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Things to Do in Pudukkottai

Pudukkottai is on the Eastern coast of Tamil Nadu and has its headquarters in Pudukkotta town. The antiquity of the religion which was once a Princely state is evident in the numerous dolmens, stone circles and other forms of Megalithic burials that have been excavated which date back to Prehistoric and protohistoric times. Pudukkottai finds mention in the Sangam literature. Also proof of its rich cultural heritage are the archaeological and cultural remains at Kodumbalur, Nartamalai, Kudumiyanmalai, Kunnandavar Kovil, Sittannavasal, Tirumayam and Avudaiyar Kovil. Pudukottai emerged as a princely state in the 17th century and its rulers built several beautiful palaces and constructed Tanks and canals. The District Collectorate has its offices in one of these palaces.

The list below are the places to visit and top things to do while you go there.

Avudaiyar Kovil (40 Km)

The Athamanathaswami temple situated here has some graceful life size sculptures. There are beautiful carvings on the temple car. The zerphy work on the granite roof of the temple is particularly noteworthy.

Avur (28 Km)

The church here has a chapel which was constructed in 1547 A. D. by father Jhon Enantius bouchet, a Roman Catholic priest. A new Roman Catholic Church was also built in 1747. The Eastern Passion play followed by the car festival is the highlight of the year.

Kadayakkudi (10 Km)

There is a temple for a Lord Arulmighu Perumal here. The legend goes that an elephant caught in the jaws of a crocodile sought the help of Vishnu and he gave succor to him. The place is known thus as the site of “Gajendra Motcham”. The noteworthy hallsworth dam is also situated here.

Kodumbalur (50 Km)

Also known as Mooverkovil, this temple was built in the 10th century by Boodhi Viramkesan. There were originally three shrines of which only two exist now. The unique sculptures of this temple include Kalarimurthi, Gajasamharamurthi, Arthanari, Gangadaramurthi etc. The Muchkundeshwarar temple nearby belongs to the early Chola period.

Kudumiyanmalai (20 Km) 

The presiding deity in the temple here is Sikhagireeswarar. There is a thousand pillar hall and several beautiful sculptures. Of the numerous inscriptions in the temple, there is one relating to a musical treatise of Mahendravarman Pallava who experimented with the sapthaswara in an eight stringed veena called parivadini. There is also a rock cut cave temples called Melakkoil. Other places of interest here are the Anna agricultural farm and Anna Research institute.

Kumaramalai (10 Km)

This temple dedicated to Lord Subramanya is built on a small mountain which is believed to be holy.

Kunnandavar Kovil (26 Km)

Temples hewn out of a single rock and stone chariots are found here.

Nartamalai (17 km)

The historical importance of this place lies in the earliest structural stone temple (circular in shape) built by Mudharaiyar. The other temple is the Vijayalaya Choleeswaram cave temple built by Vijayalaya Chola, the first king of later cholas. Other places of interest are the pre historic burial grounds and the Kadambarmalai temple.

Pallivasal (30 Km)

This is an Islamic pilgrim centre but Hindus too visit this place. The annual “Urs” takes place in the month of Rabiyul Ahir.

Sittannavasal (16 Km)

This ancient abode of Jains dates back to the 2nd century B.C. There is a rock cut cave temple which has some beautiful fresco painting in natural colors as in Ajanta. On the ceiling of the Arhamandapam and fresco paintings dating back to the 7th century. There is also some inscription from the 9 th and 10 th centuries. Stone beds are known as eladipattam and a cave in which the Jain monks were said to have taken refuge are also of interest. The temple itself is said to have been excavated in the 7th century.

The area around Sittannavasal has many prehistoric burial sites considering of Kurangupatarai, burial urns, cists etc.

Annavasai

This is another important that is located nearby.

Tirumayam (21 km)

Tirumayam has a fort and Siva and Vishnu temples. The 40 acre wide fort was constructed in 1687 by Sethupathi Vijaya Ragunatha Thevar, the Sethupathi of Ramanathapuram. On the hill there is a rock cut Siva temple with music inspiration. At the foot are shrines dedicated to the Vishnu and Siva. The Vishnu temple is the largest of the Anantasayi group in the country.

Viralimalai (42 Km)

There is a temple on a hillock dedicated to Lord Subramanya. It was constructed before the 15th century. The idol is seated on a peacock with consorts on either side. There is also a peacock sanctuary nearby.

Tirupunavasal (65 Km)

This is one of the famous Saivite religious centres mentioned in the verses of Thevaram.

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Situated on the East Coast of Tamil Nadu East Coast of Tamil Nadu, this district has its headquarters in Cuddalore. Cuddalore was an important British trading post and port. The Harbour at the mouth of the Ponnaiyar River was once the scene of considerable commercial activity but it is now not in use. The most important landmark in Cuddalore is Fort St. David, from where Robert Clive first won his spurs during the Campaign against the French. Today, the fort houses the offices of Parry and Company.

