: Kerala
  • District: Thiruvananthapuram
  • Famous for: Pilgrim, historical, leisure and adventure.
  • Population: 3234356(2011 census)
  • Languages: Malyalam, English, Tamil and French.
  • Best time: October to February
  • Std Code: 0471
  • Pincode: 695001

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A day’s trip to Warangal

A day’s trip to Warangal

Spontaneous travel plans work like charm than those you plan a long time ahead. On a weekend the urge to go on a long drive engulfed the whole family and we scrambled for nearby options to Hyderabad for a day’s trip, having a few options such as Kurnool, Karimnagar etc. found Warangal to be the nearest and could be covered in a day with maximum sites covered. We thought to start early around 5:30 – 6:00 am however, could not start before 8 am due to some reasons. However being a break period for Monsoon it was a clear day with patchy clouds.

ORR-Hyderabad

ORR-Hyderabad

Warangal, a city marked among the 12 heritage cities identified by the government on India. The drive to Warangal is approximately 3 hours at a 70 – 80 km. As usual we took the ORR cruising at 110 Kmph our first stop was Bhongir fort, was built in the 10th century on an isolated monolithic rock by the Western Chalukya ruler Tribhuvanamalla Vikramaditya VI and was thus named after him as Tribhuvanagiri. The fort has a unique egg shaped layout with two entry points protected by huge rocks. The fort now a days also houses a Rappelling and Rock climbing institute.

Going with a small kid is something one should consider because the climb is steep and the pathway is not very well maintained. Though we managed to climb a considerable part of the fort with my kid, however could not reach the top of the fort. May be next time

We then started for our next destination Thousand Pillar temple. The Thousand Pillar Temple was believed to be constructed during the period between 1175–1324 CE by order of the king, Rudra Deva. It stands out to be a masterpiece and achieved major heights in terms of architectural skills by the ancient Kakatiya vishwakarma sthapathis. The temple is star-shaped with several shrines and lingams. There are three shrines inside the temple called the Trikutalayam, dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu, and Surya. There are 1,000 pillars in the structure, but no pillar obstructs a person in any point of the temple to see the God.

By the time we came out of the temple it was already noon and we were doubtful if we would reach the next destination Bhadra Kali temple on time as it closes during noon as any other temple. However, we managed to reach the temple just in time to get the temple. The temple is situated at an isolated place not very far away from the city and is situated at the banks of a lake, the temple is beautifully built and maintained, the nearby rocky contours give it a fascinating look. Bhadrakali is the popular form of Devi worshipped n Kerala as Sri Bhadrakali and Kariam Kali Murti Devi. In Kerala she is seen as the auspicious and fortunate form of Kali who protects the good.

This goddess is represented with three eyes, and four, twelve, or eighteen hands. She carries a number of weapons, with flames flowing from her head, and a small tusk protruding from her mouth. I was enchanted by the beauty of the idol and the way it was decorated with flowers and garlands. The glittering lamps around the idol looked like jewels.

It was time for lunch and there was no good place to eat nearby so we looked upon to Google places to suggest something good and we came across Bayleaf multi cuisine restaurant, a decent restaurant with good food and ambiance and a courteous staff, we had a sumptuous lunch with my kid enjoying the food and games in the play area maintained within the restaurant.

Then we moved to search for Rock garden but to our disappointment some locals told that it was closed permanently. I was enthusiastic to visit it as my visit to the Rock garden in Chandigarh long back was a very good experience however, we later went to the musical garden it hosts a laser show in the evenings. We went there so that the kid could enjoy and play around for some time. The garden is well maintained and popular amongst the locals for weekend picnics and fun frolics.

We then moved to the Warangal fort, if you expect it be a like any other fort like Red fort, Fatehpur Sikri etc then you may be a bit disappointed as the main attraction is the remains of the courtyard of the fort. The courtyard displays numerous architectural carvings and sculptures. It was a good experience to see these, in addition to there are a couple of more building remains in the vicinity, one of the area is now converted as a children’s park.

Around 5 pm we headed back to Hyderabad with some good memories. The road being a two lane road we wanted to start a bit early so that by the time darkness fell we would be reaching the four lane road near Bhongir.

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Kottayam the land of letters

Kottayam the land of letters

Travel Guide

Kottayam is the first town in India to achieve 100% literacy rate. The presence of renowned newspapers and publishing houses along with famous colleges the city got its second name as the letter capital of Kerala. Situated between the backwaters and western Ghats the city is also well known for its spices and rubber trade. The Thirunakkara Shiva Utsavam festival is celebrated at Shiva temple every year in march.The city is blessed with nature and is accomplished with hill stations, ancient and modern churches, temples and beautiful waterfalls. Lush green environment and the nature’s beauty makes the place a must visit destination if you are travelling to Kerala.

