Had a Trip to Kumarakom Bird Santuary from 3rd of May to 5th of May.
Kumarakom is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary (Kottyam District, Kerala) is a noted bird sanctuary where many species of migratory birds visit. The Vembanad Lake, the largest backwater in Kerala, is habitat for many marine and freshwater fish species and it teems with Karimeen (Pearl spot also known as Etroplus suratensis) shrimp (Metapenaeus dobsonii) common name Poovalan chemeen. The bird sanctuary extends over 14 acres (57,000 m²). If you are lucky you will chance upon a Siberian Crane, a special visitor during the migratory season.A very beautiful place to live. Unfortunately we landed in wrong time so missed see many species. However the experience was awesome.
Recently i went to attend a friend's daughter's wedding. Ceremony was performed in front of the Guruvayoor temple.There was a raised podium and couples with their families waited for their turn. After a short ceremony they were pushed off the stage and another couple from the queue took their place.On auspicious days the queue can be quite long . On that particular day there were only less than ten.
Here I would like to show you different stages of makeup done in Kathakali. Padmabhushan Madavur Vasudevan Nair is getting ready as "Ravanan". Ravanan is considered as an evil character so the make up different than the normal "pachha" . Evil character's makeup is known as "KATHI Vesham"
The colourful festival of Onam is an attraction for thousands of people within Kerala and outside the state. The state Government itself has taken the initiative to celebrate Onam season as tourist festival with the motive of attraction tourists. Various cultural forms, old and new, are presented in all-important towns in the state during the festival.
In Trivandrum, the tourism department organises 10days long Tourism festival during the Onam season. Many venues will be open with tradditional art orms and ends with a cultural parade with elephants and floats. It's lot of fun and excellent opportunity to be a part of a great festival.
In Trichur, a vibrant procession with resplendently caparisoned elephants is taken out. There is magnificent display of fireworks. The temple at Trikkakkara (where the legend of Mahabali is beautifully depicted) is one of the major attractions of the Kerala's festivities.
The Vallamkali (boat race) is one of the main attractions of Onam. Some of the sites famous for these races are Aranmula on the Pamba river in the Kuttanad region, Papiyad near Quilon, and Thayathangadi near Kottayam.
One remarkable thing about Onam is that it is celebrated by all, not only Hindus but also by Christians and Muslims who are living in Kerala. It is one festival that unites all people regardless of race and religion.
Every brick and tile of the Krishnapuram Palace can narrate stories dating back to the mid 1700’s.
And the steady flow of tourists, at times 300 per day according to the visitors’ register here, is evidence to the historic value of this palace near Kayamkulam.
However, from behind the historic walls, ancient murals and antique furniture, the palace now speaks of indifference from the powers that be.
This historical palace was the center of activity for the Kayamkulam king for several centuries. Adjacent to this palace where a township, several temples, places to train the kayakulam king's soldiers etc. Kayamkulam king ruled his tiny kingdom until he was defeated by King Marthanda Verma of Travancore. Verma tried several unsuccessful attempts to capture the kingdom, however, the powerful kayamulam King defeated them all. In the end, Verma used Ramayyan to find out the secret of the strength of Kayamkulam King and defeated him. Fearing death, Kayamkulam king fled to Mankuzhi (near Kattachira, five kilometers from Kayamkulam town toward east) where he took shelter in a temple. Exact records are unknown on the location. However, the temple is said to be Nilackal Bhagavathi Temple. He left his weapons and disappeared as a common man. Old sayings state that his lineage still survives around this old temple. Another theory suggests that he donated all his land to a Nair or Brahmin in Mankuzhi and then Verma's soldiers caught the king before beheading him. As a wonderful piece of historical and architectural elegance, the Kayamkulam palace still stands and attracts many visitors.
This is a must visit if you are around this region.
The Poonjar Rajas are an ancient dynasty closely connected to the Travancore royal family. The Poonjar palace, made almost entirely of wood, reflects the simplicity and elegance of the traditional Kerala buildings. An interesting museum is housed within the palace and is well worth a visit. The palace is about 600 years old.
