Welcome to SOUTH INDIA Temple Tour
India’s Great Divide is the Vindhya Mountains. They run from east to west, separating the fertile river valley of the Ganges called the Ganga, from the Deccan Plateau which occupies much of the peninsula of India. It also separates the north, where the predominant languages are Sanskrit – based (brought in by the Indo Iranian herds people about 3,500 years ago), from the Dravidian tongues brought in by a long headed race from the Mediterranean about a thousand years earlier. The South India’s coastal plains are backed by the mountains rimming the wedge of the Deccan plateau. On these plains lie the best beaches in South India. On the rimming mountains, the western and eastern ghats are the tea, coffee and spice lands. Beyond these mountains, in the wedge shaped plateau, are great old cities supported by rich farm lands and a culture that has its roots in the almost historical Kumari Continent from where, they claim, civilization spread across the world. The south is gracious, graceful, Old India.
The delightful south; almost untouched by invasions throughout its history, the Indian heritage is more intact here than in other regions of the country.
States of South India: Andhra Pradesh – Karnataka – Kerala – TamilNadu
Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh
Tirupati is one of the most sacred pilgrimage spots in India. Located in the extreme southeast of southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh in Chittor district, devotees from all over India and abroad throng the place by thousands to have darshan at the temples. The name ‘Tirupati’ means ‘Lord of Lakshmi.’ According to rough estimates, the number of devotees who come to the place even exceed the numbers to popular holy places like the Vatican and Mecca.
CHENNAI (MADRAS) INDIA
Chennai is the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal, it is the biggest industrial and commercial center in South India, and a major cultural, economic and educational center. Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu is sited on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal. It has played a very crucial role in the traditional, historical and academic growth of the country, representing the different elements of the highest variety of the Dravidian civilization. Today, Chennai, the capital city is the 4th largest city of India and is also the leading commercial center of South India. The credit of the booming economy of the city goes to the leading industries including automobile, software services, petrochemicals, financial services, textiles and hardware manufacturing. Also, Chennai, being an important metropolitan city is very well-connected to all the major cities of India as well as with the countries overseas. And, it is also considered as the cultural hub of South India which is famous for its affluent heritage in classical dance, music, architecture, sculpture, crafts, etc. Given below are some of the very interesting facts and figures about Chennai.
Interesting Facts & Trivia About Chennai
- The earlier name of the city, Madras is believed to be originated from Madrasapattinam, a fishing village located north of the St. George Fort.
- Chennai is also known as the ‘Gateway to South India’.
- The Tidel Park of the capital city is the largest IT Park in Asia; it also houses the head offices of leading software companies.
- Cricket is the famous sport in Chennai and was started as a result of the foundation of the Madras Cricket Club in 1846.
- The M.A. Chidambaram Stadium sited in Chepauk was set up in 1916 and is among the oldest stadiums of the country.
- It is also known as the Detroit of India because of its automobile industry which produces more than 40% of the auto parts and motor vehicles in India.
- The Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus (CBMT) at Koyambedu is the leading bus terminal in Asia.
- The Cancer Institute established in 1920 is one of the oldest cancer hospitals in India.
- The Anna Centenary Library in the capital city of Tamil Nadu is the largest library in Asia.
- Viswanathan Anand, the world chess champion, grew up in Chennai.
- This city is renowned for Bharatnatyam, the famous and one of the oldest classical dance forms in India, which originated in Tamil Nadu.
- It houses some of the leading foreign banks including Bank of America, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Citibank, Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India Ltd., Ryan Services and Standard Chartered Bank.
- The Vandalur Zoo sited in Chennai was set up in 1855 and it is the first public zoo in India and also the largest one in the country.
- Chennai is the second leading exporter of information technology (IT) and business process outsourcing (BPO) services in India.
Sri Venkateswara Temple
The most famous of Tirupati’s temples, Tirupati Tirumala Balaji or Lord Venkateswara temple is located on the seventh peak Venkatachala of the Tirupati Hills. According to ancient texts, one can attain moksha in Kaliyug only by worshipping Lord Venkateshwara. Regarded as the richest temple in the world, the architecture of the temple is magnificent. The Cholas, Pandyas and Pallavas have all contributed immensely in building the temple.
Sri Varahaswami Temple
Sri Varahaswami Temple is located to the north of Sri Venkateswara temple. The temple is located on the banks of Swami Pushkarini. The idol of Sri Varahaswami in Tirumala is that of Adi Varaha.
Sri Anjaneyaswami Temple
Located opposite the Sri Varahaswami temple on the north eastern banks of Swami Pushkarini, the hands of the idol of Sri Anjaneyaswami are joined in supplication and look very attractive.
The tank of Swami Pushkarini is believed to be a pleasure tank of Lord Vishnu. It is therefore said that a bath in the Swami Pushkarini cleanses all sins and bestows prosperity. Pilgrims take a dip here before entering the nearby temples.
