Maha Shivaratri – 2018

MAHA SHIVARATRI -2018

Maha Shivaratri 2018 is the great night of Lord Shiva. Through night poojas, rituals, recitals, yoga and meditation take place in all the Shiva temples throughout the country. Basically, the 13th or 14th night of every month in the  Hindu luni-solar calendar  is called as Shivaratri. Out of all, the one which falls during February / March is called as Maha Shivaratri.

Maha Shivaratri is the most venerated festivals in all parts of India. Unlike the other festivals in Hinduism celebrated in day time, Maha Shivaratri deserves a special mention as the devotees worship Lord Shiva throughout night.

Maha Shivaratri 2018 – cosmic dance of Lord Shiva

Maha Shivaratri 2018 is also renowned as the night when Lord Shiva performs his cosmic dance. So, worshippers arrange for dance programmes in temples and halls nearby which is a tribute to Lord Shiva.  Thousands of dancers perform at temples signifying the glory of Lord Shiva.

Maha Shivaratri is observed as a night of prayers. At all Shiva temples, chanting of mantras and prayers are done throughout night. Yoga and meditation are also carried out to keep the people vigil and thoughtful about the Lord.

Spiritual centers run by the saints conduct special programmes attended by lakhs of Indians and foreigners where Lord Shiva is glorified by songs, dance, special poojas and prayers.

Maha Shivaratri 2018 is celebrated to overcome the ignorance and dark of human life and to proceed in a path of personal austerity and spirituality.

 

Maha Shivaratri 2018 celebrations

Devotees assemble at temples from the evening onwards. The Shivaratri celebrations commence with special poojas and the Lord Shiva, present in the form of Shiva Linga is beautifully decorated with flowers. While the chanting of mantras take place in the shrine of Lord Shiva, dance performances will go on the spacious halls and mandapas of the temples. the very objective of conducting these prayers and programmes is to keep the people awake and think about Lord Shiva in an uninterrupted manner.

The twelve Jyotirlinga temples are flocked by lakhs of tourists on this Maha Shviaratri day. Besides, the other famous Shiva temples across the country witness the large gathering of devotees worshipping Lord Shiva to come out of all their problems in life and to lead a spiritually inclined life.

 

 


Kerala: 5 things to do in Alleppey other than the Houseboat cruise

things to do in Alleppey

The Alleppey backwaters and the houseboats at Alleppey, both are not a new thing for the travellers. However, there are also other various exciting things to do at Alleppey which many of us never tried. Being an avid traveller myself and Kerala one of my favourite getaways, I myself have tried out a lot of things at Alleppey and I would say this unique backwater destination has a lot more in its lot than just the houseboats. Let me pick some of the other best things to do in Alleppey other than the houseboat cruise.

  • Cycling along the Alleppey countryside

Alleppey comprises of many serene and beautiful villages. You could pedal your way through its narrow roads sandwiched between lush green paddy fields, sandy pathways leading to some breathtaking sceneries and more. So if you do not mind burning your calories a bit, you will be rewarded with some of the blissful sights of the Alleppey countryside which you do not get to see during your Alleppey houseboat cruise. Ask your tour operator to get you a cycle at Alleppey, get on it and start pedalling.

things to do in Alleppey
Cycling at Alleppey
  • Kayaking along the narrow canals of Alleppey Backwaters

Smell adventure? Yes, it does. Kayaking is a new trend in Alleppey among the young travellers. Of course, it demands a bit of physicality, however, those who feel they can handle it must try it out. It is another great way to explore and experience the heavenly beauty of the Alleppey backwaters. Do not go for the routine houseboat routes, pull harder, take random turns and paddle through the most narrow, yet spectacular waterways at Alleppey, which would take you to a whole different world at Alleppey. Enjoy!

