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Vaikunta Ekadasi – Srirangam – 2018-2019 (Updated)

Vaikunta Ekadasi Srirangam 2018

Vaikunta Ekadasi, the most renowned festival which the Vaishnavites consider to be the most auspicious amidst all functions and rituals. Also, we name it as the Paradise Tour and  the Vaishnavites celebrate the festival in a very grand manner in Srirangam. First of all, among all the 108 Divyadesams, Srirangam is  the most sacred topping the list. Not only in Srirangam, the devotees following the Vaishnavism celebrate Vaikunta Ekadasi  in all Vishnu temples across the country.

Srirangam Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival Schedule
– December 2018 
2018 December 7 Thirunedunthandagam

2018 December 8

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Pagalpatthu 1day

2018 December 9

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Pagalpatthu 2 day

2018 December 10

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Pagalpatthu 3 day

2018 December 11

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Pagalpatthu 4day

2018 December 12

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Pagalpatthu 5 day

2018 December 13

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Pagalpatthu 6 day

2018 December 14

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Pagalpatthu 7 day

2018 December 15

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Pagalpatthu 8 day

2018 December 16

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Pagalpatthu 9 day

2018 December 17

Mohini Alankaram

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Pagalpatthu 10 day

2018 December 18

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Irappatthu (night) 1 day

Vaikunda Ekadasi – Sorga Vasal Opening (4.45 AM)
Moolavar Muthangi seva, Namperumal Rathnangi seva

2018 December 19

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Irappatthu (night) 2 day

Moolavar Muthangi seva

2018 December 20

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Irappatthu (night) 3 day

Moolavar Muthangi seva

2018 December 21

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Irappatthu (night) 4 day

Moolavar Muthangi seva

2018 December 22

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Irappatthu (night) 5 day

Moolavar Muthangi seva

2018 December 23

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Irappatthu (night) 6 day

Moolavar Muthangi seva

2018 December 24

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Irappatthu (night) 7 day
Moolavar Muthangi seva, Namperumal Kaithala seva,

Nammalwar Mohini Alankaran

2018 December 25

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Irappatthu (night) 8 day

Thirumangaimannan Vedupari – Namperumal Horse vahanam

2018 December 26

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Irappatthu (night) 9 day

2018 December 27

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Irappatthu (night) 10 day

Theerthavari

2018 December 28

Nammalwar Moksham XI day Festival

Vaikunta Ekadasi Paramapada Vasal Thirappu at Srirangam:

Basically, the temple authorities plan to conduct the rituals and celebrations for Vaikunta Ekadasi in a very exhaustive manner for a period of twenty one days. The functions marking the commencement of Vaikunta Ekadasi 2018  falls on 18th December 2018 . They call the ritual as Thirunedunthandagam.

The next day will be the starting of the Pagal Pathu celebrations. For the subsequent ten days, the clans of the designated set of people recite the verses from the Vaishnavite canon Nalayira Dhivya Prabhandham. This has been a custom since the early centuries.

Following day after the Pagal Pathu is the auspicious day of Vaikunta Ekadasi.On the day of Vaikunta Ekadasi, the presiding deity, Lord Renganathaswamy gets dressed up very gorgeously. Finally He comes out of the Door to Heaven called “Paramapadha Vaasal” . And lakhs of devotees witness Him coming out of the Door to Heaven and worship Him.

This ceremonious ritual will normally be before dawn at around 4 am. Furthermore,You can see huge crowd of devotees assembling in the temple premises from the previous night itself.

Following the day of Vaikunta Ekadasi, there is another series of celebrations called Ira Pathu . it is taken over by Araiyars for the next subsequent ten days starting from Vaikunta Ekadasi.

Basically, the Araiyars are the clans of a set of people who recite the verses from Naalayira Dhivya Prabhandham. And the recitation is graced with amazing dance performances . The disciples call the series of recitals as Araiyar Sevai.

And thousands of tourists and devotees visit Srirangam every day for all the 21 days. Besides the religious rituals, you can find Srirangam in a celebration mode with festivities and shopping areas. Srirangam is so endearing to the Vaishnavites across the country and the globe as well and people believe it to be very sacred to take part in this Vaikunta Ekadasi festival.

