Bangalore named Bendakalooru, the Town of Boiled Beans by its King Veera Ballala, who was hungry and famished, received a meal of boiled beans from a kindly woman. Bangalore since then has become the Garden city of India. Among the places of interest are Vidhan Soudha, Lalbagh Botanical gardens spreading over 240 acres, the Fort, Tipu Sultans summer Palace orginally built in Mud in 1537 was rebuilt by Haider Ah, a couple of centuries later and bull temple which has a huge monolithic statue of Nandi
Chennai known Gateway to South India with their rich architectural heritage, culture and civilization and the fourth largest city of India, Chennai is a center for culture, rich in its vibrant traditions of music and dance crafts that have retained their pristine purity. The city has a rich Dravidian heritage. It traces its origins to ancient times when it traded with the Far East and the West in perfumes, spices, silks and skins. It's the land of Bharat Natyam,
the most popular classical Indian dance today. Among the major places of interest are fort St. George, St. Mary's Church, Santhome Cathedral - The remains of St. Thomas were kept here, Government Museum, Kapaleeswarar Temple, Anna Zoological Park, and Marine Beach - the most prominent feature of Chennai and the second longest beach in
the world, which runs from the harbour in the north to the Cathedral in the south.
Cochin or Kochi is a port city with a rich past and bustling presence. The myriad of tiny islands set in the shimmering blue Arabian Sea, against lush green back drops, forms the for Cochin or Kochi as it is known. It has one of the most beautiful harbours on India's west coast. Among the places of interest are Jewish synanogue - the oldest synanogue in the entire commonwea~th. St Francis Church, St. Mary's Cathedral, Cochin Harbour, Terminus, Chinese Fishing Nests, Mattancherry Dutch Palace built by the Portuguese is known for its murals depicting scenes from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata and dresses and palanquins used by Cochin's erstwhile rulers.
Kottayam is a pretty town in the foothills of western ghats. It is a commercial centre noted for its trade in rubber, pepper, tea etc is also one of main centres of Syrian Christian faith and has some beautiful churches.They include the Valiapalli church noted for its persian cross and the Cheriapalli church which has fine murals and paintings. It is possible to travel from Alappuzha to Kottayam on the ferry along the lagoons and picturesque waterways, getting a feel of the scenic beauty of the region. Kottayam is also a good base for a visit to the Periyar National park.
Hassan is the base of visiting the famous temples of Belur and Halebid. The temples at Belur and Halebid which remained incomplete despite 80 years of labour, were the offerings of the finest workmanship in stone to the Gods.The intricately sculptured decoration on the temple according to
some critics are even better than the friezes at Konark in Orissa and Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh. The temple at Halebid, the capital of the hoysalas was started 10 years after the Belur temple. At Belur Channakeshava Temple is the one of the three Hoysala sites which is still used for worship. Halebid today is a rural village and Belur a small town and the temples are only testimony to their past glory.
Alleypey or Alappuzha wit its labyrinth of canals, bridges and a long silver beaches, makes for a memorable holiday. Its cheerful people add to the town' s charm.Alleppey offers enjoyable boat cruises to Kollam along the scenic Vemband Lake. The never ending panorama of lush green paddy fields, towering coconut trees, shimmering water & long canals around Alappuzha make a delightful setting for the town.
Badami is a very old town It is famous for its exquisite 6th century A.D. Hindu and Jain cave Temples. also known as Vatapi it is a lovely land with the Hindu and Jain temples carved out of sandstone Hills, beneath which is the ancient Bhuthanatha Lake. The masterpiece in the famous cave temples of Badami, is the well known 18 armed Nataraja who strikes 81 dance poses.
Periyar ,best known for its wildlife is amidst the cool hills of the ghats in the east, nestles Thekkaday extending over an area of 777 sq. km where you watch the fur fin and feather wild on life while enjoying a cruise Periyar lake. The sanctuary was founded in 1934 by Shri Chithira Thirunal Maharaja of Former Travencor state is one of the oldest in India. In 1978 it was declared a reserve under the successful Project Tiger.The reserve has also attractions for the bird watcher as varities of birds like hornbill, blue winged parakeet, whilsting thrush, flycatcher and waterbirds are to be seen here.
