Trips and Itineraries for Tranquebar
Bird Watching, Sights on the road trip to Tranquebar
The gallery highlights the pictures of various birds and other things taken on the road trip from Bangalore to Tranquebar (Tharangambadi) as well as in Tharangambadi....
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Top Places To Visit in Tranquebar 6 Spots
Hotels and Homestays in Tranquebar 3 Hotels
Weekend Getaways from Tranquebar
235 Kms from Tranquebar
Best time to visit - January,February,October,November,December
Located off the coast of Bay of Bengal is Tamil Nadu’s capital and India’s fourth largest city. Formerly known as Madras, the metropolis is the main transportation hub for southern India. Travel to Chennai for the unique exhibit of architecture from the British Raj, peaceful pilgrimage sites and a delectable South Indian cuisine. Tourists can start their day with a walk by Chennai’s beautiful Marina Beach, teeming with fishermen and their boats, and makeshift bazaars fringing the shore. Among the other places to visit in Chennai city, start with the characterful neighborhood of Mylapore that houses the vibrant Kapaleeshwarar Temple. Then head to Rajaji Salai’s Fort in St George that once was home to the British East India Company. The Government Museum inside the imposing Pantheon complex of the colonial era is a popular attraction. The state museum is decked with bronze antiques dating back to the 7th century Pallava era. Surfing along the Covelong beach and walking through the bustling bazaars of George Town are a few of the most common things to do in Chennai city. Also, don’t leave here without getting yourself an authentic South Indian thali from the illustrious Saravana Bhavan. Read More
Hi i am AJ Cruz (@ajcruzing)This is my ride to Munnar , Kerela .With tha people i just met that morning of the same dau we started the ride .It was an Epic JourneyLet me put this into a timeline format for you guys to catch up on it.this was DAY 1 .4AM - Woke up4:30AM - i reached the meeting point and introduced myself with the other riders .4:40AM - we took off from our meeting point in chennai after a quick chai .
1) SMS Cafe, Alwarpet
It was that moment, all cousins at one place, one topic lets take a road trip and after researching the offbeat places,the trip to Pichavaram was planned.
Finally Chennai.That night I stayed at my relative's place. Plan for day was to meet couple of my friends working here. This went through peacefully but the night there was filled with thunderstorm and heavy rains. All the trees were falling down on the highway so had to find a shelter. Closest one - Mahindra World City, chengalpattu. Every thing was going according to budget until this point but had to cash out Rs.5200 for a night in holiday inn express. Chose it due to lack of options. Bear with me, this was post 2 hours in the rain cheater and I'm done for the day.
"Travelling- It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller" and I guess that’s what has happened to me after coming back from Tamil Nadu. A state that can leave you in awe with its mesmerizing beauty and captivating architecture. So my trip to Tamil Nadu began with a journey of one day to Chennai by train, where we reached at night, around 9:00 P.M. The first thing we did was to order a filtered coffee. Then according to our plan we were supposed to catch a bus to Auroville and for that we need to reach the bus stand and for that we needed a cab, Cab!!! Well if you ask me I sometime really want to thank the owner of UBER who saved our 200 Rs., and if you are thinking how, well for that you don’t have to think too much, we asked the local cab drivers and the auto valas about the charges from Chennai Central Railway station to Chennai Bus Stand and the reply was 600 Rs, then I booked an UBER and in just 200 Rs. we were there all confused as all the buses were looking the same just like a heard of zebras. So we decided to leave everything and have dosa and after a wonderful meal we asked someone who guided us to a bus which will take us to Auroville.
It's only a little more than an hour's journey by flight to Chennai. The moment we landed, I navigated to our hotel which was a few blocks away from ECR, the highway connecting Chennai to Pondicherry. We stayed in Treebo.Normally, for non-Tamilians, even if you can speak Tamil, it is extremely hard to get around in an auto in Chennai simply because of how they blatantly decide to charge astronomical amounts for short distances. However, I found out that Ola was reasonable and we stuck to (mostly) using Ola.We checked in, had a quick breakfast, shower, and since we weren't tired after a short flight, we decided to instantly head out. I desperately wanted to head to Dakshin Chitra and buy some accessories. For those of you who don't know what DC is, it's a museum of sorts that houses antiques and artefacts from different cultures. They literally have life-size models of houses from various parts of South India. Hence, the name Dakshin Chitra.
