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Tanjore Temple: all you need to know before visiting.

The land of temples -India is home to some of the most beautiful, historic, and architecturally fabulous temples in the world. Often a hot topic for researchers when it comes to building techniques and heights achieved in ancient times as compared to the technological progress achieved in building monuments today. The Tanjore Temple is an architectural marvel, which stumps historians even today.

While this temple is closed temporarily, just like all the others in India, we hope you have enough information around it to plan a trip to this wonder when its doors open.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Thanjavur Brihadeshwara Temple, symbolises heritage and culture of the Tamilnadu state. Locally known as the Thanjavur Periya Kovil, this temple is devoted to Lord Shiva and is one of the largest temples in India. King Raja Raja Cholan had this temple built between 984 A.D. and 1010 A.D. The temple shows the creative skills and affluence of the Chola kingdom

History

Arulmozhivarman, the emperor, popularly known as Rajaraja Chola I, was a Lord Shiva devotee and laid the foundations of the Tanjore temple after he dreamt about it in Sri Lanka (Ceylon). This temple was the center of most festivals celebrated in the Chola kingdom and it served as the center of economic and religious activities. Villages from the country provided human resources and material to maintain the temple.

Location

Called the Big Temple, it lies is in the Thanjavur district of Tamilnadu. Built on the banks of the river Cauvery, where the water was diverted to the moat, this temple is made entirely of granite, and it stands tall amidst fortified walls. The closest airports are Tiruchirappalli and Madurai and closest seaport is the Karaikal port.

The Tanjore temple is on the top Archaeologist List of top picks for its unsolved mysteries and engineering feats in the 11th -century.

Places to visit while visiting Tanjore Temple

1. Airavateshwara Temple: It is one of the greatest living Chola temples in Darasuram, Tanjavur. The legends say Lord Shiva’s white elephant Airawat worshipped the Lord to clear the curse Sage Durvasa gave him. A visit to this temple is a must.

2. Thanjavur Royal Palace: Located inside the Vijayanagara fort complex, the royal palace was once the residence of the Nayak Kings. The Nayak Hall, Saraswati Mahal library and the durbar hall are worth a visit.

3. Gangaikonda Temple: The architectural brilliance of Thanjavur does not end with the Tanjore temple. The 1000-year old Gangaikonda temple is an instance of the beautiful temple carvings, engineering virtuoso and historic significance of the Chola reign. It is a part of the UNESCO’s Living Chola temples World Heritage sites.

4. Vijayanagar Fort: Just 2-km away from the Brahadeeswara temple lies the celebrated Vijayanagar Fort. This stately fort was built partly by the Nayak and the Maratha monarchs in early 1550 AD. The Shiva Ganga Gardens are also a part of the complex. Though the fort is mostly in ruins today, it still resonates the métier and opulence it must have once had.

Read More : Things to Do in Thanjavur

How to reach the temple

The temple is easily accessible with direct flights to Tiruchirappalli or Madurai or the nearest railway station Thanjavur or Trichy. You can even use the bus or local taxi to reach Thanjavur.

Ramakkalmedu.

As the famous Hollywood superstar, Leonardo DiCaprio remarked about Ramakkalmedu, ‘If there is a paradise on Earth, it is here.’
Ramakkalmedu, a small abode in the hills of Idukki, is indeed a paradise on Earth. The visit to God’s Own Country of Kerala would remain incomplete without a visit to the beautiful destination of Ramakkalmedu. It is located at a height of 3500 feet above sea level and is 15 kilometers from Nedumkandam in Thekkady.

Ramakkalmedu also called as Kerala’s ‘cradle of wind’ is a famous hill station in Idukki District of Kerala which provides a panoramic view of Tamilnadu villages and towns.
Ramakkalmedu is not only a hill station but also a windy spot too.There are a lot of attractions but the main attraction in Ramakkalmedu is the Kuruvan and Kuruvatti statue, which is  located in one of the hills of Ramakaklmedu.
The myth behind the name “Ramakkalmedu” is Rama – kal – medu literally means “Land of Rama’s Stone” or “Land where Rama kept his leg”. The story behind this place says that Lord Rama kept his feet at the tip of Ramakkalmedu to search Ravana the King of Lanka, who abducted his wife Sita.

Ponmudi: Wonderful Hilly Retreat of Western Ghats.

