Here is a Blissful List of top Places to Visit in Vagamon

The gorgeous landscape of Vagamon in God’s own country, Kerala is every summer’s call which compels us to cede our soul in its blissful rhythm of evergreen. It is one of the best places to see in Kerala. Located in Kottayam, Idukki border of Kerala, Vagamon’s vibe is magical. Tourists will find their heart in its gentle breezes cool touch, enchanting pine forests, rugged terrains, beautiful grasslands, velvety meadows, misty hills, breathtaking cascading waterfalls and lush greenery.

Blissful

Tourists in large numbers flock to the quaint hill station of Vagamon to escape from the sultry weather of plains. Which makes summer a best time to visit in Vagamon. Vagamon is also a bird watcher’s paradise.  Birds like Malabar grey hornbill, spotted dove, hill mynah etc. will gaze you with a welcoming smile. Vagamon is decked with rich flora and fauna.  200 varieties of plants, rare orchids, emerald green tea plantations and animals like porcupine, hares, and teddy cats etc. falling upon the beautiful solitary streets of Vagamon only to overtake your heart with bliss.

Vagamon Pine Forest – Get some Green’s cooling touch

Vagamon pine forest is a place where nature in its true sense will penetrate in your skin. It is one of the most highlighted destinations in the Vagamon itinerary.  Created during the British period, Vagamon Pine forest will be etched into your soul forever and your memories of this enchanting place will shine bright even after you have left its shores. This scenic Pine forest looks more enchanting when the surreal dusking skies falls upon its serene beauty. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Vagamon.

Vagamon Lake – Tranquil charm

Vagamon Lake is one of the most beautiful sights to behold in Vagamon. Amidst the beautiful green hills and emerald green tea estates, the picturesque views and tranquil waters of this blissful lake will overtake you as lightning fills the sky.

It is a great picnic spot to enjoy with family and friends. Gentle breeze will soothe your soul and its verdant greenery will be a blissful sight of heaven. Vagamon Lake offers some exciting water activities to the tourists like boating and rowing. It is one of the best tourist attractions in Vagamon.

Read More:- What Are The Good Things Happened By Coronavirus?

Ulipooni Wildlife Sanctuary- Bliss in peace

Pristine wilderness, scenic views and tranquil bliss makes Ulipooni Wildlife Sanctuary one of the most popular points of tourist interests in Vagamon. It is an ideal landscape to listen to the melodious rhythm of nature away from the hustle and bustle of cities. It houses many animals including elephants and tigers.

This blissful piece of serenity is surrounded by rugged mountains and a lake in which boating is the best thing to do. There is a kiss of romance in its air which makes Ulipooni Wildlife Sanctuary an ideal romantic getaway in Vagamon.

Marmala Waterfall – Hidden in the enchanted wilderness

Disappeared into the folds of time, Marmala waterfall was once an unspoiled spot but its picturesque views, tranquil vibes and lush greenery makes this beautiful waterfall one of the top tourist destinations to visit near Vagamon. It is located in Erattupetta in Kottayam district.

This blissful waterfall is a part of a private estate. Hidden inside the pristine wilderness, Marmala Waterfalls is popularly known as ‘Enchantress of the jungle’. The cascading waterfalls of Marmala falls to join the blissful Teekoy River.

The sight of Marmala waterfalls is an absolute bliss as it is surrounded by timber trees, majestic mountains and thick bushes. The rough terrains of the surrounding path provide thrilling vibes. It is the best place to enjoy trekking in Kerala.

Thangal Para – Bliss dipped in serenity and spirituality

Thangal Para is a bliss of Vagamon tourism. The big spherical rock and a tomb of a Sufi saint Sheikh Faraduddin has a spiritual significance for the Islamic devotees. It is believed that Sheikh Faraduddin an afghan Sufi saint took his last breath here. The rock near the dargah is a place where the saint used to grind his Paan. Every year thousands of devotees visit this place to get the holy blessings of this divine Sufi saint.

Apart from the serene drops of spirituality, this place offers mesmerizing sights of picturesque hills, lush grasslands, beautiful meadows and enchanting forests. The blissful views of Kurisindi Peak and Murugan Mala will blow your heart away.

There is an ancient cave near Thangal Para which involves the thrilling adventure of trekking. Thangal Para is dipped in serenity which makes this place an ideal getaway for nature lovers and solace seekers.

Read More:- Top Popular Religious Places to Visit in Kerala

Mundakayam Ghat- Soul soothing vibes with the thrill of adventure

8 km away from the beautiful hill station of Vagamon lies the blissful seat of heaven in the name of Mundakayam Ghat. It is one of the most sought after places to visit near Vagamon.

Mundakayam Ghat is blessed with the mesmerizing views of sunrises and sunsets, sweet chirping of exotic birds, song filled mornings and fairytale-like sceneries. Its soul soothing views are enough to please a toil- weary soul.  Serene and peaceful vibes of Mundakayam Ghat is a thing of beauty and joy forever.

Mundakayam Ghat is an ideal getaway for nature lovers and solace seekers. The picturesque landscapes of Mundakayam Ghat is enough to awaken the poet in you. This place is one of the most favorite spots for adventure seekers in Vagamon.

Paragliding is the best thing to do in Mundakayam Ghat in Vagamon. There is a separate festival dedicated to paragliding, organized by Adventure sports and sustainable tourism academy in Mundakayam Ghat.

Vagamon Meadows – Keeper of solace

Vagamon’s climate is the most pleasing thing to visit Vagamon in Kerala. Every destination of Vagamon is a blissful sight to behold. Vagamon meadows is a fairy tale-like destination in Vagamon. It is one of the must visit places in Vagamon. It’s cool weather, lush green tea plantations, varieties of flowers and picturesque hills of Vagamon will soothe your soul and seduce your senses.

It is one of the best picnic spots in Vagamon for family vacation. In Vagamon meadows you will get the blissful views of nature. Nature which is so lush and green, calm and full of vibrant colors.

Every mile of Vagamon meadows reveals bliss. Birds fly high in the sky, trees flutter and dance in the wind and hills will gaze at you blissfully. The aura of Vagamon meadows is divinely fascinating. For solace seekers and nature lovers Vagamon meadows is a tranquil paradise.

What Are The Good Things Happened By Coronavirus?

Good things happened by Coronavirus?? Sounds crazy…right? COVID-19 or Coronavirus Disease has brought a halt in the regular life of people, destroying lives and livelihood. The entire world is under lockdown; schools, universities, offices, and entertainment centres have closed down; public gatherings banned; sports, games and other activities canceled; tourist spots and beaches are empty, panic and tensions all around.

Coronavirus

And how can all this be a good thing? Of course, they are not. But still, the monstrous Coronavirus has a silver lining as there are so many good things happening around the world even at this time of misery.

The Coronavirus Silver Lining!

Nature Reclaiming Its Space:

Ever since the world was put under lockdown and humans began retreating from the public places to avoid the spread of the coronavirus outbreak, nature has begun reclaiming its space. The trees are greener, the sky is clearer, birds chirping, butterflies flying, and animals roaming freely around the empty streets. It seems nature hits the reset button and our Mother Earth is using this opportunity to heal herself.

Air Pollution Reduced:

One of the major environmental issues the world faces today is air pollution. Surprisingly, as most of the people are at home with their families, there is fewer vehicles on road, fewer factories, fewer airplanes, no dust, and no mining, thus the air pollution is drastically reduced, indicating the pandemic has a good effect to the environment. Around 90 cities in India have recorded minimal air pollution during the last few days of lockdown, due to the dramatic drop in Nitrogen Dioxide levels.

A glimpse of Delhi before and after lockdown. Especially, the national capital, Delhi which hasn’t seen blue sky and pure air for the past years is now breathing the cleanest air. Similar drastic falls in pollution levels were seen in other countries like Europe and China since their lockdowns.

Related:- Best Attraction Places to Visit in Thekkady, Kerala

Water Quality Improving:

The lockdown has helped in clearing the water bodies as well. For example, the Venice canal which is normally polluted by Gondolas now has clear waters. Dolphins have returned to the coast of Italy and swans spotted in the city’s canals. It shows our Mother Nature is thriving since the lockdown starts.