 

St.Mary’s Orthodox Church

St.Mary’s orthodox church was built by Maharaja Thekkumkoo in 1579. The church is also known as Kottayam Cheriapelli. There is a blend of Kerala and Portuguese style in the architecture of the church. The walls of the church are embellished with biblical as well as non-biblical artwork that will make you speechless. The figures of angels and St.Mary sculptures are made of stones but carved in woods. Mother Mary statue is situated on the southern side of the church wall. The baptism basin is carved from a single stone. The church is a beautiful piece of architecture with huge doors, stone and granite work, adorable carvings and much more.

Juma Masjid

The mosque is about 1000 years old and is declared as a protected monument by kerala government. It is located on the banks of river Meenachil and decorated with stunning architecture and beautiful wooden carvings. The muslim shrine courtyard is shaped square and there is a pond inside where the devotees use to take a dip before going for prayers. As the mosque was devastated several years ago due to some reasons, it was refurbished in 2012 with strong aluminium sheets, iron columns and stone pillars. A mix blend of Islamic mythology and Indian architecture the place attracts all communities.

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

Spread over an area of 14 acres and surrounded by river Kanavar and Vembanad lake, the place has a panoramic sight. Filled up with lush green environment the place is full of natural vegetation and green paddy fields which provides the homely ambiance to both native as well as migratory birds. The species of birds that are the attraction of the place are cuckoo, heron, egret, cormorant, moorhen, darter, brahminy kite, waterfowl, Siberian crane, teal bird, flycatcher, etc. There are some parts that are not accessible easily so one can hire a motorboat to visit those places.

Panachikkad Saraswathi Temple

The beautiful temple of goddess Saraswathi was built 1000 years back by a native Brahman family. The temple is also renowned as the Mookambika of south. The temple look beautiful as it is surrounded by lush greenery and has its architecture in Kerala style with stone and woods used in it. The deity is situated in a pond that is present in the temple. There are many open places in the temple that are meant for conducting traditional songs and dance festival. During the festivals the place is decorated with colorful lights and sound that makes the temple look adorable and a must visit during festive season.

Vaikom Mahadeva Temple

The lord Shiva temple located in Kottayam at Vaikom and is among the oldest and ancient temple in the state. The Shiva Linga present in the temple is believed to be from the Treta Yug. The temple celebrates many local as well as Indian festivals. The temple is spread in a vast eight acres of land. The two chambers Mukhyamandapa and Garbhgraha are made with woods and stones respectively. The walls are decorated with stones and woods depicting the stories from Puranas. The enormous Nandi is carved out of a single stone and the Shiva Linga present is six feet high made of black stone. The temple is an interesting place to be experienced when on the trip to kerala.

Poonjar Palace

Poonjar palace exhibits royal richness of the ancient period. The palace was constructed 600 years ago by Poonjar Maharajas. Use of woods in the palace shows the traditional architecture of kerala. Wooden carved palace has a museum that exhibits the wooden furniture of ancient times, statues, sculpture of dancing Shiva, weapons, rock-cut lamps and many such antiques. The place is best for art and history lovers and shows how the royal family had lived their lifestyle.

  • By roadKottayam is connected to all major towns and cities in India. Due to excellent networks of roads there are regular buses from major cities to Kottayam and one can also travel by their own car or taxis.
  • By TrainThere are regular trains to Kottayam and from kottayam to different cities.
  • By PlaneKottayam does not has any airport. Nearest domestic airport is 51 km away from Kottayam at Kochi and nearest international airport is 127 km away from Kottayam at Thiruvananthpuram.
  • State: Kerala
  • District: Kottayam
  • Famous for: Pilgrim and leisure travelling
  • Population: 1953646 (2011 census)
  • Languages: Malyalam and English
  • Best time to visit: Aug-Feb
  • Pincode: 686005
  • Std code: +91481

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9 Weekend Getaways from Hyderabad

9 Weekend Getaways from Hyderabad

With the holiday season approaching consisting of some long weekends, we compile a list of 9 weekend getaways from Hyderabad that you can visit.

Weekend Getaways from Hyderabad

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5 Incredible Travel Destinations In South India

5 Incredible Travel Destinations In South India

South India really has an unmistakable society that isolates it from the rest. Not simply that, each state in south India has made sense of how to hold its own specific unmistakable identity. Complex asylum building outline, real remnants, palm circumscribed trenches, slants, and shoreline will mesmerize you with a changed and fascinating excursion to south India. Why wait? Pack your backpack and enjoy the travel. If you happen to travel to the Southern peninsular, make an effort not to miss these five must see south Indian spots. We bring you 5 Incredible Travel Destinations In South India.

