Exploring Tamilnadu | South India Trip| Top places to Visit in Tamilnadu |Sudha Saswati Nayak
Hi Dear Reader,
Let me Thank you first for reading this travel blog of mine. So, This is my second blog of this month where I have talked about my "South India Tour'' during which I had been able to cover some parts of Tamilnadu and Kerala state. Now, without wasting any time Let me take you to that day when Our journey began.
Day 1: Andaman- Madurai
From the Veer Savarkar International Airport We headed to Madurai Airport in the Morning. (Have you been to the Madurai Airport? Its small but beautiful as HELL. P.S: Stunning art work inside!)
We were picked up by our travel agent Mr. Shafi and headed towards the Madurai town for our night stay. Crossed the Pamban bridge on our way and it was like no other bridge. You must have heard about it before; but you must see it in real and if you are lucky enough you can see the bridge move up for a while, to let any ship pass across the river.
P.S: If you remember a scene from the Movie Chennai Express, You will recognize the bridge immediately. The shooting happened here only).
After reaching, We checked in to the hotel and had our dinner in the restaurant.
Day 2: Rameswaram &
Our Morning Visit was to Rameswaram Temple, which is One of the Famous dhams in India,(4 dhams: Puri, Rameswaram, Dwaraka, Badrinath) and also one of the 12 Jyotirlingas India has.
The other end of the road that connects the temple leads to the House (now a Museum) of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, the Famous Aerospace Scientist and Former President of India. (See my review about his book Wings of Fire.)
There are 22 temple tanks (Kundas) in this area which are believed to be the 22 arrows in Rama's quiver. Legend says that bathing in these Tīrthas is a major aspect of the pilgrimage to Rameswaram and is considered equivalent to penance.
After Breakfast, We planned to visit Dhanuskodi and the famous RAM Setu, which was believed to be built by Sri Ram and his Banar sena that connects Sri Lanka and India.
To visit Dhanuskodi, you are required to ride in a Van as no private vehicle is allowed after a certain point. The drive to this beautiful place was very soul-satisfying. The roads were mostly empty and the Indian ocean was on both our sides. (Imagine you are viewing from the top of the sky, how does it look?)
It took about an hour to reach at the point where The Indian Ocean was clearly visible. What a spectacular view the open space provides! For a second, I felt like I have come to a desert. Sand, Sand and Sand, Everywhere, except the fact that there were 3-4 food shops and a few other tourists like us.
The crystal clear blue water of the Indian ocean purified my soul like no one. I discovered that I have turned into a thalassophile in my few days stay in the Andamans and now in the state of Tamilnadu.
There is a hut, where Local people worship Lord Ram, Lakshman and Sita. At one corner of the temple lies a floating rock which does not drown even after applying force. The Locals believe that these rocks were touched by Lord Sriram and made to float in the water to build the bridge easily.
(Dhanuskodi-Madurai) via NH 87
Distance: 194 km
In the evening, We visited the Meenakshi temple in Madurai, which is one of the huge temples I have ever seen. The Temple premise is beautifully maintained by the staffs and reflect all spiritual vibes around it.
The Architecture of the temple is something you can not take your eyes off. It holds the small idols of thousands of gods and goddesses in the outside walls in all the four towers of the Temple. (East Tower, West Tower, South Tower and North Tower.)
1. Wear Full clothes and Tie your hair behind your head while entering inside the Temple.
2. Stand in the Queue and follow the rules strictly.
Day 3: Kodaikanal
My first visit to a Hill station in India was Kodaikanal. It took about 3 hours from Madurai to reach our hotel in Kodaikanal. If I ever reveal my list of favorite places across India (which I am not planning to do any soon), Kodaikanal will be among the Top 5 undoubtedly.
On the first day we visited a few waterfalls (You will find many waterfalls while coming to kodaikanal) and after lunch went to the Guna cave & Devils kitchen.
The Guna Caves get their name from the popular movie Guna, which was shot here in 1992. They are originally known as the Devil’s Kitchen. As per Hindu mythology, these caves are where the Pandavas cooked their meals and hence the word ‘kitchen’.
1. Navigating your way around the caves is complicated and definitely not for the elderly or the kids. A missed-step can prove fatal. Many people venturing here with guides and proper support have lost lives here. So Be careful if you have included this place in your itinerary.
2. The roads are very slippery so, please wear comfortable shoes.
The next visit was to Pillar rocks, Suicide Point and Coaker's walk.
Pillar rocks Viewpoint: This is a popular cliff side destination offering sweeping views of the mountains & unique pillar-shaped rocks that can be watched from a distance.
Suicide Point: It used to be known as suicide point because of the dangerous valley which is dense and deep; below the point of more than 5000 feet drop.
Coaker's walk in this mesmerizing city of Kodaikanal is one of the top activities to do, and you should not miss it at all while you are here. (I somehow missed it and regretting till now)
Thus Our vacation in Tamilnadu came to an end and the very Next day We started our journey towards Kerala. Read the Kerala blog to know about some of the famous places of Kerala and my time in the City-of-God.