things to do in Alleppey
Kayaking at Alleppey Backwaters
  • Village Walk

Now, this is another better idea for you to enjoy Alleppey to the fullest. Walk-Walk-Walk and you would come across the most unusual sights which, again, you might not see while you are in your Alleppey houseboat. Walk through the verdant paddies, the canal sideways, the rural villages of Alleppey and exchange few words with the locals. Witness their day to day life and learn how life moves in Alleppey. You would find you have learnt a lot more about this true gem of a place, which you never experienced or even heard of.

things to do in Alleppey
Stroll through the rural villages t Alleppey
  • Canoe Ride

A ride on a country boat or a Canoe we say is yet another exciting way to explore the backwaters of Alleppey. It is not for everyone for sure because for some, it would be scary to row a small wooden boat. However, if you take a chance and try it, I would say it is thoroughly entertaining. It is slow as there is no motor pushing it forwards, but it is the local style of transportation and for a moment it feels like you are one among them.

You would come across many local residents moving on country boats as a part of their daily routine lives. People go for their work on these boats, people go shopping groceries on these boats and even children go to school on canoe boats. So if you are looking for a rather adventurous way to explore the backwaters, you must consider a Canoe ride.

things to do in Alleppey
Canoe ride
  • Witness Sunset at Thaickal Beach near Mararikulam

Alleppey boasts of some quiet and serene sea sides such as the Alleppey Beach, the Andhakaranazhi Beach and the latest hit among the travellers, the Marari Beach. However, I have found a new beach, very much secluded and stunningly beautiful, the Thaickal Beach. It is nearly 20 km away from Alleppey Town, but so what? If you want some time for yourself and your family alone by the sandy shoreline watching the waves pass by, this beach is perfect for you.

Sunset from here is so pleasing. There are stone walkways laid on the beach extending to probably 100 meters on the sea from the shore. Make your way to the end of the walkway, and enjoy your moment watching the sunset and disappears below the horizon. The reddish blue sky at dusk, the silvery sea and milky white shoreline of this gorgeous seaside is not to be missed during your visit to Alleppey.

things to do in Alleppey
Thaickal beach

So that is it! That was our list of 5 things to do in Alleppey other than the houseboat cruise.

Happy Travelling!

Book your Alleppey Tour now!


Thai Poosam 2018 Palani Murugan Temple – Tamilnadu

Thai Poosam 2018 Palani Murugan Temple

Thai Poosam 2018 Palani Murugan Temple

Thai Poosam festival celebrated at Palani Murugan Temple is rooted in the Hindu Legend from time immemorial. Thai Poosam festival in 2018 falls on January 31st, the day with the Poosam star in the tamil month of Thai. Obviously, it is an auspicious day celebrated by people in Tamil Nadu and Palani Murugan temple deserves a special mention here.

Basically, Palani is a small town in Dindigul district where Lord Muruga abodes in the temple atop the hill called Sivagiri. Palani is one of the famous six abodes of Lord Muruga. Out of all the festivals celebrated throughout the year, Thai Poosam is very auspicious especially at Palani Murugan Temple.

You can witness lakhs and lakhs of devotees reaching Palani bare footed travelling across the different sections of the state and the country as well. After undergoing rigid rituals and fasting for 48 days the devotees are coming to Palani to offer their prayers to their beloved deity Lord Muruga. Here in Palani, he stands as Lord Dhandayuthapani Swamy. He is in the form of an ascetic boy with only a loincloth and no other finery. He has a stick in his hand called Dhandam, the reason behind His name.

Significance of Thai Poosam 2018

Besides these, the devotees carry milk pots on their heads, wooden decks with beautiful decorations in their shoulders and the lances piercing their body. With this kind of dedication and devotion, the pilgrims reach the hill top climbing more than 650 steps.

As this festival correlates to the victory of the God over the demons, people believe that by worshipping Lord Muruga on this day will make victorious in their lives defeating all evils from within themselves and also from the materialistic world.