The Coronavirus lockdown significantly improves the water quality of the River Ganga, since all the factories are closed. Also, River Yamuna and River Brahmaputra water quality have improved in such a way that the water looks clear and is gradually turning blue. It shows our Mother Nature is thriving since the lockdown starts.

Relationship Strengthening:

This monstrous pandemic not only has a good effect on our environment but also gives us an opportunity to strengthen our relationship with our family and loved ones. Now, we are all in family lockdown, the communication between family members has increased, long conversations and indoor games have taken over phones. Moreover, it made us realize that more than money, wealth and job it’s our family and loved ones that matter the most.

Cleaner Hands and Personal Hygiene:

People have become more aware of their health and immunity now.

The Coronavirus outbreak has taught people the importance of washing hands with soap and water or sanitizers, as well as the etiquette of coughing, sneezing, and social distancing. People also have learned respiratory hygiene as many are wearing masks that not only helps in combating COVID-19 but other airborne diseases like TB etc.

No Robbery, No Crime and No Murders:

With the coronavirus outbreak, the number of crimes, robbery and murders also seems to reduce. Yes, our society too is benefiting from the lockdown.

Indirectly, we are all in a mission to tackle the spread of Coronavirus pandemic, staying at homes. It is quite natural that we feel bored and lifeless, even a bit unhappy being confined to the indoors. But guys, it is the time for us to stay positive and proactive to create small moments of happiness despite this depressing situation. Also remember, there’s never been a better time to stay at home like this, so spend it wisely.

How to spend these lockdown days healthy and positive?

More Family Time:

So many of us complain about not having enough time to spend time with family due to our busy life. Now we have all this time handed to us on a plate to savour the lovely moments with our family. Spend quality time with your loved ones, have long conversations, play with your kids and have fun.

Try Out Virtual Tour & Plan For Your Future Trip:

Craving to travel but can’t leave home? Neither lockdown nor social-distancing can’t stop you from exploring when you can try virtual tours from the comfort of your own home. Google offers virtual tours of international natural monuments, sea tours, street art tours and many more to quench your thirst for exploring during these lockdown days. Also, look for some offbeat destinations for your future trip.

Exercise Enough:

Our body needs enough exercise to stay healthy and fit. No matter you are staying indoors, you can try a lot of simple exercises like plank, sit-ups, push-ups, walking up and down the stairs in your home, short walks or jogs inside your house premise, and many more.

Eat Healthy:

A healthy diet is not only important for physical health but our psychological well-being too. Include a lot of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, cereals and spices in your diet and drink lots of water.

Sleep Well:

It is important to sustain a regular sleep routine; six to nine hours sleep at night is sufficient. Lack of sleep can negatively affect our psychological well-being concentration and our emotional intelligence as well as increase our risk of developing chronic health conditions, like diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

Practice Yoga & Meditation:

Practicing yoga and Meditation is one of the best ways to reduce stress and anxiety, thus making us feel good and stay positive.

Cook A New Recipe:

If you love cooking, it is a wonderful time to cook new recipes and serve your family.

Related:- Top Popular Religious Places to Visit in Kerala

Listen To Your Favourite Music / Read Your Favourite Books:

Spend your quarantine days listening to your favourite music or reading your favourite books you’ve been craving to read for a long time but skipped due to your busy work schedules.

Bring Out The Hidden Talents In You:

Make use of this time to bring out the hidden talents in you that will keep you entertained during these lockdown days. Try learning some creative skills like paper crafts, jewellery making, cooking, etc.

Brush Up your Photography Skills:

If you love photography, this is one of the best times to brush up your photography skills at home when you have ample time in your hands. You’ll find a lot of fascinating things at home to capture in your camera and create a great photograph with your signature touch. So, get your Instagram ready to showcase your photography skills to the world.

Make Your Own Vegetable Garden At Home:

A must-to-do activity during your lockdown days is to make your own vegetable garden at home. It not only keeps you engaged during these days but also provides you with fresh and poison-less vegetables.

Care For The Elderly, Poor & Needy:

As we care for ourselves and our family, we must care for the elderly, poor and needy and make sure they don’t miss out on essentials like food and medicine.

Mother Nature is healing! – the biggest impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. Let, this be a learning lesson for all of us, the lesson of co-existence that nature is not only for humans but for every living being. Hopefully, a wake-up call for all of us to take care of our Mother Earth.

Top Popular Religious Places to Visit in Kerala

Besides its famous backwaters, rice paddy fields, coconut grooves, elegant houseboats and figure licking cuisines, Kerala is home to some of the vibrant spiritual places. Kerala has a remarkable collection of historic and contemporary architecture that draws inspiration from a variety of religious dominations. Considered to be the heavenly domain of God, Kerala is evidently home to the most beautiful churches, temples, mosques and Gurudwaras. God is everywhere in Kerala!

Kerala

Spiritual Kerala, rich in holy places, traditions and rituals, offers much to explore and soak up for those seeking knowledge and awareness. More than just being a beautiful place, however, Kerala is a spiritual center. Kerala is a surprisingly relaxed state that offers plenty in terms of spiritual enlightenment.

Related:- Best Attraction Places to Visit in Thekkady, Kerala

Interesting Facts

  • According to a report published recently, Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram is the richest temple in India. Treasures worth $20bn have been hidden inside the temple for hundreds of years. Six vaults piled-up with gold and jewels belonging to the royal family of Travancore have been discovered in the temple.
  • Janardhana Swamy Temple in Varkala, sacred to Lord Krishna, is believed to be 2000 years old.
  • St. Francis church in Kochi is the oldest European Church in India. It was built by the Portuguese. The body of Vaco de Gama was also buried here in 1524 before it was taken to Portugal.
  • There is only one Sikh Gurudwara in Kerala i.e. Gurudwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha in Kochin.
  • India’s biggest mosque, Mubarak Masjid, is slated to come up in Kerala. It is likely to have an area of 2, 50,000 square feet and can accommodate 30,000 worshippers at a time.

Hindu Temples in Kerala

Defying long drawn-out wars and the ruthless passage of time, the remarkable architectures of the temples of Kerala remain in their remarkable shape. Here temples are part of a 2000-year history, but still today first glimpses inside the ancient temples can leave anyone speechless. A spiritual tour to Kerala will take tourist to all the eleven Divya Desams and will bring them closer to tranquillity. The traditional architecture and craftsmanship of the temples in Kerala is commendable and hence attract a large number of visitors.

Kerala is home to the richest shrine in India, Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple. The structure of the temple is a true amalgamation of Kerala and Dravidian style of architecture. Kerala has much to offer in terms of its hoary temple traditions. Kerala provides a pure and serene atmosphere where devotees can chant prayers, invoke the deities and participate in temple festivals.

Churches In Kerala

When it comes to antiquity, every nook and corner of Kerala have a timeless past. As a colonial-era state, Kerala has several historical churches. Tourists can attend Sunday services at oldest of these, the St. Francis Church. It was the first European church in India built way back in 1503. The Portuguese certainly left their mark on this part of India, with the grand St Francis Church. Built in 1503, it is believed to be the oldest European church in India.

Churches in Kerala are all about huge alleys, Gothic architecture and collective sound of ringing bells and chirping birds. St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in Ernakukulam district has been counted amongst the world heritage churches by Vatican City. The Church is said to have miraculous powers and is believed to save her devotees several times from violent storms. Built in a traditional Gothic style, the cathedral will stun the tourist with ornate Italian architecture and beauty. The serenity here is a refreshing respite from the ever honking and bustling of city life.

Related:- Best Places To Visit In South India During Summer

Gurudwara In Kerala

In Kerala, Kochi has the maximum number of Sikhs. Hence, this is the only place in Kerala where a Gurudwara is situated. Gurudwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha in Peumannor is quite close to Thevara, hardly three kilometres away from the heart of Kochi City. Established in the year 1955, the Gurudwara is architecturally a blend of Hindu and Muslim styles. Anybody can walk into a Gurudwara, irrespective of their caste, colour and financial status, barefoot and head covered.

There is a big eating hall in the Gurudwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha where many pilgrims come to eat after paying a visit to the main shrine. There is neither an idol nor a priest in the Gurudwara. Here Sikhs worship Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the holy text installed on a platform, which they consider as the visual form of the ten Sikh Gurus. Sikh pilgrims flock here at all hours, and devotional songs waft over the compound, adding to the contemplative mood.