  • Hampi: One of India’s top chronicled destinations, the laid back town of Hampi in Karnataka was once the last capital of Vijayanagar, one of the best Hindu spaces in India’s history. It has some significantly fascinating remains, intriguingly blended with incomprehensible rocks that move down all over the place all through the scene. The remainders, which do a reversal to the fourteenth century, stretch for somewhat more than 25 kilometers (10 miles) and contain more than 500 historic points. A brain boggling nostalgia can be felt at this out of date spot.
Hampi
Fort Kochi
  • Fort Kochi: Known as the “Door to Kerala”, Kochi is a spellbinding city that has had a differing effect. The Arabs, British, Dutch, Chinese, and Portuguese have all left their mark on the city. Stronghold Kochi is lined with buildings and true districts, and is a sublime spot to stroll around and examine nature. And for those seeking a little rejuvenation, you’ve entered the land of Ayurveda!
  • Kerala Backwaters: A champion amongst the most tranquil and serenity, the best activity you can do in Kerala is take an outing in a houseboat along the palm-circumscribed Kerala canals, known as the backwaters. Time truly seems to stand still.  You can even spend the night on the watercraft, out in the midst of the water, incorporated by quietness. Delight! Remembering you’re in the area, why not stay a night or two from an idealistic point of view home stays such as Vembanad House, on the banks of Vembanad Lake. You can also book Kerala Tour Package.
Kerala Backwaters
Varkala
  • Varkala: The setting of Varkala shoreline in Kerala is adequately striking to knock your socks off, with a long contorting stretch of feign and points of view that connect over the Arabian Sea. A cleared pathway continues running along the feign length, flanked by coconut palms, inquisitive shops, shoreline shacks, lodgings, and guest houses. On the off chance that you’re there in the midst generally March/early April, endeavor and catch the temple festivity.
  • Madurai: Old Madurai in Tamil Nadu is home to the most extraordinary and basic religious spot in south India, the Meenakshi Temple. In case you simply see one south Indian haven, the Meenakshi Temple should be it. The city of Madurai is more than 4,000 years old, and has remained an imperative spot for Tamil culture and learning. The 12 day Chithirai Festival, including a re-requested perfect wedding of God and Goddess, is held in Madurai amid April every year.
Madurai

The best part about this specific trek to India could be the temperate component related. You can spare a few pennies by settling on travel discounts from online portas like Goibibo, TicketGoose, Redbus and more which will make your South Indian Affair worth remembering!

About the author

Contributor

Sravanthi is an avid reader, music lover and coffee addict. She works at GrabOn.in. In her free time, she writes guest blog posts on topics of her interests. You can spot her writings on GrabOn blog and various other blogs on the web.

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Hyderabad city of pearls

Hyderabad city of pearls

Travel Guide

Hyderabad city of pearls, is the capital of newly formed state of Telangana and is the fifth largest city in India, being the former seat of one of the world’s richest monarch dynasty known as the Nizams. It is a major center of Islamic culture and is a harmonious amalgam of the South and the North India.

Hyderabad became famous when the fourth Qutb Shahi ruler, Quli Qutb Shah created this new capital and named it after his Begum- Hyder Mahal. Before the founding of Hyderabad, the Qutb Shahi kings ruled from the fortress of Golconda – 11 kms to the west. Today, the extensive ruins of the fort, with Qutb Shahi’s tomb, have become principal attractions for tourists.

The city of smiles, of lights, of a thousand faces, endearingly called the Pearl City, current day Hyderabad offers a variety of tourist attractions ranging from Heritage monuments, Lakes and Parks, Gardens and Resorts, Museums to delectable cuisine and a delightful shopping experience. To the traveler, Hyderabad offers a fascinating panorama of the past, with a richly mixed cultural and historical tradition spanning 400 colorful years.

 

 

Charminar

Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah, the founder of Hyderabad, built Charminar in 1591 at the center of the original city. It is believed that Charminar was constructed as a charm to ward off a deadly epidemic raging during that time. Four graceful minarets soar to a height of 48.7 m above the ground. Charminar has 45 prayer spaces and a mosque in it. Charminar is open to the tourists to view the architectural splendor in and around the monument. The Charminar is also considered as the signature of Hyderabad just as the Taj Mahal is of Agra.

Mecca Masjid

Mecca masjid is situated 200 mtrs. to the southwest of Charminar, the bricks to build the central arch were brought from Mecca thus giving this splendid monument the name. The mosque was completed by Aurangzeb in 1694

Laad Baazar

This is famous, colourful shopping centre of the old city, tucked away in one of the streets leading off from Charminar. The market is famous for Bridal wear, Pearls and the traditional Hyderabadi glass and stone studded bangles are sold here.

Golconda Fort

Golconda is one of the famous forts of India. The name originates from the Telugu words “Golla Konda” meaning “Shepherd’s Hill”. The origins of the fort can be traced back to the Yadava dynasty of Deogiri and the Kakatiyas of Warangal. Golconda was originally a mud fort, which passed to the Bahmani dynasty and later to the Qutb Shahis, who held it from 1518 to 1687 A.D. The fort is famous for its acoustics, palaces, ingenious water supply system and the famous Fateh Rahben gun, one of the cannons used in the last siege of Golconda by Aurangzeb, to whom the fort ultimately fell.

Light and Sound show

The glorious past of Golconda Fort is narrated effectively with matchless Sound and Light effects. The unique Sound & Light Show takes you right back in time, when Golconda was full of life, glory and grandeur.