The general practice is that people observe rituals for 48 days before the festival. They are strictly away from smoking,drinking and other sinful activities. Most of them eat only once in a day for all the 48 days. Well ahead of the festival day, the devotees carrying the offerings to the Lord in long pageants from the different parts of the country start their journey to worship their Lord at Palani.

First of all, the journey to Palani will be with many hardships on the way. It is quite common to see limousines queuing behind the pageant where the owners are walking barefooted.

Kaavadi in Thai Poosam 2018

The main attraction of this festival is the Kaavadi. It is nothing but a wooden mount aesthetically decorated with flowers and peacock feathers. The devotees, as an offering to God, carries the Kaavadis on their shoulders, walking barefooted from very long distances to the temple and implore to God to solve their problems. Normally the number of Kaavadis reaching the shrine exceeds fifty thousand and the count is in the increasing trend year on year. The common forms of kaavadi are milk, sandalwood paste and rosewater. Apart from this, lakhs of people carry milk pots on their heads wearing ochre clothes. Tonnes of flowers in orange and yellow colors are offered to the Lord on this day.

We can witness and enjoy the devotees dancing to the tune of drums and tom-tom played on the way to the top of the hill with all the weight on their shoulders. They dance so vigorously as if they are hypnotized by the music.

Another form of offering to the God is existing that the ardent devotees torture their body by piercing their cheeks, tongue and skin with lances and even they draw chariots with metal hooks pierced into their skin. It will  be threatening to see a large mass of people walking like this but you will not find any words to admire the devotion and dedication of the devotees and their faith on the God.

Murugan in Tamil Culture

Murugan means beauty in Tamil. Somehow or other, Lord Muruga has been a part and parcel of the life of most of the Tamil families. You can see people named as kandhan, Murugan, Karthikeyan, Subramanian, Vadivelan, Dhandayudhpani, Velayudham in majority of the Tamil families because the culture and tradition of Tamil people lie majorly on Lord Murugan. The festival Thai Poosam inculcates the confidence in every Tamil’s mind and give him morale boost to face any hardships in life and overcome them with the benovelance and blessings of the God. As Lord Murugan is diasporic,the festival is celebrated in a very grand manner in Singapore, Malaysia and USA. More than two million people attend this festival in Batu Caves, Malaysia every year. Lord Murugan is believed to be such a powerful deity that whoever surrenders to his feet will be triumphant in all his endevours.

Let’s visit Palani where Lord Muruga is waiting to bestow his blessings on us.


Top 5 best places in South India to visit in February

best places in South India to visit in February month

February is the month of Valentine and you must go somewhere lovely, but are probably trying to figure out where? We have got a list of top 5 best places in South India to visit in February month. Take a look-

best places in South India to visit in February
Coorg Hills
  • Coorg

Are you a mountain lover? Then think no further, head to the Coorg Hills this February and it is guaranteed you will be well entertained. Thousands of acres of sprawling Coffee plantations adorn the hills and the pleasant cool climate all year round makes it a perfect getaway. Tadiandamol, the Namdroling Monastery, Talacauveri, the Abbey Falls and the Raja’s Seat are the major attractions at Coorg.

best places in South India to visit in February
Om Beach at Gokarna
  • Gokarna

You wish to go somewhere secluded or perhaps enjoy some peaceful time of your own? Hit the waves at the beaches of Gokarna. Relax at the Om shaped Om Beach, sunbath at the Paradise Beach or perhaps go for Beach Trekking starting from the Gokarna beach. Climb and descend the hills [literally trekking, not just walk your way] one by one and visit all the five beaches in Gokarna namely the Kudle Beach, the Gokarna Beach, the Paradise Beach, the Om Beach and the Half Moon Beach.