Mosques In Kerala

Mosques are mostly found in the Northern part of Kerala. Cheraman Juma Masjid is the oldest mosque in Kerala. Located 2 km from Kodungalloor town, this mosque resembles a Hindu temple in appearance. Built in AD 629, this is the first mosque in India and the second in the world where Juma prayers were started. Madayi Mosque is yet another ancient mosque in Kerala. The mosque at Madayi, about 25 km from Kannur, is believed to have been constructed by one of the followers of Malik Ibn Dinar. The white marble used in this mosque is believed to have been brought from Mecca.

From vast, unique, crowded temple complexes to small churches, the shines of Kerala offer a fascinating experience of a rich and thriving culture. Immerse yourself in India’s religious heritage and humanitarian culture on a spiritual tour to Kerala.

Best Attraction Places to Visit in Thekkady, Kerala

Thekkady feels like that cool storming wind on a harsh and gloomy day. It sweeps away your fatigue and replenishes you from within. Located near the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border, the town is well-known for its rich spice plantations, rounding hills, evergreen deciduous woods and lush-green meadows.

Explore the wild and untouched parts of Kerala on your trip to Thekkady. Home to one of the most important national parks of India, Periyar National Park, the hill town has a plethora of tourist places and activities to offer. Undoubtedly, Thekkady is one of the top tourist destinations in Kerala owing to the nature’s abundance with sky-scraping hills and forgotten-mystic forests. It is what thousands of creatures from the animal kingdom call home.

Thekkady

What makes the hill town even more beautiful and welcoming is the fact that poachers here have converted to protectors. The region was infamous for elephant poaching and cannabis fields but the very locals have now transformed to become the protectors of the jungles. Their guns have been replaced by binoculars and they can recognize the species from a distance to describe them to the tourists.

We invite you to a journey into the jungles of the hill town to explore the best places to visit in Thekkady.

Periyar National Park

Not for the weak-hearted, Periyar National Park is undoubtedly the very first place to visit on your trip to Thekkady. The pride of Kerala, the park is home to some of the rare and endangered wildlife species of India. The sound of hornbills chirping, wild creatures shying from the tourists and dark-mystic Periyar forest together make the experience an exhilarating one.

Tourists can explore the wildlife of the national park through boating and trekking trails. Bamboo rafting on the Periyar Lake is a unique way to spot creatures on the edge of the waterbody quenching their thirst.

One thrilling experience to actually be one with creatures is walking through the Periyar Tiger Trail- a trekking trail that takes you into the woods to spot the erotic shy cat, Tigers.

Tourists can spot the Asian elephants, Bengal tigers, Sambar deers, Indian Bison and Leopards among other species of birds, reptiles and amphibians. One of the finest natural reserves of India, Periyar National Park is the best tourist attraction in Thekkady.

Murikkady

Ever fancied a family picnic among the huge manicured plantations of the ‘Spice Capital of India’? With the aroma of coffee, pepper and cardamom in the air, Murikkady is an ideal destination for a family picnic in Thekkady. At a distance of 5 km from Thekkady, Murikkady is an abode of lush-green rounding hills, perfectly maintained spice plantations and vistas of nature’s beauty.

With clean air and sprawling beauty of a part of God’s own country, no one should miss out this incredible tourist attraction. Opt for nature walks taking you around the whispering winds in the forests with birds chirping in a flock and majestic hills towering over you to climb them and chase the most beautiful sunrise of your life. Plan a day trip to Murikkady for a fun picnic with your family among the bliss of nature.

Related:- Best Thrilling Paragliding Locations in South India

Pandikuzhi

Nestled between Chellarkovil and the Tamil Nadu border is the picturesque hill town of Pandikuzhi. Bestowed with a sprawling beauty of cascading waterfalls, rounding hills, lush-green valleys and hidden creeks, Pandikuzhi is one of the best places to visit in Thekkady. The welcoming hearts of the locals along with the natural beauty of the hill town encourages nature lovers and avid travelers to take up a vacation in the hills of Pandikuzhi.

Adding to this, the hill town is a shutterbug’s haven for all that the camera captures here is the timeless beauty of how nature offers its abundance to mankind. Pandikuzhi is a must-visit on your trip to Thekkady for all that this place has to offer is tranquility and serenity.

Periyar Lake

Built in the centre of the Periyar National Park is the manmade Lake Periyar. Surrounded by the rounding chain of lush-green hills, the lake has developed into an entire ecosystem that serves as a home to the wildlife of Periyar. A large area of forest had to be submerged in the water to create it. Tree barks jutting out of the lake is a living example of it.

During summers, the lake becomes the only source of water and tourists can spot herds of wild elephants playing in the water to escape the humid heat along with various species such as tigers, gaur, sambar deer and rare migratory birds.

Thrilling activities such as bamboo rafting takes you deep into the wilderness of the natural reserve through Lake Periyar to explore the wildlife and the tribal settlements of the region from a safe distance. With an ocean of things to see, Periyar Lake makes it to the list of top places to visit in Thekkady!

Chellarkovil

Chellarkovil is a quaint little village located at a distance of 11 km from Kumily. This local settlement is a huge contributor to eco-tourism in Kerala. The dainty village offers spectacular vistas of lush-green meadows, towering hills, white cascading waterfalls and different hues of the setting sun.

Chellarkovil is an ideal tourist destination for nature enthusiasts and travelers seeking an escape from the monotonous journey of city life. The village slows down time for you to breathe freely among the plantations, paddy fields and hospitable locals.

Tourists can indulge in activities like village walks, trekking, nature walks and plantation visits to experience the local heritage of the village. Exploring the dense bamboo forest on foot is something everyone will enjoy.

A watch tower, popularly known as the ‘God’s own balcony’ offers a telescope for visitors to witness and appreciate the glowing beauty of the village.

Related:- Best Places To Visit In South India During Summer

Mangaladevi Temple

Nestled in the dense woods of Periyar is the Mangaladevi Temple which is believed to be 1000 years old. It has a legend attached to it which speaks about Kannaki, a Tamil woman who burnt down the entire city of Madurai to avenge the death of her innocent husband, Kovilan who was wrongly accused of theft. She is believed to reach the Suruli Hills here for her final journey to heaven with her husband.

The temple made up of huge granite rocks was commissioned by the Chera king, Chenkuttuvan. The temple unlike others is opened for visitors once in a year during the Chitrapournami Festival during the month of April or May.

The priests from both the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu perform the rituals and pray to Mangaladevi for great moral power. Visitors who wish to visit the temple need to get prior permission from the Wildlife Warden of Thekkady.

Mangaladevi Temple is not only a religious site but also an exhilarating experience because of the journey through the dense woods of Periyar, making it one of the best tourist attractions of Thekkady.

Best Places To Visit In South India During Summer

Summer in South India is not just a hot and humid affair, but it comes with many reasons to travel to this most exotic and exhilarating destination. Warm sunshine, blissful weather, tranquil setting, beautiful scenery, hill stations with ever-soothing climate, beaches glittering brightly in the sunshine, backwaters with alluring charm, and plentiful exciting activities to keep you entertained, Summers are perfect to explore South India.

South India

Hurry up! Summer is here and get ready to take your family to South India for a joyful summer vacation. We are here with the list of Best Places to visit in South India during Summer to ease your travel plans. Take a look and pick the best!

Nandi Hills:

An all-year-round tourist destination, the mesmerizing Nandi Hills in Karnataka is just perfect for a summer retreat. Enveloped with miles of endless coffee estates and spice plantations, the air around the Nandi Hills is filled with the refreshing aroma of coffee and spices. Nandi Hills offers a pleasant and cooler climate in summer. It is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers where they can enjoy activities like nature walk, paragliding, mountain cycling, etc.

Ooty:

Nestled amidst the Nilgiri hills of Tamil Nadu and blessed with pleasant weather, Ooty is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in South India during summer. It is a gorgeous green paradise that rewards its visitors with blissful panoramic views of glittering emerald tea plantations, picturesque hilly tracks, breathtaking waters and beautiful lakes. From trekking, watching amazing sunset to adventure sports and boating, you can engage in many outdoor activities at Ooty during the summers. A thrilling ride on the Nilgiri Mountain Toy Train will be a richly rewarding experience of your trip to Ooty.

