ARUVIKKARA Another important pilgrim center in Trivandrum is the Aruvikkara pilgrimage. This pilgrimage is located at a distance of 16 kilometers from Trivandrum. Aruvikkara pilgrim center, Kerala is a serene picnic spot and many tourists visit this place for peace of mind. The pilgrimage is located on the banks of Karamana River in Trivandrum. The pilgrim center is also a picnic spot and one can easily wind off and relax in the serene surroundings of this pilgrimage. There is a waterfall near this place that adds to the natural beauty to the serene surroundings. This rock shrine is dedicated to Goddess Bhagawathy, who is considered to be the divine embodiment of female power. The place also has a small dam that is worth a view as the catchment areas have been beautifully developed into a recreation spot. The city of Trivandrum is known for its rich cultural heritage which is surrounded by Arabian Sea and by the Western Ghats. Travel to Aruvikkara Dam while
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Chirayinkeezhu also known as Chirayinkil is a small town in Thiruvananthapuram District of Kerala. Places of tourist interest in the vicinity include the Sarkara Devi Temple and Varkala Beach. The 10-day Sarkara Bharani festival in March–April is a major event attended by devotees from all over the district. Regular buses connect Chirayinkeezhu with Varkala, Kadakkavoor, Attingal and Thiruvananthapuram. The nearest Airport is Trivandrum International Airport and Chirayinkeezhu Railway Station is the nearest Railway Station.
Sarkara Devi Temple is one of the foremost Devi temples in South India. It is located at Sarkara, south of Chirayinkeezhu in Thiruvananthapuram District. Sarkara Devi, one of the forms of Goddess Bhadrakali, is the main deity worshipped. Lord Ganesh and Nagaraja are the sub-deities. The temple rose to prominence with the introduction of the famous Kaliyoottu festival. Sarkara Bharani, the birthday of the Bhagavathy, is the other major festival celebrated. These two festivals reveal a glimpse of the rich cultural past of Travancore. The temple is about 33 km north of Thiruvananthapuram and near the Chirayinkil Railway Station.
Monday, September 5, 2011
Akkulam is one of the beautiful picnic spots, in the suburbs of Thiruvananthapuram city. This place is only 10 kms. away and is easily accessible by road. The spot is developed on the banks of Akulam Lake, which is an extension of the Veli Lake. The calm and serene atmosphere and its unique natural beauty are a fascination for tourists. The Boat Club, which started functioning in 1989, now operates speed, safari, pedal and row boats from Akkulam to Veli Tourist Village. A traditional style Kettuvallom is also available for overnight stay. The swimming pool at Akkulam is equipped with glider and other playing facilities. The Childrens Park is a unique amusement spot. The newly commissioned musical fountain is an added attraction.
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Agasthya Mountain is also referred as Agasthyakoodam and is located about 70 kilometers from Thiruvananthapuram, capital city of Kerala State in India. It is located at a height of 1,868 meters (6129 feet) above mean sea level. The peak is the second highest peak in Kerala, South India. Agasthyakoodam peak is in the form of a sharp cone and is considered a heaven of rare herbs and Medicinal plants. A valuable and rare herb by name ‘Arogyapacha’ (Plant of eternal health) is attracting the attention of modern researchers to this hill. Agastyakoodam is the source of the Perennial River Thamiarabarni. The river flows in Tirunelveli District of Tamilnadu. Peppara wild life Sanctuary, a part of Agastyakoodam Forests is in Thiruvananthapuram district.
The Peppara Dam was constructed across the river Karamana in 1984. The main purpose of the Dam is to effect water supply to the Thiruvananthapuram city and suburban areas. Agastyakoodam is highly respected by both the Hindus as well as the Buddhists. This is because the Hindus believe that this mountain is the home of Sage ‘Agastya’; transitelerated as Agathiar or Agastyar. He is in some ways regarded as the patron saint of much of the south India. Some say that it was the Sage ‘Agastya’ who first brought and popularized the Vedic religion to South India. Agastya is considered to be one of the seven ‘Rishis’ (Saptarshi) of Hindu ‘Puranas’. Buddhists think that Agastya Mountain is the abode of Bodhisatva Avalokiteswara.