How to reach there?Tada falls got quite good connectivity options from Chennai.* By Bus – Reach Koyambedu Bus stand/CMBT, from there board on SETC bus number 114. You can board on any bus going towards Nellore or Tirupathi or Srikalahasti (We went by APSTRC bus – Andhra state bus). Bus fare would be around 65-80 rupees per head. As Varadaiahpalem village (we struggled with the pronunciation of this word) is the last human settlement before Tada falls, so you have to get down there. It will take 2.5 hours to reach there.
Chennai to Kodaikanal The Friday, mere this is a day name, but a bliss for the people with a mundane corporate life. As the office hours were proceeding, the excitement for travel was increasing. After dinner, I started from my office and caught the bus from the pickup location. I became weary off by that time, so as soon as I got my seat, I went into deep sleep. A great day was waiting ahead in the queue.
Day 17Started in morning by 7 am for Flight to Chennai and Kolkata flight.--------------------------------------------------------------ItineraryDay 1: Flight to Delhi, Bus to HaldwaniDay 2: Car to LohajungDay 3: Trek to Didna VillageDay 4: Trek to Auli Bugyal & Bedini BugyalDay 5: Trek to Pathar NachauniDay 6: Trek to Kalu Vinayak & BhagwabasaDay 7: Trek to Roopkund & Joonargali Pass. Return to Pathar NachauniDay 8: Return to Bedini Bugyal, Wan Village, LohajungDay 9: AlmoraDay 10: RanikhetDay 11-12: NainitalDay 13-14: Agra, Fatehpur SikriDay 15-16: DelhiDay 17: Flight from Delhi--------------------------------------------------------------Videos
Chennai....An old metro city...Fully developed place of south india there are so many places for roaming like....
101 Kms from Tranquebar
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,October,November,December
For a dose of south Indian culture with a side of French flavours, travel to the city of Pondicherry (also known as Puducherry), perched on India’s east coast in Tamil Nadu. Peppered with Gallic landscapes of bougainvillea draped colonial townhouses, pastel villas and leafy boulevards, Pondicherry is a haven for both – the traveller in the quest for spiritual awakening, and the leisure-seeking tourist. One of the Puducherry’s most sacred attractions, is the internationally acclaimed Sri Aurobindo Ashram located off Goubert Ave. Drawing lakhs of devotees from across the world every year, the grounds are home to the shrines of Sri Aurobindo and Mirra Alfassa (The Mother), and a meditation hall, which is one of the most peaceful places to visit in Pondicherry. Another must visit destination is the township of Auroville that was founded in 1968, located 8kms away from Pondicherry. The community, houses people of 45 nationalities. One of the lesser known things to do in Puducherry is bird watching at the Ousteri Wetlands, 10kms from the heart of the town. You could spend your mornings at city’s major beaches - Auroville, Serenity, Promenade and Paradise, and end your trip with a walk along the seafront promenade, as you chase the setting sun. Read More
Stay- Good accommodation can be availed both in Pondi as well as Pondi-TN border which is approximately 2 Kms away from Rock beach. You may find some peaceful and economic Dorms in Kottakuppam and Kuilapalayam.Places to Visit – Top 4 beaches are Rock Beach, Paradise Beach, Serenity Beach and Auro beach. Sunrise at Serenity gives a perfect start to your day. Then you can head towards Rock Beach for delicious breakfast. The French Colony is exactly adjacent to Rock beach. There may be some events going on in the morning at Rock beach. Best Pubs n Cafes are all there in the French Colony. Try Ebony Truffle at Zuka Choco-laParadise Island beach provides you wide range of water sports. The journey to it is also amazing. You may choose a Ferry boat or a Speedboat. There are a couple of shacks on the beach which will serve delicious food. And yes, you will get beer, but mostly not chilled.