Munnar:

A picture-perfect heaven with a soothing cool climate, Munnar is an ideal getaway to beat the heat of summer. This popular hill station in Kerala is one of the favourite hubs among the tourists which is embellished with luscious tea estates, scenic waterfalls, misty hills, deep valleys and alluring lookouts. The warm sunny afternoon makes for a perfect ambience for sightseeing and enjoying a relaxing stroll through the lush plantations. Plenty of outdoor activities like trekking, camping, mountain biking, bird watching, etc are also offered in Munnar during summer.

Araku Valley:

The enchantingly beautiful and untouched Araku Valley with a vast expanse of coffee plantations is an ideal choice to spend a relaxing and refreshing summer holiday. Located in Andhra Pradesh, Araku Valley is hailed as the ‘Mecca of Coffee Lovers‘. The blissful Araku Valley comprises of rolling hills, undulating meadows and pompous orchards with pleasant climate and is better known for its exclusivity and tranquility. You can enjoy activities like hiking, trekking and coffee plantation tours at this wonderful destination.

Gokarna:

Gokarna is one of the best places to visit in South India to kill the summer heat and to chill out by the sea. Studded with pristine beaches and amazing temples, this quaint little town in Karnataka is a hub for beach lovers and pilgrims. It is one of the quieter and tranquil places in South India which has pleasantly soothing weather during the summers offering a laid-back experience. Gokarna attracts adventure seekers with countless thrilling activities like boating, strolling, beach camping, banana boat ride, beach Yoga, meditation and night strolling.

Alleppey:

Alleppey is no less than a fairyland with never-ending glittering backwaters shaded by lush palms, picturesque beaches and spellbinding natural beauty. This is one of the most scenic and perhaps the highest-rated tourist spot in Kerala. The crowd-free laid-back atmosphere and the pleasant weather makes Alleppey an ideal destination for a summer getaway. Houseboat cruise and stay, kayaking, Ayurveda spa, bird-watching, fishing, angling, trying local cuisines are the most preferred activities in Alleppey.

Coorg:

A beautiful hill town in KarnatakaCoorg is one of the alluring summer holiday destinations in South India. The stunning greenery, cloud-clad mountain peaks, enthralling waterfalls, pleasing aroma of tea and spices and the charming weather makes Coorg a serene retreat during the summers. It is one of the perfect time to go for wildlife exploration in Coorg. Trekking, boating, hiking, rock climbing, rafting, camping, etc are the adventurous activities you can enjoy in Coorg.

Goa:

Goa is another idyllic destination in South India to escape from the scorching heat of summer. Goa has plenty of pristine sandy beaches where one can relax in peace or bask in the sun or indulge in beach activities. The mesmerizing beaches in Goa also offer spectacular sunset views. The pleasant weather makes sightseeing in Goa enjoyable and you can have a great time exploring the stunning architecture from the colonial era with many churches and old-style bungalows in this beautiful location.

Kudremukh:

Kudremukh is one of the offbeat summer destinations in South IndiaThis breathtaking hill range in Karnataka is so rich in biodiversity and scenic beauty. Offering soul-soothing climate throughout, Kudremukh is marked by rolling meadows, emerald-green forests interspersed with rivers, grassy slopes, and rare orchids. It forms the largest reserve of a tropical wet evergreen forest in Karnataka. Its mountainous path with picturesque sceneries offers a perfect spot for trekking.

Wayanad:

Wayanad is an ideal place to hang out with nature this summer. A picture-perfect hill station in Kerala, Wayanad is a mix of rich culture, vibrant heritage, abundant natural beauty and thrilling adventures. Pre-historic caves, sprawling spice plantations, breathtaking waterfalls, serene hills and dense forests dotted with plentiful flora and fauna adorns this enchanting hill station. Trekking, river rafting, mountaineering, rock climbing, exploring the caves are some of the adventure activities offered here.

Related:- Best Thrilling Paragliding Locations in South India

Coonoor:

Coonoor is an amazing escape from the scorching heat of summers due to the cold weather that prevails here. This mesmerizing hill station is perched amidst the verdant greenery of Nilgiri Hills in Tamil Nadu. The place looks so pleasing and enchanting during the summers and offers delightful sightseeing experience. One can enjoy activities like trekking, hiking, boating and other adventure sports atCoonoor.

Kodaikanal:

Kodaikanal is another stunning destination in South India to enjoy a fabulous summer holiday. This scenic hill town is in Tamil Nadu is known for its scenic vistas and captivating greenery. It offers a wonderful climate and looks breathtaking with cloud-capped mountains, cliffs covered in mist, perfectly manicured slopes, rolling hills, clear lakes and beautiful valleys. One can indulge in activities like trekking, boating, hiking, etc at Kodaikanal.

Yelagiri:

A lesser-known yet picturesque hill station in Tamil Nadu, Yelagiri is another best place to explore in South India during summer. Snuggled between four mountain ranges, Yelagiri is a cluster of 14 hamlets and is famed for its natural and scenic splendors. Yelagiri hosts the annual summer festival around the end of May that attracts a lot of tourists worldwide. The hills of Yelagiri are ideal for trekking, rappelling and rock climbing.

Periyar:

Periyar is one of the much sought after place for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts to visit in South India duringsummer. Located in Kerala and famed for its National Park, which is home to elephants and tigers, the place boasts of a vast natural spread of lush greenery. Summer is the best time to explore the pristine beauty of Periyar as well as to spot wildlife animals. Boating, trekking, camping, wildlife safaris and spice plantation tours are the activities offered here.

Andaman & Nicobar Islands:

Andaman and Nicobar Islands is another perfect escapade in South India to beat the scorching summer heat. It is an exquisitely beautiful Indian archipelago situated in the mighty Bay of Bengal. It attracts tourists with its serene sandy beaches, mesmerizing lagoons of turquoise blue waters, mangroves and tropical rainforests and stunning islands. Andaman and Nicobar Islands offer plenty of adventure activities like Paragliding, Scuba Diving, Snorkelling, Dolphin Snorkelling, Sea Walking, Kayaking, Sea Plane Ride, Glass Bottom Boat Ride, and Semi Submarine Ride.

Pondicherry:

A perfect amalgam of Tamil and French charmPondicherry makes for a special place to visit in South India during summer. It is a beach-side union territory located in the state of Tamil NaduThe old Bougainvillea-draped French-style houses and churches, as well as the newly built French-style shops, bright colored cafes and restaurants, give Pondicherry an exotic look worth admiring. Sightseeing, strolling, beach sports and bird watching are some of the activities you can enjoy in Pondicherry.

Best Thrilling Paragliding Locations in South India

Paragliding – the most thrilling and amazing adventure sport that allows you to enjoy the excitement of flying like a bird, soaring up into the blue sky, and admiring the wonderful panoramic views of Mother nature beneath. Paragliding in South India was not so popular until recent times.thrilling

But now South India boasts of some wonderful paragliding sites which is gaining more attention among tourists and locals. South India’s beautiful terrain with a mix of lush valleys, undulating hills, evergreen surroundings, and spectacular views all around makes it the ultimate destination for paragliding. So, wait no more to taste the thrill and fun of paragliding in South India!

Here is the list of Best Paragliding Locations in South India. So check out before you go!

1. Yelagiri, Tamilnadu

A boon for travellers and adventure seekers, the beautiful hill station of Yelagiri in Tamilnadu is currently the hotspot for paragliding in South India. The scenic Yelagiri Hills which were less frequented than other tourist places in Tamilnadu is now a hotspot of tourists and adventure lovers after being promoted as a place for adventure sports.

The best thing about Paragliding in Yelagiri Hills is its altitude and the spectacular views of vast green natural expanse. It is just an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience to soar high up in the air like a bird, at 2200 feet above sea level and enjoy the birds-eye view of the lush surroundings of Yelagiri underneath. Yelagiri Hill Station is located about 3 hours away from the capital city of TamilnaduChennai. Professional experts guide you throughout the process. The hill station has a paragliding club that provides this activity throughout the year. Also, amateurs and intermediate workshops take place here. Yelagiri Hills also hosts International Paragliding Festival that attracts numerous paragliding enthusiasts from all over the globe.

Why Yelagiri Hills For Paragliding?

Amazing scenic views, great altitude, Paragliding workshop for amateurs as well as intermediate, Good service and ensure safety.