When you get tired, hang up your boots, hit a café, grab a beer and relax by the shoreline, witness the sunset, enjoy the waves, simply have a nice time of your own. Let February be interesting for you. So Go-Gokarna! Cheerio!

best places in South India to visit in February
White River Rafting at Dandelli
  • Dandelli

Are you an adventure lover? Is water sports your thing? Then you have got Dandelli to catch up. It is a complete playground for the adventure lovers. Surrounded by thick deciduous forest, Dandelli is located to the North of Karnataka state in South India.

Go River Rafting, Rappelling, Kayaking, trekking, Bird Watching and lot more at Dandelli. Do something crazy this February and add it to your travel diary.

best places in South India to visit in February
Houseboats at Alleppey backwaters
  • Alleppey

Who doesn’t know about Alleppey? This famous backwater destination in Kerala kills it when it comes to holidays. It is probably the most favourite spot for travellers visiting Kerala. If you have never been on a houseboat at the Alleppey backwaters, February is a great time to make it happen. Ask your trusted tour operator to book a houseboat for you.

Glide along the unique stretch of backwater at Alleppey, relish the sumptuous Kerala food prepared exclusively for you on board, take pleasure witnessing the day to day activities by the side of the lake, cruise through the lush green paddy fields and the palm-fringed countryside of Alleppey. Ready? Plan your houseboat tour now!

best places in South India to visit in February
The Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram
  • Mahabalipuram

This UNESCO recognized World Heritage Site is a treat for history fanatics and ancient Indian architecture lovers. The Shore temples of Mahabalipuram are world famous for their intricate rock-cut architecture and explicit carvings. You will be literally dumbfounded thinking it out how those ancient artisans worked their sweat out to build this structural wonder. Let the month of February be something informative, at the same time, entertaining as well.  The Shore Temple, Arjuna’s Penance, the Five Rathas, the Tiger Cave, the Descent of the Ganges and the Krishna’s Butterball are some of the most popular sights at Mahabalipuram.

Now, do not get me wrong when I say Mahabalipuram is for the History and architecture lovers, it is in fact equally entertaining for all types of travellers. The Mahabalipuram Beach is a great spot to relax by the seaside, catch the waves, get wet and have a good time. If you love adventure or crave some excitement, you can go windsurfing or angling on the shimmering Bay of Bengal.

 

So, that was our list of the best places in South India to visit in February!

For more information or to book your perfect February tour, leave us a message below or @ South Tourism

Comment below on your favourite picks for the month of February.

Happy Travelling! Cheerio! 🙂


A weekend visit to Nagarjunakonda in Andhra Pradesh

Nagarjunakonda

Nagarjunakonda is one of the most noted Buddhist pilgrimage sites in India. It was a fully developed metropolis and a renowned Buddhist learning centre for years. Students from all over India and from countries such as China, Sri Lanka and much more used to reside here and undertook their Buddhist studies. If you are a Buddha follower, you must not miss Nagarjunakonda at Andhra Pradesh. It was the construction of the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam which led to the discovery of various Buddhist artefacts and scriptures and thus it was concluded that the area was home to an ancient Buddhist civilization 1800 years ago. The collection was then transferred, reassembled and preserved on an island hill spanning 144 acres surrounded by the River Krishna.

Nagarjunakonda

History goes like, Nagarjuna, a famous scholar of Mahayana Buddhism lived here during the 2nd century AD and it was his influence which spread Buddhism in the Southern parts of India and South Eastern parts of the Asian continent. Thus, the place was named after him, Nagarjunakonda or Nagarjuna Hill [Konda in the Telugu language means hill]. Though I am a Hindu, I am very much interested in Buddhist principles as well. I decided to make a visit and see for myself what we have got to see at Nagarjunakonda.

I started early in the morning from Hyderabad to Nagarjunakonda. It is a 4-hour journey covering nearly 160 km. The roads are great which helped me reach Nagarjuna Sagar dam in 3.5 hours. This huge dam we all know is an Earth dam and is one of the largest of its kind.

