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Tea plantations
Tea plantations and Muthirappuzhayar River in hills near Munnar, Kerala, India
Tea plantation in Munnar, India
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Munnar is a hill station town located in the Idduki district of India’s Kerala state, situated in the south Western Ghats of India, the name Munnar usually refers to the whole tourist area of the Idukki District of which the town forms only a small part.The name Munnar is believed to be derived from the Malayalam/Tamil words Munu (three) and aaru (river), referring to the town’s strategic location at the confluence of the Muthirappuzha, Nallathanni and Kundaly rivers. The landscape around Munnar is surrounded by vast jungles and remains wet and cold during most of the year. The entire area of Munnar officially belongs to the government of Kerala; though the Poonjar royal family (its pre-independence owners) have made claims to the contrary. Sprawling tea plantations, picture book towns, winding lanes, trekking and holiday facilities make Munnar a unique experience for the tourist and traveller. Munnar is essentially a tea town. There is a large population of people from Tamil Nadu.

” Munnar, despite its enchanting natural beauty and salubrious climate, continued to remain a sleepy plantation town. Its tourism potential was realised only by the promotion of Kerala globally as God’s Own Country and the rapidly increasing spending capacity of middle class Indians has resulted in a virtual explosion of tourism activities in Munnar. . .

Munnar Tourism:
Until the early 1990s, Munnar, despite its enchanting natural beauty and salubrious climate, continued to remain a sleepy plantation town. Its tourism potential was realised only by the promotion of Kerala globally as God’s Own Country and the rapidly increasing spending capacity of middle class Indians has resulted in a virtual explosion of tourism activities in Munnar. Resorts, big and small,have started springing up all around the town and overnight the once sleepy town has became a bustling tourist destination. Many of the developments have had a significant impact and the once romantic beauty of the “sleepy town of Munnar” has significantly made an impact on Kerala tourism over the years.

Earlier most of the land around Munnar was leased out to planters and the only activity permitted on such leased land was plantation of cardamom. Ownership continued to remain with the Government and even cutting of trees on such leased land was prohibited. However, the recent development of resorts has resulted in large scale deforestation and violation of government regulations governing land use, forests and plantation cultivation. It ultimately came to a pass in 2007, and the Government sprung into action to demolish illegal resort constructions to restore the beauty of the town.

Irrespective of all this, tourism has flourished over the years in Munnar and important tourist activities include boating (in the reservoirs of the many dams), trekking, parasailing, hot air ballooning and camping and wild life safaris in the jungles and sanctuary. The presence of all these activities and more has ultimately led to Munnar becoming a choice destination for foreign as well as domestic tourists. One can also see people from nearby districts in Kerala and Tamil Nadu thronging the town during weekends.

Major sightseeing attractions are the Kundale tea plantation, Eravikulam National Park, The High Range Club, Top Station, Mattuppetty, Devikulam, Rajamalai, Chithirapuram, Marayoor, Pallivasal/Pothamedu, etc.

Climate:
The region in and around Munnar varies in height from 2,000 meters (6,562 ft) to 2,600 meters (8,530 ft) above mean sea level. Munnar enjoys a salubrious climate. The temperature ranges between 10 °C (50 °F) and 0 °C (32 °F) in winter and 8 °C (46.4 °F) and 16 °C (60.8 °F) in summer. The tourist season in Munnar is from August to May. However, even the monsoons are lovely with many streams and rivulets in the area and post drizzle the dew drenched tea gardens looking majestic and heavenly enshrouded in light mist .

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The Bandhavgarh National Park lies in the heart of the Vindhyan Mountain Range in central India. Besides its enchanting landscape formed by the Sal forest in the valleys and majestic tree clad hills in the back-drop. It is famous for a wide variety of wild-life and archaeological remains of the Kalchuri period.

The park area is hilly and is dominated by the majestic Bandhavgarh fort, built in 14th century. The fort and the adjacent hills have a large number of caves belonging to the pre-historic period.

Area: 280 sq. kms.
Altitude: 400 to 810 metres.
Climate (°C):
Summer: Max 41.4, Min 26
Winter: Max 21.1, Min 9.6
Rainfall: 1174 mms.
Best Season: March to June.

The park is closed from July to Mid-November.

What to see

Wildlife in the park

Tiger, Leopard, Bear, Bison, Chital, Sambhar, Nilgai,Chinkara,Chowsingha,Barking deer, Wild Pig, Hyaena, Porcupine.

Some of the bird species in the park

Peacock, Paradise fly catchers, Jungle Fowl, Golden and Black headed Orioles, Yellow Ioras, Red-vented Bulbuls, Blue Jays, Purple Sunbirds, Green Barbets and Mynahs.