Best Time To Go

September to February.

2. Vagamon, Kerala

Vagamon Hill Station in Kerala is yet another much-sought-after paragliding location in South India that attracts paragliding enthusiasts. The stunning location of Vagamon embellished with lovely green meadows, never-ending emerald tea plantations, lofty mountains and lush valleys makes for an ultra-scenic landscape to fly over.

The mesmerizing beauty of the place is aptly complemented by the cool climate and steady winds that makes for a great paragliding experience. Vagamon offers paragliding from a height of 1200 meters. As trained pilots are available here, one can enjoy Tandem Flights at Vagamon. The Adventure Park in Vagamon hosts the International Paragliding Festival that draws a huge flock of paragliding enthusiasts from not only India but also from all around the world.

Why Vagamon Hills For Paragliding?

Can enjoy Tandem Flights, Experienced and qualified guides, Spectacular sceneries, and the lovely cool climate.

Best Time To Go

October to March.

Related:- A weekend visit to Nagarjunakonda in Andhra Pradesh

3. Nandi Hills, Karnataka

Nandi Hills in Karnataka is another beautiful hub of paragliding in South India. Located at a height of about 1400 m above sea level, Nandi Hills is favourite among expert paragliders for its perfect climate and plateaued terrain with hill canopies ideal for landing.

The beautiful Nandi Hills is just 70 Km from Bangalore and is easily accessible for city dwellers looking for adventure. Nandi Hills is heaven for countless adventure activities that attract young adventure seekers of Bangalore and Hyderabad, among them, Paragliding is its star attraction.

Why Nandi Hills For Paragliding?

A great paragliding site with plateaued terrain, perfect climate, all-year-round paragliding destination, wonderful sceneries.

Best Time To Go

Throughout the year except in the months of July-September when monsoons arrive.

4. Arambol, Goa

Paragliding over the stunning Arambol Beach in Goa will be one of the most exhilarating and extraordinary adventure rides you would have ever experienced in South India. As you enjoy the excitement of flying over the mesmerizing beach, admire the bird’s eye view of the azure waters and the beautiful shores lined with palm trees.

Paragliding in Arambol Beach is perfect for beginners as the place offers a smooth and calm breeze which is perfect for a no-break flight. Next time, when you visit Goa, don’t forget to try the thrill of paragliding over the beautiful Arambola Beach.

Why Arambola Beach For Paragliding?

For a unique experience of paragliding over the waters, perfect for beginners, mesmerizing vistas.

Best Time To Go

October to June.

5. Munnar, Kerala

The gorgeous Munnar hill station huddled with snow-capped mountains is the perfect spot to go paragliding in South India.  Situated in the Western Ghats at a height of 1600 meters above sea level, Munnar is one of the most picturesque hill stations in Kerala, known for its enchanting beauty and climate.

Paragliding in Munnar gives you a wonderful opportunity to soar across the majestic skies and admire the panoramic vistas of misty hills, lush tea plantations, beautiful valleys, as well as enjoy the cool climate of the hill station. Munnar hill station offers Tandem Paragliding where trained pilots accompany you and glide you across the sky.

Why Munnar Hill Station For Paragliding?

Provides Tandem Paragliding, Trained Pilots, Spectacular location with spellbinding views and a cool climate.

Best Time To Go

September to May.

Related:- International Yoga Festival 2021 in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

6. Banjara Hills, Hyderabad

The Banjara Hills in Hyderabad is one of the ideal spots to try paragliding in South India and the place is teeming with adventure lovers throughout the year.

The paragliding activity at Banjara Hills is held under the guidance of expert trainers. The place offers an unforgettable paragliding experience and the spellbinding aerial views of beautiful natural surroundings, as well as the wonderful sites of mountains and valleys, are just out of the world. For first-timers, Banjara Hills will be an ideal choice.

Why Banjara Hills For Paragliding?

Beautiful location, expert trainers, ideal for beginners, provides lifeguards.

Best Time To Go

Throughout the year.

7. Varkala, Kerala

The spectacular tropical beach town in the Thiruvananthapuram district of KeralaVarkala is a tourist hub known for its beautiful beach and thrilling water activities. And it is now slowly gaining popularity for providing seaside paragliding activity.

Paragliding in the beach town Varkala is a delightful experience where one can enjoy a bird-like journey over the blue waters of the mighty Arabian Sea and take delight in the stunning views of the picturesque surroundings.

Why Varkala For Paragliding?

Picturesque location, fly over the mighty Arabian sea, expert trainers to guide.

A weekend visit to Nagarjunakonda in Andhra Pradesh

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.

Related:- International Yoga Festival 2021 in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

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.

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.

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.

Related:- A Tour To Worship The Nine Planetary Deities-Navagraha Temple

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.

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.

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.

 

International Yoga Festival 2021 in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

Does Yoga rejuvenate you from inside? Do you want to your mind and soul to work energetically after a relaxed meditating session on the bank of a bubbly river under the open sky in the lap of a lofty mountain range? If this idea intrigues you, then International Yoga Festival 2021 in Rishikesh is calling you to have an unforgettable experience at the best Yoga venues in Rishikesh.

Yoga

Less centred on religion and more inclined towards spirituality and the union with the divine, Yoga enhances peace of mind, generates joy in the heart, and strengthens your muscles. To let you grab the divine opportunity of being trained by the masters of Yoga, Rishikesh, the Yoga Capital organises a week long annual International Yoga Festival 2021 in the lap of the Himalayas that can indeed be a delight for both domestic and international travellers seeking to visit India for Yoga. Here is a comprehensible guide to this international event that promotes Yoga tourism in India.

Where is it Celebrated?

A heaven located on the bank of the Holy Ganga, at the base of the Himalaya, Paramartha Niketan is the starting point of this grand festival. The scenic setting and quaint environs add to its charm and turns it into the best places to visit for world yoga tourism. International tourists seeking mental peace and willing to explore the hidden gems of spiritual India should not miss out this chance of ever alluring well-being retreats for 2021.

Related:- What are the Seven Best Places to visit in Andhra Pradesh

When is International Yoga Festival celebrated?

Yoga International festival will start from the 7th March and last till 13th March 2021.

What to Expect in International Yoga Festival?

To bless the tourists travelling from across the globe to Rishikesh with an unparalleled experience this time masters of Traditional Yoga Lineages from India will be there for the entire week. Here they will be taking different sessions of Yoga classes where you can get all authentic lessons and information regarding Yoga. Apart from India, the masters of global Yoga schools and styles will also be here to take yoga and meditation classes.

Your Yoga tour packages will include total 60 hours of classes will be taken by the world-class yoga practitioners where they will be teaching about the actual way of practising some of the most useful meditational poses, asanas and particularly multiple styles of Yoga like Kundalini Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Power Vinyasa Yoga, and Kriya Yoga.

Those who are interested in listening to the religious teachers and saints of India would be blessed by the presence of H.H. Pujya Shankaracharya Swami Divyanand Teerthji, H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, H.H. Pujya Swami Dayanandaji, H.H. Dr. Pranav Pandyaji, H.H. Pujya Swami Ramdevji, H.H. Radhanath Swamiji, H.H. Pujya Mooji, and H.H. Pujya Prem Babaji.

Other Attractions

As you know the most sacred river of India, the Ganga flows through Rishikesh, an uncountable number of temples and ashrams are found next to its banks. So, when you have some spare time the best thing to do is to explore the nearby attractions and tourist destinations of Rishikesh which are not much far from your Yoga Meditation Camp.

Go visit some of the most popular destinations of Rishikesh:

Kanaujpuri Temple – This divine temple of Goddess Durga stands in pride at the peak of kanaujpuri. It is one of the most visited sacred places in Tehri district. Kanaujpuri temple is very famous for spectacular views of the ranges of Himalayas like Gangotri, Banderpunch, Chaukhamba and Swargarohini.

Neelkanth Mahadev– 22km from Swargashram lays the magnificent temple of Neelkanth Mahadev. It derived its name from Lord Shiva. It is believed that Lord Shiva consumed the venom emanated from Samudra Manthan. As a Result, his throat became blue, thus giving Shiva the name of Neelkanth.

