19 November 2013

A trip to the South

Like I mentioned in my previous post, I was on a week's trip to the south of India. It came about because my pop-in-law has been wanting to visit Kanyakumari for a very long time. So we decided on a nice week long trip to 4 places - Trivandrum (long name - Thiruvananthapuram), Kanyakumari (tip of India where 3 oceans meet), Rameshwaram and Madurai. I will dedicate this post to my vacation. Hope you enjoy seeing the pics of these places :) However, cameras were not allowed in most of the temples, and so there are not many interesting pics to share in a couple of these places

We made our hotel and car bookings through makemytrip.com. But the journey was planned by us, based on the whims and fancies of the family members :)

Our trip started with Trivandrum which is famous for the Padmanabhaswamy temple. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and the principle deity is in the sleep posture. The temple is only open to Hindus and has a particular dress code (men need to wear mundus and women need to wear sarees. If a lady is not wearing a saree, she needs to tie a mundu around her waist - which is what I did). After visiting the temple, we went for a backwaters boat ride which was beautiful. One mistake we made was staying in a hotel in Trivandrum. The hotel (Seven Hills) was not very great. We realized later that the better hotels are located in Kovallum (just 17 km away from Trivandrum) which is famous for its beach. So if you are planning a trip to Trivandrum, book a hotel in Kovallum.

Since cameras were not allowed in the temple, I only have pics of the backwaters.







Kanyakumari: From Trivandrum, we left for Kanyakumari, which took around 3-4 hours by car. We reached our hotel in the evening and were very happy with our sea facing rooms. Our hotel here was 'Hotel Sea View' and the view and the breeze in our rooms was fantastic. I definitely recommend this hotel!

Kanyakumari is known for the Kanyakumari Devi temple, Triveni Sangam (meeting of 3 oceans - Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal) and the Vivekanda Rock Memorial. We had a wonderful time visiting these places and also shopped for Kanyakumari silk sarees which are gorgeous!








Rameshwaram: Next in line was Rameshwaram. The journey took around 6 hours by car (excluding the breaks). We stayed at Hotel Daiwik, which is a really gorgeous hotel (highly recommend!). For those familiar with Hindu Gods, the name Rameshwaram would bring Lord Rama to mind. And thats what Rameshwaram is famous for. After defeating Ravana in Lanka, Lord Rama came back to Rameshwaram and set up a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva as atonement for his sin.

The main temple in Rameshwaram is the Ramanathaswamy temple which is said to have been set up by Lord Rama. It has beautiful architecture and paintings and also the longest corridor among Hindu temples in India. There is also a ritual of bathing in the 22 kunds in the temple which is equivalent to a penance. I have done this when I visited the temple as a kid and hence did not take the ritual bath again (mainly cause none of the other family members were interested).

Other than the main temple, there are many other temples in Rameshwaram. We also visited the Kothandaramar temple which has the footprints of Lord Rama. It also offers a beautiful ariel view of Rameshwaram. We did not have time to visit Dhanushkodi, which is the tip of Rameshwaram and the closest point to Sri Lanka. But if you are visiting Rameshwaram, do try and take it in cause it offers gorgeous views of the sea.






Madurai: From Rameshwaram, it was on to Madurai, around 3 hours away by road (we stayed at Hotel Madurai Residency - quite a decent hotel and very near to the main attractions and in the middle of the shopping area). The main attraction in Madurai is the Meenakshi temple. It is dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi (a form of Parvathi, the wife of Lord Shiva). The 2 inner sanctums dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Meenakshi are only open to Hindus. I strongly recommend buying an INR20 per person ticket for special darshan for each of these as the lines can be quite long. The architecture in this temple is quite similar to that in the Ramanathaswamy temple and it is just as breathtaking. Again, cameras are not allowed in most of the places in the temple and hence I carry the lovely images of the temple only in my memories.

