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.
A very beautiful hill station just a couple of kilometres away from Kodaikanal, this is a place you can visit throughout the year. The temperature is low throughout the year and thus do not forget to carry warm clothes whenever you go there. The rocks and watchpoints here are places from where you will get the best views of the surrounding valleys and mountains. The main points here are the Dolphin's nose and the Suicide Point.
What kind of people were our ancestors? What kind of lives did they lead? Often, the paths leading to the answers to these questions are as fascinating as the answers themselves. If you would like to walk a little way along one such wonderful path of discovery, one good place to visit would be the Edakkal caves in the Ambukuthi Hills in North Kerala, considered to be one of the earliest centres of human habitation. Inside the cave you will find ancient stone scripts, pictorial wall inscriptions of human and animal figures with peculiar headdresses, the swastik form, symbols and cave drawings of human figures, wheels, bows, knives, trees and so on. Getting there: Nearest railway station: Kozhikode, about 97 km from Sultan Bathery Nearest airport: Calicut International Airport about 23 km from Kozhikode
Sri Aurobindo Ashram
This is the prime attraction of Pondicherry and is also known as Auroville. This is like a meditation center where everyone is not allowed to enter. You need strict permission to visit the place and then meditate here. The whole structure of the Ashram is of a ball which is wrapped with golden discs. you need to take off your shoes and enter this ashram with white socks. As you enter this ashram you have to cross a number of stairs and then enter the innermost chamber. Here you will see a huge flower with 12 petals and also 12 huge columns or pillars. The number 12 is a representation of the 12 common aspects of the Universal Mother. This is also the reason why this place is also known as the Mother House. The Pillars inside this chamber do not reach the ceiling. This is to depict that meditation and knowledge does not have any end to it. You find immense peace over here and also get a lot of answers for the inner questions which bother you.
This Serenity Beach is a ten minutes drive toward the town's north. This virgin shoreline, with its peaceful surroundings is a perfect spot to laze away your day. Beautiful and outstanding, the name "Serenity" is exceptionally selected for this shoreline. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that this shoreline is a heaven for honeymooners. You will feel casual and quiet, as well as feel a feeling of having a place. This shoreline will give you an extraordinary perspective of the Indian Ocean and you can invest your energy in a voyage. Since the shoreline is not extremely well known yet, it is detached and peaceful. So keep all of your considerations about extravagant excursions to Paris and Italy away, and make the most of your special night on Indian waters where you will get a desire for time to achieve a standstill. Comparatively this shoreline is cleaner calmer and has a popular surf school toward one side of this shoreline.
This is the highest peak in the Nilgiri region and is about 10 kilometres from the city of Udhagamandalam or Ooty. The main attraction here is the center for tourists on the peak of this hill. There is an observatory on the top floor of this tourist center and there are twin telescopes hre. From the glass paned observatory, with the help of telescopes, you get awesome views of the whole district till far away places.
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.
Home to more than 650 species of plants and herbs, this is a prime attraction in the Queen of Hill Stations which is Ooty. There are a number of rare species of plants and herbs here along with a number of varieties of flowers. The main attraction here is the monkey's puzzle tree which has a strange shape and the name is given because even monkeys fail to climb this tree. There is also a paper bark tree and also a fossilized tree. The other sections of this garden are the Lower Garden, New Garden, Italian Garden, Fountain Terrace, conservatories and fountains. The Government also organizes a check everyday via the Horticultural Department of Tamil Nadu. The Summer Festival is a sight to behold out here.
The caves.. yeah! Stony and slippery.. A small adventurous uphill walk(or rather climb) which will make you almost believe that you cant make it to the top of the cave! The incessant rainfall was discouraging, also a bit foggy which was obfuscating our view. Nevertheless, we marched to the caves highest point. Moving up was tedious while moving down was also enjoyable in a way that we thought we could just roll down the cliff, over the edge and down, down, down.. Shouldn't be a miss!