Madurai once the capital city of the pandayas Madhurai is today the second largest city in Tamil Nadu. The high point of a visit to the temple cities is Madurai. While modern travellers have called it "The Beat Heart" of Tamil Nadu, historians have associated the sweetness of Madurai. Among the major places of interest are Meenakshi Temple with its ten towering Gopurams and rare sculptures raised by the nayaakas who ruled Madurai from the middle 16th century to the middle of 18th century is the focal point of the city, and the first glimpse of the city is one of the magnificent Gopurams of Madurai, Tirumalai Naicker Palace, Mariamman Tank, the hall of thousand pillars, Gandhi Museum.
Mysore 770 m above sea level and 140 km from Bangalore, thecity of mysore was once the capital of Wodeyars.Stately Mysore with its free lined boulevards, grand palaces and gardens is one of the India's finest cities. Among the places of interest are the Maharaja's Palace - the Palace built in
Indosaracenic style is profusely decorated and gilded, Chamundeshwari Temple, Zoological
gardens, the Cauvery art and craft emporium and Brindavan Gardens.Mysore's most famous festival is 10 day Dasara in October- November when the entire city gives itself up to celebrations that include majestic procession, dance, music, and a torch light parade
Mangalore 375 Km west of Bangalore is a seaport town of mangalore. A cosmopoltian city, influenced by bombay, it is major commercial centre. Mangalore could beyour entry point to beach County- with its pristine, virgin, and unexplored beaches. While in the area try and see aYakshagana performance- an elaborate dance form. the kambla ( buffalo Race ) is another exciting local event. The places of interest in Mangalore, are St. Aloysis Chapel, the 10th century Mangala devi Temple and nearby Ullal beach with casurina groves.
Hampi the 14th century capital city of the Vijayanagara Empire lies in the Deccan heartland, in the state of Karnataka. The ruins spread over an area of more than 26 sq kms. protected by the tempestuous river Tungabhadra in the north and by rocky granite stones on other three sides. There is a magical quality to the ruins of Hampi even 650 years after the empire of Krishna - devaraya disintegrated. Among the palces of interest are Vittala temple, Purandaradasa Mandapa, the Sule and Hampi Bazaars, Lotus Mahal and the queen's bath.
Kanyakumari another famous pilgrim centre situated at the land's end of India, at the confluence of the Indian Ocean, the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea. It is located 89 kms far from Thiruvantrum which is the nearest airport .The places to see are Kumari Amman temple, Gandhi Memorial and the very famous Vivekanda memorial.Very near to Kanyakumari is Suchindram temple with musical pillars where somebody beats these pillars musicals sound can be heard.
Kodaikanal is one of the most beautiful hill stations located at an altitude of 2133 mts.It is second of South India's major hill resorts and is variously known as the "Princess of Stations" and the Switzerland of the south. It is the sole hill station in India to have been founded during the British Raj. Just a few minutes walk from any direction from the heart of Kodai town, brings the tourist to spectacular scenery. Among these to visit are the lake, Bryant Park, Solar Physical Observatory, Green Valley View, Pillar Rocks and Bear Shola Falls.Trekking can also be done here.
Tiruchirapalli is known for its Rock Fort and its temple at the hieght of over 83 metres.Other renowned temples are , theSri Ranganathaswamy Temple ( Srirangam) and the the Siva Temple at Tirunakkaval, Samayapuram Mariamman Temple.Worthwhile excursions include Narthamalai, Sittannavasl, Kudumiyanmalai and kodumbalur which are famous ancient monuments, jain caves with intricate wall paintings. Grand Anicut, across the Kaveri river, built by chola king Karikalan in 2nd century A.D. is an engineering marvel and a fine picnic spot, Avudaiyarkoil (110 kms) is known for its life size sculptures.Mukkombu is another picnic spot.