Nagarjunakonda
Nagarjunasagar dam

The location is a beautiful, green and hilly area. The ferry launch station is again a 15-minute drive which involves few hairpin bends as well. I reached the ferry area and paid my entrance fees. For foreign nationals, it costs Rs. 200/head and for Indians, 20 Rs/head. Also, there are fixed ferry timings, 9:30 am and 1:30 pm every day. Ferry ride fee is Rs 120 for adults and 100 for children.

Nagarjunakonda
Nagarjunakonda Ferry Launch Station

The ferry timing for me was 1: 30 pm and it was only 12. I grabbed 2 Bhajjis [local snack] and tea from a local tea shop, fast forwarded 1 hour and I walked on to the boarding spot. I was amazed by the beauty of the surrounding landscape in front of me.  I hopped onto one of the three motorboats parked by the side. I was informed it would be a 45 minutes ferry ride to reach the Nagarjunakonda island museum. It is the only island museum in India and two of the same in the world. One is at Berlin, Germany and the other is at Nagarjunakonda, Andhra Pradesh.

Nagarjunakonda Ferry ride
Nagarjunakonda Ferry ride

There were nearly 20 passengers on board, all tourists from different parts of the country. As we moved, we enjoyed some gorgeous views of the island and the Krishna River. We could see locals rowing round country boats looking for a good catch. 35 mins gone and I could see the walls of the island museum. The museum is opened to visitors from morning 9 am to 4 pm every day except Friday. It is closed on Fridays.

Nagarjunakonda Island Museum
Nagarjunakonda Island Museum

I started walking my way to the museum. The Nagarjunakonda island museum is a near 500 m walk from the boat dropping point. I reached the museum. Cameras are not allowed inside. I went on to check out all the collections on display. The collection of the museum consists stone tools, coins, scriptures of Lord Buddha and of Mucalinda, the Naga [serpent], spears, hammers, carvings narrating the story of Buddha from his birth to his Mahaparinirvana and lot more of other antiquities. An earring and a tooth are also up for display here, which many believe is among the corporeal remains of Lord Buddha himself. I spent next half an hour at the museum.

Nagarjunakonda
A Buddha Statue at Nagarjunakonda

I followed the crowd to find what else there is to see. First, we came across the Maha Stupa, which is the oldest monument here at Nagarjunakonda. We reached a spot where I found a stupa and a broken statue of Lord Buddha standing tall, probably 10 feet tall. 100 meters to its right there is another Chaitya stupa belonging to 3rd century CE. Later I returned to the boarding point and left the island. I enjoyed the 45 minutes cruise back to the ferry launch station. For me, it was the highlight of the Nagarjunakonda tour.


Sri Bhagavan Jayanthi: Devotees celebrate the birthday of Sri Ramana Maharishi

Enlighten your soul with the preaching’s of Sri Ramana Maharishi on his 137th birthday, which is popularly celebrated as the “Bhagavan Jayanthi” by his devotees. When Vasudeva Sastri requested Ramana Maharishi to allow his devotees to celebrate his birthday, he said: “At least on one’s birthday one should mourn one’s entry into this world (samsara)”. At the age of 16, he met with an accident which was a near-death experience for him. Thus started his quest for the soul. He went to Tiruvannamalai and spent his entire life there, where later an ashram was built in his name “The Ramanashramam”.

It is very popular not only among the local people but equally among the foreigners. Many people from other countries come, stay there to meditate and seek the blessings of the yogi. They lead a simple life staying thereby doing all the ashram work by themselves. They make handmade crafts and sell according to their interest. Even though the ashram is inside the city, you can feel the calmness fill your heart when you enter the premises. The ashram is surrounded by trees which serve as a shelter for monkeys and peacocks. People believe Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharishi Samadhi is present there, where the pujas and rituals are be held daily.

