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Hotels in Tamilnadu - Directory of hotels in Tamilnadu and details of Peoples in Tamil Nadu,history of Tamil Nadu, Cultural information of Tamil Nadu, Discount Hotels in Tamil Nadu,Hotels in tamil Nadu, accomodation In Tamil Nadu, Online reservation in Tamil Nadu,tourist spots in Tamil Nadu, temples in Tamil Nadu, art in tamil Nadu, craft, folk dance in tamil Nadu, folk songs in tamil nadu,folk art, traditions in tamil Nadu, folk craft,tourist information  centres in Tamil Nadu ,dances in tamil Nadu,Pilgrim centers in tamil Nadu, Tourist places in tamil nadu, Hill Stations in tamil Nadu, Tourist Map and tourist destinations in Tamil Nadu, Train Timings in Tamil Nadu,Wildlife Sancturies in tamil nadu,Bus timings in tamil Nadu, Air Timings in tamil Nadu, Music in tamil Nadu, Festival calender of Tamil nadu Hotels in Tamilnadu - Directory of hotels in Tamilnadu and details of Peoples in Tamil Nadu,history of Tamil Nadu, Cultural information of Tamil Nadu, Discount Hotels in Tamil Nadu,Hotels in tamil Nadu, accomodation In Tamil Nadu, Online reservation in Tamil Nadu,tourist spots in Tamil Nadu, temples in Tamil Nadu, art in tamil Nadu, craft, folk dance in tamil Nadu, folk songs in tamil nadu,folk art, traditions in tamil Nadu, folk craft,tourist information  centres in Tamil Nadu ,dances in tamil Nadu,Pilgrim centers in tamil Nadu, Tourist places in tamil nadu, Hill Stations in tamil Nadu, Tourist Map and tourist destinations in Tamil Nadu, Train Timings in Tamil Nadu,Wildlife Sancturies in tamil nadu,Bus timings in tamil Nadu, Air Timings in tamil Nadu, Music in tamil Nadu, Festival calender of Tamil nadu home
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PILGRIM CENTRES IN TAMILNADU, INDIA

MADURAI: Madurai, originally known as Madhurapuri got its name from the falling of divine nectar from Lord Shiva's rocks. This ancient city has been a centre of learning and pilgrimage for centuries.

It was the capital of the Pandyan Kings. The Chola emperors captured the city in the 10th century A.D. The Pandyas regained their rule in the 12th century only to lose it to the Muslim invaders under Malik Kafur. The Vijaynagar kings of Hampi defated Malik Kafur. After the fall of Vijaynagar, in 1565, the Nayaks ruled Madurai till 1781 A.D. Major portion of the Meenakshi temple was constructed during the Nayak regime.

During the rule of the Nayaks Madurai became the cultural centre of the Tamil people. In 1781, Maduri passed on to the East India Company. The company demolished the fort surrounding the city and filled in the moat. Four streets, the Veli streets, which were constructed on top of the fill, till today, define the limits of the old city.

Shree Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple

Thousands of Pilgrims visit the Meenakshi Temple everyday. The soaring high gopurams of the temple stand as landmarks of the city. The gopurams are adorned by colourful icons of gods, goddesses, animals and mythical figures. The temple has four entrances and occupies an area of around six hectors. The Parvati sanctum is not accessible to men-Hindus. The museum called the Temple Art Gallery is located within the complex containing stone and brass images.
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CHIDAMBARAM

It is an important pilgrim centre and a holy place for Saivaites as the famous Nataraja Temple is located here.
Pilgrim centers in Tamil nadu, Major places in tamil nadu ,Temples in Tamil nadu,  Hotels,Tamil Nadu History, People,Culture-Tamilnadu Hotels,Hotels Tamilnadu, tamil Nadu star hotels,Tamil Nadu deluxe hotels  and Tamil Nadu luxury hotels Directory, Hotels in Tamilnadu, Accomodation in Tamilnadu, Lodging in Tamil Nadu Hotels, reservation in Tamil Nadu Hotels Dedicated to Lord Nataraja, this ancient temple of the Cholas is unique not only because it is devoted solely to the art of Bharatanatyam, but also it is one of the rare temples where Shiva is represented by an idol rather than the customary Lingam. Spread over an area of 40 acres with a gopuram on each side, the temple is distinguished by five sabhas or courts.

Chidambaram temple stands as an example of Dravidian architectural brilliance. The dancing poseof Lord Shiva in the form of Nataraja (The Dancing God) is so elegant and graceful that the sight stays alive in the memory of the onlookers for a lifetime. Shiva and Vishnu are enshrined under one roof which is a rare phenomenon. Chidambaram is one of the fine Shaivite Mukti Sthalams, the others being Kalahasti, Kanchipuram, Tiruvannamalai and Tiruvanaikaval. A person of any race or religion can visit the temple.
The Nataraja Temple : The Nataraja temple covers an area of 40 acres. One of the ancient temples of Tamil Nadu, the Nataraja temple has a gold plated roof. The presiding deity is Akasa Lingam- the Lingam of space. The lord is worshipped in different temples as representing the five elements - earth, water, wind, fire and space. A unique feature of Chidambaram is that there is no lingam made of stone in the sanctum of the temple because Shiva was seen in his formless form.

Details of Natyashastra (the Bible of Indian dances) are carved on one of the four tall gopurams (40.8 metres). 108 Bharatanatyam dance poses can also been seen on each tower.

The secret of Chidambaram or Chidambara Rahasyam is another interesting facet of this temple town. The union of the Lord and his spouse forms a Chakra (wheel) which is invisible. Symbolising this chakra, a garland of Bilva leaves is hung in the temple.

The Sivakamiamman temple, the Sivaganga tank, the thousand pillar hall are the other important features of the temple.

Kali Temple : This temple is situated on the northern end of the town. It was built by Kopperunjingan, who ruled between 1229 AD and 1278 AD.
KANCHIPURAM
In fact there are just about 126 temples remaining in Kanchi and a few more in its outskirts. The city was the capital of the Early Cholas as far back as the 2nd century BC and a Pallava capital between the 6th and 8th centuries.
Given its illustrious past, it is not surprising that Kanchi was a major seat of Tamil learning as well as an important place of pilgrimage for, now hold your breath, Buddhists, Jains and Hindus. Yes, Kanchi occupies pride of place amongst the pious Buddhists, Jains and Hindus. Today, apart from its temples, this small town is also known for its thriving handloom industry. The silk weavers of Kanchi settled more than 400 years ago have given it an enviable reputation as the producer of the best silk saris in the country. Woven from pure mulberry silk, the saris in dazzling colours are embellished with fine gold thread (zari) and are available in every imaginable design and variety, which can make the job of selection quite challenging.
Like most pilgrimage places in India, here too, temple festivals are held throughout the year and apart from the temple car (ratha) festivals which are held in January, April and May, there are other days when the idols in the temples are taken out in procession on their respective vahanas or vehicles.
KANYAKUMARY
Kanyakumari lies at the southernmost tip of India at the confluence of the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal. This exotic location is famous for its temples and 'sunrise and sunset' points.
The Kanyakumari Temple or the Kumari Amman Temple on the shore, is dedicated to a manifestation of Paravati, Shiva's consort, as a virgin. Parvati did penance to win the heart of Lord Shiva.

The Vivekananda Rock Memorial, built in 1970 in memory of Swami Vivekananda, stands on one of the rocks, called Sri Padaparai, where the footprints of virgin goddess are to be seen
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MAHABALIPURAM
The shore temples of Mahabalipuram are famous all over the world. This village is situated on the Bay of Bengal at 58 kms from Madras. The Pallavas, Patrons of Tamil culture made it as their second capital. Most of the rock carvings and temples here were done during the reign of Narsimha Veman I and II. These rock carvings and temples lack grandeur, yet, it is their simplicity that captivates every eye. The romantic theme of the shore temple is simply fabulous. It is one of the most photographed monument of India. The scene in the night when the monuments are floodlit, is so brilliant that, words cannot justify the beauty. The carvings depict scenes from day to day life.

The stone carving art at Mahabalipuram can be divided into four categories :- open air bas - relief's, structured temples, man-made caves and rathas ('chariots' carved from single boulders, to resemble temples or chariots used in temple processions). The famous Arjuna's Penance and the Krishna Mandapa, adorn massive rocks near the centre of the village. The beautiful Shore Temple towers over the waves, behind a protective breakwater. Sixteen man-made caves in different stages of completion are also seen, scattered through the area.

RAMESWRAM
Rameshwaram is an island situated in the gulf of manner at the very tip of the Indian peninsula. A very important pilgrim centre of the Indians. Rameshwaram is the place from where Lord Rama, built a bridge across the sea to rescue his consort Sita, from her abductor, Ravana. This is also the place where Rama worshipped Lord Shiva to cleanse away the sin of killing Ravana. Both the Vaishnavites and Shaivites visit this pilgrimage which is known as the Varanasi the south.
TANJAVUR
The Chola regime brought glory to Tanjavur in the period between 10th and 14th centuries. It is situated at 55 km east of Trichy and is also the headquarters of the district of the same name.

Tanjavur is well known for its traditional handicrafts - art plates, bell metal castings, silk carpets, pith work, bronze icons, and classical Indian musical instruments.

Sri Brihadisvara Temple : Raja Raja Chola I built this temple in the 10th century. The frescoes of the sanctum are comparable to those in the Ajanta Caves. A gigantic statue of Nandi Bull, protects the sanctum.

The Palace : The Palace, adjacent to the temple is a vast structure of outstanding architecture built partly by the Nayaks around 1550 AD, and partly by the Marathas

TRICHY (TIRUCHIRAPALLI)
Tirchy, as Tiruchirapalli is commonly known as, lies 320 km to the south of Chennai on the banks of the Cauvery. The long history of Trichy track back to pre-Christian era. The Cholas, the Pandyas, the Pallavas and the Vijaynagar Kings o Hampi, have ruled over this place. In the 12th century, the Cholas were defeated by the Vijaynagar Kings, who could withstand the Muslim attack. