Vaigai Dam in Madurai is built across the Vaigai River near Andipatti, in the Theni district of Tamil Nadu, southern India. It provides water for irrigation for the Madurai district and the Dindigul district as well as drinking water to Madurai and Andipatti. Near the dam the Government of Tamil Nadu has constructed the Agricultural Research Station for researching the growing of a variety of crops, including paddy, sorghum, blackgram, cowpea and cotton. Vaigai Dam is a usual picnic spot for weekend for the locals around Madurai/Dindigul. In the dam, A large beautiful garden is maintained by the Dam managment, the garden is nearly 1 1/2 Kms length and very attractive for children. This Man-made garden filled with all kinds of exotic flowers and plants on one side of the dam compete with the rugged natural beauty of the hills that borders the river on the other side. On Sundays, the dam site is illuminated and looks beautiful.
Kodaikanal is one of Tamil Nadu's finest hill stations. It is situated 7,200 feet above sea level amongst the picturesque Western Ghats of India. Kodaikanal is located in the pazhani hill range and is under the administrative control of Dindigul district of Tamilnadu. The Kurinji Flower is in full bloom around December once in 12 years, and it bathes the valley in a beautiful sea of blue. It was last in full bloom in 2006; its next bloom is expected in 2018. Kodaikanal is also referred as Princess of Hill stations. The closest airport to Kodaikanal is Madurai 120 kms and there are lots of places to visit in Kodaikanal. They are Berijam Lake, Coakers Walk, Bryant Park, Kodai Lake, Kurinjiandavar Temple, Green Valley View, Silent Valley View, Devil’s Kitchen, Guna Caves, and Dolphins Nose.
The Hill Temple of Palani is one of the most famous temples of Lord Muruga in India. It is located in the town of Palani, 100 km southeast of Coimbatore and a similar distance northwest of Madurai, and in the foot-hills of the eponymous Palani Hills. At its foot is the Temple of Thiru-avinan-kudi, one of the Arupadai Veedu. The Pazhani temple is referred by Nakeerar as the third among the Aarupadaiveedu in his work Thirumurugatrupadai. The Temple is situated upon the higher of the two hills of Palani, known as the Sivagiri. Traditionally, access to it was by the main staircase cut into the hill-side or by the yanai-padhai or elephant's path, used by the ceremonial elephants. Pilgrims bearing water for the ritual bathing of the idol, and the priests, would use another way also carved into the hill-side but on the opposite side. Over the past half-century, three funicular railway tracks have been laid up the hill for the convenience of the pilgrims, and supplemented by a rope-way within the past decade.
Thekkady Idukki district is the location of the Periyar National Park, which is an important tourist attraction which is near to Madurai. Thekkady is one of the world's most fascinating natural wildlife reserves - the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Spread across 777 sq.km, of which 360 sq.km is thick evergreen forest, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. Noted for its geomorphology, diversity of wildlife and scenic beauty, the Reserve attracts visitors from all over the world. It is a splendid artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar adds to the charm of the park. This is the only sanctuary in India where you can have the unique experience of viewing wildlife at close quarters from the safety of a boat on the lake. The greatest attractions of Periyar, however, are the herds of wild elephants that come down to play in the lake.
Suruli falls is located 56 km from Theni and 10 km from Cumbum in the Theni District which is near to Madurai. Nearest habitation is Kombaithozhu Village. It is 2 stages Cascading water falls. The Suruli River supplying the falls originates from the Megamalai mountain range. The falls drop from a height of 150 feet gathers into a pool, flows for a short distance and again plummets an additional 40 feet. It is one of the major tourist attractions in the Theni district and draws tourists from different parts of the state, particularly during the southwest monsoon. June - October is the best season due to monsoon activity, though there is some flow year round. This falls is tourist friendly with showers and changing area near the falls. Near Suruli Falls are 18 caves which represent Indian rock-cut architecture of the 18th Century.
Munnar is a town located in the Idukki district of India's Kerala state, situated in the south Western Ghats of India. Most tourists come to Munnar to see the surrounding tea plantations. But it is a good place to stay to see the surrounding countryside. It is also a popular place for Indian honeymooners. It is 1600 m (5400 ft) above sea level. Munnar is one of the most popular hill stations in India; Munnar is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams - Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. Located at 1600 Mts above sea level, this was once the summer resort of the erstwhile British Government in South India. The blossoming of neelakunrinji in the Munnar hills has been an occasion for celebration for nature lovers and artists alike.
Kumbakkarai Falls is situated in the foothills of the Palani Hills. The scenic waterfalls of Kumbakkarai is an ideal tourist destination, located around 105 kms from Madurai, 6 kms from Periyakulam and 35kms from Periyar bus stand on the way to Kodaikanal. It also serves as the base camp for trekkers venturing into the hills of Kodai. The pristine beauty of the Kumbakkarai hills is highlighted by its charming waterfall falling from a height of 87ft. These falls offer a breath taking view of the surrounding nature. A 500 year old temple dedicated to Goddess Thadagai Nachiamman, is located near this spot. Around 7kms from the falls is the amusement park Sirumalai.
Courtallam famed as the 'Spa of South' in Tirunelveli district is around 160kms from Madurai. The main attraction of this summer resort situated at an elevation of about 167 mts. on the Western Ghats is its waterfalls. The waters of Courtallam are believed to have medicinal qualities as it flows through forests of herbs. The falls which attracts large number of visitors are: Main Falls (Peraruvi); Small Falls (Chitraruvi); Shenbagadevi falls (not safe to take bath); Honey Falls (Thenaruvi) ; Five Falls (Aindharuvi); Tiger Falls(Puli Aruvi); Old Falls (Pazhaya Courtallaruvi); New Falls (Puthu Aruvi); Fruit Garden Falls (Pazhathotta Aruvi). Near the main water falls, there is the Kutralanathar Temple dedicated to Lord Siva.
The holy city of Rameshwaram also known as the ‘Varanasi of the South’ in Ramanathapuram district is an island paradise of golden sand, situated 164 kilometers south-east of Madurai. This pilgrim center has two famous temples namely Ramanathaswamy Temple and Kothanda Ramaswamy temple. Ramanathaswamy temple which is 264 meters in length and 200 meters in breadth is on the eastern side of the island, close to the sea. The temple is known for its long corridors with pillars having beautiful sculptures. It also has a big tower measuring to a height of 38.4 meters. The Kothanda Ramaswamy temple is situated about 3 kilometers from the extreme tip of the island. Rameshwaram is one of the major marine food centres in South India.
Kanyakumari is situated 242 km from Madurai on the southern most tip of the Indian Sub Continent. This place is surrounded by three oceans such as Bay of Bengal in the east, Arabian Sea in the west and the Indian Ocean in the south. Bordered by hills, sea shores, coconut trees and paddy fields, Kanyakumari is an ideal place to watch the sunrise and sunset. Bay wax museum, Theme Park, Gandhi Mandapam etc. are the tourists attraction here. There is also a memorial dedicated to Swami Vivekananda built in 1970, on a rocky peninsula where he sat in deep meditation. A statue of Vivekananda has also been installed in this memorial.
The temple town of Srivilliputhur is located in Virudhunagar District around 74 kilometers from Madurai. This place is surrounded by many temples and two of the major temples are dedicated to Sri Andal one of the devotees of Lord Vishnu and Vadapadrasayi or Perialwar (Lord Vishnu), believed to be built by Nayak kings. The tower gopuram of Vadapadrasayi temple, built in the 8th century is 60 meters in height and is one of the tallest in south India. The stone and ceiling of this temple are adorned with miniature figures.
Sri Kottai Mariamman Kovil
Sri Kottai Mariamman Kovil is more than 200 years old. The temple is built in a square shape. The idol of this temple is said to be installed by the soldiers of Tippu Sultan at the foot of the mountain. The temple got its name Kottai (Fort) Mariamman temple because of this. There are temples for Vetri Vinayaka at the South and Lord Muruga at the North of this temple. There is a Mandapam Hall at the centre of where there is a sculpture of a Lion facing the Sannidhi. The deity Moolavar is seen here, embedded deeply under the floor in the sanctum Sanctorum. Various incarnations of the Goddess Mariamman are depicted on the sniper structure over the Sanctum Sanctorum.
Sittannavasal is the best-known archaeological site in Pudukkottai. It is famous for its cave paintings, which are second only in importance after Ajanta paintings in the art history of India. It is perhaps the only place where you can find inscriptions in Tamil from the 3rd century BC to the 13th century AD. Also there are megalithic monuments such as stone-circles, urn and cists burials spread in the plains around the hill. Most of the monuments of this place are in and around a hill, which runs along the north-south direction. The hill itself is not very tall, reaching to about 70 meters.
Anapatti Anjeneyar Temple
Anjeneyar Temple in Anapatti is 5 kilometers from Nilakottai Taluk is quite popular among residents of this area. Nilakottai is 11 kilomteres from Batlagundu bus stand. This is said to be 300 year old temple built by Queen of Madurai Rani Mangamma. The idol will be half buried when the water is in full flow here. This temple is near the Peranai bridge (see site below) and regulator constructed by the British.
Monkey Falls is located near the uphill ghat road Valparai on the Pollachi-Valparai road in the Aanaimalai Hills range. It is a refreshing natural waterfalls. The Monkey falls is an excellent and ideal outdoor travelogue, which is situated some 65 kilometers away from Coimbatore city and it is some 27 kilometer away from Pollachi on Coimbatore-Pollachi-Valparai main road. The Monkey Falls are the most famous and popular tourism spot. People making their travel in the area of Coimbatore or Pollachi district will never miss to visit Monkey falls are they have an outstanding scenic attraction. This Monkey falls is an ideal place for the little children to take bathe. The entry ticket fee is very low and it just cost 2 Rs to enter inside the falls.
Top slip is a picturesque location in the Aanaimalai Hills. It is about 37 kms from Pollachi. This small town is an ideal picnic spot. Arrangements are available at Top slip to take tourists around the Sanctuary on elephant back or by van. Top Slip is a national park and a medical plant conservation area in Aanaimalai hills. It is famous for its elephant camp and its wildlife at Kollikamuthi. It got its name during British era, as lots of its timber slipped down to the plains below. For thrill seekers accommodation is also available in a tree house. There are bungalows available within the Sanctuary in order to view natural sceneries and its wildlife. Top slip is the pollution free heavenly land. Top slip is located above the 800 feet from the sea level on the Aanaimalai mountain range. It stands majestically with Green Spread Mountains and forest all around. The unique teak forests, Bamboo Forest also located near Top slip.
Ooty is a right spot for the lover of nature and to feel the touch of nature. It is located at a distance of 105 km away from Coimbatore. It sparkles with fresh vegetation and sceneries. It is queen of all hill station. The height of the hills in the Nilgiri range varies between 2280 and 2290 meters. It attracts the tourist by its charming flowers. Lofty mountains, dense forest, acres and acres of tea estates are green feast for the eyes of the tourist. Botanical gardens, lamb’s rock and Dobabetta peak, kalhatty fallskandal, cross shrine, mini garden and rose garden; Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park are till more amusing places in Ooty and its surroundings. Ooty lake boating is a remarkable spot which highly entertains the tourist. Its mountain train journey on a ratchet and restrain track which commences from kallar will give a new adventures effect. Finally Nature never betrays the tourist.
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Tamil Nadu is a land of varied beauty. It is mostly famous for its numerous Hindu temples based on the Dravidian architecture. The temples are of a distinct style which is famous for its towering Gopuram. Popular temple towns include Madurai, Trichy, Tanjore, Kanchipuram, Palani, Tiruvallur and Mahabalipuram. The most famous temple is the Brihadisvara Temple in Thanjavur that is about 1000 years old and is on the UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list. Tamil Nadu also has the Navagraha temples that are a popular pilgrim circuit.