His most powerful way of preaching was about the “Eshwara” or “Jnani” inside us. One should know the reason for their existence in this world and to find that means true wisdom. The focused question of “I”; the self-realisation will free you from the temporary things in life. ‘For whom it’s happening?’ and ‘who am I?’ should be the constant question to be searched. It is not difficult to reach the divine reality because it’s already existing. “There is nothing to attain, only question the illusion and it will disappear

Although his birthday is on 30th December, people celebrate it on the Punarvasu star of Maargali month (dec-jan). The most important ritual is the Maha Ekadasa Rudhrabhishekam which will be held in the shrine of his Samadhi. The ashram and the new hall where Samadhi is present are decorated with florals which build up a fresh environment for the devotees. The puja will be followed by the bhakti chanting, music concerts, spiritual discussions about the life of maharishi.

This is not only famous in the “land of Mukthi”, Tiruvannamalai but it is also celebrated in the Arunachala ashram by a large group of devotees in the city of New York. They follow the puja with recitations, bhajans and serving of people with Prasad. As the words of guru, the body is temporary but the soul or eshwara which resides inside the body has no destruction. You cannot change the world with your opinion but being an example. He left an example for us and even though he passed away, his soul remains immortal which guide us out of ignorance to attain our true wisdom in life.


Thiruthani Murugan Temple Padi Pooja New Year Celebrations 2018

Thiruthani Murugan Temple Padi Pooja New Year Celebrations 2018

Thiruthani is a renowned pilgrim center across the country for its famous Murugan temples which is one of the six prominent abodes of Lord Muruga. Out of all the poojas and rituals carried out in this temple, the New Year celebrations deserve a special mention here.

To the surprise of every one, the devotees reach the temple atop the hill by climbing the 365 steps which represent the 365 days in a year.

The devotees started a significant practice of Padi Pooja somewhere around 1917. It is almost close to 100 years that the devotees of Lord Muruga keep performing the Padi Pooja during every New Year.

Thiruthani Murugan Temple Padi Pooja New Year Celebrations 2018

Eventually, the night before the New Year is the special period during which devotees start doing the Pooja. It will be a divine experience to watch the devotees lighting camphor at  every step from the downhill, praise the benevolence of Lord Muruga. And devotees sing a collection of hymns called Thiruppugazh which praise the glory of Lord Muruga.

Furthermore, it is again a wonder that the number of devotees participating in this padi Pooja increase year on year. The Pooja starts the previous day night and special anointing and rituals commence exactly at 12 AM to mark the beginning of yet another prosperous year.

Finally,  after the Padi Pooja, the devotees worship Lord Muruga atop the hill and offer their prayers.

It is an wonderful ritual to take part in the Padi Pooja at the Thiruthani Murugan Temple during the New Year.

Devotees believe that worshipping all the 365 steps in the temple will make their life more prosperous all through the following year.

Come and join the delightful celebrations for an amazing New Year at the Padi Pooja of Thiruthani Murugan Temple in 2018 !


A hidden Paradise amidst the Nilgiris which not many know about

Avalanche

Probably all the travellers who have been to South India, might have visited the Ooty hills [Nilgiris]. It is the crowned queen of the hills in South India. However, many those who made it to Ooty missed a gem of a spot roughly 30 kms away from the Ooty town. This hidden paradise is named Avalanche. It is a reserved forest area with spectacular scenes to offer. The Avalanche Lake is the most attractive spot and the highlight at Avalanche. During post monsoon month the lake is surrounded by blooming Orchids, Rhododendrons and Magnolias flowers, adding more charm to this heavenly location.

Avalanche Lake
Avalanche Lake

Trout fishing is an exciting activity here. You have options to buy Fishing rods and other accessories nearby the lake at a trout hatchery. You can also bring your tent and pitch it at Avalanche and enjoy a great night outdoors amidst thick woods and the serene surroundings at Avalanche. Fire up the woods and cook your freshly caught fish and enjoy a splendid evening with your family, friends or your better half.