Tera Manzil Temple– Located in the banks of the blissful river Ganga Tera Manzil Temple also known as Triambekashar Temple melts the heart of pilgrims with its view and divine tranquillity. It has 13 floors and each storey reveals the marvellous idols of Hindu Gods and Goddesses.

Bharat Mata Temple– Bharat Mata Temple is also known as Mother India Temple. It is dedicated to Bharat Mata by Patriotic nationals. The temple was founded by Swami Satyamitranand Giri in 1983 and inaugurated by our Lt. Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi.

The Beatles Ashram – In 1986 Beatles band of Liverpool came to stay here as they were mesmerised by the natural beauty of India. This Ashram used to be the hub of creativity and meditation of the famed Beatles Band. Precious heritage left by Beatles Band and the scenic attractions located nearby makes this place worth a visit.

Laxman Jhula – Tune into the bliss of one of the most beautiful bridges across the holy river Ganga. This bridge has been built in the same place where Lord Rama and his brother Lord Lakshamana had crossed the river Ganga.

Related:- A Tour To Worship The Nine Planetary Deities-Navagraha Temple

Where to Stay in Rishikesh?

There are several good resorts and hotels in Rishikesh. But if you are looking for best places to stay then Parmarth Niketan, the luxurious Aranyam River Retreat, Divine Resort, Ananda in the Himalayas and The Glasshouse on the Ganges are the options for you. For budget accommodation in Rishikesh you can opt for Hotel Welcome, Divya Hotel, Hotel Shivanta Residency, Hotel Risabh -The Grand Castle Resort and few more. Along with a plethora of best hotels and resorts in Rishikesh, there are also a number of hotels in Haridwar for the visitors that also range from budget to luxury, so, travellers have the choice to book accommodation in Rishikesh as well as in Haridwar.

How to Reach Rishikesh?

By Air – Jolly Grant Airport at Dehradun is the nearest airport to Rishikesh. It will take you around one and half hours drive to reach Rishikesh from Dehradun. However, international travellers need to reach Delhi first.

By Train – Haridwar is the nearest rail head to Rishikesh from where you can hire private taxis or you can take help of local bus service.

By Road – Regular bus services are available for Rishikesh from Delhi and nearby cities of North India.

A Tour To Worship The Nine Planetary Deities-Navagraha Temple

A long year has passed by with lots of worship uncertainties, losses and all-new jargon which even an infant is familiar now like Stress, Lockdown, Work from home, quarantine, containment zones and lot more. 2020 has ended and a vibrant 2021 is born with a new ray of hope and confidence.

Man is a social animal and is in need of people around with positive thoughts especially when he is depressed. The mythological and philosophical findings of Hinduism, which is world’s one of the longest surviving practices have installed temples at strategic locations of every residential circle. The temples were not only for holding the religious activities but also served many purposes. Few of them include inculcating social harmony and peace, center for boosting the local economy in the forms of fairs and festivals, center to motivate and instill confidence with a positive vibes of poojas and rituals done regularly and lot more in the list.

worship

Navagraha Temples attract lakhs of devotees and tourists round the year as it is strongly believed in Hinduism that the planetary transitions in every individuals signified in Vedic Astrology are the major causes for predicting the changes in their lives. The key planets as per the astrology are Sun, Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Rahu and Kethu. The temples known by the name of the respective planetary God are collectively called as the Navagraha Temples in Tamil Nadu.

The temples have not followed any specific architecture, but all of them have followed an uniform style with the gateway tower above the sanctum and odd numbered precincts. Except for the Sun God, all other Navagraha Temples have Lord Shiva as their Presiding Deity. All the other temples are constructed in such a way that the presiding deity in the sanctum faces the direction of Suriyanar Koil, the temple for Sun God.

As the Navagraha tend to transit from one position to another in regular intervals, the astrological interpretations predict the good and bad effect of the transitions. Principles and customs of Hinduism recommends the means and ways of escaping the bad effects and to enjoy the good effects by offering prayers to these planetary deities. In line with the practices followed in other Hindu temples, the offerings and prayers are in the form of clothes, cereals, pulses flowers and jewels offered by the devotees. Every planetary deity has different color codes set of flowers and cereals. Lighting of lamps is also followed invariably all temples.

Plan your tour to Navagraha temples offering you the boons of prosperity and happiness in life !!

The architecture of the temple and towers, placing of idols in the sanctum and other sub shrines, codifications of daily rituals and festivals are all based on one or other scientific principles and it is strongly believed that worshipping the  Gods and Goddesses at the temples when we are distressed gives an assurance not to give up.

Out of thousands of temples dotted across Tamil Nadu, Navagraha Temples deserve a special mention here. Visiting Navagraha Temples and worshipping the supreme power there will surely help us to shed out our negative vibrations and sense of fear and ambiguity. Incidentally, the Nine temples representing each of the planets are situated around the Temple City Kumbakonam, popular for large number of temples and the world renowned festival Mahamaham celebrated once in 12 years.

What are Navagrahas? Is there any science behind it?

Navagrahas are the planets playing vital role in the Hindu astronomical sphere, dating back to the ages of Vedas. For any kind of hindrance, bad luck, illness or anxiety an individual has to go through in his life, the transitions in those planets are held responsible either auspiciously or inauspiciously.

Out of the nine planets, Seven are named similar to the Solar System and Two are Rahu and Ketu.

Yagna Valkiya Smriti  (about AD 300 or later) explains the features of these planets and the need for the worship of the planets (grahas) according to Hindu tradition, as stated below.

One should specially worship that (planet) which, and whenever, it is cruel (malefic) to him”. This book discusses in detail about the effects of every planet on the life of an individual or on the society on the whole.

Is each of the Navagraha Temple unique? If So, How?

Yes, each of the Navagraha Temples is so unique with their religious properties to bless an individual or a society if worshipped with proper codifications. Of course, in all the nine temples Lord Shiva is the presiding deity and the respective planets are housed in sub-shrines.

There is only one consciousness, Have you heard about this? The essence of Quantum Physics. Though there are different loggerheads in Physics and Chemistry, they go well hand-in-hand. This is an analogy to the presence of Lord Shiva in all Navagraha Temples, but what is surprising is in all these temples, Lord Shiva has taken the back seat giving prime importance to the planet!

Related:- Top 5 best places in South India to visit in February

What is special about each of Navagraha Temple?

Let us quickly brief about each of Navagraha temples, its significance and codifications.

Suryanar Koil – Suryan / Sun God

The Suriyanar temple for Sun God is not the largest in the chain, but fairly big. Avoid visiting this temple on Sundays owing to the crowd. What is special about this temple is that this is the only shrine out of the nine, which has sub-shrines for all the other planets.

Special Features:

  • This is the only temple exclusively dedicated to Sun God
  • Guru Brihaspati is depicted in the sanctum performing pooja to Sun God
  • Usha Devi and Pratyusha Devi are the consorts of Sun God
  • Inscriptions refer to this temple as Kulothunga Chola Marthanda Alayam, inferring the age of the temple somewhere in 10th century
  • Sun God is termed to be Atma Karaka (Soul Vitalizer)
  • The temple tower is in the shape of chariot with horses, the vehicle of Sun God.
  • Offer Wheat and do the poojas with red colored flowers
  • Those who suffer from progressing in education, marriage and childbirth visit this temple to get out of their challenges

How to Reach?

Suryanar Koil is a small hamlet 2kms north of Aduthurai Town. Hire a cab as there are many temples around this region to be visited.

Other popular places to visit around:

Tiruvidaimauthur, Tirupananthal and Kanjanu, popular for ancient temples

Thingaloor – Chandran / Moon God

The second major planet controlling the human mind is Chandran or Moon God. This temple has Lord Kailasanathar as presiding deity and it is one of the 274 popular shrines glorified by the songs of Saivaite Saints Samayakuravar Nalvar. Further Thingaloor is the birthplace of Appoodhi Adigal, the disciple of Tirunavakkarasar. The Moon God plays a vital role in shaping our thoughts in a constructive or destructive manner depends upon his transition. Worshipping him in this temple, helps us to think properly and act upon.

Special Features:

  • Exclusively dedicated for Moon God
  • During the full moon day in the Tamil month of Panguni, i.e., between March and April,  the rays of moon fall on Lord Shiva ‘s Linga idol, the phenomenon which you can never see in any part of the world.
  • Poojas on Full Moon days and Mondays are considered to be very special
  • Those who suffer from mental imbalance, skin and nervous disorder are to worship at this temple to get relieved from the illnesses.
  • A sweet pudding made up of raw rice and jiggery, white flowers and white clothing are to be offered to Moon God
  • Fasting on Mondays followed with a special pooja here can help people come out of their worries

How To Reach?