Eventually, the devotees believe that worshipping Lord Rengantha Swamy when he comes out of the Door to Paradsie will relieve us from the cycles of births and deaths and to attain salvation.


Thiruvanaikaval Jambugeswarar Temple – Kumbabishekam 2018 | The Consecration Ceremony

The most significant event, that is going to take place in the small area Tiruvanaikoil, in the south indian state Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu is the talk of the state today. The consecration ceremony of the most popular Jembugeswarar temple in Tiruvanaikoil is scheduled on 12th December, 2018, and the city has been witnessing thousands of devotees for the past few days.

The historic significance of this temple has made this place a sacred center . Tiruvanaikoil is one of the five temples dedicated to Lord Shiva representing the FIVE cosmic elements and this temple is for “Water”. The presiding deity is in the form of a small Linga idol and the base of the idol is always wet due to the constant water base and He is also called “Appu Lingam”, as in Sanskrit, Appu means Water.

 

It is quite amazing to see that the Lingh idol in the Sanctum Sanctorium is partially or fully immersed in water all through the year irrespective of the water levels in the nearby river Cauvery. The architecture  of this temple is around 1500 years old , but still being witnessed as a testimony of the engineering knowledge our ancestors possessed. All you need is four to five hours of your time to witness the architectural wonder of the temple and particularly the mystic beauty of the hundreds of bilaterally symmetrical pillars built on both sides of the corridor on your way from Lord Shiva’s sanctum to his counterpart’s. The temple is so big that there are five streets surrounding the sanctum sanctorum. The outermost street of the temple is a circular path of four kilometers distance. People used to have a pilgrim walk covering the distance every month on a full moon day and it is quite interesting that the number of pilgrims increases month on month.

Another thing which makes us spell bound in this temple is the idol of the Goddess Akilandeswari which is one among the very rare huge statues found across the country. There is an interesting story behind. Since the time of inception, she was uncontrollably furious in olden days, punishing the devotees without any reason. Once, the Saint Adi Sankara, who introduced the Advaita principle to the world, visited this temple. Finding her so furious, he adorned her with two big ear rings by name “Thaadangam” and made her staying cool always and blessing her devotees with whatever they have wished for. You can witness those earrings even today. One more special event which you can never see in any of the temples in India is that, every day exactly at 12 noon, the priest in the shrine dresses up as Goddess Akilandeshwari and does the Pooja to Lord Shiva which is a feast to the eyes and you may get the chance of being greeted by an elephant too.

 

The legend says, there were a spider and an elephant worshipping Lord Shiva every day. As elephant saw the spider’s nest , it would clean it immediately with the water carried it in its tusk. And this routine continued for many days. When both met, the spider furiously went inside the elephant’s ears to trouble him and on account of this, both died. Historians say that the spider was the Chola King Kochengatkanan who built this temple and he  was very careful that no elephant can enter into the sanctum which is  unusual practice compared to the other Shiva temples.

The entire area has worn a festive look with the gorgeous decorations of all the shrines in the temple premises. Devotees from different parts of the state and country have thronged the city to attend this magnificent event. The celebrities popular in different fields have been visiting the temple and the nearby sacred monastery and offering their worships.

This festival has indirectly paved way for numerous small scale vendors who have emerged along the streets with their small shops attracting the children and the elders alike. The region around the temple has become a popular getaway for many.

 

The exhaustive schedules for rituals and poojas are in place for the past one week. Special arrangements have been made by the local authorities for vehicles parking and dining. Even otherwise, there are number of small hotels around the temple, where you can finish all your three meals at a very reasonable price.

The four gateway towers on all the four directions, the sanctum of Lord Jembugeswara and Goddess Akilandeswari will be consecrated between 6 am and 7.30 am on 12th December,2018, which will be truly a significant event in this Trichy region and the state as well.