If you are on a budget, it’s preferable to stay in one of the guest houses maintained brilliantly by the Aurobindo Ashram Trust. You can book any guest house from their main office, which lies at the heart of the city, the Bureau Central. I will recommend you to stay at Andhra Bhavan, one of the many guest houses maintained by Aurobindo Ashram, mainly because of its location. Many of the major attractions in Pondicherry and the main market are at a walking distance from Andhra Bhawan – Rock Beach, White Town, popular Cafes etc.If you are on a high budget, you can always opt for any of the resorts lying at the outskirts of the town overlooking the pristine seas that Pondicherry is known for. Things you must do at Pondicherry:1. Collect sea shells at Rock Beach
Pondicherry, or Puducherry, is famously known as the French Riviera of the East, and is one of the most mesmerizing and charming places in South India. A former French colony, this quaint little town has retained its old-world French charm. 8000 kilometers away from France, Pondicherry comes very close to giving you a feel of the French culture and the French influence is very obvious in the city right from the food to the architecture.With its many colonial buildings, churches, temples and statues which, combined with the beautiful French-style avenues from when it was under French rule, still preserve much of the colonial ambiance. As such, dozens of beautiful cafés and restaurants have sprouted up, many on rooftops or with shaded patios, so tourists and locals alike can bask in the fuzzy Indian air with their cup of morning Masala chai. Here are the ten best places to go for late breakfast or brunch in this charming Indian city.
How to reach Pondicherry:1. Pondicherry is easily accessible by bus from Chennai. The Tamil Nadu Transport Development Corporation runs AC buses with a high frequency. These are comfortable and affordable.2. Zoom Car offers cars on rent for those interested in driving down to Pondicherry.3. Ola offers Outstation rental packages from Chennai.4. Pondicherry is accessible by train from Chennai and Bangalore.
Without wasting much time, we went ahead with our plan of exploring Pondicherry, we reached there in about 10 minutes, parked our vehicles and it began with a funny scene of a movie being shot in front of us on Promenade. But as we were unable to understand what either one of them is saying so we went ahead inside the colonies and it was something worth watching, it was not like any other Indian locality I have ever seen. It was a place where you won’t find a plethora of colors but only a few shades, entrance doors will make you feel like you have reached into a different era, and a church so beautifully designed that an aura of satisfaction will emerge inside your mind.
This was a day where everything was just perfect, the weather, food of course and this mesmerizing place keeping people awestruck. The day came to an end with a delicious north Indian meal at Punjabi Dhaba and then a delicious Ice-cream at Gelateria Montecatini Terme and then back to pavilion, Auroville.
278 Kms from Tranquebar
Best time to visit - April,May,June,August,September
Translating to 'the gift of the forest' in the native language of Tamil Nadu and originally home to the Palaiyar tribal people, this modern city has been a retreat long since the 19th century. Located in the hills of the Dindigul district, this city was established by British bureaucrats and American Christian missionaries. Kodaikanal offers an experience of stunning culture and natural beauty. Some famous attractions include Kodaikanal Lake, where one can always take a peaceful boat ride, Berijam Lake and Pillar Rocks. Take a walk in the pine forest or explore the Kukkal Caves and the Devil's Kitchen, a cave with a series of hidden ravines. Bear Shola falls, Glen Falls, Silver Cascade and Fairy falls make for a magical setting for nature lovers to observe and unwind. Religious dwellings such as the La Saleth Church, Lutheran Church and Subhramanya Temple are admired famously for their intricate architecture. For the inquisitive minds, Shembaganur Museum of Natural History, which is home to 500 species of taxidermy animals, birds and insects and the Kodaikanal Solar Observatory are great places to visit. Coakers walk, Silent Valley View Point, Perumal Peak and 80 Mile round make for interesting walks and treks, offering breathtaking views of the plains below. Natyanjali Festival, celebrated over 4 days, is a spectacular sight to behold with dazzling dance performances and top notch acts from across the country, which one can enjoy in the months of February or March. You can get a bite to eat at Cloud Street, Cafe Cariappa, Altaf's Cafe and Tava restaurants.Read More
Day 2 - Kodaikanal, What a love place, very beautiful, I stared riding at 7, got up late again. anyway reached kodaikanal around 3 pm, Got a decent hotel, took my camera and went for exploring kodaikanal. Climate is always chill at kodai (No Fan in rooms). Many places to see in kodaikanal. Pillar rock Pine forest Devil's kitchen Dolphin nose (Trek)All places are open for limited time. Till 4.30-5Pm so make sure you start early to cover all the places. In evening you can spend a very beautiful time near the lake. You can hire cycle and many fun games are available around the lake.