Known as the second longest beach in the world, the Marina is a beautiful beach in Tamil Nadu. The golden sands and the cleanliness around serves as the main attractions. The slope is gentle too and this makes it ideal for swimmers. Picnics are a common sight here and you also walk along the shore as this is very long. There are a number of eateries surrounding the beach as well.
Located in the main hill station of the Nilgiris which is Ooty, this is a lean and large lake. People come here for site- seeing, photography or boating usually. Other than this, picnics are a common site here because spending fun time with the family amidst such natural beauty is sheer happiness. There is also a boat house here from where you can hire boats. You get an option when it comes to the type of boats. You can anything from speedboats to the normal ferry boats. The latter can usually carry about 8 persons which means the whole family can enjoy a boat trip together.
A mere walk of 5 minutes, this is a watchpoint in Kodaikanal. More than a walk tourists love to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the surrounding sceneries from here. Since Kodaikanal is at a high altitude, you can get spectacular views of about 2000 ft if you look down. The surrounding mountains and valleys with the lush greenery and the view of the foamy waters looks awesome. The cool breeze brushing your face and the colourful, wild flowers geowing around you make it a memorable exoerience.
A non- profit organization in the lovely town n which you get Auroville, they are serving the society with a pure heart. They are a roup and organization of social volunteers who mainly look after the well being and living conditions of the people. They are different from the other organizations and do not only preach but start hands on. Santitation is there major concerns and they have thus repaired the toilet facilities and washing sources better for many a households. Also, health is what they preach and thus cleanliness is the meassage they always keep spreading. If you want to join this organization or at least be a small part of it, you can make donations to them in the form of greetings.
Vivekananda Rock Memorial
Let spirituality envelop you at The Vivekananda Rock Memorial.If Swami Vivekananda were alive today, he’d probably choose another spot to meditate seeing the number of travellers this memorial attracts. The architecture here is representative of different styles and this amalgamation is a major factor that attracts travellers here.
Kolukkumalai Tea Estate
Happy Independence day & the best ever sunrise i've seen in my lifetime is at Kolukkumalai since it lies on the eastern side of the western ghats. Some photo session with my official photographer, the Simpex tripod. Had my breakfast & left for the Top station trek. Made some friends who are from Kerala. After a half hour difficult trek reached the summit, from there it's a beautiful view and Meesapulimala(second highest peak in south India) looked majestic. I hope one day i would reach the peak of Messapulimala. The descent was easy & I reached the base camp at the afternoon. Also visited the Tea factory which is the highest organic tea factory in the world. The things you buy before you leave is Tea, Tea, & more Tea. Bought lot of Tea packets & left for Suryanelli.
This bridge is on one hand a railway bridge and on the other a road bridge which was sconstructed in the year 1914. This is however more of the Cantilever Railway Bridge which was the first one of its kind in India and was also the longest till the time the Bandra- Worli Sea link was constructed in Maharashtra. The Pamban Bridge is on the Palk Strait and connects Rameshwaram on the Pamban Island to the main subcontinent of India. This is also a prime tourist attraction since the people going and coming back from Rameshwaram have to pass this to enter Kanyakumari. This is a typical commercial bridge however there is also space for ships band barges to pass through.
This is the prime attraction of Ooty and is an artificial lake which was constructed by John Sullivan in the year 1824. This was made by making dams run by the waters from the river which flowed down to the valley region. The main motive was to help fishermen by making fishing ferries out here. T^he lake is beautiful and is surrounded by eucalyptus trees and one one side runs a railway line too. The boathouse from where you can hire boats of all kind. This was opened by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Department and boating is the main activity near this place. During the summer season, anumber of boat races and paegentries are held here.
Nothing but a watchpoint, Dolphin's Nose is very close to Kannur or Coonoor. The adventure filled path is misty and has criss- cross routes after which you reach the final point. Also, this place is best visited early in the morning to experience the true beauty of it. The foggy mornings are the best times when you can enjoy an awesome view of the Catherene Falls from. Apart from this, the view of sunrise is picturesque too.