Kanchipuram, one of the seven sacred cities of India, is famous for its exquistely woven silk sarees. It is a golden city of thousand temples of which 124 have withstood the ravages of time. This has the capital of the Pallavas. Kanchipuram is the holy city of both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu and it is for this reason that Kanchipuram is one of the seven holy cities of India and on the pilgrim route. Some have called Kanchipuram the "Varanasi of the South". Though the temples in this city of gods and erstwhile kings date back to the 4th century, the finest temples was constructed in the 6th and 7th centuries. Kanchi was also the seat of learning and Hindus and Buddhist philosophies flourished side by side. The oldest temple, constructed in sandstone by the Pallavas, the Kailashnatha temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Kovalam 26 kms South of Trivandrum is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and is most people's idea of paradise: a lazy blue sea lapping against golden sands fringed by swaying palms.There are facilities here for water sports and a taste of kerala culture, including Kathakali performances in the evenings.
Mahabalipuram the ancient capital and sea port of Pallava kings is famous for its south Indian temple architecture.But today it is a sleepy village living on its past glory and the tourist traffic. The sculptures and carvings are fascinating. Mahabalipuram is also known as the "city of seven pagodas" for out of solid stone were carved exquisite rock temples. Five of the temples are known as "Rathas" and on their walls the story of Hindu mythology has been lovingly carved out. The most famous of them is group of five rathas. This ratha is dedicated to the five Pandava princes and their consort-wife Draupadi. A group of elephants one of them 5 meters long known as "Arjuna Penance" is the most
prominent feature of this sculpture.
Thanjavur or Tanjore is the city of Chola rulers and bears their stamp in an array of temples finely sculpted and carved. It is the home of Carnatic Music, Musical Instruments, dance and traditional handicrafts. The Brihadesvara Temple built by Raja Chola is said to have been the tallest monument in ancient India, rising height of 92 meters in pyramidal form. Near the inner shrine of Brihadesvara is a gigantic, five meters long black granite sculpture of Nandi, the bull of Lord Shiva. At
Thanjavur one can also visit the Subramanya Temple.
Bandipur or the Bandipur National Park and Tiger Reserve is situated 80 Kms. south of mysore. It is one of the 15 selected across the country for Projected Tiger, a scheme launched in 1973 by the world wildlife fund to save the tiger.This national park is pretty famous for its flora & fauna and houses some of the exotic species in the world.
Ooty or Udagamandalam populary known as 'Queen of Hill Stations' is located at the hieght of 2286, metres (7500 feet). Popular tourist attractions include Botanical Gardens, Lake, Doda Betta, Mukurti peak, the pykara dam and sprawling tea platations.Trek routes are available.TTDC has telescope house at Doda Betta. Mudumalai wildlife sanctuary is 60 kms from here.Kothagiri a famous picnic spot is around 29 kms from here.
Thiruvantapuram or Trivandrum is Kerala's gracious capital city with its palaces, museums and the beautiful bech resort of kovalam. Dominating the city is the Padmanabhaswamy temple with its tall gopurams or gateways. Built in the Dravidian style, the temple has within its sactum an immense image of the Lord Vishnu reclining on the coils of the sacred serpent Ananta. Thiruvantapuram derives the name from this patron diety.
Hyderabad the city is known for its laid back refined lifestyle, its legendary, cuisine and its beautiful palaces monuments and museums. It is a unique blend of the north and the south India. Among the places of interest Charminar - the city symbol has four minarets that is why the name,
mecca Masjid - One of the grandest mosques built, Salarjung museum - houses the single largest collection ever made by one man, Mir Yusuf Jung - Prime Minister to Nizam of Hyderabad, Sri Venkateswara Temple, Faluknuma Palace - A grand Palace, Hussian Sagar - Hyderbad's Largest Lake and Golconda Fort.
Pondicherry was a french dream of an indian empire which began and ended here.The french connection, the serene atmosphere of urban Pondicherry influened by the Aurbindo Ashram and the lovely beach combine to make pondicherry a fascinating destination. Pondicherry has been influenced by the french over along time from 1673 to 1954, when it merged with rest of India.
It is aunique Indian town , oval shaped and clean, alovely beach etc.Afternooon sightseeing tour of the city to include Auroville - a town of tomorrow that's now in making , symbolising an experiment in international living, it was launched in 1968 with co-operation of many nations.Matamandir, the meditation hall, is the heart of the town.It is sorrounded by 800 acres of land, barren in parts with only 1000 residents.They live in14 different commounes and speak 55 diffrent languages. Also visit Aurobindo Ashram, Museum, Botanical garden, Boat house and the Handmade Paper Industry.