Thingaloor Chandran temple is about 36km from Kumbakonam on the way to Thiruvaiyaru.

Other places to visit around:

Ganapathy Agraharam and Kabisthalam are popular locations for centuries-old temples

Vaitheeswaran Koil – Chevvai / Mars

A 2000 years old temple with a historical name as “Pullirukkuvelur”, referring to the historical data that this is the place where the giant bird Jatayu of Ramayana lived, Rig Veda was worshipped and Lord Muruga is of significant importance. “Pul –Bird”, Irukku – Rig Veda and “Vel – Lord Muruga’s weapon”. In the ancient days, Vaitheeswaran Koil was revered as the headquarters of medical science as there were remedial measures for around 4448 diseases. In addition, the two prominent features are, this is the temple for Navagraha planet Mars/ Chevvai and this is the place where the father of Indian Medicine Dhanvantri attained salvation.

Special Features of the temple:

  • Those who face problems in getting married worship here
  • Physical ailments of all sorts are getting cured after worshipping here
  • Vaidhyanatha Swamy of this temple is believed to have cured Leprosy of Angaraha, the Mars. So powerful is this temple for curing ailments and illnesses
  • Special poojas and rituals are done by the devotees round the year for getting cured from variety of physical illnesses, even prolonged ones.
  • Bad effects are mitigated by prayers and by offering cloths, grains and flowers
  • The town is famous for Palm-leaf astrology and naadi astrology.
  • Know about your past, present and future with naadi astrology, just with an impression of your thumb, which you can never find in any part of the world

How To Reach?

The temple is at 14km from Mayiladuthurai

Other Popular Attractions:

Poombuhar Beach and  Museum, Tirukkadaiyur temple.

Thiruvenkadu – Budhan / Mercury

The Thiruvenkadu Swetharanyeswarar temple is one of the Navagraha Temples where Lord Budhan is worshipped. Devotees throng this temple throughout the year to worship Lord Budhan.

Temple Specialty

  • Budhan is the symbol of intelligence, wisdom and peace.
  • Lord Shiva here is worshipped as Aabathsahayeswarar Temple, meaning one who protects His devotees from all unprecedented problems.
  • The temple Bull is seen with nine holes in its body
  • This refers to the history that when the demon Surapadman came to fight with Lord Shiva here, the Bull interfered and got injured.
  • Because of this, Lord Shiva became furious and took the incarnation of Agora Moorthy to destroy the demon.
  • This temple is also called as Varanashi of South.
  • Offer white colored clothes and cereals and pray to the God to get protected from the planetary transitions.

How To Reach?

You can reach Thiruvenkadu Budhan Koil by travelling a distance of 12km from Sirkazhi or 26kms from Mayiladuthurai. From Kumbakonam, the temple is at a distance of 60km.

Nearby Tourist Attractions

Poombuhar Beach, Silappathikara Art Gallery, Town Gateway.

Alangudi – Guru / Jupiter

Transit day of Lord Guru from one Zodiac sign to the other which happens every two and a half years, is believed to have greater impact on one’s life. The Alangudi temple is said to exist from time immemorial and . Kasi Aaranyam , Thiru erumpoolai are the other names for this place Alangudi.

Special Features:

  • This temple is one of the Navagraha Temples where Lord Guru is worshipped.
  • Guru is worshipped here as Lord Dakshinamurthy
  • Guru  is the symbol of knowledge and wisdom
  • Dull headed students, those who seem to have lost interest in studies can worship here to escape from the ill effects of Guru’s planetary transition.
  • Offer yellow colored clothes and channa dal and pray to the God to get protected from the planetary transitions.
  • Offer yellow colored flowers as well and Thursday is very auspicious to worship Guru Baghwan

How To Reach?

Alangudi is very near to the temple town Kumbakonam  at a distance of 14km.

Nearby Tourist Attractions

Poombuhar Beach, Silappathikara Art Gallery, Tirukkadaiyur Abirami Amman Temple

Kanjanoor – Sukran / Venus:

Lord Shiva here in this temple is worshipped as the presiding deity and Navagraha Lord Sukran is believed to be in the stomach of Lord Shiva. The temple is so significant that Lord Shiva blessed Parasara Muni, a renowned saint of the ancient ages, with His cosmic dance. This sacred place is also called as Palasa Vanam or Agni Sthalam and so the presiding deity is called as Agneeswarar. It is believed that Lord Brahma witnessed the celestial wedding of Lord Shiva at this sacred place.

Temple Specialty:

  • This temple is one of the Navagraha Temples where Lord Sukran is worshipped.
  • Sukran is the symbol of prosperity and happiness.
  •  Devotees throng this temple throughout the year to worship Lord Sukran.
  • They offer white colored clothes and white clothes and pray to the God to protect them from the planetary transitions.
  • The deity in this temple is so significant that the curses of celestial Gods called Devas and also the God of creation Lord Brahma have got relieved after worshipping this Lord Agneeswarar.

How To Reach Kanjanoor?

By Road Kanjanoor is at a distance of 18km from Kumbakonam and 2km from Surianar Koil

Nearby Tourist Attractions

Besides Poombuhar Beach, Silappathikara Art Gallery, Town Gateway you can also visit the Grand Anaicut, an architectural marvel and an ancient water management system built by Chola King Karikala, 2000 years ago, which is still functioning and is a major source of water supply to the delta region of Tamilnadu.

Related:- What are the Seven Best Places to visit in Andhra Pradesh

Thirunallar – Shani Bagwan / Saturn

The Thirunallaru Sri Saneeswara Bagwan Temple is believed to exist from time immemorial. The interesting story connected to this temple is, the celestial Gods called Devas wanted to marry the Princess of the Nishadha Kingdom, Damayanthi. But she married another King called Nalan. The furious Devas complained to Saneeswar and he made Nalan’s life miserable for seven and half years. At last, Nalan arrived at Thirunallar and worshipped Lord Shiva present in the name of Lord Dharbaranyeswarar. He got rid of all his problems and got a promise from Lord Saneeswara that whoever comes to this place and worship him, should not be affected by any difficulties. So is the sacred temple very popular among the devotees across the country.

Temple Specialty:

  • This temple is one of the Navagraha Temples where Lord Saneeswar is worshipped.
  • Saneeswar is the symbol of will power and courage.
  • Devotees throng this temple throughout the year to worship Lord Saneeswar
  • Transit day of Lord Saneeswar from one Zodiac sign to the other which happens every two and a half years is celebrated in a pomp manner with lakhs of devotees worshipping Him to protect them from any ill effects
  • Black colored clothes and cereals are offered to Him to protect from ill-effects of  planetary transitions.
  • Lord Shiva here is worshipped as Lord Darbaranyeswarar.

How To Reach?

Thirunallar is at a distance of 33km from Mayiladuthurai and 5km from Karaikal.

Nearby Tourist Attractions

Karaikal, Pondicherry beach, Auroville, Sri Aurobindo Ashram

Tiruageshwaram – Rahu

The temple at Tirunageshwaram is visited by devotees to escape from ill effects of planet Rahu. To know further, Once there was a saint Suseelar, whose son was attacked by the Celestial serpent Dakkagan. Saint Suseelar cursed him to take birth as a human being on earth. After his hard penance towards Lord Shiva, he worshipped Him in the form of an idol Lingam at Thirunageshwaram and got relieved from His curse. As lord Raghu himself got his curse relieved, this place became so sacred with the Naganatha Swamy as the presiding deity and the temple has become very popular among the devotees across the country.

Temple Specialty:

  • This temple is one of the Navagraha Temples where Lord Raghu is worshipped.
  • Raghu  is the symbol of wealth and prosperity.
  • They offer black colored clothes and cereals and pray to the God to protect them from the planetary transitions.
  • In this temple, Lord Raghu is present in the form of Human being with his two consorts.
  • Whenever milk is anointed to the idol of Rahu, the milk turns into blue color which happens even today.
  • Though Lord Shiva in the name of Lord Naganathaswamy is present here as the presiding deity, Lord Raghu is worshipped first and then only the devotees visit the sanctum.