If you are a trekking enthusiast, you have numerous trek routes at Avalanche for a good trek atop the hills. It is recommended to bring your warm clothes and proper trekking gears as well. The temperature at times drops heavily and it gets really chilly.

And YES! Mind the leeches.

 

Tip: Best time to Visit– The post Monsoon months would be great for an Avalanche visit. The flowers, small streams, thick greenery and more, yes, definitely it is the right time.

Spots near Avalanche– Do visit the Emerald Lake and the Upper Bhavani Hamlet very near to Avalanche.

Avalanche Lake
Emerald Lake

Book your Avalanche tour at www.southtourism.in 


Arudhra Dharshan 2018 Uthirakosamangai

Arudhra Dharshan 2018 Uthirakosamangai

Arudhra Dharshan 2018 is the annual event where the Cosmic Dancer Lord Nataraja blesses his devotees on the day of Margazhi Thiruvaadhirai. This year, the auspicious event falls on 2nd January 2018.

Uthirakosamangai is the renowned pilgrim where the presiding deity Lord Shiva is present in the form of His dancing posture. We call Him as Lord Nataraja and He is present in the form of a six feet emerald idol.

The idol is wonderfully carved out of a deep green single emerald stone. The temple is a three thousand years old structure where Lord Nataraja is covered by sandal paste throughout the year except for this special day !

 Arudhra Dharshan Significance

Out of the twelve Tamil months, Margazhi is a sacred month. Devotees visit the temples all through this month and worship their beloved Gods. The ardent devotees conduct musical concerts and divine preaching throughout this month.

Out of the several sanctimonious events in this month, the day on which the tamil star Thiruvadhirai falls is of high significance. A large number of devotees visit Sri Mangalanathar Swamy Temple at Thiru Uthirakosamangai near Ramanathapuram on this special day.

The devotees are enlightened to the core when they witness the unveiling of the Lord Nataraja at the early hours of the Thiruvadhirai star. As they cannot see this on any of the other days throughout the year, thousands of pilgrims throng in the temple, wait in long queues and get His blessings.

Devotees from across the state, come here on this auspicious day to visit this significant Emarald Nataraja. The idol is open for public dharshan for specific period of time on the Margazhi Thiruvadhirai day. And it is popularly called as Arudhra Dharshan. Though Margazhi Thiruvadhirai is a very special occasion in all Shiva Temples, Arudhra Dharshan in Uthirakosamangai deserves a special mention here because of this Emarald Nataraja.

 


5 best places near Chennai for a weekend tour

5 best places near Chennai for a weekend tour

Chennai, the most popular city in South India, has a distinct ambience compared to other cities in India. The food, the music, the dress code, everything is unique in Chennai. Speaking about the people in Chennai, the Chennaites are fun-loving and are known for their love for travel, however, due to their hectic schedule, most of them miss out their weekends. We all know life is outside, so travel lots and recharge yourselves for the upcoming week. After a long tiring week, you deserve some time off from Chennai and here are 5 best places near Chennai for a weekend tour-

  1. Yelagiri Hills 
best places near Chennai to spend your weekends
View atop the Swamimalai Hill, Yelagiri

Do you wish to spend some secluded time on top of the hills? I have got just the perfect place you would fall in love with, the “Yelagiri Hills”. The unexplored terrain and the pleasant weather all throughout the year is a great mix for you. There are not many specific sightseeing spots at Yelagiri, however, the whole chain of hills and the surrounding landscape is a visual treat. Those adventure oriented travellers can indulge themselves in highly entertaining treks, of which the most famous is the Swamimalai Hill trek.

Trekking up Swamimalai, the highest point at Yelagiri, 4400 feet above the sea level, is a highly rewarding endeavour. You get some stunning views atop Swamimalai. Other popular treks at Yelagiri are Javadi Hills and Palamathi hills. Other top attractions at Yelagiri includes the Jalagamparai Waterfalls and the Punganur Lake. Do try them. Paragliding is the most sought-after adventure activity at Yelagiri, which is seasonal, so tune in for the updates.

