across temples at every corner in Chennai, truly representative of
. The Marina Beach here, is the second largest sandy beach in the world.Near
Chennai is the former French colony
A provincial town, it retains a distinctive
French character, in its architecture, language and way of life.
Mamallapuram stands the largest bas relief structure in the world –
‘Arjuna’s Penance’. The fluidity of Pallava sculpture enchants here in the
cave, monolithic and structural temples.
76 kms from Chennai, once had more than a hundred temples. Many still stand and
are part of day to day life as they were centuries ago.
south at Chidambaram, the legendary spot of Shiva’s cosmic dance,
consecrated by a magnificent temple, built by the Chola kings.
Thanjavur (Tanjore), was the capital of the Cholas and in this temple town stands the
Brihadeeswara temple, noted for its exquisite carvings. At Tiruchirappalli
nearby stands the Rock Fort temple dedicated to Dhiva.
Just 10 kms away, at
Srirangam, the Ranganathaswami temple. Dedicated to Vishnu, and built in the
13th-14th centuries A.D, is one of the biggest temple complexes of Tamil
ancient city of the Pandya kings,
, has a sprawling temple complex, dedicated to the Goddess Meenakshi and Lord
an hour’s drive from
, the Vadakkunnatha temple grounds come alive at the famed Pooram festival. Half
an hour away is the temple-town of Guruvayoor, with the shrine of Lord Krishna.
Hiysala temples at Somnathpur, Belur and Halebid;
and the Badami, aihloe and Pattadakkal cluster are the prime sites of
evolution in temple architecture in Karnataka.
of the Travancore kings at Padmanabhapuram is an architectural marvel. The
highly polished floors, the woodwork, the fine sculpture and the frescoes on the
walls of the temple in the complex, all bear tertimony to the perfection of the
fishing nets adorn the harbour at
, a port city bustling with the spices trade. The
) and the Jewish Synagogue at
are worthy of a visit.
, a city of palaces is famous
for its silks. The
and Tipu Sultan’s capital Srirangapattana display a mixture of Hindu and
Islamic traditions in architecture; and are the Chamundi Hills, where stands the
huge monolithic statue of Nandi Bull the hang-glider can take off into the
winds. The rocks around Chamundi Hills provide ample scope for rock-climbing.
stands the world’s second largest unsupported dome. The dome of the Gol Gumbaz
mausoleum is said to echo any sound 11 times.
, the capital of Andhra
Pradesh, theformer state of the Nizam, and now a thronging metropolis, has
retained a Mughlai flavour in its way of life and cuisine. The Nizam’s palace
, Charminar in the old quarter of the city and Golconda Fort nearby make for a
treat of spectacular object d’art and architecture.
and Nagarjuna Konda to the south of
are the sites of excavated Buddhist settlements dating back to the 2nd century
BC . The Nagarjuna Sagar dam nearby is amongst the world’s highest masonry
and Ooty (Ootacamund), the quaint, colonial hill resorts in Tamil Nadu offer
facilities for trekking, boating, hanggliding and fishing.
Kovalam in neighbouring Kerala, has as many as five superb stretches of
palm-fringed beaches. Excellent facilities are provided for surfing, sailing,
deep-sea fishing and beach sports.
– tropical islands in the sun. Stretches of beaches like the lovely Bangaram
Resort dot the ‘one lakh islands’ with facilities for scuba- diving and
other water sports.
lower ranges of the
, above the plantations of tea, coffee, rubber and spices, stretches the rain
forests of the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. A boat-cruise along the Periyar river
or a foray into the sanctuary on elephant back, or a trek into the forest; all
provide good opportunity to view the Nilgai Thar and the Asian elephant, besides
second Saturday of August (Onam), the great snake boats, said to be the longest
in the world, vie with one another on the backwaters at
Alleppey, near kochi .
Kerala lies the land of jasmine and Sandal, Karnataka.
the garden-capital is a beautiful city. Nearby are Nandi Hills and Bannerghatta
the Splendour of multifaceted India