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COONOR- KOTAGIRI- OOTYThere is something fascinating about South India. For a perfect getaway with the family, here is a route that will leave you refreshed, re-rejuvenated and totally connected with the nature. This route forms an inverted triangle. One starts the journey from Coimbatore to Coonoor, proceeds at an elevation to Kotagiri and then finally reaches Ooty, which is located parallel to Kotagiri. You may also choose to visit Ooty first and then Kootagiri.Recommended Itinerary-One may opt to stay for 2 nights at Coonoor, and 2 nights at Kotagiri, with a day tour to Ooty. This is recommended for travelers who wish to stay away from the mainstream hillstation- Ooty. The other option is 2 nights Coonoor and 2 nights Ooty, with a day tour of Kotagiri.Distance-• Distance between Coimbatore to Coonoor is 71km (2.5hrs).• Distance between Coonoor to Kotagiri is 21km (40mins).• Distance between Coonoor to Ooty is 19km (30mins)• Distance between Kotagiri to Ooty is 30hour (1hr).• Distance between Ooty to Coimbatore is 85km (3hrs).How to Reach-• By Bus: Coonoor is well-connected by many National Highways and smaller roads.• By Train: Coonoor is well-connected with the railway system. Trains to Coonoor are available from all major railway stations in India.• By Flight: The nearest airport is Coimbatore International airport, which has well-connected flights from all over India.
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The name of the place means the Mother's Temple and is also known as the Auroville. The name was given after Rishi Aurobindo who believed that all human beings could overcome supernatural conciousness by rigorous meditation. It has a unique shape of a flattened sphere which is coated with golden discs and this is to represent that there are no ends and corners and that the whole world is round like a sphere here. The disadvantage is that not everyone get the permission to meditate here. This can also be taken as an advantage as you can go through the most peaceful experience due to less people here. As you start entering this place, you will have to remove your shoes and be in complete white socks. You will then have to ascend and descent steps to reach an inner chamber which again has two ramps and pillars which do not touch the ceiling. This is to give a feeling that meditation has no limit. Also the white marble is a symbol of peace here and the symbol of flower has 12 petals representing attributes of the Universal Mother. These are responsive, courage, progress, kindness, generosity, sincereity, peace, humility, gratitude, aspiration and perseverence.
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, this complex is made up of one large and two small temples. These were built during the the 8th Century AD during the time of King Narasimhavarmana II. This place during that time was an important port and a center for trade and business activities. This is known as the Shore Temple Complex as this is very close to the sea and a part of the coastal area on the banks of the Bay of Bengal. People who visit this place make sure to take a dip in the sea before worshipping here.
Also known as the Ekambaranathar Temple, this is a temple in Conjevaram which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This is a huge temple and has a beautiful design and ancient style of temple architecture. It is one of the Panchasthalam dedicated to Lord Shiva. In this the shiva linga is worshipped as Prithvi Linga. There is also a mango tree in the temple complex which has 4 long branches dedicated to the four different Vedas and is said to be around 3000 years old. The tree still bears 4 types of mangoes in four different seasons. This is the same tree under which Goddess Parvathy made a Shivalinga with a wish to remarry Lord Shiva after she got separated from him.
One of the best examples of temple architecture and also one of the tallest temples in the world, this dates back to the 11th Century. The temple was built in Thanjavir by the famous Chola King Chola Raja I and is completely in the Dravidian style of architecture. The awesome part is that the top portion of the temple is built in such a way that it never casts a shadow on the ground during noon. Each and every portion of the temple is widely encarved with motifs and patterns of gods and goddesses. The temple is surrounded with a high wall and the entrance has stone structures beautifully standing till date. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and a beautiful idol is placed in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.
An awesome 4- star hotel in the town of Kanadukathan, this is definitely a place to look out for a very good stay. This is an old style mansion with all the modern amenities and the best group of staff no doubt. The very famous traditional Chettinad Cuisine is what you will love a lot. The rooms are very nice and such a blend of modernism with traditions is an absolute bliss to witness. Their style of welcoming will touch your hearts right away and there is of course a lot more to follow.
The cave temples of Mahabalipuram are a prime attraction here and is also a UNESCO Heritage Site. This is a group of cave temples which were built many years ago and now fall under the category of historic monuments. The Krishna Mandapam is one among these and also the largest of all. This is dedicated to Lord Krishna who is extremely revered by the local people and also is the hero of the most of the legends popular here. As you enter the temple you wilk still find it beautifully decorated with the carvings of the various incidents of Krishna's life. The strong adulthood of Lord Krishna is what is focussed on more. The most attractive incident carved is when the Lord lifted the whole Govardhana Mountain to save the people from heavy rains.
San Thome Church
The history of this church is fascinating. It was built in the 16th century by Portuguese explorers over the tomb of St. Thomas, an apostle of Jesus. But in 1893, it was rebuilt by the British with the status of a cathedral. The neo-gothic style of architecture is something not witnessed easily these days, which makes this one a luxury to the catholics in Chennai and all over.