Nearly 220 kms from Chennai you can easily access the hills of Yelagiri by road or train. Board a train to the Jolarpettai railway station and grab a taxi to reach Yelagiri just 21 kms away. Enjoy your weekend kissing the clouds.

 

  1. Pichavaram
best places near Chennai to spend your weekends
Pichavaram Mangroves

Pichavaram is no less than a heaven for the nature lovers. The thick mangrove forest of Pichavaram is the second largest of its kind in the whole world. It provides a surreal experience amidst wilderness. A 1100 hectare of thick mangroves await you to gift a one of a kind travel experience. Boating is the most exciting way to enjoy the spectacular beauty of Pichavaram.

Float through the serpentine canals and glistening backwaters sandwiched between thick greenery. For bird watchers, boating along the Pichavaram backwaters offers a chance to spot some of the rare species of migratory birds. The winter time which is December- February is the best time for a Pichavaram weekend tour.

To reach Pichavaram, either book a private taxi from Chennai or board a bus to either Chidambaram or Pondicherry and from there catch another bus to Pichavaram. It is 230 kms from Chennai.

 

  1. Nagalapuram 
best places near Chennai to spend your weekends
Water stream, Nagalapuram

Now, this is a lesser known spot to many. Packed with hills, waterfalls, trekking, swimming and excitement, Nagalapuram can be thoroughly entertaining for a weekend trip which is why it grabs the spot in this- 5 best places near Chennai for a weekend tour -list. Unlike the other 4 weekend destinations in this list, Nagalapuram is not in Tamilnadu, but in Andhra Pradesh. Trekking at Nagalapuram has become a popular activity over the years and youngsters flock here every weekend.

As you move along the dense woods of Nagalapuram, you would come across small streams, sparkling waterfalls and gorgeous pools. Relax and spend some time by the pool, collect water from the small waterfalls you see to hydrate yourselves while trekking and of course enjoy some beautiful vistas of nature at this part of the world.

Just 75 kms from Chennai, Nagalapuram is easily accessible by road. Hire a private taxi or you could use rail or public transport buses.

 

  1. Pondicherry best places near Chennai to spend your weekends

Auroville Beach, PondicherryWell! Pondicherry is not new to anyone. Weekend getaways cannot get better than a trip to the most blissful sea sides of Pondicherry. A 170 km journey from Chennai to Pondicherry would make a great weekend for you with your friends or family. The places of interest in Pondicherry are plenty like the Auroville, the Aurobindo Ashram, the Promenade Beach, the Auroville Beach, the Paradise Beach and much more.

Grab a couple of cocktails, spend time along the seashores, or meditate at the Matrimandir. You have plenty of options to spend your weekend, the way you like it, at Pondicherry.

There are n number of frequent buses from Chennai to Pondicherry. You could easily board in one of them or hire a taxi from Chennai for your weekend trip to Pondicherry.

 

  1. Mahabalipuram & Kanchipuram 
best places near Chennai to spend your weekends
Mahabalipuram

A weekend excursion to Mahabalipuram and Kanchipuram is a perfect getaway for those who are fond of history and ancient architecture. The UNESCO recognised rock-cut temples at Mahabalipuram and the city of 1000 temples, Kanchipuram, would mesmerize you with its detailed stone carvings and intricate architecture.

Start from Chennai to Mahabalipuram, 60 kms away. Grab a taxi or you could board a bus to Mahabalipuram. After exploring the shore temples of Mahabalipuram, headway to the temple town of Kanchipuram, 70 kms away. Again, it is your option to go by a taxi or there are numerous buses from Mahabalipuram to Kanchipuram which you could use.

So these were the 5 best places near Chennai for a weekend tour. Hope you enjoyed the article. There are more places near Chennai which could be a great weekend getaway which we will include in our upcoming articles.

 

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