A main beach of Chennai, this is better than most of the other beaches around. The main reason that the place is very clean and also not overcrowded. You can swim here, enjoy picnics or just come here for a friendly visit. The scenic beauty os extraordinary around and thus serves as a perfect place for some awesome photography too.
Everything about this place is mesmerizing! This lake is about 30 kilometeres from Ooty and the road in between is not very smooth but the trouble taken is always worthed. Eco tours are orgsanized here by the Forest authorities and these are worth enjoying. You can also enjoy walking around the picturesque surroundings or just sit and relax.
It's 4pm on a Friday and I tirelessly go through my office emails checking for any assignments that need urgent attention. Nothing there. I think about the coming weekend and how I would like to spend it. I call up my friends asking them if they would like to go for a ride. Most of them are busy, some are working and some have plans of their own. I keep scrolling through my contact list trying to figure out who I can convince for a trip. I make about 10 calls and give up. Looks like no one is free. But I have this strong desire to ride and I decide to go solo. I have never ventured out alone; I ride either with my friends or with my biking group, Bangalore Motorcycle Club.I get a little scared and wonder how I would manage if something happens. I don't speak the local language, I know nothing about fixing issues with the KTM and wonder if I was out of my mind going somewhere alone. My fears almost convince me to give up the trip but I somehow muster enough courage to go ahead with it. I start googling and look for places. The list is the same one I have scrolled through hundreds of times; Coorg, Chikmagalur, Ooty etc. No, am not going to a place full of a billion people. I keep scrolling and reach the 18th page in google and discover a property in Kolli Hills. It's somewhere after Salem and the wikipedia page talks about 70 hairpin bends. Hmm, that sounds interesting; something I haven't done before. I start looking for properties and find something called Kolli Hills Camp. Soon, I have spoken to the owners and booked a hut there. It feels good; even before the ride begins I feel I accomplished something. Kolli hills is a small mountain range located near Namakkal. They belong to the southern part of Eastern ghats and have 70 hair pin bends to reach the top. There are a few resorts there but I chose the camp since its pretty secluded and away from the touristy crowd.That night I don't sleep. It's a mixture of excitement and fear; anticipation of what's gonna happen and how the ride is going to be. I stay in bed, tossing and turning and it's already 5am. I am already packed up and load the bike. The roads are deserted with only the newspaper agencies to be seen. Traffic is almost negligible except for the lorries speeding across the empty Bangalore streets. Soon, I am on NH 44, gunning towards my first pit stop at Shoolgiri.
Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges
Known as the Church of Our Lady of Angels, here we see some brilliant masonry and architectural styles. When the church was built, to give it the colour of absolute white marble, fine limestone was mixed with lot of egg whites to make the walls very white. The upper part of the church was made in the Ionic style and the lower part was made in the Doric Style which are both classical styles of architecture. The design of the church was inspired from another chapel of France. The painting that you see on the wall of this church was gifted by Napolean Bonaparte. In front of this church is the statue of Mother Mary with Baby Jesus in her Arms. The church is in a place from where you can see the beach as well as the bay of Bengal. There are also statues of the Joan of Arc and other saints and personalities.
Lake View Point
It's been long since I wanted to visit kodaikanal and finally was really happy to be there.After an overnight journey from Bangalore we reached kodaikanal at 8 am in the morning.The weather looked just perfect and we were fully charged to indulge in the beauty of the queen of the hill stations. We booked a taxi from the bus stand and headed towards kodai sunshine hotel in chettiar road. The hotel and the hotel staff were just the best and staying there was an amazing experience. After checking in we relaxed for sometime and headed out for sight seeing around 1.30 pm.Places visited : Upper lake view,Vattakanal falls,panambur falls, lion's cave, mountain view, dolphin's nose,echo point,500 years old tree, a church, coaker's walk. The taxi charged around 1600 for this.