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Built up on the very property where Amma was born, Amritapuri is now the headquarters of Amma’s worldwide mission and the spiritual home for Amma’s monastic disciples and hundreds of householder devotees. All the residents have dedicated their lives for realising God and serving the world. Everyday, Amma’s children from across India and abroad flock here to have Amma’s darshan. She sees each and every one, listens to their worries, consoles, encourages, provides new direction to their lives.Amritapuri is the living example of the ancient Indian ideal “the whole world is one family” (vasudhaiva kutumbakam). Here you will find people from all parts of the world — speaking different languages and having different customs and religions — all living under one roof. In their quest for the meaning of life, each has forgotten their differences and become a child of Amma.
Achankovil temple in the district of Kollam in Kerala is one of the famous shrines, dedicated to Lord Ayyappa. It is believed that the idol of this shrine was consecrated by Lord Parasurama, the legendary creator of Kerala.Not far away from the Achankovil temple is the Manalar waterfalls and also the Kumbuvurutty waterfalls with a Nature Interaction Centre.
Konni - Konni, a forested village in the State of Kerala in South India, situated on the bank of the mighty Achencoil River has a long and rich history of man-forest interface. Vast expanse of forests of Western Ghats in the background is crisscrossed by numerous streams and rivulets, which add to the exceptional scenic beauty of the landscape. The forests, repository of rich biodiversity were constituted in to Konni Reserve Forests and Achencoil Reserve Forests by the Maharaja of Travancore way back in 1897 and 1901 respectively, which are among the oldest reserve forests in the State.
Friday, September 2, 2011
Kollam (Nelcynda) shares fame with Kodungallur (Muziris) as an ancient sea port on the Malabar coast of India from early centuries of the Christian era. Kollam had a sustained commercial reputation from the days of the Phoenicians and the Romans. Pliny (23-79 AD) mentions about Greek ships anchored at Musiris and Nelkanda. Musiris is identified with Kodungallur (then ruled by the Chera kingdom) and Nelkanda (Nelcyndis) with Quilon or Kollam (then under the Pandyan rule). Kollam was the chief port of the Pandyas on the West Coast and was connected with Korkai (Kayal) port on the East Coast and also through land route over the Western Ghats. Spices, pearls, diamonds and silk were exported to Egypt and Rome from these two ports on the South Western coast of India. Pearls and diamonds came from Ceylon and the South eastern coast of India, then known as the Pandyan kingdom.
Cosmas Indicopleustes, who visited Malabar Coast in 522 AD, mentions about Syrian Christians in Kollam. He wrote, "In the island of Tabropane (Ceylon), there is a church of Christians, and clerks and faithful. Likewise at Male where the pepper grows; and in the town of Kalliana there is also a bishop concentrated in Persia" (Reference: Travancore Manual). The Nestorian Patriarch Jesujabus who died in 660 A.D. makes special mention of Quilon in his letter to Simon, Metropolitan of Persia. In 822 A.D. two Nestorian Persian Bishops were sent to Kollam and Kodungallur to look after the Syrian Christian faithful. Mar Sapor was the Bishop of Kollam and Mar Peroz (Proth) was the Bishop of Kodungallur. Mar Sapor who is also called as Mar Abo lived his last years at Thevalakara. His remains were buried in the Martha Mariam Orthodox Church at Thevalakara which was built in the 4th century. This church which carries the tomb of Mar Sapor is 25 km far from Kollam City.