Qutb Shahi Tombs

The tombs of the legendary Qutb Shahi kings lie about a kilometre away from Banjara Darwaza of the Golconda Fort. These tombs were Planned and built by the Qutb Shahis themselves, and are considered to be the oldest historical monuments in Hyderabad. The tombs are built in Persian, Pathan and Hindu architectural styles using grey granite, with stucco ornamentation, the only one of its kind in the world where an entire dynasty has been buried at one place.

Ramoji Film City

Spread across a sprawling 2000 acres Ramoji Film City, set up by Ramoji Group in 1996, is a dreamy celluloid journey. a magical realm filled with excitement and wonderful surprises at every turn. As the world’s largest integrated film city and india’s only thematic holiday destination with magic of cinema.

Birla Mandir

This white marble temple of Lord Venkateshwara floats on the city skyline, on Kala Pahad. The idol in the temple is a replica of the one at Tirumala Tirupati. It is also a perfect place to look  and admire the beauty of the Hussain sagar and its surrounding necklace road.

Birla Planetarium

Birla Planetarium is India’s most modern planetarium and first of its kind in the country. It is equipped with advanced technology from Japan and is built on Naubat Pahad adjacent to Kala Pahad. It is one of the perfect places for the star gazers in Hyderabad.

Salar Jung Museum

This museum houses one of the biggest one-man collections of antiques of the world by Mir Yousuf Ali Khan, Salar Jung III. The objects, art and artifacts include Persian carpets, Moughal miniatures, Chinese porcelain, Japanese lacquerware, famous statues including the Veiled Rebecca and Marguerite and Mephistopheles, a superb collection of jade, daggers belonging to Queen Noor Jahan and the Emperors Jahangir and Shah Jahan, Aurangzeb’s sword and many other fabulous items.

Nehru Zoological Park

Spanning across an area of 300 lush green acres, the Nehru Zoological Park is a must for nature lovers. It has over 250 species of animals and birds, most of which are kept in conditions as close to their natural habitats as possible. This is the first zoo to create moated enclosures for animals. The Lion Safari Park, Natural History Museum and Children’s Train are the added attractions

Shilparamam

This is a must visit place in Hyderabad for those who love handicrafts. It is build across an area of 30 acres in the Hi-tech city showcasing arts and crafts from around the country. India is an ocean of various arts and crafts and to give the artisans a platform to showcase their products this craft village was built. The crafts village hosts annual bazaars, where artists and artisans from all over the country exhibit their talent.

Hussainsagar Lake

Excavated in 1562 A.D. by Hussain Shah Wali during the time of Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah, the lake has a promenade that is a busy thoroughfare today. Boating and water sports are a regular feature in the Hussainsagar. One of the World’s tallest monolithic statues of the Buddha stands on the ‘Rock of Gibraltar’, in the middle of the lake.

Nizam's Silver Jubilee Museum

Purani Haveli, the palace acquired around 1750 by the second Nizam, is now converted into a museum with a fascinating collection. The museum exhibits the gifts and mementos presented to the last Nizam on the occasion of the silver jubilee celebrations in 1937. A 1930 Rolls Royce, Packard and a Mark V Jaguar are among the vintage cars displayed.

Chow mohalla Palace

Built in several phases by the Nizams between 1857-1869, this is now one of the heritage buildings. The complex comprises four palaces in Moghal and European styles, of which the main palace is double storeyed with the others being single-storeyed blocks.

Chilkur Balaji Temple

The Balaji Temple is located at Chilkur in the Hyderabad district. It is 33 Kms away from Mehdipatnam. Generally temple gets heavy rush on Saturdays and Sundays. Set in sylvan surroundings, the temple attracts thousands of pilgrims every year and is an ideal place for sequestered retreat and meditation.

KBR National Park

One of the largest parks within the city KBR National Park is a Southern tropical deciduous forest and the last vestigial representative of the endemic flora of Hyderabad region, with over 100 species of birds, 20 species of reptiles and 15 species of butterflies.

Mrugavani National Park

Located at Chilkur, 25 km. from Hyderabad, the park contains the endemic flora of Hyderabad and is an urban refuge for small mammals like Deers, wildboar, jungle cat etc.

 

  • Air: The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport located at a distance of 35km. from Hi-tech city is connected to all the major destinations in India as well as abroad.
  • Train: Nampally & Secundrabad railway stations are connected with all major cities in India. These stations also connect Hyderabad to many short & long distance routes to small cities as well.
  • Road: Hyderabad is connected with Major National and State highways and the road conditions are pretty good to give the travelers a smooth and comfortable ride.

 

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  • State: Telangana
  • District: Hyderabad
  • Famous for/as: Heritage, Technology
  • Languages: Telugu, English
  • Best time to visit: October to March
  • Weather: Summers 20 to 45°C, Winter 14 to 32°C
  • Pincode: 500xxx
  • STD code: 040
  • State Govt. tourism website: http://www.telanganatourism.gov.in/

 

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Kanyakumari – The Tip Of India

Kanyakumari – The Tip Of India

Travel Guide

Kanyakumari, officially spelled as Kanniyakumari, in Tamil Nadu is the southern most tip of India. It is surrounded by majestic hills and the plains are bordered by colourful sea-shores. The land is fringed with coconut trees and paddy fields, here and there are few elevated patches of red cliffs with undulating valleys and plains between the mountainous terrain and the sea – coast, so closely interwoven with Temples and Churches and other edifices, that it makes it the most captivating view.