Day one : We reached there early morning from Chennai and my friends from Bengaluru. We have already booked our homestay "Cherry Hills Kodaikanal" and they have arranged a pick up vehicle for us as well as for sight seeing. It was a lovely place with all the arrangements. We decided to visit the major tourist places on day one and keep our two days in hand for further exploration. We visited- Kodaikanal lake - Little crowded place but must visit for cycling around the lake.- Coaker's walk - In the city its the most peaceful and scenic place where you can sit and relax for long.- Guna cave or The Devil's Kitchen - Pine forest- Lake view pointP.S. Your cab driver will guide you across all these places.Day Two : Vattakanal :Stoner's paradise- Vattakanal is a place of serene beauty just situated a few kilometers away from kodaikanal. You can see clouds forming from the cottages which are made on hills and trip on it. You can find lot of hippies chilling there. You can find peace across the valley.- Altaf's Cafe -They specialize in middle-eastern cuisine and we decided to have breakfast there. The food was good and so the view from cafe.- Dolphin's Nose - You need to trek few kilometers to reach this point, its a normal trek with least difficulties. The view is amazing from there.- Vattakanal falls- Its a small fall to chill around.Later as advised by our cab driver we went for the forest tour and our ultimate destination was Berijam Lake. The place was quiet and is perfect if you are planning for some snacks beside lake. The way was beautiful with few view points in between.*Pro tip- Never carry alcohol or any other thing while going to vattakanal from kodaikanal. There is a checkpost where police may take your liquor or magic mushrooms if you have them.*Pro hack- if you are carrying any such stuff please do tell you cab driver(only if you trust him) he might help in smuggling.Day Three : ManavannurWe started early in the morning to visit the beautiful Manavannur. We were greeted by first showers of the season which made our trip awesome. This place is bit far from Kodaikanal so best is to start early. If you are lucky enough you can find wild Bison and other animals on the way.- Poombarai Village - this place comes on the way to Manavannur. It is known for it's colorful houses which gives a mesmerising view from the top.- Manavannur - This is a small village which has lush green sceneries and grasslands around. We had a coracle ride in small lake surrounded by hills. Though the ride is small but it's worth. You will be spell bound by the greenery and the beauty of the place. It's a perfect location to relax and chill with friends.
As part of the Winter Ride I'd been on last December, we rode to several (cold) locations everyday. Our first ride had been from Bangalore to Kodaikanal. From Kodaikanal, we had set our sights on getting to Kolukkumalai.Kolukkumalai, near Idukki, is famous for being the world's highest tea plantation. The tea plantation is about 7100 ft above sea level, and the view from the top of those mountains was something I didn't want to miss. It was less than 150 km from Kodaikanal and the guys who were serious about testing their bike riding skills were looking forward to a challenge that waited for them at Kolukkumalai.
When we reached our stay in Kodai, it was nearly 7 PM. And it was freezing cold. My fingers had become numb even through the riding gloves and I felt the cold hugging my legs and body. We stayed in a homestay arranged by my friends for all of us. They had dormitory style beds and because it was winter, the floor was as cold as the black night sky.I rushed inside after unpacking my bags and jumped straight into bed. Not only did I wrap my blanket around me, but my friend's shawl, a neighbouring bed's rug, and my bed's rug. Only then did I fall asleep.
After reaching down we straight away went for dinner in Punjabi Dhaba which is a place I would not recommend to any one visiting Kodaikanal as the food they served was not of good quality and also the taste was not up to the expectation, after which a little market exploration and then back to our hotel room.
While searching for hotels and after visiting a few of them we found a cab driver who took us to Ruban Cottage which was located in the outskirts of the city, we went there and checked the hotel and after taking look at that, it was nothing more than a waste of money and one can find better hotel that to at a reasonable price inside the city. And after wasting some amount of time in this we finally found a hotel worth money; Hotel Maharajas. The hotel was good, available at a reasonable price, with a great view of mountains and if you are lucky to get a corner room on the east side you will get a perfect view of sunrise as well.