The Malayalam Era named after Quilon began in 824 AD. Malayalam Era is called 'Kolla Varsham' after Kollam, because of the importance of Kollam in the 9th century A.D. It signified the independence of Malabar from the Cheraman Perumals. (Reference: Travancore Manual page 244). For the services of the Syrian Christian merchants, King Stanu Ravi Gupta of Kollam, granted the copper plate grants in 824 A.D. to Mar Sapor Iso, transferring to the Tarasa Church and community in Quilon, lands near the city with hereditament of low caste slaves. (Reference: Travancore Manual page 244). Merchant Soleyman of Siraf of Persia visited Malabar in the middle of the 9th century and found Quilon to be the only port in India touched by the huge Chinese ships on their way from Canton to the Persian Gulf. The rulers of Kollam (formerly called 'Desinganadu') ,then, also had trade relations with China and exchanged embassies. According to the records of the Tang Dynasty (618 AD to 913 AD) (Reference: Travancore Manual, page 244), Quilon was their chief port of call and was given the name 'Mahlai' by them. The Chinese trade decreased about 900 AD and was again revived in the 13th century. Marco Polo, who visited China's Kublai Khan's court, on his return journey to venice, travelled through Kollam and gave an interesting account of the flourishing port of Kollam (Coilum, as referred to by him) and its trade relations with China in the East and the Western countries. Chinnakada, (China-kada), the city center, was so named after the Chinese merchants. The increase in commercial activity resulted in establishment of flourishing Chinese settlement at Kollam. Marco Polo, the great Venetian traveller, who was in Chinese service under Kublai Khan visited Kollam in 1293 A.D. on his return trip from China to Venice. He found Christians and Jews living in Coilum (Kollam). He also found merchants from China and Arabia. He has given a detailed account of Kollam in his writings, that are reproduced in the Travancore Manual. According to Ibn Batuta, Kollam was one of the five ports, which he had seen in the course of his travels, in the 14th century. The Apostle Thomas is said to have founded one of his "seven and a half churches" in Kollam. The church founded by him was re-constructed three times because of sea erosion. The present church of Our lady purification or popularly known as Kollam port church is considered as the continuation of the one that founded by St.Thomas. This church is very near to QUILON PORT. From these seven and a half churches, including the one in Kollam, have multiplied thousands of churches, hospitals, orphanages and other Christian charities that cover India today. Marthamarian Orthodox church, Thevelakara is where Mar Abo, guru of kadamattahu kathanar, also know as Mar Sabor taking his eternal rest.this church constructed on 4th century and received tharissapally cheppadukal,which even started kollam era)
Mayyanad is a beautiful village situated in Kollam district of Kerala and is about 10 kilometers south of Kollam city. Mayyanad can be reached by frequent buses from Kollam and Kottiyam and by local train from Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram. Mayyanad is situated on the banks of the Paravur lake. Mayyanad's costal line along the Arabian sea is famous for its fishing. This village is the birth place of well known personalities like C V Kunjuraman, C Kesavan and K Sukumaran. Mayyanadu,10 kms south of Kollam is noted for its shrines and temples. The most important temple is the one at Umayanallor, dedicated to Lord Subramanian. The shrine is said to have been consecrated by Shri. Sankaracharya of Kaladi. Besides the temples, there are three churches and a Mosque. Cotton weaving and oil pressing are the main occupation in the village.
Sardar Vallabhai Patel Museum situated in Kollam City is a one-of-a-kind in India. It is near to Kollam Railway Station by the side of East Police Station. The museum displays the developments of the police force in our country. Arms and ammunitions used in the 18th and 19th centuries - various guns, bullets, machines, and other weapons are to be spotted here. Apart from this, the museum has details on the fingerprints, DNA tests, snaps, and medals awarded to policemen.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
The renowned Paravur Puttingal temple is located at Kurumandal, Paravur village of Kollam district in the state of Kerala, India . The temple is centuries old and was first constructed when the presence of Godess herself was experienced on an ant hill. The temple was named Puttingal temple, 'Puttu' being the malayalam word for ant hill. In due course of time the temple was reconstructed. The present structure is about a couple of centuries old.The main offerings for the Puttingal Godess include flowers, tender coconuts, aval(beaten rice) and malar(puffed rice). Sandal paste and saffron powder are distributed to the devotees as prasadam. The famous "thottampattu",the most important offering in this temple, starts on the 21st day of Vrischikam(a Malayalam month falling in between mid November and mid December) and lasts till the princip The 'birth day' of the Godess is on the day of Bharani in the malayalam month of Meenam(falling in between mid March and mid April). The main events associted with the festival are Aswathi vilakku, Kathakali, Kampadikali, Marameduppu and other cultural events. Various pujas are performed and offerings are made daily for the fulfilment of desires and redressal of various greivances of devotees. al festival of the Godess.