We also visted the Thirumalai Nayak Palace which has a lovely courtyard and a beautiful arcade of columns. Unfortunately, the government has not looked after the palace well, as you will find grafitti on many of the columns. But still it is a lovely palace and definitely worth a visit. Below I have shared some pics of the palace. After the palace, we took in lunch, had a bit of rest and then went shopping for sarees! :D Madurai is known for its cotton and silk sarees and if you are interested in buying one, I recommend you visit "Pothy's" which will offer a wide range of sarees in different materials and hues.







Hope you enjoyed the pics of these places. Do let me know if you have any questions on these places and if you are planning to visit them! :)

44 comments:

  1. Nice pics :)

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  2. wow what a vacation...great pics too.
    Stunning :)
    http://www.lookinggoodfeelingfab.com/

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  3. Everything looks lovely, happy to hear that you enjoyed your time! :)

    http://www.le-young.com

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  4. WOW Rosh..ur travel posts are so informative and to the point. Love the pics. M so jealous u shopped for sarees in south..m a big fan of South Indian sarees.
    Thnx for commenting on my blog..m glad u like them.

    Aditi
    So-Saree
    www.sosaree.blogspot.in

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    Replies
    1. Ooh I can understand your love for South Indian sarees. So if you visit Madurai, just enter Pothy's and you will very happy :)

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  5. Fabulous pictures my dear, all fabulous and cute!
    Love!
    Xxx

    Carolina

    www.the-world-c.blogspot.com

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  6. Beautiful pictures!!

    Have a nice day!
    vgolove1.blogspot.ru

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  7. Wow..... amazing pics!!!!!
    xoxo

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  8. Your vacations mus have been awsome, judging by the pictures :)

    mykindofjoy.blogspot.com

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  9. This looks so peaceful, I'd love to pay the temple a visit. I also loved your Diwali post x
    Much Love
    bohobun.blogspot.co.uk

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  10. Amazing pics :D

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  11. Oh wow, I am here drooling over your trip! Have I told you my dream (one of :) is to visit India since I was 13 years old? Well, it will take long, still... s I really loved your pictures and descriptions! I am in love with the temples and that amazing place, Kanyakumari!!!! I love sarees and love Indian fashion in general (you can see by what I wear everyday) and your ywllow skirt is awesome! The photo on the floor is lovely! How amazing to have such a lovely trip with family, this is what matters! denisesplanet com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your sweet comment, Denise :) It was really lovely to have a trip with my family.

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  12. Lovely pictures...Thank you for sharing wth us dear...

    Have a nice day
    Chadlen
    http://chezmoibychadlen.blogspot.gr/

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  13. I like you <3 and I am fond of your posts. love you

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    Replies
    1. So sweet of you to say that, Ammara :) Thank you!

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  14. wow, This place is a dream !! U look pretty relaxed n beautiful in the pics ..
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  15. nice blogg..:)

    darling follow you!!!

    pls follow me:33

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  16. Wonderful pictures, I enjoyed this trip on my chair in Bavaria really :)

    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

    www.dressedwithsoul.blogspot.de

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  17. Your pics are amazing
    and the places are wonderful.

    http://roomsofinspiration.blogspot.com/

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  18. Wow! What can I say? ... intimidates me!
    Great post! I congratulate the ability and talent to curiosity to me!
    I will always be coming back for more: *


    Regards,
    Katherine Unique

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  19. Amazing pics! So great:)

    http://theprintedsea.blogspot.de/

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  20. Such beautiful places, it must have been an amazing trip! PS that yellow skirt is so pretty!

    http://infinitehouseofillusions.blogspot.ca/

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  21. Thanks for your lovely comment!
    Following you now, return the favour? ;)

    www.hellojennyho.blogspot.com

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  22. Hi!
    Amazing blog!
    Would you like to follow each other? (GFC, Bloglovin, Facebook)
    If so, please let me know, I will follow you back immediately.
    xoxo

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  23. Hi!
    Amazing blog!
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