Next day was a day in heaven, so yes after a 7-hour journey from Pondicherry to Kodaikanal we were there and the first thing we did was breakfast nothing special but dosa and filter coffee again and after which the game of roadies began and our first task was to find a hotel at reasonable price.
296 Kms from Tranquebar
Best time to visit - January,February,March,November,December
Known all over the country for the sacred Sri Venkateswara Temple, Tirupati is located in the Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh. The temple is actually located in Tirumala along with a number of other temples, though Sri Venkateshwara Temple or Tirupati Balaji is the main attraction for visitors. Tirumala is always bustling with energy owing to the many tourists as well as the number of festivals celebrated here. Legend has it that one should visit Sri Varahaswami temple before visiting Sri Venkateswaraswami. Varahaswami owned the seven hills and agreed to give them to Sri Venkateswaraswami with the demand that he too should be worshipped. And for this, Sri Venkateswaraswami asked his pilgrims to visit the Sri Varahaswami temple before visiting him. For first timers there are a few things you should keep in mind including appropriate clothing, no alcohol and carrying extra locks for your rooms as well as vehicles. Before visiting the temple, you'll need darshan tickets, which are available at various TTD counters across the country. A beautiful place with immense spiritual energy, Tirupati is a must visit. Read More
This is one of the best places to visit around Chennai and it is known for its beautiful sceneries as well the magical peace you obtain here. The Tirupati Temple is known to be the richest temple in the country and is a very important religious place as well. The Tirupathi Tirumala Devasthanam is a must visit along with the Venkateshwar Temple. This is one of the best tourist places near Chennai within 200 kms and the best time to visit this place is between the months of September and March.Distance from Chennai: 134
We reached next day early morning to Tirupathi and booked a hotel on spot. After took some rest for some hours and then started for darshan. It took us ~7hrs to complete our darshan and recommended book darshan ticket online. In evening, we started for Chennai and reached there in ~4hrs.
Thiruthani to ballari (431km) :The last day was a sore and boring one. Not many places to see. Just a long ride back home. The roads were some of the worst we've encountered. We reached tirupati temple town by 12pm and headed towards kadiri. After about 9hrs of riding. We finally reached ballari by 10.30pm! The odometer read 3050kms! This was the longest trip i have taken on bike!
The Amazing breath talking walk from Alipiri to Tirumala is best experience of both Tradition and Trekking
It’s a must visit place. It will take at least 5-6 hrs to come out, once you are inside the Temple. People from all over India come for the Darshan of Tirupati balaji. Now it’s time for our destination and my home town –“Visakhapatnam”. Till then we didn’t know how we would reach Vizag. No bookings, nothing. It was 8pm. Then we decide we will hop in Vijayawada and from there we will go to Vizag. We got a Volvo bus from Tirupati to Vijayawada around 9pm. We were really tired. It was damn hot. 12th night went in traveling to Vijayawada.
84 Kms from Tranquebar
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
Thanjavur is more of a pilgrim centre than a tourist destination. It is also popularly known as the Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu. The city is dotted with temples and palaces that are reminiscent of the Dravidian civilisation, making it not only a temple town but also a cultural headquarter. The ancient Brihadishwara Temple with its ochre foundational blocks is a magnificent piece of South Indian temple architecture with the intricate detailing on its walls, ceilings and pillars. The Thanjavur Royal Palace is another marvel that speaks largely of the royalty of the past empires. There is an art gallery that not only houses art pieces and sculptures from the Chola period but also offers a beautiful view of the entire town. It is a delight to watch festivities such as Pongal, Ekadasi or Saraswati Puja over here when the entire city puts up a show and comes to life. There is a worldwide demand for Tanjore paintings, which have almost become souvenirs for festive occasions of the Thanjavur culture. The artistic brass plates and handloom silk sarees too are beautiful collectibles that are only available in Thanjavur. You can stay at Svatma or Ideal River View Resort to make the trip a rejuvenating one.Read More
On day four you stop at Thanjavur. Locally known as Thanjavur, this city is a prominent centre of South Indian religion, art and architecture. This is the centre of the most remarkable civilisation of Dravidian history, the Chola empire. After sightseeing in Thanjavur, we leave for Trichy. Trichy or locally known as Tiruchirappalli, is a city with a strong character and long history. It is pretty much the geographical centre of the state of Tamil Nadu. It's a huge city that mixes up culture, religion and business and one can only experience it by actually being there.Sights covered: Brihadeshwara Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Maratha Palace, Sri Rangam Temple in Trichy (India's largest temple complex dedicated to Lord Vishnu).Meals: Breakfast and dinner on board. Lunch at a riverside luxury resort enroute Trichy from Thanjavur.Timings: Brihadeshwara Temple at 10am, Maratha Palace at 11.30am, Sri Rangam Temple at 4pm.