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Badami, the one time capital of the Chalukyas, is noted for several temples, some structural and others rock-cut,of the sixth-seventh century A.D.

 

Area: 10.3 sq.km.

Altitude: 176.7 metres.

Temperature (°C):

 Summer: Max. 38, Min. 23

 Winter: Max. 29, Min. 15

Rainfall: 50 cms.

Best Season: October to March 

 

 

 What to see

      • (Distances given are from Badami Town)
      • Badami Caves (0.5 km)
      • Badami Fort (2 km)
      • Museums & Art Galleries

A Sculpture Gallery is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India on the Bhutanatha Temple Road. Entrance is free. Timings: 0900 to 1700 hrs. Closed on Fridays. 

Excursions

      • Aihole (44 km)
      • Banashankari Temple (50 km)
      • Guledgud (24 km)
      • Lakkundi (82 km)
      • Mahakuta (14 km)
      • Naganath Temple (10 km)
      • Pattadakal (22 km)
      • Kada Siddeswara Temple
      • Jambulinga Temple
      • Galaganatha Temple
      • Sanghameswara Temple
      • Mallikarjuna Temple
      • Virupaksha Temple
      • Papanatha Temple
      • Jaina Temple
      • Shivayoga
      • Mandira (11 km)
      • Museums & Art Galleries

There is a sculpture gallery maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India within the Pattadakal temples complex. It is open from 1000 to 1700 hrs. on all working days. Entrance is free. 

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Mysore, which is also known as the cultural capital of Karnataka, is home to many opulent and royal palaces. It has several yoga centres and lush green sandalwood forests, that gave this city names like ‘City of Palaces’, ‘Sandalwood City’, and ‘City of Yoga.

Excursions

      • Somnathpur (40km) has one of the finest 13th century Hoysala temple in the shape of a star with 16 points.
      • Sravanabelgola (99 km) has the 1000 year old colossal statue (57 feet tall) of the hermit Gomateswara.
      • Belur (91 km) has the beautiful Chennakesava 13th century temple.
      • Halebid (117 km) has the famous Hoysaleswara Temple. That took 80 years to construct. 

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Marina Beach chennai city tamil nadu india bay of bengal chennai tourism
east coast road
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Chennai (Madras)

Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu is also its principal harbour and has one of the finest beaches in Asia. It was founded at Fort St. George in 1640 A.D. by Francis Day of the East India Company.

Temperature (°C):
Summer: Max. 37, Min. 22.1
Winter: Max. 32, Min. 19.8

Season: Throughout the year (Preferably October to March).

Places of interest
• Fort St. George & St. Mary’s Church
• Gandhi Mandapam
• High Court
• Anna Square
• Kapaleeswara Temple
• Light House
• Marina Beach & Aquarium
• Parthasarathy Temple
• San Thom Cathedral
• Snake Park
• Theosophical Society
• Valluvar Kottam
• Ripon Buildings and War Memorial Fort Museum (0900-1700 hrs. Closed on fridays)
• Govt. Museum & Art Gallery (0800-1700 hrs. Closed on fridays)

Excursions
• Covelong 38 kms
• Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary 85 kms
• Pulicat 61 kms
• Kanchipuram 71 kms
• Ennore Beach 18 kms
• Muttukudu 30 kms
• Red Hills 14 kms
• Mahabalipuram 61 kms
• Cholamandal Artists Village 20 kms
• Elliots Beach 11 kms
• Crocodile Bank 42 kms
• Pundi Reservoir 60 kms
• Thirukkalikundram 80 kms
• Anna Zoological Park (Vandalur)

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guruvayur

Guruvayur is one of the most sacred and important pilgrim contres of Kerala, attracting thousands of pilgrims from all parts of the Country. Its chief attraction is a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna known as ‘Guruvayurappan’.

 

Altitude: Sea level

Temperature (°C):

Summer- Max 35, Min 22.5

Winter- Max 32.3, Min 20

Rainfall: 254 cm

Season: October to March

What to see

Guruvayur Shree Krishna Temple:

Guruvayur, with its temple dedicated to Shree Krishna, is one of the most popular pilgrim centres of India. It is at this temple that Melpattur Narayana Bhattathiri composed his renowned Sanskrit devotional poem Narayaneeyam. Timings: 0300 to 1230 hours and 1700 to 2100 hours. Non-Hindus are not allowed inside the temple.

Punnathur Kotta:

4 kms. 44 elephants belong to the Guruvayur Krishna Temple are fenced and fed in the Punnathur Kotta. Visitors can watch.