How To Reach?

Thirunageshwaram is at a distance of 6 km to the east of Kumbakonam.

Nearby Tourist Attractions

Temples in Trichy ,Tanjore and Kumbakonam.

Keezhaperumpallam – Ketu

Ketu is generally referred to as shadow planet. The historic event referred to this temple is the churning of ocean to give the nectar to celestial Gods. Vasuki was the serpent used for the churning operation and at one point it got exhausted and spit venom. To protect the celestial Gods from consuming the poison, Lord Shiva Himself took the poison. For Her mistake, Vasuki did a penance and Lord Shiva graced with His blessings. From then on, this particular temple is dedicated to Lord Ketu and it is also known as South Lunar Planet.

Temple Specialty:

  • The shadow planet is considered as the tail of the demon snake.
  • Here Ketu is in the form of human body and serpent head.
  • People with certain defects in their horoscopes need to worship here.
  • Worshipped for excellence in education and family prosperity
  • Ketu generally refers to the refinement process of spiritual inclination and supernatural influences.
  • Offer multi colored clothes, horse gram and red colored flowers.

How To Reach?

The temple is at a distance of 35 km from Karaikal.

Other places to visit around:

Pondicherry, Triukkadaiyur and Tiruvenkadu

Navagraha temples are very popular among the pilgrimage packages. As all the temples are located within accessible distances, devotees plan to visit all the temples at a stretch.

Information for visitors:

  • Best Time to Visit – Winter months – October to February. Summers will be very hot and it is better to keep a hat and lot of drinking water handy
  • All temples open at 6.30 AM and close around 1.30PM. Again from 4.00PM to 9.00PM
  • Shani and  Rahu temples are the most crowded temples in the circuit
  • Each day is auspicious for one God, Know that beforehand and plan your tour.
  • Though it is possible to cover all the nine temples on one day, it is better to have two days to club other chola temples and also famous tourist destinations nearby.

Start the New Year with New hopes, New plans and completely New phase of life, unlike the previous year with a revitalizing Navagraha Temple Tour, a truly soulful journey to detox the mind and re-energize the body, mind and soul, the need of the hour for every individual, head of a family, head of the company or whoever it may. Soothing our mind and rejuvenating ourselves for a better tomorrow, keeps us moving on, what may come!

What are the Seven Best Places to visit in Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh is best known for the most powerful dynasties and the world-renowned Kuchipudi dance. Andhra Pradesh is home to diverse tourist destinations to choose from the beautiful hill stations, sacred shrines, historic monuments, popular museums. The temples in Andhra Pradesh deserve a special mention here for their splendid architecture and the ancient beliefs and faiths behind them. Most of the temples in Andhra Pradesh have Lord Shiva as their presiding deity and temples for other Gods and Goddesses and worshipping centers for other religions are also dotted across the state.

Andhra Pradesh

This blog is an effort to bring forth a few of the trending tourist destinations in Andhra Pradesh, which you can plan to visit this year, where you will find solace after a year dominated by Corona.

Tirupati

The world-renowned pilgrim center, visited by millions of devotees around the year is Tirupati Tirumala Temple housing Lord Venkateswara as the presiding deity. The nine feet tall statue in the sanctum, the world’s one of the very few largest kitchens feeding more than one lakh devotees daily, GI indexed laddu offered to devotees as Prasad, pleasant climate and a scenic ambience are the salient features of Tirupati Tirumala temple and are the compelling reasons for everyone to visit the destination. Tirupati is also acclaimed as one of the richest temples in the world.

Places to visit in and around Tirupati:

Tirumala, Govindaraja Swamy Temple, Kapila Theertham, Chandragiri, Tiruchanur, Srinivasa Mangapuram, Talakona Waterfalls, Sri Kalahasthi, Kalyani Dam and Tiruttani.

Araku Valley

Located at an altitude of 900 metres, Araku Valley is one of the prominent destinations to experience Andhra Pradesh Tourism. Acclaimed as Ooty of Andhra Pradesh, Araku Valley is a scenic destination with lush greenery, waterfalls, pleasant climate and most importantly, is where you find a number of tribal communities residing in sync with nature’s unspoiled beauty. The entire region is like a canvas with wonderful paintings of nature, which will be an experience of lifetime for every visitor.

Related:- Mahamasthaka abhisheka – Bahubali statue Shravanabelagola

Places to visit around Araku Valley:

Borra caves, Katika Waterfalls, Padmapuram Gardens, Tribal museum, Mastyagundam, Tatipudi Reservoir and Tyda Nature camp are some of the popular tourist attractions you can include in your list while planning a trip to Araku Valley.

Sri Kalahasthi

One of the five Pancha Bootha Sthala temples representing the cosmic element Air is Kalahastheeswara temple located at Sri Kalahasthi, in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. An ideal weekend getaway from Chennai to spend two days on a spiritual sojourn is this temple housing Sri Kalahastheeswarar, a form of Lord Shiva as the presiding deity. The destination’s name gets derived from the three creatures Sri(Spider), Kala(serpent) and Hasti(Elephant) who worshipped Lord Shiva with an ardent faith in this location. While planning a short trip to Tirupati and the spiritual destinations around, Sri Kalahasthi tops the list of almost all devotees and tourists.

Places of attractions near Sri Kalahasthi:

Pathala Vinayakar Temple, Tada Falls, Pulicat Lake and Sanctuary, Swarnamukhi River, Kona waterfalls, Tirumala Tirupati temple are the other spiritual and entertainment centers to visit.

Amaravati:

Andhra Pradesh has a rich cultural heritage inherited from Buddhism which had strong hold for many decades. Amaravati is one such destination where you can find the influence of Buddhism wherever you go. The Buddhist stupa is one such monument receiving universal admirations. Amaravati, derived its name from Amareshwara Temple, was once the capital of Satavahana Kingdom. Amaravati has received the attention of tourists across worldwide for its giant Buddhist stupa which is one of the few largest structures ever built.

Places to visit around Amaravati:

Amaravati Museum, Dhyana Buddha Statue, Kondaveedu Fort, Vijayawada, Mahachaitya are the places compelling you to plan a trip to visit Amaravati.

Vizag

Famous for Beaches, Caves and Forts, Vizag is the major sea port of Indian National Army. Also the deepest port of India, Vizag is a tropical region with high humidity round the year. The beaches are relatively clean attracting large number of tourists round the year. An ideal sand shore to relax your nerves and scenic hill stations for trekking options are the highlights of your tour to Vizag this time. Don’t forget to include Vizag in your list while planning a vacation to Andhra Pradesh tourist destination.

Places to visit around Vizag:

Borra Caves, Araku Valley, Yarada Beach, Katiki Waterfalls, Rishikonda Beach, Kailasagiri Hill Park and Indira Gandhi Zoological Park are the other popular attractions in and around Vizag.

Related:- Top 5 best places in South India to visit in February

Vijayawada

The third largest city of Andhra Pradesh, Bezawada , whose name now known as Vijayawada is a prominent tourist destination to experience Andhra Pradesh Tourism. The destination is referred in the history as the place where the Chinese Traveler Hieun Tsang stayed during his visit to South India. Vijayawada is also popular for Kondapalli Reserve Forests which is rich in flora and fauna, which is a delightful sight to behold.

Popular places to visit around Vijayawada:

Bhavani Island, Undavalli Caves, Kolleru Lake, Gandhi Hill, Victoria Museum and Mogalarajapuram caves are the other prominent destinations where you can explore the rich history and tradition of Andhra Pradesh.

Nellore

One of the primary agricultural hotspots in Andhra Pradesh is Nellore, aptly named referring to Nellu(paddy).  Pennar river runs through the town Nellur splitting it into two equal regions. Maurya, Chola, Pallava and Vijayanagara dynasties have ruled this region who have built stunning temples which are timeless beauties and must visit locations while touring across Nellore. Lakes, temples, forts and wildlife sanctuaries make Nellore a strategic and unique location to visit.

Places of attractions around Nellore:

Venkatagiri Fort, Udayagiri Fort, Mypad Beach, Pulicat Lake, Nellapattu Birdlife sanctuary and Sri Ranganthaswamy temple are the other popular attractions in and around Nellore to be included in your list to be visited while touring to Andhra.