Listed below are the best places to visit when you visit Cuddalore.

Karaiyeravittakuppam (10 Km)

This is the place where Appar Swamigal was tied to a stone and thrown into the sea. Miraculously, he floated on the water and reached the shore safely.

Kurinjippadi (33 Km)

This is the famous centre for handloom items, especially lungis.

Neyveli (40 Km)

This is one of the biggest industrial centers in the country. Lignite is mined here and used by a thermal power station. Fertilisers, coking coal and several by-products are obtained from lignite. Contact the Public Relation Officer for permission to visit the complex.

Parangipettai (Porto Novo)

A former Portuguese settlement, this place is known for the Institute of Marine Biology set up by the Annamalai University.

Chidambaram (44 Km)

One of the most important pilgrim centres in the state, Chidambaram means the sky permeated by an atmosphere of intelligence and wisdom. The Nataraja temple here was built by Cholas. Devoted solely to the art of Bharathanatyam, Lord Shiva is depicted in a stunning piece of sculpture as the dancing Nataraja. Spread over 40 acres, the temple complex has five Shabas (courts) and four gopurams (towers). The annual dance festival is held here in February. The Annamalai University, founded by Raja Sir Annamalai chettaiar, is located on the eastern outskirts of the town.

Srimushnam (60 Km)

Located northeast of Chidambaram, the Sri Bhuvarahaswami temple here is one of the eight self-created swayamvyaktam kshetras in the south. The Purushasukta Mandapam here is shaped like a ratham (car) on which there are carvings of warriors mounted on horses and elephants.

Tirunaraiyur (62 Km)

This is a noteworthy Saivite place mentioned in the ancient Tamil literature, which is also the birthplace of Saint Nambiyandar Nambi who was the disciple of the local Lord Vinayaka Peruman. King Raja Raja Cholan discovered the ancient Tamil verses are a grand festival attended by many devotees from far and wide.

Thiruvadigai (22 km)

This is one of the eight “Virattaanai” Saivite temples sung in the praise by the Naayanmars. Here, the legends state that Lord Shiva set aflame the three lokhas (realms) called Muppuram with his third eye. He also cured the acute stomach ailment of Thirunavukkarasar, who was later persuaded by his elder sister Thilagavathiar to give up Jainism and embrace Saivism with the divine grace of Lord Shiva.

Thiruvendhipuram (9 Km)

The famous Vaishnavite Devanathar temple is situated here. On a hillock nearby, the temple dedicated to Arulmighu Hayagreevar is situated. The famous Vaishnavate Saint Vedantha Desigar lived here.

Thiruvamur (34 Km)

This is the birthplace of Saint Thirunavukkarasar.

Vadalur (34 km)

The major tourist attraction here is the Sathyagnana Sabha which was constructed by Ramalingaswamigal, popularly called as Adigalar. The four great towers of the Chidambaram temple are visible from this octagon shaped building. The sanctum of this temple is separated from the main hall by seven screens. Only three of these are removed on the ordinary days, but during the Thai Poosam in December – January, all the screens are removed in order to allow the devotees an unrestricted view of the eternal flame or “jothi”.

Vriddhachalam (60 km)

This town on the banks of the river Manimuttar has an ancient Siva temple dedicated to Lord Vridhagirishwarar. His consort is Vridhambigai.

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Situated in the Southern Tamil Nadu, this district has its headquarters in Madurai city on the banks of Vaigai River. It is the second largest city in the state. Madurai is more than 25, 00 years old and was an important cultural and commercial centre even as early as 550 A.D when the Pandyas made it their capital. Modern Madurai is burgeoning industrial centre even though the vast stretches of last paddy fields. Dusty roads and crowded bazaars make it seem almost like an overgrown village.

Listed below are the best places that should not be missed out when you explore Madurai.

The Meenakshi Temple

The city of Madurai is synonymous with the Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple which was originally built by Kulasekara Pandya. However, the entire credit for making the temple as splendid as it is today goes to the Nayaks who ruled Madurai from the 16th century to 18th century. It is a twin temple, one of which is dedicated to Meenakshi (Parvathi) and the other to Lord Sundareswarar (Shiva). Twelve gopurams (towers) grace the temple which is rectangular in shape. Of these, the Southern Gopuram is the tallest (49 m) and the only one that may be climbed. This temple is one of the best examples of Dravidian architecture and sculpture. The hall of thousand pillars is a museum of icons, photographs and illustrations. Apart from being a very sacred spot for the Hindus, the Meenakshi temple is one of the country’s most important tourist landmarks.