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Ponmudi, is also called Golden peak and is a part of western ghats. It is a small hill station, only 3 hours drive and is the perfect choice. It is situated at an altitude of 3,000 feet, the drive to the hilly retreat is the most scenic. Natives in the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram will always say that weekend drive to ponmudi is the best way to spend time. Families and Friends groups are known to go on long drive through winding road and through the thriving hills and sweepings valleys of the Western Ghats, leading up to Ponmudi from Trivandrum.

Most Flora and Fauna can be seen here including mountain flowers, wild orchids and exotic butterflies. The climate of the place is very pleasant and most part of the year this place is covered with thick mist. A large number of cottages and resorts have come up in the area, tourists can enjoy all essence of nature and its beauty while staying. The tree house view tower is another great place to visit here in Ponmudi.

A special attraction of the ponmudi is meenmuty-Kallar waterfall, One can always stopover at the breath-taking Kallar river on the way. This River flows parallel to the road in the opposite direction, and Meenmutty Waterfalls only a little distance ahead. A good part of this space is covered with dense forest and can be reached only after covering these forest. And the wildflowers growing on the banks of brooks just adds to the overall beauty. The waterfall cascade down and series of boulders to form a large pool. Then cold water flowing through rocks is a beautiful sight. Kallar is also a popular and favorite destination for bird watchers.

ponmudi-hill

Golden Valley doesn’t involve any trek to reach the place. The highlight here is the gushing water of Kallar River, which is perfect for a dip. Also, the place is strewn with golden-hued stones and pebbles which can be the reason behind the name of this place. Wildlife enthusiasts rejoice, because Ponmudi is home to Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary, rich in flora, fauna. The terrain of this sanctuary is hilly, with the beautiful Karamana river meandering through it. The most commonly spotted animals here are the elephant, leopard, sloth bear, sambar, Nilgiri langur, and macaques.

ponmudi-hill-station

A special attraction of the ponmudi is meenmuty-Kallar waterfall, One can always stopover at the breath-taking Kallar river on the way. This River flows parallel to the road in the opposite direction, and Meenmutty Waterfalls only a little distance ahead. A good part of this space is covered with dense forest and can be reached only after covering these forest. And the wildflowers growing on the banks of brooks just adds to the overall beauty. The waterfall cascade down and series of boulders to form a large pool. Then cold water flowing through rocks is a beautiful sight. Kallar is also a popular and favorite destination for bird watchers.

PONMUDI OFFERS BEAUTIFUL TREKKING TRAILS

Varayadumotta

Ponmudi offer great trails to many wonders in nature. Varayamuttom is the most popular treking trails in ponmudi offers the panorasmic view of the hills along with Nilgiri Thar. Nilgiri Thar is known as Varayadu. It is a full day long treking program and climbing the mountain 1100m high. The base of the trek is the evergreen shola forest.

Seethatheertham

Trekking to the stream of Seethatheertham in Ponmudi is a 4 km trekking programme ponmudi. We can find the r uins of temples and can also see the footprints of Goddess Seetha, and once the goddess satiated her thirst in this river as it is believed by the locals. The herds of elephants and gaurs can be spotted here.

Manachala

Manachala is a 6 km trekking programme to the base camp of Varayadumotta Peak organized by Ponmudi Ecotourism. A guide will accompany You during trekking.

Maruthwamala

It is an offseason trekking programme which will be conducted by Ponmudi Eco-tourism to the interior of forests of the Western Ghats region of Ponmudi.

Ponmudi is the ultimate destination for all those who wish to experience nature at its best. There are 22 hairpin bends to route the hill station. The authorities of the forest department had placed a board welcoming tourists to the hill station. They had also issued special instructions in the interest of those who love the the forests as well and requested the visitors to be responsible.

Zero mile stone.

A stone pillar stands in the city of Nagpur, known quite simply as the Zero Mile Stone. Set up during the days of the British Raj, some say it marked the then geographical centre of India. Various distances have been marked on the pillar. There are other such pillars in the country which are living relics of the Great Trigonometric Survey of India — a cartographic or mapping exercise that mapped the contours of India. A survey pillar stands in North Parganas, Bengal. Started in 1802 by the East India Company, it was completed nearly seventy years later in 1871! In the process, four surveyors, including George Everest started and completed their terms!

In 1802, William Lambton began surveying India under the auspices of the East India Company. He was a young British officer, serving in the British Army against Tipu Sultan. Already having shown his acumen at surveying land in the United States, his proposal to survey the Indian Peninsula was accepted by Arthur Wellesley. Using rudimentary instruments, in April 1802, the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India began near Chennai, then Madras.