The main attraction of Kanyakumari  is of course due to the fact that it is the very tip of the Indian peninsula, also it is the point of confluence of the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. One can see three different colored sand beds here. The sand samples are also sold in sachets for a memorabilia. Nature is so spectacular at Kanyakumari that several other Indian beaches pale by comparison. Cape Comorin is at its best during Chitra Pournami (the full moon day in April) when the sun and moon are face to face on the same horizon but other full moon days are also special and you can see the sun set and the moon rise almost simultaneously.

The legend has it that Kanya Devi, an avatar of Parvati, was to marry Siva, but as he failed to show up on his wedding day, the rice and other grains meant for the wedding feast remained uncooked and remain unused thereafter. As the legend goes, the uncooked grains turned into stones as time went by. Some believe that the small stones on the shore today, which look like rice, are indeed grains from the wedding that was never solemnised. Kanya Devi is now considered a virgin goddess who blesses pilgrims and tourists who flock the town.

Kanyakumari is the place where sage Agasthya lived for a long time and the place where Swami Vivekananda came seeking peace.

Fountain
Kanyakumari district, which lies in the southernmost tip of Peninsular India, is famous for its majestic hills, virgin beaches, pristine rivers and meandering rivulets. The district has a fragrance of architecture culture and customs of neighboring Kerala mixed with the rich deep traditions, culture and architecture of Tamil Nadu.
Mahatma Gandhi Memorial
The beautiful Gandhi Memorial completed in 1956, is situated as a memorial to the Father of the Nation. An urn of Mahatma Gandhi was kept here for public to pay homage before immersion. Mahatma Gandhi visited Kanyakumari twice in 1925 and 1937. In 1948 his ashes were immersed in the sea waters in Kanyakumari. In commemoration of this event a beautiful monument has been constructed here.
Thiruvalluvar Statue
Thiruvalluvar is the immortal poet of Tamil Nadu and has given to the world Thirukkural. The memorial statue of Thiruvalluvar is in Kanyakumari. The 3 tier pedestal known as Atharapeedam is surrounded by an artistic Mandapa known as Alankara Mandapam with 38 feet height. Surrounding the Alankara Mandapa stand 10 elephant statues signifying 8 directions with earth and space down.
Vivekananda Rock Memorial
Vivekananda Rock Memorial is another place in Kanyakumari which attracts large number of tourists. As its name implies, it is essentially a sacred monument, built by the Vivekananda Rock Memorial Committee to commemorate the visit of Swamy Vivekananda to “Shripada Parai” during 24th, 25th and 26th December 1892 for deep meditation and enlightenment. From very ancient times, the rock has been regarded as sacred place. In Puranic tradition, it has been known as “Sripada Parai: meaning the rock that has been blessed by the touch of Shripada feet of the Goddess.
Sunrises & Sunsets
Sunrise can be seen in Kanniyakumari throughout the year at Bay of Bengal. Sunset can be seen from View Tower throughout the year except the months of June, July and August.
View Tower & Telescope House
Panoramic view of landscape, seashore, Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Thiruvalluvar Statue etc., can be seen at View Tower and through Telescope.
Government Museum
The Government Museum, situated on the Beach Road offers a good collection of sculptured artefacts and crafts of South Indian Temples and is one of the “Must See” places in Kanyakumari.
Guganathaswamy Temple
This is a 1000 year old temple and is said to have been built by the King Raja Raja Chola. The architectural style of the Cholas is quiet apparent in this temple. It is located near Railway Station. There are 16 inscriptions found in this temple that date back to the years 1038 A.D., 1044 A.D., 1045 .A.D.
Hall of History - Kumari
It is located south side of Kanyakumari Railway Station exhibits the pictures of historical wonders and also comprised rare photographs Kamarajar, Gandhiji and other freedom fighters.
Suchindrum
Suchindrum is a small village about 12 km. from Kanyakumari and about seven kilometres from Nagercoil. This holy place is located on the bank of the river Pazhayar, adjoining fertile fields and coconut groves and the temple is dedicated to Sri Sthanumalayan.
Kanyakumari Bagavathiamman Temple
Kanyakumari derives its name from from Goddess Kanyakumari Amman, the presiding deity of the area. The most prominent temple, the Kumari Amman, is dedicated to the goddess Parvathi as a virgin. The temple situated at the edge of the ocean for Goddess Kanyakumari has the legendary account that once Banusura, the demon king got supremacy over Devas and meted out cruel punishment to them.
Udayagiri Fort
The fort was rebuilt in the reign of Marthandavarma, the Venad King, during 1741-44. Under the supervision of De Lannoy, the Belgian General, who served as the Chief of the Travancore army; East India Company’s troops were stationed there till the middle of the 19th century. In the early days, the fort was of strategic importance. Prisoners captured in the campaign against Tippu were confined in this fort for some time. It is further said that a brass gun 16 ft. long bored as a 22 ponder, found in the fort could not be removed even for a few yards by a large number of people, even with the help of 16 elephants.
Mathoor Hanging Bridge
The Mathoor Hanging Trough is the tallest as well as the longest trough bridge in Asia, having a height of 115 feet and a length of one kilometre. Constructed in 1966, this bridge has become a place of tourist importance and hundreds of tourists visit this place. This is situated in Mathoor, hamlet of Aruvikkarai revenue village in Thiruvattar Panchayat Union.
St. Xavier Church