Cultural programmes, divine discourses, special poojas and rituals by the monastics, small shops around, free meals at select places are the highlights of the festival along with the ceremony being attended by the celebrities and Government officials.

Altogether, your visit to this temple will be a memorable, colorful and spiritually astounding experience to take back to your homeland.


How to Book Tirupati Special Entry Darshan Online?

Tirupati Darshan Online Booking

Tirupati Tirumala, the most visited pilgrim center in the South Indian state Andhra Pradesh, witnesses thousands and even lakhs of devotees disgorging from all corners of the country every day. It is very common that the devotees wait in very long queues that may take even up to three days to have the Dharshan of Lord Venkateswara, who is the magnificent nine feet self-manifested idol, blessing His devotees almost twenty three hours a day.

To optimize the procedures and to make the Dharshan process easier, the temple Devasthanam introduced the online booking scheme for all kinds of Dharshans and various Arjitha Sevas. Still, the website is flooded with bookings and for many of the arjitha  sevas the booking gets closed very soon.

Due to the unimaginably high number of requests flooding online, the TTD seva online booking gets over online prior to many days of the actual darshan, The devotees get deeply disappointed as they are not able to have the dharshan of Lord.

In view of catering to the needs of its clients, South Tourism, the renowned Destination Management Company took an initiative to make the procedure simpler and accessible. South Tourism has joined hands with the Andhra Pradesh Tourist Development Corporation which enables its clients to book the tickets online for the Special Dharshan Seva. This scheme guarantees the clients of South Tourism, a quick dharshan within two hours with an accompanying guide.

The procedure is so simple that when you visit our site, https://www.southtourism.in/tirupati-darshan, you are guided to fill in the form with the necessary details. Submitting this form will lead to another page where the client will be confirming the details already entered. After this, the next step is the payment gateway from where you will be guided to pay the dharshan charges online  through any of the options listed in the page.

After the payment is successfully made, you can submit your details by giving your credentials as in your Aadhar card or Passport which will be printed on your entry tickets you will be carrying on the day of Dharshan. Please be utmost careful while entering your details as these tickets will be your entry passes into the Special Dharshan Queue. Once all these procedures get over, the tickets will be sent to your email id.

South Tourism wishes you a quick dharshan to have the benevolence and blessings from Lord Venkateshwara at Titupati Tirumala ! For more details or for any clarifications, please join us in the website.


12 Beautiful Roads In South India

Travel along the 12 beautiful roads of South India. An enchanting experience for a lifetime, enjoying the scenic locations, detouring through the unexplored regions, unveil an exquisite moment and lot more to entice. A most cherished experience to choose from the options for a never before experience you can be sure of getting in the beautiful roads in South India.

Chennai To Pondicherry

Make your journey more memorable one when you travel from Chennai to Pondicherry on a road trip. The best scenic route along the coastline of Bay of Bengal gives you number of sightseeing options and places of attractions. Pondicherry being one of the choicest holiday destinations in India, take a peaceful break there when you prefer to travel along the scenic East Coast Road.

Pamban Brdige (Rameswaram)

The beautiful road leading to Rameshwaram makes you spell bound with the engineering excellence of Pamban Bridge built in 1912. Take away some of your time from your tour plan, spending with your loved ones watching the Rail Bridge. If you are lucky, you can watch the Double leaf bascules opening for the ships to pass by and the trains crossing the Bridge.

Bangalore to Ooty

Get reminded of the famous quote “Roads are meant for journeys and not for destinations” while you go on a road trip from the Garden City Bangalore to the Queen of Hill Stations Ooty. A beckoning journey along the dense forests, tall pine trees and lush green meadows of tea estates makes holds you on with its mysterious charm. Take the gorgeous view of the valleys down when you ride on the steep hairpin bends from the flat landscapes. An undoubtedly wonderful journey to explore and enjoy!

Bangalore – Bandipur Forest

One of the life-changing experience is the road trip from Bangalore to Bandipur. A perfect route to go on a weekend to explore the lesser known destinations is Bangalore to Bandipur road trip. Pack your bags for an entirely unique experience unveiling the true bliss of nature on the country sides and the dense woods of India. Get drenched in the nature’s lap presenting you the lush greenery, dense woods and the rarest species of animals and birds taking you away from your targets and deadlines.

