Archive for the ‘Thiruvanthapuram’ Category
Duration: 13 Days / 12 Nights
Destinations: (Cochin- Alleppey- Munnar- Periyar- Cardamom House- Madurai-Chennai)
Day 01: Arrival Cochin
After arrival at the airport, our representative will escort you to the hotel. You will be accorded a traditional welcome at the hotel. Relax at the hotel. In the evening enjoy Kathakali dance. Overnight at hotel.
Day 02: Cochin
After breakfast, head on a guided tour of the Cochin City. The older parts of the Fort Cochin area reflect the bygone days of Cochin. The area reminds of the Dutch, Portugal and English who used live here. You also visit the area around Synagogue, which is known as ‘Jew Town’. Take in the beauty of Cochin on your sightseeing tour. Overnight at hotel.
Day 03: Cochin-Alleppey
After breakfast, proceed to the heart of Kerala’s backwaters destination at Alleppey, which is about 45 kilometers away. Upon arrival check in at the hotel. Alleppey is Kerala’s famous backwaters, which has a network of rivers, canals and lakes. Enjoy Kerala backwaters on your stay at Alleppey. Overnight at hotel.
Day 04: Alleppey
Enjoy your day at Alleppey by taking a walk in the verdant greens. You can also visit the countryside near your hotel resort. There is a bird sanctuary also in Alleppey, which you can visit. Overnight at hotel.
Day 05: Alleppey-Houseboat (Alleppey)
After breakfast, proceed for your stay and tour on houseboat for a wonderful experience. The houseboat takes you various narrow canals and backwaters. The houseboats are fully equipped with all the modern facilities and you get to enjoy all the modern amenities. The day is spend in cruising along the backwaters of Kerala. Overnight onboard houseboat.
Day 06: Houseboat (Alleppey)-Munnar
You open your eyes on the boat. After leisurely breakfast you disembark from the boat and proceed to Munnar, which is four hours drive from Alleppey. On your way to Munnar you pass thorough scenic locales enjoying verdant greens along the way. Upon arrival, check in at the hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 07: Munnar
The day is marked to explore Munnar. Munnar is a beautiful hill station, which is surrounded by 30 tea gardens. Take a visit to some of these tea gardens. You can see women plucking tealeaves, who carry bamboo baskets on their back. The other places you may tour the nearby Lockhart Gap, lakes and streams. The other places you visit in Munnar include the Mattupetty dam and lake and Rajamala, the natural habitat of Nilgiri Tahr, a rare mountain goat. Overnight at hotel.
Day 08: Munnar-Periyar
After breakfast, proceed to Periyar. Periyar is well known for the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. On arrival, check in at the hotel. Relax and refresh. Late in the afternoon enjoy a boat ride on the Periyar Lake. Elephants are the most popular attractions of Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Overnight at hotel.
Day 09: Periyar-Cardamom House
After breakfast head to a spectacularly beautiful location—the Cardamom House, which is about three hours drive from Periyar. The Cardamom House is located in a picturesque site and is an ideal place to enjoy nature. Overnight at Cardamom House.
Day 10: Cardamom House
The day is marked to enjoy the hospitality of the Cardamom House. You also stroll down the Athoor village. Enjoy the beauty of the area on your stay at Cardamom House. Overnight at hotel.
Day 11: Cardamom House-Madurai
After breakfast, take a short drive to temple town of Madurai. Upon arrival check in at the hotel. Relax and refresh. In the afternoon, take sightseeing tour of Madurai. On your tour of you visit the Meenakshi temple and other temples. You also visit the bazaars in Madurai. Overnight at hotel.
Day 12: Madurai-Chennai
After breakfast transfer to hotel to catch a flight to Madras (Chennai). Upon arrival check in at the hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight at hotel.
Day 13: Chennai
Transfer to airport to catch a flight back home. Tour ends.
Trivandrum, also known as Thiruvananthapuram has been a melting pot of culture and history since times unknown. The Ays are known to be the earliest inhabitants of this city till the beginning of 10th century A.D. Their sudden disappearance led to the rise of the Venads in Trivandrum.
It was in 1684, when the city saw a shift in its governing body from Umayamma Rani to the British East India Company. The Britishers had attained a land at Anjengo (located 32 kms away from Thiruvananthapuram ) for the purpose of fortifying it. They further expanded their reigns to various parts of Thiruvithamcore.
Trivandrum has been the centre of cultural activities ever since the time it was made the capital of Travancore in 1745. With many avenues like the Trivandrum Museum, Public Library & the Swati Thirunal College of Music; the city has been the pulse of the cultural scene in Kerala. The illustrious painter Raja Ravi Varma belongs to the city & his works are displayed at the Sri Chitra Art Gallery. Home to the famous Sri Padmanabha Swami Temple, which has several murals dating back to the 18th century are well preserved. Age old traditions which have been passed out through generations are meticulously followed till date.
Its culture is not only limited to its museums & temples but extends to a thriving film industry too! The International Film Festival of Kerala held every year in Nov/Dec showcases some of the states best talents from seasoned film makers to the novice ones.
