The gateway to the sunny south, the capital of Tamil Madu is also the seat of an ancient civilization, with a rich heritage of fine arts, sculpture and architecture. The city of Madras extends over an area of nearly 80 sq. kms. has a population of about two million and is the third largest city of India. It has withstood the pressure of modernization to some extent and even today retains an old-world charm which has an instant appeal for the visitor.
Sightseeing of Madras includes visiting the National Art Gallery and Museum, (closed on Fridays), Fort St. George, the Fort Museum, St. Marys Church, a drive along the Marina Beach, visit to the San Thome Cathedral, the Mylapore Temple and the Victoria Technical Institute.
MAHABALIPURAM : Also known as the Seven pagodas, Mahabalipuram is a pleasant seaside resort, 85 kms from Madras. Today the principal attraction of the place to the tourist lies in the wonderful monolithic monuments and stone sculptures of the ancient Pallava dynasty of kings who ruled much of the territory now known as Tamil Nadu, from the 16th century A.D. These kings laid the foundations of Dravidian architecture in India and at Mahaliburam, today, the earliest of these remarkable monuments are to be seen, all hewn out of rocks. The Pallava monuments are spread over a wide area, some bodering on sea, and it is advisable to see them before the midday heat. The important monuments to be seen are the five Rathas, the bas-relief on a huge rock popularly known as Arjunas Penance. The Mahisasura Mandapam, the Krishna Mandapam and the Shore Temple.
KANCHIPURAM : The "Golden City" 76 kms. (47 miles) south-west of Madras, has a long history. It was a capital of successive dynasties of Hindu rulers. Huen Tsang, the Chinese traveller, who visited it in the 7th century A.D., has left an account of his sojourn there. Buddhism, Jainism and later Hinduism contended for supremacy in the ancient city for centuries. It is remarkable for its temples and shrines. There is a group of Jain temples of Tiruparuttipuram dating from the 9th to the 16th century A.D. Even older are the two great temples of Shiva and Vishnu, namely the Kailasnath and the Vaikunthanatha Perumal Temples, built by the Pallav Kings. The later is noted for its lofty towers with fine porches.
Known as the City of Festivals, Madurai is the most ancient home of culture and the first Tamil Academy was founded here by scholars and pious kings. The town has developed encircling the famous Meenakshi Temple built in the Dravidian style - one for Shiva and the other for his spouse Meenakshi. It is believed that if you place a literary work in the tank of this temple, it will sink if it is worthless and float, if worthy. The temple has beautiful sculptures of Shiva. The court of thousand pillars was built in 1560 A.D. Here also there are lovely sculptures. From any side the hall, the visitor can get a kaleidoscopic view. Outside are the Musical Pillars which produce different swaras or notes when tapped outside the temple. To the east is the Vasanth Mandapam with life size statues of nayakas of Madurai.
Sightseeing of Madurai includes visits to
Teppa Kulum (Mariamman) a tank with an Island Temple. Tirumalainaik Palace, 1000 pillared
hall and the Meenaakshi Temple and a general sightseeing of the city to view local colour.
A string of shimmering pearls, sprinkled
along the dazzling blue waters of the Indian Ocean, the Maldive Islands are a chain of
2000 coral islands grouped in small close clusters, 400 miles south-west of India.
This "Garden City" stands by a rocky hill named after the goddess Chamundi. It is a city of palaces and museums. The palace ofthe Maharaja within the Old Fort is admittedly one of the most beautiful buildings in India. The best time to visit Mysore is during the Dussehra festivities which are observed with pomp and pageantry for ten days in September/October. Sightseeing of Mysore City includes a visit to the Gardens, the Zoological Gardens, Mysore Arts and Crafts Centre, the beautiful Brindavan Gardens illuminated during the weekends, and the Chamundi Temple overlooking the city.
The Brindavan Gardens have been laid out by the side of the Krishnarajasagar Dam with beautiful lawns and beds of flowers, fragrant shrubs, cascades and fountains.
SANCTUARY : The sanctuary is situated on
the Mysore-Ooty road. The original sanctum sanctorum of the much larger Venugopal National
Park, Bandipur is now being expanded under Project Tiger. It adjoins Tamil Nadus
Mudumalai Sanctuary. Gaur and elephant commute freely between the two. An excellent
network of roads intersects of forest, passing close by pools and offfering a close view
of the animals. The lodges are in one block, and both by day and night, herds and Chital
can be seen very near them. Till the past epidemic of 1968, gaur used to be one of its
main features. Now they are again slowly returning to their old stamping ground. Bandipur
has a longer season than most sanctuaries - from January till the end of June and
September to October. Van rides are arranged and also riding elephants.
Perched on the Aravalli range, about 1,219m
(4,000 ft.) above sea level. Mount Abu is one of the prettiest hill resort in India. It is
famous for the celebrated Dilwara temples, sacred to the Jains, containing some of the
finest sculptures and carvings in India. Built of pure white marble, they have all the
delicacy and rich ornamentation of Indian art of the Middle Ages. The hill resort has many
walks, shrines and scenic spots, including the Nakki Lake in an idyllic setting. Not far
from here is Achleshwar, a famous forest sanctuary.
Situated in the heart of central India.
Nagpur derived its name from the River Nag. A city famed for its oranges.Visit Sitabuldi
Fort erected on a hill. Ambhajeri and Telenberi tanks, as also the Hall of Music. A little
distance away, near Wardha lies Sevagram, Mahatma Gandhis Ashram established in
Situated in the heart of
central India. Nagpur derived its name from the River Nag. A city famed for its
oranges.Visit Sitabuldi Forterected on a hill. Ambhajeri and Telenberi
tanks, as also the Hall of Music. A little distance away, near Wardha lies Sevagram,
Mahatma Gandhis Ashram established in 1933.