Coimbatore to valparai

Enjoy the sun rays streaming through the trees on and off and the pleasant weather during your road trip to Valparai from Coimbatore. An undoubtedly wonderful journey surrounded by mountains with boards quite often warning you about the sudden appearance of elephants, yet an enjoyable road trip. Detour along the unnamed lanes lined up with tall trees with nice music and good photographs. Halt at tea shops and enjoy the scenic location around you with hot tea and your loved ones. A truly amazing experience!

Chennai – Munnar

Rejoice your weekend, take a 11hours long road trip from Chennai to Munnar, crossing the major tourist destinations of Tamil Nadu. If you have enough time to spare, go around the interesting locations of Trichy, Palani and Dindigul and proceed to Munnar. Stroll around Munnar, the most sought after tourist destination by the global travellers. Enjoy walking through the unending expanse of the tea plantations and the lush green meadows, giving you an enticing experience.

Bangalore – Goa

Go for a spectacular journey from Bangalore To Goa on road, mesmerizing you with the beauty of Western Ghats from different hues. The thrilling road trip is a life changing experience for anyone who loves traveling, especially with the wonderful road trip from Bangalore to Goa. Enjoy the cascade of water falls, roads washed by rains, lovely views of the valley, backwaters of dams, people working on the lush green fields, serene lakes and scenic beaches, all at one tour. Yes, the magic happens during your road trip from Bangalore to Goa !

Mysore – Ooty

An entirely different experience is guaranteed when you plan to travel by road from Mysore to Ooty. You can explore Mysore on your road trip, paying a visit to the renowned Mysore Palace. Road to Ooty from Mysore takes you through the scenic locations of Bandipur, Mudumalai and Masinagudi where nature is in its abundant beauty. If you can spare your time, take a safari in the sanctuaries and go for visiting the scenic locations in Masinagudi. Exploring Ooty is a truly amazing experience. Shopping for homemade chocolates and wooden artefacts are generally preferred by the travellers.

Vizag – Araku

The road trip from Vizag to Arakuveli is an amazing experience with an undoubtedly beautiful sightseeing places and enchanting views all through the route. Enjoy your stay in the eco tourism resorts and the picturesque wooden cottages on the way. The tranquil locations and the most scenic attractions throughout your trip make it the most cherished of your travel experiences. Visit the Tyada hamlets and the Borra caves welcoming you with bundles of stories told and retold.

Munnar- Bangalore

A week-long tour plan will be the best choice to cover all the scenic attractions of the ghat sections taking your time to enjoy and explore during your road trip from Munnar to Bangalore. Visit the famous destinations enroute and enjoy your stay in the famous resorts and hotels. Munnar is an yummy destination for all the global travellers with its lush green meadows , unending expanse of tea plantations and pleasant weather. A walking tour in the tea plantation with your loved ones will be the highlight of this entire road trip.

Hyderabad to Vijayawada

The best possible mode of travel from Hyderabad to Vijayawada is by road taking hardly five hours to complete. Enjoy the monuments en route and record the cherished moments. There are lot of eating joints and shopping zones on the way. If you can spare some time, you can enjoy with your family and friends in these places, an entirely different experience.

Bangalore to Koli hills

Imagine a road trip through the lush green forests, monstrous curves and dangerously beautiful hairpin bends, the road trip from Bangalore to Kolli Hills will get you all these things. The priceless moments when you reach the top of the hill will really be a life-changing experience. Enjoy your showers in the spine chilling water falls. The time taken out of your busy schedules definitely pays you rewards.


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 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 


Nelliyampathy: A visit to not so popular yet spectacular hill station in Kerala

Nelliyampathy

There are many hidden gem spots in Kerala which are still not on the radar of the travel community. This serene hills we call Nelliyampathy belongs to the same list. Untouched beauty at its best- that is what I would say about Nelliyampathy. It is located in the Palakkad district of Kerala nearly 70 kms from the city. We, a group of passionate travellers from Cochin decided to make a visit to Nelliyampathy. We booked a cab for the trip. It is a 150 km journey which would take nearly 4 hours to reach during the working hours and therefore we started at 5 am, early in the morning to cut in short. It took us just 3 hours to reach Nelliyampathy.