St.Xavier an outstanding and dedicated priest visited the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu from Goa, he never missed the opportunity of visiting Kottar in Kanniyakumari district which was a celebrated commercial centre at that time.
Padmanabhapuram Palace
The ancient historical town Padmanabhapuram is 55 Km. south of Trivandrum, about 2 km. east of Thuckalay and 35 km. from Kanyakumari on the Trivandrum-Cape Comerin road. This town is surrounded by a fort with an area of 187 acres. The ancient capital of Travancore might be constructed before AD 1601. The palace with an area of seven acres, is situated in the very centre on the Padmanabhapuram Fort, amidst hills, dales and rivers. The fort which was built with mud originally was dismantled and reconstructed with granite by Maharaja Marthanda Varma. The height of the walls varies from 15’ to 24’ according to the inclination of the ground.
Pechiparai Dam
About 43 km. from Nagercoil this dam has been constructed. This dam in Kalkulam Taluk, was built during the days of the Maharaja Sri Moolam Thirunal across the river Kodayar. The construction of the dam was designed on the pattern of the Periyar dam in the Madurai district. There is a camp shed provided at the dam side for the visitors. The weather is very pleasant and hence attracts a large number of tourists. The reservoir is surrounded by dense forests which are famous for their valuable trees and rich would life such as tiger, elephants, deer etc. A hill tribe, small in number known as ‘Kanikars’ dwell in the dense forests around the lake.
Peer Mohammed Durha
There is a durha named ‘Peer Mohamed Oliyullah Durha’ at Thuckalay named after the great philosopher Mohamed Appa, who was born in Tenkasi of Tirunelveli District. After spending sometime in spiritual pursuits in Peermedu of Kerala State he came and stayed at Thuckalay. Being a Tamil poet of great eminence, he wrote many books on philosophy. He had intimate relationship with the Kings of Chera dynasty. It is said that he laid foundation stone for the Padmanabhapuram Granite Fort.
Tirparappu Water Falls
The Kodayar makes its descend at Tirparappu and the water fall at this place is about 13km. from Pechiparai dam. The river bed is rocky and about 300 feet in length. The water falls from a height of nearly 50 feet and the water flows for about seven months in a year.
Maruthuva Malai
The Maruthuva Malai also known as the Marunthu Vazhum Malai the abode of medicinal herbs, forms from part of the Western Ghats. According to tradition, the Maruthuva Malai is a fragment of the Sanjeevi Mountain, a piece of which fell down here, and it was carried by Hanuman from Mahendragiri to Srilanka for healing the fatal wounds of Lakshmana, the brother of Rama, the epic hero. It stretches for more than a km, reaching a height of 800 feet at the highest point. It is about 11km. from Nagercoil.
Chitharal
Chitharal is a small village situated at a distance of 7 Kms., from Marthandam and 45 Kms, from Kanyakumari. It is famous for the Rock-cut temple. Hillock at Chitharal has a cave containing Rock-cut sculptures of Thirthankaras and attendant deities carved inside and outside dating back to 9th Century A.D. It was converted into Bagavathy Temple in the 13th Century A.D. Cars and Vans can go up to the foot of the hill. One has to walk for about 10 minutes to reach the temple. The Jain images have been preserved by Central Archaeological Survey of India.
Muttom Beach
The famous beach at Muttom is located about 16 kms from Nagercoil and 32 kms from Kanyakumari. Muttom is famous for its beautiful landscaping and high rocks dipping into the sea at the beach-side. The sun set view point at Muttom is one of the most Panoramic view points in the district. Another attraction of Muttom is the century old light-house built by the British.
Vattakottai (Circular Fort)
VATTAKOTTAI (Agasteeswaram Taluk): Vattakottai, a granite fort six kilometres north-east of Kanyakumari cape, forms the terminal of a line of ramparts known as the South Tranvancore lines built by Marthanda Varma to serve as defence for Nanjil Nadu. It is rectangular in shape and covers an area of about three and a half acres.
Chothavilai Beach
This beach is about 10 Kms from Kanyakumari, is one of the best natural beaches of the district. The beach has shallow water and High sand dunes on the back ground. The tourists can reach the beach through the newly laid coastal road which is a very beautiful drive along the sea-coast.
Bay watch (Water Theme Amusement Park)
The water theme amusement park at sunset point offers a unique way to experience the exotic grandeur of Kanyakumari in its integrals. Baywatch comes up with a wholesome family entertainment saga of rapturous experience, which leaves you at a point of nonstop excitement in a thrilling and bewitching water world. It also hosts India’s first wax museum.
  • Rail: The Kanyakumari Junction is just 1 km away from the central bus stand. The major railway station near Kanyakumari is Trivandrum Central, which is connected to all parts of India by rail. There are many starting trains from Kanyakumari, including trains to Delhi (Rajdhani Exp), Kolkata (Shalimar Exp), Mumbai (Cape Mumbai Exp), Chennai (Kanyakumari Exp) and Bangalore (Bangalore Exp).
  • Road: Lots of public and private bus services are available from Kanyakumari. Kerala and Tamil Nadu Road Transport Corporation buses connect Kanyakumari with many cities in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Deluxe and super deluxe bus services are available from Kanyakumari to Bangalore, Chennai and Trivandrum.
  • Air: Nearest Airport is Trivandrum International Airport which is at a distance of 87 km from Kanyakumari. Trivandrum airport is well connected with many major cities in India and abroad. Direct flights from many gulf countries are available from Trivandrum. Tourist taxi charges about Rs 1,500 from Trivandrum to Kanyakumari.