Using a flat plain as a baseline and topographic features such as hills, the land was surveyed. The process consisted of carefully constructing accurately measured triangles, hence the name ‘Triangulation’. At the end of 1806, it was found that the width of the peninsula was forty miles lesser than the previously presumed measurements! In places such as Tanjore, the pinnacles of temples were used for triangulation.

In 1818, he was joined by a young assistant named George Everest. By this time, most of India had fallen to the British and the Peshwa had been pensioned off to Bithur (Kanpur). The Great Trigonometric Survey could now proceed north. A few years later, Lambton, rather fittingly, died at Hinganghat while travelling from Hyderabad to Nagpur to continue the survey. In twenty years of non-stop work, he had surveyed two lakh square miles of the subcontinent!

The work then passed on to George Everest, who surveyed up to Sironj in today’s Madhya Pradesh, till ill health required him to be recalled to England. Another officer — Joseph Olliver — in his absence surveyed the country from Sironj to Calcutta. Everest returned after spending five years in England, with improved instruments. He resumed work north of the river Chambal. While peninsular India had offered hills, mountains as also flag staffs and coastal features for the survey work, no such help was forthcoming in the flat plains of Terai. Frequent sandstorms added to the trouble. George Everest surmounted this difficulty by erecting observation towers of stone, each thirty feet high. Over the next few years, the survey progressed by the usual painstaking methods and star observations towards the Shivalik hills. Dehradun was also covered by 1841. Two years later, owing to ill health, George Everest retired, but not before he had completely changed the face of carrying out the survey. He brought new instruments and devised methods of calculation superior to his predecessors. He improved on Lambton’s slow method of triangulation and thus, covered a huge swathe of the country.

Just like Col Lambton’s assistant had succeeded him, Col Everest’s assistant, Col Waugh took over the operations. The next five years were spent in calculating the positions and heights of the humongous Himalayan peaks.

Seventy-nine Himalayan peaks were thus covered. Thirty of these peaks were renamed, including Peak No XV, which was renamed to Mt Everest. The survey progressed simultaneously under other officers — from Mumbai towards Mahabaleshwar and south towards Goa . While all this was happening, the East India Company had managed to annex Sindh and Punjab, and Col Waugh readily took up the new survey as a brilliant opportunity. Starting from the already surveyed portion of Dehradun, he proposed to do a continuous survey all across Punjab to Attock, and from Sironj to Karachi. Together, it came to over fifty thousand square miles. From 1856 onwards, under a surveyor named Montgomery, the survey moved north from Sialkot once again into the Himalayas, in what is now PoK. A number of peaks were surveyed, including a certain high peak called Godwin — Austen, named after another British surveyor who surveyed lakes and glaciers in Tibet. Its ‘temporary’ survey number has also endured — Mount K2! In five years, ninety thousand square miles were surveyed with observation stations being set up in the snow and at heights over six kilometres! While the Trigonometric Survey was mapping the broader contours of the country, a Topographical Survey was making more detailed drawings of the interiors. A parallel Revenue survey, even larger in scale was carried out to delineate village and land holding boundaries. Col Blacker succeeded Col Waugh, and in his tenure, the coastline from Calcutta to Madras was surveyed. It had taken over sixty years since Col Lambton began his survey from the same point!

In the centre of all these lines of triangulation mapping the four corners of the country, stands a stone pillar – the Zero Mile Stone!

Coorg.

Top Tourist Attractions in Coorg

Knowing India would ensure one piece of knowledge for sure- go anywhere and there in no chance of missing the sound of temple bells and a sense of belongingness that follows. Add to it the elements of Nature like versicolor fauna amidst equally vivid flora in the ecology of altitude and the picture of Coorg becomes clearer as well as more enchanting. And there is always history of the place to settle down with the missing links. Tour Coorg and see best of this place in its attractions.

Omkareshwar Temple

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple is among the oldest in the region built in 1820. While visiting the temple in November during a festival celebrated here, the combination of Gothic and Islamic structure is hard to miss.

Padi Igguthappa Temple

Built just ten years before Omkaresahwar Temple, its deity is Lord Igguthappa. The holi festival has a different color altogether when celebrated in this premises.