Nelliampathy

The driver took a deviation from the Cochin -Palakkad highway shortly after Vadakkencherry. The hill road starts from the Pothundi Dam view point. Our driver Joseph briefed about his previous trip to Nelliyampathy. He informed us not to expect a hill station something like Ooty, Munnar or Kodaikanal. He said Nelliyampathy is not a promoted hill station and therefore there are no particular sightseeing spots we could go and spend time, rather enjoy everything we see en-route. There are about 10 hairpin bends to negotiate before we reach Nelliyampathy. Our first stop was the Pothundi dam viewpoint. It is one of the oldest dam built in India. We stopped for few minutes and enjoyed our first moment of joy during the journey. The view from that particular spot was truly beautiful. We could see the river over which the Pothundi dam is built and the surrounding hills at its backdrop make it pleasing for any human eye.

Nelliampathy
Pothundi Dam view on road

We resumed our journey and the serpentine hill road exposed us to some of the most stunning vistas of nature, there at Nelliyampathy. We came across the Nelliyampathy Waterfalls shortly after the Pothundi Dam viewpoint. We stopped at several other viewpoints on the road to Nelliyampathy and shot few snaps as well. The gorgeous tea plantations and Coffee plantations are a highlight at Nelliyampathy. We could see a large area of plantations spread along various slopes. These were actually started by the British during their period and later sold to the natives. . I fell in love with Nelliyampathy already.

Nelliyampathy
Tea plantations at Nelliyampathy

As we reached the Nelliyampathy town, we stopped by a tea shop and checked with the locals on the sightseeing places. They were really happy to know we were tourists. They told us there are not many specific sightseeing places in Nelliyampathy just like our driver told us before, however they asked us to visit the Seetharkundu Viewpoint and Kesavanpara which are popular for great views they offer.

We started off with the Seethargundu Viewpoint, which as per Google is the highlight of Nelliyampathy. A 6 km drive took us to the Seethargundu. It takes another 1 km hike to reach the viewpoint. The hike itself is exciting. We started hiking and on to our right, we could see a chain of hills stretching to the horizon. The clock almost hit 9 and the sun was shining bright giving us a spectacular view of the surrounding landscape. The weather is pleasant and cool. We were all in a holiday mood, cheering and enjoying on the way. We reached Seethargundu Viewpoint and I must say it is one of the blissful sights I have ever had. One of my mates started jumping in joy and he was running all along the small walkway by the side. We are standing nearly 5000 feet above the sea level. One false step and we are gone. I took my camera off my backpack and started shooting. We spend an hour there at the view point. The view downhill of the surrounding landscape was beautiful. Below is a view from Seethargundu.

Nelliyampathy
Seethargundu view

Our next stop was the Kesavanpara. It is again another viewpoint in Nelliyampathy 9 kms from the Seethargundu Viewpoint and 4 kms from the Nelliyampathy town. A 500 m walk is required to reach Kesavanpara. This was again a great hike. We walked across thick greenery on both sides of the walkway. We reached Kesavanpara and enjoyed the views.

Next up, we decided to explore the woods on our own. Nelliyampathy is a great hill station and considering its vast expanse of lush greenery at Nelliyampathy, there is a whole lot of options to enjoy nature. We drove along every roadway we came across. We stopped by and hiked many densely forested areas. It was pretty risky considering the fact that we would come across some really wild animals of the jungle, but the excitement to explore triggered us to just move on. Even our driver joined us and it was total fun. By evening 5 pm we started our journey back.