Another lovely place just at an hour and a halve's drive from the awesome ooty. This lake area is a part of the Emerald village which in itself is very less popular and thus never crowded whichever part of the year you choose to visit. This gem of a place is hidden in the middle of a number of mountains and you find natural beauty at its best out here. There is simply nothing much to do over here except for admiring the natural beauty or enjoying some time with your friends and family.
Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary
By eleven o’clock we were gathered near the entrance of the resort, waiting for the jeep. We were at the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve. So far we have not seen any tigers or leopards or bears. The jeep came roaring at us and screeched to a halt. It swiftly reversed and shuddered to a standstill.The ladies decided to skip the trip and stay back. We kids and fathers clambered into the Mahindra Jeep. I got in last behind, hoping for the best view. The jeep rushed down the small hill and onto the forest road.The driver was a veteran of close encounters with the wild. He began regaling us with stories of so many sightings that we grew hopeful of catching a glimpse of a tiger. Tigers are very territorial and require a lot of individual space to hunt in. They marked their boundaries by urinating on their hunting grounds. Only 37 tigers were left in Parambikulam and the best time to go looking for them was at night.The forest was silent, except for the chirping of crickets. The night was cold. I rested my hand on the spare tyre and looked out at the road behind us, melting into darkness.Suddenly we stopped. The driver whipped out a torch and trained its powerful beam into the swallowing darkness beyond the line of trees. The light caught a pair of massive horns. It was a bison. The beast stared at us alerted. Its calf muscles were bursting from its shiny coat of brown skin.Eventually the beast disappeared from view and we continued on our journey. The driver was highly skilled in spotting animals. We would be thundering down the road when suddenly he will slam to a stop and sent a beam into a random section of the darkness. And inevitably, an animal would be crouching there, gazing surprised at our jeep. We saw an owl, deer, rabbit and a herd of bison. It was so dark beyond the darting beam of torchlight that I could not capture a single photograph properly.Just when things were getting routine, the driver slowed the jeep and in the headlights we saw a bison standing by the side of the road. The jeep slowed to a crawl and stopped near enough for us to reach out and pet it. It was standing on the passenger side and my Dad’s friend, who was in the front seat, was staring intently at the mountain of motionless muscle.Without warning the driver opened his door and closed it shut with a bang. All eyes turned swiftly from the door to the beast. The animal cocked its head, the pointy tips of its giant horns lining up with the head of Dad’s friend. It then proceeded to disappear into the forest. The driver nonchalantly started the vehicle and we were on our way again.After a while, the driver reversed the jeep and the return journey began. I was beginning to feel sleepy when the vehicle stopped again. The driver whispered one word: ‘bear’. Before anyone of us could comprehend, he hopped out and tiptoed to the side of the road. He flashed his torch into the bushes and motioned to us to join him.I swung a leg over the spare tire and hesitated. I was about to commit the cardinal sin of leaving the safety of the vehicle during a jungle safari. But the others behind me were egging me on. So I dropped down quickly and joined the driver.He whispered and gestured at me to follow the direction of his pointed finger. All I saw was an oddly shaped black object behind the branches of shrubs. But the threat of the bear was real. Scenes from the Revenant came to my mind and I quickly shushed the others who were excitedly joining me.We stared until the black shape melted into the shadows. I did not know whether I should be relieved at losing sight of the bear or fearful at wondering where he is right now. I knew bears had an incredible sense of smell.Just as I finished the previous sentence in my head, I heard the sound of trickling water to my right. It was my Dad’s friend, marking his territory with urine. He was going to literally ‘piss off’ a bear that was right in front of him!Luckily there was no sign of the bear anymore and we got back into the jeep and drove back to the resort. On the way back, the driver spoke of the many times he had gone on night safaris without catching a glimpse of the tiger. Then he told us about the times when he was returning from work and had seen the beast in full view in the jeep’s headlights. You never see it when you most expect it.