Bhangandeshwara Temple

Architecture which is prominently found in Kerala could be seen in this temple nestled at convergence of three prime southern rivers, namely, Sujyoti, Cauvery and Kanike at the Brahmagiri Peak.

Dargah Sharif of Yemmemadu

Bodies of two great souls, Hazrath Sufi Shaeed and Sayyed Hassan Sakaf Halramir rest here making the place worthy of the respect and homage that it receives from people of all faiths.

Honnamana Kere

Sacrifice often results in lasting memories, just as this place represents. Doddamatlthe, home to this lake, receives many tourists and visitors, especially during Gowri Festival.

Namdroling Monastery

Located in Bylakuppe, the place is a great attraction for the believers of Buddhism as well as those who seek to know Kodagu as much as they can on their trip.

St. Anne’s Church

With gothic styled architectural construction dating back to 1792, one gets easily hooked by the antiquity of the existence of this church as well as enamored by the beauty of the art.

Iruppu Falls

Also read as Irpu and Irupu, the fall has its origin in Brahamagiri as a stream of Lakshmana-Theertha River, coming down through the hill, later joining with River Cauvery. Area around has a famous temple as well as a Protected Area.

Abbi Falls

Other variations of this name are Abbey and Abby. The sight of the water taking plunge for a glorious fall is indeed worth.

Mallalli Falls

River Kumaradhara takes a mighty jump from around 200 ft.

Chelavara Falls

Some leg-ups on rocky structures, and these falls would be in sight. The greenery around and hilly area makes it an excellent place to adieu sun in companionship of beloved ones.

Nagarhole National Park

Named after the river which flows through the park, it is a feat enjoyed by wildlife lovers and enthusiasts. Situated between Kodagu and Mysore, it combines with other two National Parks- Bandipur and Mudumalai to make largest Protected Area of south.

Cauvery Nisargadhama

Walk on hanging bridge to reach this wonder Nature land and settle in treetop cottage for full vista of the place.

Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary

One of the 21 wildlife sanctuaries, it is great for bird watching along with locating other fauna. If one wishes to see highest peak in the sanctuary- Kumara Parvat with 1,712 m, this is the place to be in.

Brahamagiri Wildlife Sanctuary

Named after highest point of the park- Brahamagiri Peak, it was established in the year 1974. River Borapole serves as its lifeline, where different animals and birds come for respite. Here, temple and the scenery around is sufficient for comfort.

Talakaveri Wildlife Sanctuary

Origin of River Kaveri (Cauvery) has given name to this sanctuary which took this status in 1987. People with strong legs get a lot to test their perseverance.

Dubare Reserve Forest

Known for moist deciduous forest, it is home to many animals and birds that give excellent reason to leave hotel for the warmth of Nature. Dubare Elephant Camp is a nice place in here to see the way elephants are reared and trained. Safaris are also enjoyed.

Chomamale Hill

If trekking is a loved activity, this place is heaven, to which journey starts from Honey Valley.

Bhagamandala

The holy site of confluence of rivers Cauvery and Kanika, is revered by taking holy dip in the waters where it is believed that River Sujyothi also joins underground.

Mandalpatti

It is a viewing point meant to take vistas of Nature as they are in Coorg.

Chiklihole Reservoir

A water body on the Cauvery River, the meadows on one side and setting sun on the other, it provides an excellent site for picnic.

Nehru Mantap

This place is a favorite of the family holidayers, a picnic spot to revel in.

Gaddige

It is the tombs of the kings of the place (names- Virarajendra and Linga Rajendra) and priest of the court. Built in 18th century, the site is reminiscent of the kingdom ruled the place.

Madikeri Fort

The fort is last few leftovers in the sands of time of Coorg, constructed by Muddu Raja in 17th century. Tipu Sultan later strengthened the fort and named it Jaffarabad, which was again reconstructed by Linga Rajendra Wodeyar II. The Palace inside is another feature of the fort.

Harangi Dam

Visiting this dam which is located in Hadgur Village in the season of monsoon is the utmost delight. It attracts tourists from everywhere due to its height of 47 m.

Nalknad Palace

Tadiyandamol Hills is the location of the palace built by Dodda Virarajendra in 1792.

Raja’s Seat

Made completely scenic with the seasonal flowering plants and artificial (and musical) fountains surrounded by the hills of Western Ghats, the place also has entertainment in toy train’s ride.

Clock Tower

The town of Virajpet witnessed the construction of this landmark by Mukkatira Aiyyappa in the honor of King George V.