You love adventure? Try these activities in Periyar [Thekkady]

Periyar

Looking for some adventure? Head to Periyar [Thekkady] in Kerala. The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. There are numerous adventure activities conducted by the govt. inside the sanctuary. Take a look at these 5 activities in Periyar which entertains the adventurer in you-

  • Tiger Trail

Have you ever seen a tiger up close? Chances are high if you opt for a Tiger Trail program at Periyar [Thekkady]. It is conducted by the Periyar forest authority. Tiger Trail is a physical demanding activity as it involves a long trek ranging 25- 35 kms through the Periyar forest. Only 5 visitors are allowed at a time. You will be accompanied by 5 trained forest guides and 2 forest officials.

The program will be either 1 night or 2 night program as per the demand of guest. The trek starts in the morning at 9 am and ends either next day by noon or the day after. You would be camping in the middle of the jungle. Tents are carried for the same. Since this is an adventure activity, you would have to compromise on amenities and food as well. Please do not expect luxury. Only vegetarian food is served which is prepared by the guides. It is not guaranteed you will spot a tiger, however, it is for sure you would come across lot of elephants, bison and other residents of the wild.

  • Bamboo Rafting

Bamboo Rafting is the most in-demand activity for the nature lovers and adventure travellers. A dawn to dusk program, it starts at 8 am in the morning and ends by 5pm in the evening. Usually, a group of 10 travellers along with 4 guides and an armed guard set off for Bamboo Rafting.  Hop on to a wooden raft and float along the Periyar Lake. While floating enjoy beautiful vistas of Periyar and you will get to see deer, elephants, bison and many other wild animals on the banks of the lake.

  • Night Patrolling

A great chance to explore the Periyar wildlife. It is held between 7 pm and 4am. At a time, 8 persons in 2 different groups are allowed for the program. Each group will be accompanied by an armed forest guard and 2 watchers. You get so close to nature and you may come across giant wild elephants, bison and even a tiger.

  • Jungle Jeep Safari

One of the favourite activity for many, a jeep safari through the thick woods of Periyar is a must experience activity. Opt for a 3 hours jeep safari conducted by the Periyar wildlife authority and enjoy an exciting drive through the jungle. You would come across lot of wild animals and exposed to some beautiful sights of the wild as you steer through the Periyar forest.

  • Border Hiking

Border Hiking is a full day trekking program at the Periyar forest starting from 8 am. An armed guard and 2 forest guides will accompany a group of 12 visitors. This is also a physically demanding activity and therefore aged persons must avoid the same. You will be provided vegetarian snacks on the way. This is also a great opportunity to spot bears, elephants, and other wild residents of Periyar.

 

So these are the 5 best activities in Periyar!

Ready for adventure? Log on to South Tourism and plan your trip!


Why Vizag tour is trending? Best tourist places in Vizag

Vizag tour

This was coming! Vizag, previously known as Vishakhapatnam, has recently gained popularity among the travel community and is the next hotspot in travel. Situated in Andhra Pradesh and one of the largest city in the state, the port city of Vishakhapatnam houses the oldest shipyard in India. Vizag has a lot to offer its visitors. Starting from the exotic beaches of Rushikonda and Ramakrishna to the ancient Borra caves and the blissful hills of Arakku valley, if you are planning for a Vizag tour? Do not think twice, just set off a journey to enjoy a one of a kind travel experience.

Below I am listing out the top tourist places in Vizag to visit-

  • Arakku Valley
Vizag tour
Arakku Valley

Arakku Valley definitely tops this list of “Best tourist places in Vizag” owing to its rich greenery, stunning hills and awesome weather which every traveller craves for. A Vizag tour is never complete without making a visit to this paradise. It is nearly 1000 meters above the sea level and 120 kms away from the city of Vishakhapatnam [Vizag]. A day is not enough to see all places in Arakku Valley, it would take at least 2 to 3 days to fully enjoy Arakku. There are numerous spots to explore such as the Dumbriguda Waterfalls, tribal museum the Matsyagundam [Fish pool], the Tyda Park and more. Stroll through its lush green coffee plantations, spend time at the mountain tops, or get wet beneath the roaring waterfalls at Arakku Valley. The tribals of Arakku make one of the best varieties of organic coffee. The train ride to Arakku Valley from Vizag is pretty famous among travellers. It is the only train in India which reaches the highest point in the Eastern Ghats. The 4 hour train journey exposes you to some breathtaking sceneries of Nature.