Sri Govindarajaswami Temple
Sri Govindarajaswami Temple is another Tirupati temple known for its architecture. The imposing gopuram of the temple could be seen from a distance. It is interesting to note that there are many sub temples within the main temple premises.
Sri Kodandaramaswami Temple
Situated in the heart of Tirupati town, the presiding deities in the temple are Sita, Rama and Lakshmana. According to legend, the temple commemorates the visit of Sri Rama to Tirupati. In the heart of the Temple city lies Sri Kodandramaswami Temple, erected to commemorate the ceremonial visit of Lord Rama himself accompanied by Devi Sita and Lakshmana. This Temple was built by the mighty Cholas in the 10th century and festivals like Ugadi and Sri Ramnavmi are celebrated here with great vigour even today.
Sri Kapileswaraswami Temple
This is the only temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in Tirupati. It is situated 3 kms to the north of Tirupati at the foot of Tirumala Hills. To the north of Tirupati lies the only temple in the area dedicated to Lord Shiva. Its attractive and serene setting makes the Temple an abode of peace complete with a holy and pristine waterfall called Kapila Teertham or Alwar Teertham. The temple is alive with the festive spirit in praise of the Lord all year round and you are bound to be part of these many celebrations. Annual Brahmotsavams and festivals like Vinayaka Chaturthi, Mahasivaratri, Skanda Shasti and Annabhishekam are celebrated with great pomp and fervour in the temple.
Sri Kariya Manikyaswami Temple
Sri Perumala Swami Temple is located 51 kms from Tirupati in Nagiri. Legend has it that Lord Vishnu killed Makara- the crocodile and saved Gajendra, an elephant and his ardent worshipper from this place.
Sri Veda Narayanaswami Temple
This temple is located 70 kms southeast of Tirupati. According to ancient texts, Lord Vishnu in the form of Matsya had killed the demon Somakudu at the place and took possession of the Vedas from the latter. The sanctum sanctorum also has an image of the Matsya form of Vishnu. The idol could be seen holding the Sudarsana Chakra ready for release. The temple is a fine example of Vijaynagar style of architecture.
Tirupati is a pantheon of Vaishnavite temples. All the temples have their own festivals. The Navratra and Dussehra festivals are celebrated with pomp and gaiety in this sacred temple town.
Welcome to South India Tour
India is simply incredible and so are its southern destinations. Millions of tourists from across the globe head for South India every year to spend some quality time with mother nature. If you like versatility, then no other tourist destination can be the best bet but South India. South India is a part of India consisting of several exciting destinations such as Tamil Nadu, Mahabali Puram, Kumbakonam, Kanchipuram, Cholamandalam, Kerela, Pondicherry and Karnataka. These destinations have different things to offer to the travelers but one thing common among all of them is the warm hospitality with which they welcome the travelers. Here you can experience nature at its best. Tamil Nadu is dotted with innumerable exquisitely carved temples instilling the sense of peace and spirituality in the hearts of the visitors; Kerala embraces the tourists in her natural beauty, Karnataka leave you enchanted with its architectural marvels and the serene Pondicherry gives you a real taste of simplicity. Pamper yourself with refreshing Ayurvedic massage done by using aroma oils with amazing smell. You will surely love it.
Covering the entire Indian Peninsula, South India has the river Narmada and Mahanadi on its northern side and Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Bay Of Bengal surrounding its western, southern and eastern sides. The people of South India are called South Indians. The womenfolk here wear saree and the men sport white dhoti or bright colored lungi festooned with batik patterns.
South India had witnessed the rule of a series of dynasties such as the Cholas, Pandyas, Cheras, Hoysalas and Vijayanagar. Several forts, palaces and temples were constructed during the reign of these dynasties. South India is famous for its sun kissed beaches, picture-perfect backwaters, beautiful hill stations and highly revered pilgrimage centers. Not only rich in culture and heritage, South India is also a hot spot when it comes to IT Industry. Here tradition blends amazingly with modernity.
South India is steeped in art and architecture which vividly manifests in its temples, forts and palaces. Impressive carvings and sculptures on these structures are a testimony to the rich heritage of South India left behind by the rulers of the bygone era. Dravida and the Vesala style of rock architecture are noteworthy and can be seen in many temples.
The famous South Indian food includes sambhar dosa, idli, uttapam, fish, coconut, pickles and spicy curries. South Indians are very passionate about dance and music. In almost every house children are encouraged to learn dance and music. Several dance forms such as Bharatnatayam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali, Theyyam, Ottamthullal, Oppama, Kerala Natanam and Mohiniaatam belong to South India. The people here are full of zest and celebrate their fairs and festivals with utmost passion. Some of the famous festivals of South India are Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Ugadi(the new year festival) in Karnataka, Hampi festival and Kerala boat festival in Kerala and Tea and Tourism festival in Ooty.
South India is easily accessible through air, rail and road. You will never find it difficult to reach any South India destination. Domestic as well as International flights to South India are available. Many trains connect South India with other major cities of India.