Gandhi Museum

This museum is dedicated to Gandhi life and work is housed in the 300-year-old Mangammal Palace. It has a collection of Gandhi books and letters, a fine exhibition of South Indian village industries and handicrafts and a huge open theatre.

Tirumalai Nayakkar Mahal

About 1 km south-east of the Meenakshi temple, the remains of this palace once again illustrate the architectural mastery of the Nayaks. A classic example of the Indo-Saracenic style, the carved dome of the buildings soars without the support of girders or rafters.

Mariamman Teppakulam

This huge temple tank is about 5 km east of the Meenakshi temple. The mandapam in the centre has an idol of Vinayaka. It is said to be have been found when the earth was being dug out from here to build the Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal. So the place attained sanctifies and was converted into a Teppakulam (temple tank)

Koodal Azhagar Temple

This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu is as old as Madurai itself. Vishnu is depicted in three poses- sitting, standing and reclining- one above the other. This is a unique feature in temple construction.

Shri Satguru Sangeeta Samajam

The temple us built during the year 1952, this is a temple of art and culture. It’s Lakshmi Sundaram Hall is a landmark in Madurai, both for its architecture as well as recitals of classical music, dance, drama and other performances.

Azhagar Kovil (21 Km)

Azhagar Kovil is situated at the foot of Alagar hills, this temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is believed that Lord Vishnu came down to this place from Vaikunta, his abode in heaven to give away Meenakshi in marriage to Sundareswarar.

Pazhamuthircholai (23 Km)

This place is situated at a small hillock about 32 km from Alagar kovil this one of the six abodes of Subramanya.

Thirumohur (10 Km)

Thirumohur has its legendary origin in the distant past when devas and asuras churned the ocean to get amirtham (nectar), a sip of which would ensure immortality. When the pot of nectar surfaced, Vishnu, in the form of Mohini (the female charmer), took it away and while the asuras stood mesmerised by her beauty, distributed the nectar among the Devas. The Puranic name of Thitumohur – Mohanakshetram – confirms the incident.

Tiruvadavur (25 Km)

The temple of Vedanadha is set amidst picturesque surroundings, but the village is more famous as the birthplace of Kapilar, the Sangam poet, and Manickavasagar, the great Pandyan Prime Minister who became a saint. A shrine dedicated to Manickavasagar has located her.

Tiruvedagam (20 Km)

There is a beautiful Siva temple located at Tiruvedagam.

Thiruparangundram (8 Km)

This temple is one of the six abodes of Lord Subramanya, the second son of Lord Shiva. Subramanya is said to have married Indira daughter Deivanai on this hill.

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Situated on the eastern coast of central Tamil Nadu, Thanjavur district has its headquarters in Thanjavur town. This ancient enjoys the distinction of having been the capital of the Cholas- one of the greatest dynasties of the south.

Though the history of Thanjavur dates back to the Sangam age, it was between the 10th and 14th centuries that Thanjavur reached its zenith, becoming the centre of Tamil learning and culture. Modern Thanjavur is a fertile plain which is often referred to as the ‘rice bowl’ of the Tamil Nadu. The Cholas were great temple builders and Thanjavur bears witness to this, being dotted with no fewer than 74 Temples- The most famous of which is the Brihadeeswarar temple.

Thanjavur holds much attraction where we would be muddled to visit which one first. All the listed attraction is never to be missed out on your list since these places are worth visiting all the time when we explore Thanjavur.

Brihadeeswarar Temple

This temple built by Raja Raja Chola is the Thanjavur’s greatest landmark and dominate the landscape of miles around. Also known as the big temple and acclaimed as the grandest temple in South India, it is an outstanding example of superb Cholas architecture and craftsmanship. The imposing vimanam (the tower over the inner sanctum) is the most striking feature of this temple. It rises perpendicularly to a height of 15m from a square base of 29m and tapers off to a total height of 65.4m.Topping the tower is a monolithic cupola. The structure is made from a granite block weighing about 80 Tonnes. It is said that this massive stone was moved into position on a 6km-long inclined plain. A gigantic Nandi (bull), the mythical mount of Lord Siva guards the portals of the shrine. It is the second largest monolithic sculpture of its kind in the country. In the inner courtyard of the temple are some superb frescoes reminiscent of the cave paintings of the Ajanta.

The Palace

Near the temple is the palace built partly by the Nayaks sometime around 1550 and partly by the Marathas. The buildings have huge corridors and spacious halls. The armoury and observation towers are visible from all parts of the city.

Art gallery

The palace houses an interesting art gallery which contains several granite and bronze statues from the 9th and 12th centuries.

Library

The Saraswathi Mahal library in the palace dates back to about 1,700 and has over 30,000 palm leaf and paper manuscripts in Indian and European languages.