  • Borra Caves
Vizag Tour
Borra Caves

Located 88 kms from Vizag and 36 kms from Arakku Valley, the Borra Caves hold the title of the “Biggest Caves in India”. It was unknown to the outside world until 1807. Geologists date these limestone caves to be more than 150 million years old, YES! You heard it right, it is indeed 150 million years. At a height of 1400 meters above the sea level, the Borra Caves is a pure natural wonder. If you are into some adventure and love trekking, you would definitely enjoy the trek route up the Borra Caves. As you reach the caves, it would be a whole new world for you, you feel as if you have travel back in time. The air inside, the rocks, small waterfalls everything feels ancient. A visit to Borra Caves is not to be missed while exploring Vizag.

  • Rushikonda Beach
Vizag Tour
Rushikonda Beach

Are you a beach lover? Then Rushikonda is your next love. It is the most famous beach in Andhra Pradesh. Imagine the sight, golden sands clubbed with verdant coconut trees, sea waves hitting the rocky shoreline and the mouth-watering seafood. Do you love Adventure water sports? Surfing? Skiing? Yes? Rushikonda is for you. There are plenty of water sports options for you to get engaged and entertained with. Make a visit to Rushikonda Beach for a perfect beach holiday. Located just 40 km from Vizag it is easily accessible.

  • Bheemli Beach
Vizag Tour
Bheemli Beach

Just 24 km from Vizag, this is yet another great seaside at Vizag. Bheemli Beach is of great historical importance. It was one among the major Dutch Settlements in the 17th Century and a major trading hub for the British East India Company later. A 16th century Dutch Cemetery and an 18th century lighthouse are the major attractions at Bheemli.

 

  • Thotlakonda Buddhist excavation site
Vizag Tour
Thotlakonda Buddhist Site

Located 20 kms from Vizag on the way to the Bheemli Beach is this ancient Buddhist site named Thotlakonda. It comprises of the ruins of a Buddhist monastery and an advanced center for learning where monks within India and from China, Burma used to reside and learn Buddhist teachings for months. The Thotlakonda Hills are clustered with Buddhist stupas, pillared prayer halls, meditation rooms, stone pathways and many water wells. Archaeologists state the area was active during the period BC 200 to AD 200. Thotlakonda is of huge spiritual importance for the Buddhists and definitely an entertaining site for the history fanatics who love to get deep into the history books. It is a must visit if you are in for a Vizag tour.

  • Katiki Waterfalls
Vizag Tour
Katiki Waterfalls

90 kms away from Vizag and 7 kms from Borra Caves is this spectacular waterfalls named Katiki, also known as Katika. It takes a short trek of likely 25-30 mins through dense forest and hills to reach the falls and the trek route is simply beautiful and pleasing. This 100 feet cascading waterfalls is a delight for family travellers and offers many other exciting trekking routes for the adventure junkies and nature lovers as well.

 

  • INS Kursura Submarine Museum
Vizag Tour
INS Kursure Submarine Museum

The INS Kursura Submarine Museum is one of the very few submarine museums which retain authenticity and definitely a must visit spot in Vizag. The INS Kursura [S20], Kalvari-class diesel-electric submarine was India’s fifth submarine. It was of great use during the Indo-Pak war of 1971. The submarine was decommissioned in 2001 after which it is preserved as a museum for the public.

  • Tyda Nature Camp
Vizag Tour
Tyda Nature Camp

Tyda Nature Camp, also known as the Jungle Bells Nature Camp is an eco-tourism project at a small tribal village known as Tyda. Set amidst the hills of Eastern Ghats, Tyda is located 70 kms from Vizag on the way to Arakku Valley. Established by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Department and the Forest Department, it offers camping, rock climbing, trekking, bird-watching and many other exciting activities. Log huts and tents are available at the Camp. It is a perfect getaway for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.

 

So, there you have it, the Best tourist places in Vizag!

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