The Poonjar palace is a glorious testimony to the regal opulence of a bygone era. Within the palace walls is an extraordinary royal collection of antiques and exquisite furniture including a palanquin, a thoni(boat )carved out of a single piece of wood for Ayurvedic massages, huge chandeliers, palmleaf engravings, jewel boxes ,several varieties of lamps ,sculptures of Nataraja (the dancing Siva),grain measure ,statues and weapons. A unique conch preserved here is taken out once a year for ritualistic purposes. Near the palace is an amazing replica of the Madurai Meenakshi temple . The walls of this temple bear sculptures that narrate stories from the Puranas (the legends of ancient India ).
However, the most fascinating thing here is the Chuttuvilakku (row of lamps )carved out on the stone walls of the Sastha temple nearby. Such rock-cut lamps are rare in India.
he Koyikkal Palace, situated far of away from the city, was actually built for Umayamma Rani of the Venad royal family who ruled the land between 1677 and 1684. The palace is a double stroreyed traditional nalukettu with slanting gabled roofs and an inner courtyard. Today, the palace houses a Folklore Museum and a Numismatics Museum set up by the Department of Archaeology. The Folklore Museum, a treasure house of quaint musical instruments, occupational implements, household utensils, models of folk arts etc, was set up in 1992. The exhibits here draw attention to the rich cultural background of the State. The exhibits include rare articles like Chandravalayam (not found in any other such museum in Kerala), a small percussion instrument used as an accompaniment while reciting the ballad Ramakathappattu (the story of Lord Sree Rama); and Nanthuni , a sweet sounding musical instrument made of wood and string used while singing the Onappattu and Nanthunippattu during Onam the harvest festival of Kerala. The Folklore Museum housed on the first floor of the palace also has a wide range of household utensils including wooden kitchenware, brass/copperware etc. representing the lifestyle of the Keralites during different eras. Thaliyola (old manuscripts), Chilambu (a sort of anklet) used by Umayamma Rani and Maravuri (dress material made of the bark of trees) etc. are well preserved here. Oorakkudukku a device for intellectual exercise used by the Yogis as a pastime, Gajalekshmi - a lamp representing the goddess of prosperity - Lekshmi-seated on her elephant (this lamp is usually lighted at dusk and during the harvest season to welcome the goddess) are other interesting exhibits. The Kettuvillakku - a ceremonial lamp (artistically made out of coloured paper and locally available light wood splits/rails), lit during festivals at the Bhagavathy temples of southern Kerala; a model of the most impressive of Theyyams - the Muthappan theyyam , a Patayani kolam model ; the headgear and dress used by Ottanthulal artistes exhibited here give an insight into the performing as well as the ritual art forms of Kerala. The Numismatics Museum at the Koyikkal Palace is the only one of its kind in the State. Occupying the ground floor of the palace, the coins here belong to different parts of the world as well as to different eras. This rare and historically valuable collection is a vestige of the trade relation of the State in the bygone ages. Among the exhibits are some of the oldest coins of Kerala - Ottaputhen, Erattaputhen, Kaliyugarayan Panam etc. A Venetian coin named Amaida, believed to have been presented to Jesus Christ, is also a property of this museum. The most valuable among the Indian coins found here are 'Karsha'. These are nearly 2500 years old. Rasi, the world's smallest coins are also on display here. Sreekrishna Rasi, one of the rasis (regional coins) issued by the local kings of Kerala around the 10th century, Anantharayan Panam - the first modern gold coin of Travancore in circulation in the 15th and 17th centuries, Kochi Puthen - one of the coins of the Kochi kingdom which also had variations like Indo-Dutch Puthen (1782 AD). Lekshmi Varaham - the silver coins minted in Travancore, Rasi Palaka (the coin board) - a wooden board with small niches used to count small coins (counting up to 100 to 200 at a time), coin mints etc are preserved here. Nearly 374 Roman gold coins, each worth up to five hundred thousand rupees today, depicting Roman gods and goddesses like Venus, Hercules, Mars, Ceres, Genius, etc and rulers like Hardin (AD 117 - 138) are also among the collection. The museum also has coins used by various Indian dynasties - the Gwalior royal family, the Nizam of Hyderabad, Tipu Sultan, Hyder Ali, etc.
Nedumangad, about 18 km from Thiruvananthapuram city on the way to the Ponmudi hill station and the Courtalam waterfalls, Thiruvananthapuram district, south Kerala.
Palace, folklore museum and numismatics museum.
