Mamallapuram, also called Mahabalipuram or Seven Pagodas, historic town, northeast Tamil Nadu state, southeastern India. It lies along the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal 37 miles (60 km) south of Chennai (Madras).
The town’s religious centre was founded by a 7th-century-CE HinduPallava king—Narasimhavarman, also known as Mamalla—for whom the town was named. Ancient Chinese, Persian, and Roman coins found at Mamallapuram point to its earlier existence as a seaport. It contains many surviving 7th- and 8th-century Pallava temples and monuments, chief of which are the sculptured rock relief popularly known as “Arjuna’s Penance,” or “Descent of the Ganges,” a series of sculptured cave temples, and a Shaiva temple on the seashore. The town’s five rathas, or monolithic temples, are the remnants of seven temples, for which the town was known as Seven Pagodas. The entire assemblage collectively was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984.
- Thanjavur(Brihadeshwara Temple)
Brihadeshwara Temple is known as the Big temple in Thanjavur, is the Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Siva. Brihadeshwara temple is the finest example of Tamil architecture built during Chola dynasty. The temple also comes under the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was established in 1011 AD by Raja raja Chola I in celebration of victory of Chola kingdom. It is regarded one of the most magnificent architecture of Chola Era, which attracts pilgrims, tourists and architecture enthusiasts in huge numbers. The temple is a must see when you are in Thanjavur.
Kanyakumari is a town located in the Tamil Nadu state of India. It is the southernmost tip of India and the Indian subcontinent, and is surrounded by the seas of 3 sides, the Arabian sea on the east, the Indian ocean ahead and the Bay of Bengal on the west. Kanyakumari is a famous tourist destination most noted for its beautiful sunrise and sunset and the ‘Sangam’ that is the confluence of the 3 seas.
The major attractions for tourists visiting Kanyakumari are the Swami Vivekananda rock memorial, the 133 ft. statue of Tamil saint and poet, Thiruvalluvar, and the Kanyakumari and Suchindram temples located in the vicinity.
Other places of interest in Kanyakumari are the Vivekananda Kendra, Baywatch Amusement Park and Wax museum, Gandhi Mandapam, the wildlife sanctuary that is located in Kanyakumari district some distance away and the Udaygiri fort nearby.
Madurai is famous for Meenakshi Amman Temple, also known as Minakshi-Sundareshwara Temple, is one of the oldest and most important temples in India. Located in the city of Madurai, the temple has a great mythological and historical significance. It is believed that Lord Shiva assumed the form of Sundareswarar (the handsome one) and married Parvati (Meenakshi) at the site where the temple is currently located. Renowned for its astonishing architecture, Meenakshi Temple was nominated as one of the wonders of the world, but couldn’t make it into the list of ‘Seven Wonders of the World’. However, the temple is definitely one of the ‘Wonders of India’. It is also one of the main attractions of South India with thousands of devotees thronging it every day. During the ‘Tirukalyanam Festival,’ which takes place over a period of 10 days, the temple attracts more than a million devotees. Despite many people visiting it every day, the temple is well-maintained and was named the ‘Best Swachh Iconic Place’ (cleanest iconic place) in India.
- Alleppey (Alappuzha,)
Alappuzha, “Venice of the east”, is one of the most important tourist destination in the state. Achankovil, Pamba and Manimala are the main rivers. The Kayamkulam Lake covers an area of 59.57sq.kms. and extends into Alappuzha and Kollam districts and the Vembanad lake covers an area of 204sq.kms. stretches from Alappuzha to Kochi. These lakes are used for the inland water transport of cargo and passengers. Alappuzha is strongly connected by waterways to various other parts of Kerala, including, Kumarakom, the famous tourist destination. Holiday packages on the houseboats, traditional Kettuvalloms, are an out-of-this-world experience at Alleppey. Alappuzha the ideal headquarters for backwater tourism as well as for visits to the lovely church filled town of Kottayam, and the town of Aranmula, famous for its historic Aranmula Snake Boat Race which is an annual event. Chengannur in Alappuzha is the nearest railway station to Sabarimala. The Krishnapuram Palace is in Kayamkulam. The Buddha idol, Saradamandiram is the main attraction of Mavelikkara. Saradamandiram was the residence of Keralapanini.. “Kuttanad” in Alappuzha (Alleppey ) is one of few places in the world where farming is done below sea level. The scenic countryside of Kuttanadu also has rich crops of coconuts, banana, fruit trees, etc. wherever geography allows This backwater country has been an important trading and commercial centre since time immemorial The major commodities handled at Alappuzha market are coir, ginger oil cakes, palmgur, tapioca, etc. Coir yarn and fiber are the chief commodities exported from this district. Alappuzha is also an important exporting centre of coconut oil, areca nut, cardamom, sugar and pepper etc.
Cochin or Kochi as it is now called, is the commercial capital of the Southern Indian State of Kerala, is sometimes referred to as the ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’. Cochin proudly boasts a rich cultural heritage, but is one of the most fast-paced and modern cities in India. It is also one of the finest natural harbours of the world and a major Indian port.
Always a tourist favourite, this city offers visitors plenty. Forts, palaces, museums, old churches, cool backwaters, palm fringed lagoons, beaches and the practicality of a contemporary metro.
The interesting places to visit in Cochin include the Mattancherry Palace (Dutch Palace), built by the Portuguese and presented to the Cochin Raja in 1555 AD. A fine blend of Indo-European architecture, The Chinese Fishing nets, St. Francis Church, where Vasco Da Gama was buried before his remains were taken back to Portugal 14 years later and Jewish Synagogue, situated close to the Mattancherry boat jetty, the Synagogue and the ancient Jew town built in 1568 A.D. is of great historical importance.
Amazing South India Tour.
(Delhi→ Chennai →Thanjavur →Madura→ Kanyakumari→ Thottapalli →Alleppy → Cochin→ Delhi )