Tourists opting for a trip to Trivandrum will find it really easy to travel within the city. This is because Trivandrum is very well connected through a network of buses, taxis, auto rickshaws, cars and two wheelers, so reaching any part of the city will not be a problem.
Buses in Trivandrum cover almost all known parts of the city, and opting for buses is the cheapest option among the above given ones. You will need to shell out around 4 INR to 10 INR in order to travel from one point in Trivandrum to another. Buses can be a very good option if you know your destination beforehand, and you can also ask the locals for help in order to find out where you should disembark.
Auto rickshaws in Trivandrum do not run on meter; however the charges are very minimal when compared to the other cities in Kerala. While travelling through an auto rickshaw, do not discuss the rate when you reach your destination. Negotiate a rate before getting into an auto rickshaw, as fares will rarely exceed Rs 70. There are no night fares and autos are a safe mode of travel.
How to reach Neyyar Dam
From Trivandrum city, the route to Neyyar Dam is through Pangode – Thirumala – Kattakkada. Neyyar Dam is around 35 Km from the city. KSRTC operates regular bus services from Trivandrum city.
Nearest airport – Trivandrum Airport and Railway station is Trivandrum Central. Neyyar dam is around 10 minutes drive from Kattakkada bus station.
Things to do at Neyyar Dam
Visit Lion Safari Park, Deer Park, Crocodile Park and boating through the Neyyar dam reservoir. It is best to book the lion safari seat in advance.
Neyyar Dam is a popular picnic spot near Trivandrum. It is within 35 Km from Trivandrum city. The major attraction of Neyyar Dam is Lion Safari Park, where 7 lions are housed in their natural habitat. These lions are not bound in cages. Kerala forest department operates special bus through the Lion Safari Park where one can watch lions very closely in their natural surroundings. Other attractions at Neyyar Dam are crocodile park and deer park. Forest department also operates boat cruises through the Neyyar Dam reservoir which is a rejuvenating experience. There is also a park near the dam. Neyyar Dam offers a calm and enjoyable visit to tourists.
Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple, located inside the East Fort in Thiruvananthapuram of Kerala is dedicated to Lord Padmanabha, a form of Vishnu. The temple has Vishnu enshrined in Anananthasayanam posture which is in eternal sleep of yognidra.
Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple located in one of the seven Parasurama Kshetras. The Puranas, mainly the Skanda Purana and Padma Purana, have references for this shrine.
The legend is that it is in this place, the Hindu deity Lord Vishnu gave darshan to Indian sages like Divakarmuni and Vilvamangalam Swami. Another legend says about an Ezhava couple who saw Vishnu in the form of a child which took morsels of rice from the hands of the couple. So in this temple, naivedyam prepared from rice is offered to the deity in a coconut shell.
Another legend says that there was a saint by named Divakara yogi, who in order to get the Mukthi, performed pooja to Saligramam in this sthalam. One day, the Perumal in disguise of a two years old child took the Saligramam along with him and ran away from that place. The angry saint chased him to get the Saligramam. But the small child enters into the big hole of a tree and the tree fells revealing the Perumal in sayana seva as Anantha Padmanabha Swamy.
The temple has been renovated by King Marthanda Varma, Maharaja of the erstwhile princely state of Travancore. He dedicated his kingdom to the deity, and pledged that he and his descendants would serve the kingdom as Padmanabha Dasa, meaning the servants of the Lord Padmanabha. Thus, Sri Padmanabha assumed the title Perumal, the Emperor. The British Government also saluted the Lord with 21 Gun Salute, which was continued by the Indian Army until the abolition by the Govt. of India. Even today Sri Padmanabha is still regarded as National Deity of Travancore.
The temple has a seven-tier gopuram and a tank, named Padma Theertham which means the lotus spring. The temple with a corridor of 365 and one-quarter sculptured granite-stone pillars has exquisite and beautiful carvings. There is an eighty-foot flag-staff erected in front of the main entry from the prakaram or corridor.
The main entrance in the eastern side is known as the Nataka Sala where the famous temple art Kathakali will be staged in the nights of the ten-day uthsavams conducted twice a year, during the Malayalam months of Meenam and Thulam. In the sanctum sanctorum, the idol of Vishnu made of 10008 salagramams is in sleeping posture with the serpent pointing upwards.
Vishnu is enjoying the small of lotus held in his left hand with his right hand hanging over lord Shiva. Brahma is seen in the lotus. Sridevi and Bhoodevi stand by the side of Vishnu. This idol was from Nepal from the banks of the river Gandhaki which was brought to this temple. The Dharshan of the Perumal can be seen separately in 3 different Vaasals.
There are two annual festivals of the Temple which culminate with a grand procession, with the three deities such as Sree Padmanabha, Narasimha Swamy and Lord Krishna are carried in flower-decked and aesthetically decorated Garuda Vahanas to the Shankhumukhom beach for Aaraattu.