At a distance of 28 Kms from Kollam, Alumkadavu is a beautiful village located on Ashtamudi Lake Backwaters. Alumkadavu is famous for houseboat constructions. This place is also known for coir making. Visitors can plan a tour to one of the boat building yards in Alumkadavu and watch the art of making boats. Alumkadavu is about 4 Kms from NH47 towards Alleppey and connected by frequent bus services with Kollam.
Timings: 8 AM to 5 PM. Close on Sundays.
At a distance of 44 Kms from Kollam, Rock-Cut Cave Temple located in Kottukal is a magnificent temple situated at a distance of 10 Kms from Ayur junction on Thiruvananthapuram - Kottayam.
This rock-cut temple has a ShivLinga & sculptures of Nandi & Hanuman. This temple has similarities with Mahabalipuram temple (near Chennai) and is believed to belong to Pallava period - 8th Century. There are two 10 ft x 8 ft rooms cut through rocks and covered by a single rock overhead. The temple would appear like an elephant's back from outside.
A rectangular carved area in the center of cave has the image of Ganapati carved on the rock. On either sides of it are two larger structures. Inside of each structure are the entrances to the inner shrines. One of the entrances has a Nandi carved in the portico and the shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva.The rock cut temple with the Shiva linga flanked by Nandi and Sri Hanuman is believed to belong to the Pallava period (8th century BC) and contemporaneous with the Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram near Chennai. There are two 10 ft x 8 ft rooms cut into the rocks and covered by a single rock overhead. The temple would appear like an elephant's back from outside. The combination of Shiva linga , Nandi and Hanuman is found nowhere else in India.
The best season to visit Kottukkal is December to May.
The etymological meaning of the name 'Shenduruny' has been derived from a tree species locally called 'Shenkuruny or Chenkuruny' (Gluta travancorica), an endemic tree mainly confined to this area. The Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary was formed in 1984. The construction of the Parappar dam across the confluence of the Shenduruny and Kulathupuzha rivers has resulted in the creation of an artificial lake of about 26 sq.kms. which spreads along the middle of the sanctuary.
The sanctuary is home to the Bonnet Macaque, Gaur, Sambar, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Indian Giant Squirrel, Three-Striped Palm Squirrel, Lion-Tailed Macaque, Mouse Deer, Elephant, Tiger, Leopard, Nilgiri Langur and many more animals.
Historically, Shenduruny has a rich heritage. The cave paintings seen here are comparable to the Mesolithic paintings found in the caves of central . The cave found here is large enough to hold at least twenty people at one time.
How to reach there?
By road : 66 km from Kollam town on the Kollam - Shencotta Road
Nearest airport : Thiruvananthapuram 72 km away.
Location : About 75 km from Kollam on the Kollam - Shencottah road.
Best time to visit : June - January
Palaruvi - literally, stream of milk - is one of Kerala's most picturesque waterfalls, cascading down a height of 300 feet. It is a favourite picnic spot for visitors from all over south India. The journey to Palaruvi through the dense tropical forest is a spellbinding experience.
The surrounding mist-clad blue hills and green valleys form a stunning backdrop to the milk white burst of foam that resounds through the otherwise tranquil virgin forest. Visitors love the cool shower. Ayurvedic physicians sometimes prescribe a bath in the waters of Palaruvi.
Getting there: Palaruvi is about 75 km from Kollam town.
Nearest railway station: Kollam, about 75 km
Nearest airport: Thiruvananthapuram International Airport about 77 km from Kollam town.
A 1000-feet high rocky hill cluster at Chadayamangalam in south Kerala, believed to be connected with mythical character 'Jatayu' in epic Ramayana, will woo tourists as the country's first 'Rock Theme Park'.According to local tradition, the rock, 'Jatayupara', in Kollam District, is the place where the mythical bird 'Jatayu' fell after its wings were slain by the ten-headed Ravana by his lethal sword 'Chandrahasam'.As per the epic, Ravana, who ruled Lankapuri (Sri Lanka), chopped off one the wings of the bird when it tried to block his airship 'Pushpaka Vimanam' in which he was forcibly taking away Rama's consort Sita.The project is a blend of ecological and epic tourism and the state government, through this public-private partnership venture, is building a high-tech theme park on the rocky terrain with a mammoth statue of 'Jatayu' as its core.