Hall of music

The Sangeetha Mahal in the palace is an acoustically perfect music hall that is remarkable for its engineering skills.

Schwartzh Church

Towards the east of the palace is a church that was built in 1779 by Raja Serfoji as a token of affection and esteem for the Rev. Schwartz of the Danish mission.

The Tank

The Siva Ganga nearby was built in 1777 and is well known for its sweet tasting water.

Darasuram (30km)

A Siva temple built by Rajendra Chola is a major attraction. This temple has some beautiful and sculptures. Darasuram is also silk weaving Centre.

Karungthatangudi (3km)

This is also known as Karanthai. A college for Tamil literature is located here.

Kumbakonam (38 Km)

There are four large temples in Kumbakonam dedicated to Sarangapani, Kumbeswarar, Nageswarar and Brahma. The sculptures in these temples are noteworthy. Also of importance is the Mahamaham Tank. It is believed that the bath in this tank on the Maham day in the Tamil month of Masi will cleanse a person of is sins. The Mahamaham festival that is celebrated once in 12 years is famous throughout the country.

Nachchiyar Kovil (45 Km)

Thirunaraiyur is the other name for this place where the Chola King Kochchengannan has built a temple. A beautiful statue of Garudan is located here that stands as the recognition of the temple. Skillfully made handicrafts are also available here.

Swamimalai (27 Km)

This Swamimalai is one of the six abodes or (Arupadaiveedu) of Lord Subramanya, the Swamimalai temple is built at an elevation of a litter over 30 m.

Manora (72 Km)

This eight storey victory tower was built by the Maratha King Serfoji in 1814 to commemorate the victory of British over Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo. A panoramic view of the palm fringed Bay of Bengal can be had from the top of this 30 m high tower.

Thirunageswaram (45 Km)

It is said the ancient Tamil poet Sekkizhar visited this place. Oppiliyappan Temple is located in the neighbourhood.

Thiruppanandal (57 Km)

A Saivite mutt is established here for the purpose of developing the Tamil language.

Thirukandaiyur (10 Km)

Thirukandaiyur is known for the temples of Brahma Sirakandeswarar and Harsha Vimochana Perumal.

Thiruvaiyaru (12 Km)

This idyllic town is situated on the banks of River Kaveri. Every year in January a music festival is conducted in the honour of the great musician Saint Tyagaraja.

Tiruvidaimarudur (46 Km)

The temple located here has the three big corridors. The local Athinams have shown a keen interest in developing the Tamil culture.

Tirubuvanam (44 Km)

There is another Chola temple here that was built during the 13th century. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The presiding deity is Kampahareswarar. Tirubuvanam is considered to be one of the major silk weaving Centres in the state.

Thirukarugavur (20 Km)

This is one of the oldest temples in Tamil Nadu. The presiding deity is Mullaivananather and the consort, Garbharakshmbigai.

Thiruvalanchuzi (27 Km)

Here the Kaveri River takes a diversion in its course. This place is famous for its sculptures.

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Yercaud Summer Festival 2018

The annual summer festival in ‘King of Mountains’ Yercaud is all set to begin from May 12th 2018. Tourists and travellers are excited that the festival is commencing earlier than the supposed date. To welcome the tourists for the summer festival and flower show, construction work is going on in the route from Salem to Yercaud. Narrow roads are being extended and the parapet walls are being whitewashed. Many banners and welcome boards have been erected along the route to welcome the tourists for the festival. Also, the usual 4 day festival has been extended to 5 days (till May 16th) and this has made the tourists happier. Since summer vacation has already begun, many tourists from all over India are thronging to the hill station. 

On account of the festival, Yercaud Lake has been cleaned and extra boats have been arranged in the Boat House. The popular picnic spot Anna Park has been thoroughly cleaned and there is greenery all around. The horticulture department has brought in flowers from different parts of the country for decorating the flower show.  

Dubbed as Poor Man’s Ooty, many tourists visiting Yercaud have demanded for budget-friendly hotels and lodging facilities. They have also demanded clean and hygienic drinking water and decorative lighting amenities in the various tourist attractions. Roads to Kiliyur Falls and other viewpoints have been reconstructed.  

More than 2 lakh different species of flowers have been kept for display in the flower show. About 10,000 flower pots have been arranged. Some of the varieties of flowers are Salvia, Vinca, Dahlia, Geranium, African Marigold, French Marigold and Pansy. Flower replicas of St. George’s Fort, airplane, cricket players, tractors, arch towers and various cartoon characters are being decorated to entertain tourists and children.  

Use of plastics has been banned throughout the hill station. The tourism department has decided to give away 1 lakh saplings as souvenirs to the tourists. During this festival, traditional dances, culinary tours, boat race, cooking competitions and rangoli competitions have been planned to take place.  

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami will inaugurate the festival.  

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