Kolukkumalai View Point
We boarded an off-roader dot at 4.30 am the next day (day 3) to Kolukkumalai. We reached the point and saw the sun rising. But the season being rainy one, who could dare win over the clouds?That morning, I saw the clouds at the war. The battalion on my right were clustering in fast to increase on its size. The battalion on my left seemed weak in the beginning. I turned my neck further on my left to see a huge cluster of clouds roaring and while coming to the battlefield, it swallowed in the mountains. They seemed fast and ruthless. Everyone took their positions. But to my surprise, they didn’t thunder, they didn’t lighten. They broke. They broke right before my face and not on my face. I could see the drizzles fly across the empty spaces between the mountains. Nothing touched me.
The Sunway GRT Grand
You cannot ask for better if you are at the Promenade. This is one of the three best hotels of Pondicherry and everything about this place is awesome. Starting from the look of the hotel to the services here everything is superb. The rooms are awesome and deluxe and views from each rooms are fantastic. Cleanliness is maintained perfectly over here and the food is very good too. This is no wonder a 5 star hotel with the kind of lawns and gardens and pools over here.
Kurinji Andavar Temple
Located close to the Chettiyar Park, this is an old temple dedicated to Lord Murugan. Lord Murugan is the common deity worshipped here and in this temple he is known as Lord Kurinji Andavar. Kurinji or Neelakurinji is the flower which grows here once in 12 years and this is after which the name of the deity is given. Other than the idol of Lord Kurinji, you will also get the idols of the 9 Planet gods or the Navagraha in this temple. The temple is on top of a hill and from here the view of the surroundings, especially the Palani Hills is awesome.
Suchindram Thanumalayan Temple
It was not 5 km but more than 15 kms to reach Suseenthiram. Though the navigation system asked us to take a right long before, we loved the 4 lane drive and kept heading on. Likely, we took the longer route. Many places on the way were worth visiting but this time we were focused. The beautiful magnificent white gopuram was splendid. Being a Saturday, the temple was crowded as it is known for Anjaneyar. It is special to dedicate butter and rose water to him and it was all streamlined as we went through the process. One thing here, for the people who are doing it, it is 10 + 1, for everyone who is doing it, it is special. Wish this understanding sets into the minds of people taking care of the pooja. The deities here are unique, you will see 3 faced god representing Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma and the main lingam with a face of an ascetic with beard and jadamudi (hair bundled on the head), a very unique presentation of the lord. We always tend to go around the temple and the beauty of the carvings left us spellbound. There were steps to climb and on the top we have Kailasanathar in all opulence, a perfect meditative spot for those looking for calm and peace in the temple. Further as we came around, there was a smaller temple kind of structure, where we saw Ardha Meru and many gods and goddesses with the ancient structure preserved intact.
This is a place where the Cauvery River meets the Arkavati River forming a narrow ravine and also a deep gorge. This place is mainly known for its extreme natural beauty and also for the thrilling experience you can enjoy out here. You can park your vehicle and cross the river on foot only but you should be careful of the rough rocks here. The rocks b2ecome really slippery at times especially the monsoons. The river water has high current and taking the help of locales would be a veru wise decesion.
Nilgiri Mountain Railway
This was a railway line in the state of Tamil Naddu which was built by the British in the year 1908. The passenger railway moves along 16 tunnels, over 250 bridges and 208 curves. The main stations withing this route are the Mettupalayan, Kallar, Adderly, Hillgrove, Runnymede, Kateri, Conoor Lovedale and others.
This is the World's largest bas- relief and is a stone carved group opf monuments with more than 100 types of sculptures of gods, goddesses, birds, animals and other such figures. It is said that this is the place in which Arjuna from mahabharata practiced very hard penance in the prayer of Lord Shiva. This was to please the lord who could bless him with the divine bow with which he would later kill the kauravas. This is the reason this place is called as Arjuna's Penance. Also, once Bhagiratha Sage stood on one leg and prayed to the lord continuously so that he could change the course of the River Ganga and send it here. he was later blessed and he River Ganga started flowing here. This is why this place is also caled as the 'Descent of the Ganges'.