Points to look out for: the grand structure, Gopuram, spatial organization, South Indian Dravida style of architecture, sculptures, intricate detailing, construction techniques.3. KhajurahoKhajuraho group of temples are a famous cluster of Hindu and Jain temples located in Indian district of Madhya Pradesh about 175 km south east from Jhansi. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is known for its grand temples, North Indian Nagada style architectural symbolism and erotic sculptures. Most of the temples are dated back to 950 -1050 A.D and were made by the Chandella dynasty.Important temples in the clusters are Kandariya Mahadeva temple, Lakshmana Temple, Chausath Yogini Temple among the Hinduism and Parshwanatha Temple, Adinath jain temple among Jainism. Vaishnav and Shaiva sect of Hinduism was predominant.
I had no prior travel arrangements, planned to use local transport for entire trip. My first destination was Tanjore. I started late night Wednesday night around 11 pm. Boarded bus to Salem, from there I might get bus to Tanjor. I reached Salem and found some SETC bus to Tanjore. But I was not interested so I boarded ordinary bus to Trichy, frequency is every min. From Trichy there are buses frequently to Tajore. I boarded a private bus and it cost 23rs. Just found BHEL and Sastra Univ are on the highways. I have reached Tanjore around 6 AM. It just stopped raining and climate was pleasantly cool.I haven't booked any accommodation in Tanjore. Found a stay for 300rs just behind the old bus stand. Just relaxed a bit and went to Tanjore Temple. One of the ancient temple of Chola's period. Spent almost three hours inside the temple exploring architecture and praying. It was quit interesting to see people from all over world visit the temple. After a small walk around the streets and vacated the room. I left for Trichy where I had booked my accommodation for the day.
The erstwhile capital of the great Chola dynasty, Thanjavur aka Tanjore is truly the embodiment of South Indian art, architecutre, culture and heritage. Located in the Cauvery basin of Tamil Nadu the town is also known as the "rice bowl" of the state. Synonomous with the world renowned Tanjore paintings, splendid temples with stunning Chola architecture and the Tanjore or Saraswati veena, Tanjore is a city where the rich legacy of the past is evident even today.
Brihadeeshwar temple of this place is very famous temple in south India also a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The one who is fond of history and admire the stone structures, for sure will love this temple.
Thanjavur is just short of 350 km from Chennai and is a very historically significant spot. It was the capital of the Chola Empire, if you don’t remember your history lessons and need a refresher. Since most old kings believed in keeping their gods appeased in case somebody took offence and decided to lend support to a usurper, capitals of ancient kingdoms often have some of the most beautiful and opulent temples. Thanjavur is no exception to this rule; Brihadeshwara temple with hundreds of Shiva Lingams is an awe-inspiring sight. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site and the frescoes in the temple will make you believe in the artistic soul of man if not in a higher power. Ragavendra Temple is not as majestic, but far from disappointing. There are also many other smaller temples with rich histories around Thanjavur if you feel like exploring a bit more. Kumbakonam is just about 40 km away and has many more impressive temples.
229 Kms from Tranquebar
Best time to visit - January,February,September,October,November,December
With an intriguing history, the oldest inhabited city in the world is a delight to discover. Visited by people from all over the country, no tour of the south is complete without a visit to Madurai. Shree Meenakshi Sudareshwara Temple is a 2000-year-old temple and is a must visit when in Madurai. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. There are four towers in the temple and each tower is embellished with a thousand sculptures symbolising an assortment of mythological themes. There are huge lines at multiple points in the temple so do keep patience. There are also a few rules that one must remember, especially women. Other points of interest in Madurai are Gandhi Museum, Pazhamudhir Solai and Koodal Azhagar Temple. The food in Madurai is a delight for food lovers! There are small stalls selling mutton rolls, which will have your taste buds thanking you.Read More
Travelling in a toy train/Nilgiri mountain train has been on my list for a long time. I was in Madurai for some work along with two of my friends and we had a big weekend off. As I always wanted to go and explore Ooty also known as Udagamandalam sounds crazy isnt it ;), it took me a long time to say this name properly. This was the best time and opportunity to do it with my friends. Ooty was on my list because of its famous tea estates, sprawling grasslands and incredible weather in the south of India.
Madurai is known as the "Athens of the east" purely because of the major attraction of the city, the Meenakshi Temple, the entirety of the city can see its magnificence, just like the pantheon of Athens, hence the name. There is a ruling that no building above the height of nine metres be built around the area.
I am not exactly a big fan of temples but this one definitely took my breath away. The architecture that you can see here is pure bliss and the carvings will leave you spell bound. At the very entrance you will be able to see the tower welcoming you to Meenakshi Temple with a variety of idols carved in stone on the tower. It just makes you wonder, how much time, effort and money was spent to build this marvel. This marvel was built keeping in mind all architectural details. Initially it was designed in the form of a square and owing to this square shape, it has entry gates from all the four directions. There are 14 Gopurams inside the temple, the tallest one being 52 m in length.
But never mind that the beaches were pretty clean even if the water was not also there were small huts on the beach where one can sit and enjoy the view of great Indian ocean. The plan after Rameswaram was to visit the ghost town Dhanushkodi which was cancelled due to lack of time, so just after we were done with our town exploration and lunch we straight away headed towards the railway station from where we boarded a train towards Madurai. After reaching to Madurai we packed our stuff, had our dinner and boarded a bus to Auroville.
After getting into our room we got ready and went to explore Madurai at around 8 P.M., and everything around was so beautiful that one can easily fall in love with the city and the first thing you want to see is Meenakshi Temple. After which we had our dinner at A2B restaurant where one can taste different cuisines but I’ll say it is an average place to eat, there are better places in Madurai that one can find only if you are going to have your dinner before 10 P.M. because after that even the city likes to sleep a bit.
and then at around 1 P.M. we boarded our bus to Madurai. I was shivering when we left Kodaikanal but just after an hour or so I was sweating which was expected after leaving a hill station. After a journey of three hours we reached Madurai, an ancient city filled with wonderful ancient architecture that will make you think “Just how can they make something this huge with so much detailing and with a plethora of colours”, but after reaching there we first searched for a hotel and our search came to an end after almost looking in the hotels of that area for one hour and finally finding a hotel with good facilities and reasonable price “Hotel Padmam” from where one can have a direct view of Meenakshi Temple’s east gate and if you can get up early you can have a perfect view of sunrise as well from its roof top.
The highlight of the trip was the ancient and vibrant city of Madurai. Often referred to as the Temple city or the Athens of East, Madurai claims the soul of Tamil Nadu. It is one of the oldest cities in India, a metropolis that traded with ancient Rome and was a great capital long before Chennai was even dreamed of. People from all over India and abroad come here for the absolutely amazing Meenakshi Amman Temple, a dazzling maze-like structure ranking among India's greatest temples.
Day five you arrive at Madurai. Lovingly called the 'Athens of the east', Madurai is a city, the skyline of which is defined by the 14 colourful gopurams (gateway towers) of Meenakshi Amman Temple, making it a true centre of religion and spirituality.Sights covered: Meenakshi Amman Temple, Thirumalai Nayakar Palace for sound & light show.Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner on board.Timings: Meenakshi Amman Temple at 10am, Thirumalai Nayakar Palace for sound & light show at 6pm.During the afternoon you can either stay and relax on the train or go out to shop.
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