Visiting hours : 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on all days, except Mondays.
Kilimanoor palace is famous as the birth place of Raja Ravi Varma, the renowned painter from India.
This Royal House at Kilimanoor has a history of more than 300 years. Although the earliest of the buildings have been built much before, It was in 1753, the Palace was built as the present complex. Kilimanoor palace occupies a prominent place in history of Kerala.
In year 1705 (ME 880) the a son and two daughters of Ittammar Raja of Beypore Thattarikovilakam, a Kolathunadu royal house was adopted to the Royal house of Venad. Ittammar Raja 's sister and her sons, Rama Varma and Raghava Varma settled in Kilimanoor and married the now adopted sisters. Marthanda Varma, the founder of the Kingdom of Travancore was the son of Raghava Varma. The nephew of Raghava Varma , Ravi varma Koil Thampuran, married the sister of Marthanda Varma. Their son became to be known as Dharma Raja Kartika Thirunnal Rama Varma. In 1740 when an allied forces lead by Dutch, Captain Hockert supporting Deshinganadu king, attacked Venad , an army of from Kilimanoor tactfully resisted and then defeated them. Although a small victory, this was the first time an Indian army defeated a European Power. In recognition of this feat, Marthanda Varma, in 1753 exempted the areas under control of Kilimanoor palace from taxes and proclaimed autonomous status. The presnt palace complex was also built during this time. The present Ayyappa temple for the family deity,Sastha or Ayyapan was also built.
Velu Thampi Dalawa held meeting at Kilimanoor palace planning his revolts on the British. He had handed over his sword at the palace before went for his final battle against British. India's First President Dr Rajendra Prasad received the Sword from the palace and is now kept at the National Museum in Delhi.
Mahe, situated on the west coast of Kerala is about 630 km from Pondicherry. Geographically situated in Kerala, poilitically Mahe forms part of Pondicherry Union Territory. It lies south of Mahe River near where the river meets the sea. Mahe is famous as a brisk trade center of foreign liquor.
The history of Mahe is closely associated with a statue named Marianne, a proud symbol of French revolution. The freedom struggle of Mahe gathered momentum from this place. Hence, this place is now well maintained as a park in the name of Rabindranath Tagore.
The main attractions include a tall flag mast, a lighthouse, remnants of a fort and the sunset. In addition to these, Mahe Boat house, 2 km from the Government house, in the Mahe River welcomes the visitors with speed boats, pedal boats and kayak boats. Some other places of interest are Thacholi Othenan’s Fort, Puzhakal Juma Masjid, St. Theresa Church, Sree Krishna Temple, St. George Fort, Puthalam Bhagavathi Temple and Sree Narayana Madam.
Aruvippuram Siva Temple near neyyattinkara, 6 kms via perumpazhuthur. consecrated by Sree Narayana Guru. ( Owned by Sivagiri Madhom). Sivarathri is the main festival.
The temple situates in Parumkadavila Panchayat of Thiruvananthapuram district. The presiding deity is Siva, facing the west. The temple is owned by Sivagiri Madam. The main festival is the Sivarathri. One kilometer away from Neyyattinkara-Kattakada route this historically important temple remains as the place when one can pray irrespective of cast and creed.
The temple was constructed in Vtkram Samvat 1960 (1904 A.D) and the main idol installed is of Bhagwan Shri Dharmanath, the 15th Jain Tirthankar. History says that since centuries Jains from Kutch & Saurastra (Gujarat) used to come to Cochin, Kozhikode and Alleppey mainly for Business activities. They settled and brought their family members since about 150 to 200 years back. Smt.Hirubhai Jivraj Dhanji constructed Shri Dharmanath Jinalay in memory of her husband Sri Jivraj Dhlinji and gifted to The Jain Sangh without any pre-condition in 1904 A.D. At present Sri Cochin Swetamber Murtipujak Jain Sangh runs the administration through its elected Board of Trustees. Today there are about 350 families of Jain origin settled in Cochin engaged in various Business and Service activities. Jains are all pure vegetarian and Ahimsa is their parmodharma (main duty). They follow the path of "Live and Let Live" (Jiyo aur Jinedo). Other main characteristic of Jainism is "Kshama". Knowingly or unknowingly if anyone hurts anyone else by whatever way, they ask for Kshama and give Kshama. "Kshma Virasya Bhushanam" is greatly emphasised in the teachings of Jainism. Cochin Jain community has a unique virtue of achieving Unity among different sections and subsections of Jainism and celebrate almost all the major events like Paryushanparva (an eight days religious festival) jointly. All types of people visit Jain temple and appreciate their culture and traditions. Jains happily and whole heartedly participate in the cultural activities of Kerala and cherish the same. Now at the completion of 100 years of Jain temple, Cochin will be known as Jain Tirth and will have more visitors too.
Jainism - Jainism believes in equality of man and does not recognise caste, creed and untouchability. It is open to all. The measure of a man is not his high or low birth, but his acquisition of good and noble virtues. Jainism is universal in character and this is amply manifested by the Navkar Maha Mantra which is supposed to be the greatest of all mantras, and which is a tool for generating within the hearts of the aspirants, the three divine qualities of Ahimsa (Non violence), Tapa (Penance) and Sayyam (self-control). The distinguishing feature of this mantra is that it is not addressed to any particular individual or God. It offers saluation and adoration to all those sanctified and enlightened souls, whether Jain or Non-Jains. Many people believe that Lord Mahavir was the founder of Jainism. This is not correct. Lord Mahavir renownes as the apostle of Ahimsa and harbinger of peace was the 24th Tirthankar. The first Tirthankar was Lord Rushabhdev. Jainism was founded thousand of years earlier than Lord Mahavir. Jainism puts the greatest emphasis on Ahimsa. According to Jainism there are 84 Lakhs different types of lives in the world. It precludes violence in thought and inention as well as in actual fact towards all living being. It is applicable to nations as well as individuals and also flora and fauna. Ahimsa Paramo Dharmah is the greatest law.
Sree Cochin Swetamber Murtipujak Jain Sangh, Gujarathi Road, Cochin - 682 002, Ph:
The CVN Kalari Sangham in Thiruvananthapuram is located close to the East Fort, which is a few minutes of walking distance from the central bus station. This center of excellence was built in 1956 as a result of the constant commitment and efforts of C V Narayanan Nair, Kottackal Karunakara Gurukkal and C V Balan Nair. It was due to the efforts of this trio that the dying art of Kalarippayattu (traditional martial art of Kerala) was revived once again. These people popularized the art by way of demonstrations, collecting necessary information and setting up Kalaries throughout the State.
CVN Kalari Sangham has carved a niche for itself in preserving Kalarippayattu, an invaluable part of Kerala's heritage. Kalarippayattu has derived its name from Kalari (training center very similar to that of gymnasium) and Payattu (duel). So, Kalarippayattu indicates martial expertise which people learn in a ring or in a training centre.
It is believed that Kalarippayattu is the origin of all martial art forms of the world. This form of hand-to-hand armed combat in closed quarters is an exclusive characteristic of this state. The art form of Kalarippayattu is a magical blend of physical dexterity, attitude, techniques of martial art and native medical system.
The CVN Kalari is constructed 4 feet beneath ground level facing an east-west direction. Except for the tiny door on the eastern face, it is closed on all the sides.
Such architecture is very suitable for the humid weather of Kerala. Inside the Kalari, it is pretty dark and the only light that is there comes from the traditional wick lanterns.
In CVN Kalari Sangham, visitors will find idols of some deities where devotional rituals are performed before the beginning of every training session to obtain divine blessings. Apart from the main idol of Kalari Paradevata, visitors will find idols of Bhadrakaali, Ganapathi and Naga. The rituals of worship form an integral element of the Kalari tradition.
At CVN Kalari, Kalari Chikitsa also called Kalari treatment is another interesting thing to see. This is a total system of medicine to heal ailments as well as to develop the flexibility of the body.
At CVN Kalari, Kalari Chikitsa also called Kalari treatment is another interesting thing to see. This is a total system of medicine to heal ailments as well as to develop the flexibility of the body. So, it goes without saying that you should certainly visit CVN Kalari Sangham, Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala on your next visit. It would be an experience worth remembering for a long time to come.
To reach CVN Kalari Sangham, overseas travelers can use Thiruvananthapuram International Airport which is at a distance of about 6 km. People preferring journey by train may use the nearest rail station of Thiruvananthapuram Central, at about 1.5 km away.
Perched high above in the the Sholayar forest ranges on the fringes of Kerala's famed rain forests, the waterfalls provides a restful escape for those wanting to leave the hurried pace of city life behind. wild and beautiful, unspoilt by the passing of time.
Both this waterfalls are a part of the Chalakudy river and 5 km apart on the road to hill station (valparai) which has excellent tea estate and is one of India's highest elephant density habitats and is a crucial corridor between Parambikulam and Malayattur
Perched high above in the the Sholayar forest ranges on the fringes of Kerala's famed rain forests, the Athirapalli waterfalls provides a restful escape for those wanting to leave the hurried pace of city life behind. The water plunges and joins to the Chalakudi River. The scenic attraction of Vazhachal, the other picnic spot is just a drive from Athirampally. These scintillating waterfalls in thick green forest are a part of the Chalakudy river stream.
The riparian forests of the Chalakudy River have revealed the existence of a thick riparian vegetation of more than 10 metres width for a distance of 10.5 km downstream from Peringalkuth, covering an area of 58.5 hectares. Out of this, 26.4 hectares lie within the Vazachal area, including three large islands densely covered by riparian forests.
The riparian forests of the area have been found to be characterised by the presence of typical riparian species of plants, in addition to evergreen and semi-evergreen species.Out of the 319 species of flowering plants identified from the study area, 24 are endemic species of the Western Ghats and 10 are rare and endangered.
Moreover, the Chalakudy River is known for its diversity, as it contains 85 species of fresh water fishes out of the 152 species known from Kerala. Among these, 35 are endemic species of the Western Ghats and nine are considered to be endangered.
Athirappally Waterfalls is located 78 kms from Kochi (Cochin).
The Tree Houses of Kerala are ethnic houses built on trees with all basic facilities located in 500 acres of pristine verdant tropical rainforest in Wayanad Sanctuary, North Kerala.
Access to the Tree House (86 feet above from the ground level) by an indigenous cane lift is worked by a unique counter weight of water.
Each Kerala Tree Houses has a Double bed with an attached bathroom with flushing toilette, telephone shower, wash basin with running water, carpeted veranda and sit-out.
The Kerala Tree House is designed and made with ethnic materials using local craftsmen, local materials and indigenous techniques used by the early inhabitants. The tribals are extensively involved with the construction and maintenance of the Tree houses.
Food is prepared from fruits and vegetables grown in the organic farm without any chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
Here the nature has been blissfully preserved and spared of devastating urbanization. Its natural beauty kept intact, its natural springs not polluted. Its emerald forest afire with scented blossoms, a hundred varieties of tree ferns, mosses and flowering plants, flamboyant colored butterflies and birds.
The visitors will learn the art of living in a gentle relaxed care free, and an easy going way. The abundance of flora and fauna which can be found amidst the landscape is characterized by its great bio-diversity.
The energy source is a unique combination of Solar energy, Gober gas from cow dung and Hurricane lamps with kerosene. Avoiding the conventional electricity and power from diesel generators, thus preventing air pollution and noise pollution.
In the resort the food court and the eatery has all the transparency and interactive ness. Most of the activities can be seen by the visitors. Menu is not complicated. The vegetables and fruits are grown in the organic farm without any pesticides or chemical manure.
The aroma of spices from the kitchen stimulates the intestine to secrete the right gastric juices.
The traditional and authentic Kerala delicacies usually served on banana leaves without forks and knives leads you to a finger licking experience.
Take off to Kotakkal Arya Vaidya Sala,located in Kottakkal in the Malappuram district of Kerala.The nearest railway station is Tirur.This place has the most authentic ayurvedic treatment centre.The manufacture their own herbal medicines and oils out of herbs grown in extensive organic gardens.The strict rules and procedures that are adhered make it a one of its kind authentic natural medicine and therapy centre.
There is an old temple just across the road from the treatment premises,dedicated to Lord Vishwambhar.They have an elaborate temple festival(Pooram)in the month of April.
Prior booking is a must,since this is a most sought after treatment centre.Their success rate is amazing.
The facilities are basic.There are different categories of rooms with varied facilites.There is a kitchen serving food on payment,an excellent library and on payment you could even get a washerman/woman to wash your clothes while there!
Kumarakom North Post, Kumarakom, Kerala, 686 566, India
Good for: Business
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