Travel guide to Trivandrum

Thiruvananthapuram or Trivandrum the land of Sree Anantha Padmanabhaswamy, is the capital city of Kerala. The city is surrounded by Tamil Nadu in the east whereas by Arabian Sea in the west.

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  • State: Tamil Nadu
  • District: Kanyakumari
  • Famous for/as: Beaches, Historical
  • Languages: Tamil
  • Best Season: Oct – Mar
  • Weather: Summer 23 to 35°C, Winter 17 to 21°C
  • Pincode: 629xxx
  • STD code: 04652

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Srisailam, Bhramarambha Mallikharjuna Swami Devasthanam

Srisailam, Bhramarambha Mallikharjuna Swami Devasthanam

Travel Guide

The shrine of Lord Mallikarjuna picturesquely situated on a flat top of Nallamalai Hills, Srisailam is reputed to be one of the most ancient kshetras (area) in India. It is on the right side of the River Krishna in Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh. This celebrated mountain is also named as Siridhan, Srigiri, Sirigiri, Sriparvatha and Srinagam. It has been a popular centre of Saivite pilgrimage for centuries.

The presiding Deities of this kshetram Lord Mallikarjuna Swamy is one of the twelve Jyothirlingas and Goddess Bhramaramba Devi is one of the eighteen Mahasakthis and both are self-manifested. The unique feature of this kshetram is the combination of Jyothirlingam and Mahasakthi in one campus, which is very rare and only one of its kind.

There is a common belief in vogue that this Holy Kshetram exists from times immemorial. The antiquity and origin of God Mallikarjuna Swamy and Goddess Bhramaramba Devi is not known.

The Mallikarjuna Linga is accessible to each and every devotee and anybody can go into the sanctum sanctorum of Mallikarjuna, touch him and perform Abhishekam and Archana himself to recitation of Mantras by Archakas without caste or creed or religion. This clearly reveals that socialistic pattern of society started from this place and it is still in existence.

 

 

Panchamatams

These are popular as the Panchamathas namely Ghantha Matham, Bheemasankara Matham, Vibhoothi Matham, Rudraksha Matham and Sarangadhara Matham. The Mathas played an important role in the History and Cult of Srisailam. They are well associated with the religious and social activities of the temple in the medieval times.

These Mathas acted as educational institutions dedicated to higher learing in various branches and catered to the intellectual and spiritual needs of the society. Srisailam became a powerful saivate centre because of the existence and activities both spiritual and profane of these Mathas. The origin of the Mathas seems to be as early as 7th Century A.D. The historical inscriptions related to Srisailam speak about eleven Mathas in Srisailam however, only 5 Mathas are still in existence but are in dilapidated condition.

Sikharam

This most sacred spot is located at about 8 Km from the main temple at a height of 2830 feet above the mean sea level. It is the highest peak of Srisailam Hills. The Skanda Purana proclaims that a mere glance of this Sikharam frees the human soul from the fitters of rebirth. In ancient days people used to come to Srisailam on foot and those who unable to reach the shrine returned back by seeing this peak. The Sikhareswaram temple is an ancient stone structure consisting of Garbhagriha, Antaralaya and 16 pillered Mukhamanda. The deity here is named as Veera Sankara Swamy and locally popularized as Sikhareswara Swamy. This place give a panoramic view of the entire temple complex of Srisailam including the meandering river Krishna.

Hatakeswaram

This picturesque spot is on the way to Srisailam of about 5 Km away in a serine atmosphere. Tradition hopes that at this place God Siva appeared to a potter devotee in Atika (Piece of Pot) and hence named as Atikeswaram and later it became as Hatakeswaram. Another tradition gives the name to this place from a particular yogic school known as Hatayoga, one of the form of Astangayogas (the eight yogas). Some historians located a laboratory of Akhemy (Rasayoga) at this place during medieval times.

Phaladhara Panchadhara

This most beautiful scene spot in surroundings of Srisailam is located about 4 Km from the main temple. Tradition records that Bhagavan Adisankara performed penance at this place and composed the famous Sivanandalahari here. Marble statues of Sarada Devi and Sankaracharya are installed there and daily regular Poojas are offered.

This spot is located in a narrow valley approachable by a flight of steps where subterranean streams of pure water with musical sound reverberating the surroundings. According to local folk these streams are known as Phaladhara Panchadhara and these two signify their origin from the fore head of God Siva the Phaladhara.

Sakshi Ganapathi

This small shrine located about 3 Kms from Srisailam and is one of the sacred spots frequented by pilgrims since times immemorial. The traditional belief is that the Ganapathi in this temple keeps regular account of all the pilgrims to tender Sakshyam (evidence) of their visit to this Kshetram and so named as Sakshi Ganapathi. The sculpture of this deity is exquisitely made holding a book in the left hand and a pen in the right hand in such a way as noting down the names of devotees. It is in practice that devotees during their return had the darshan of this Ganapathi and informed their name and gotra to him. Srinatha the renowed poet of 14th Century A.D. in his Kasikhandam states that this Sakshi Ganapathi is visualized by sage Agasthya during his pilgrimage to Srisailam.

Temple of Istakameswari

The ancient temple of Istakameswari is located in a dense and picturesque forest environment about 21 Km to the east of Srisailam. The sculpture of the Goddess has a serene and beautiful smiling face which at once captures the attention of one and all.

Akkamahadevi Caves

The Nallamalai Hill ranges are studded with innumerable natural caves and caverns which were known to human beings since the prehistoric times. One such among them is the Akkamahadevi Caves. This naturally formed cave, just above the flow of the river Krishna at a distance of 10 Km from Srisailam. This cave is endowed with a geological marvel of natural Rock Arch measuring nearly 200 x 16 x 4 feet which stands majestically without any support.

The wind weathered rock in and around the cave keeps the visitor spellbound. The surrounding of the cave and its journey through the river Krishna from Srisailam provides a wonderful experience to one and all. Exploring the meandering cave to 150 meters deep is also very adventurous.

Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve

The largest Tiger reserve in India . The reserve spreads over five districts,Nalgonda District, Mahbubnagar district, Kurnool District, Prakasam District and Guntur District. State highway passes through this tiger reserve and gives a very good view of forest. If traveled with ample time and patience, people can see lot of wildlife wandering in the forest. If planning to visit, please verify the timings as the highway is close at night.

Patala Ganga

As the River Krishna turns down hill, it is surrounded by a certain spirituality in the air. Enjoy the sceneries around you and take a dip into these sacred waters, believed to have medicinal properties for healing skin diseases. One can also try the enjoyable ropeway car ride and look down at the majestic river and lush green beauty all around.

Tribal Museum

Find yourself fascinated as you witness instances of the livelihoods and cultures of the tribes of Andhra Pradesh at the Chenchu Lakshmi Museum. Also, honey collected by the tribes and packaged by the state government is also available at the museum for sale and is a true specialty to take back home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Air: The closest airport to Srisailam is located at Hyderabad, at distance of about 232 kms from the city. Hyderabad has its own airport, which is connected to Vishakapatnam, Bangalore, Chennai, Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi and various other cities of India.
  • Train: Nearest railhead to Srisailam is the Markapur Road, in the Guntur-Hubli metre gauge rail route. The major broad-gauge railway station nearby is at Hyderabad at a distance of 232 kms.
  • Road: Srisailam is well connected with near by cities such as Hyderabad, Mahaboobnagar, Hyderabad, Devorkonda, Mahanandi, Anantapur, Chitradurg, Guntur, Mantralayam, Tirupati and Vijayawada by road.

 

 

Papikondalu, Nature at its best

Looking for a weekend getaway in Andhra Pradesh? Papikondalu offers you the ideal camping location with a view of Papi hills, a scenic gorge on the Godavari.

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Hyderabad city of pearls

Hyderabad city of pearls is the capital of newly formed state of Telangana and is the fifth largest city in India, being the former seat of one of the world’s richest monarch dynasty known as the Nizams. It is a major center of Islamic culture and is a harmonious amalgam of the South and the North India.

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Chirala, An Unexplored Beach

If you are planning a weekend getaway to a peaceful beach, then Chirala is the place to be. It is a relatively unexplored beach in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh (Telangana).

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  • State: Andhra Pradesh
  • District: Kurnool
  • Famous for/as: Pilgrim, Jyotirlinga
  • Languages: Telugu, Hindi
  • Best Season: Nov – Mar
  • Weather: Summer 22-41°C, Winter 15-30°C
  • Altitude: 409 m
  • Pincode: 518002
  • STD code: 08512

 

 

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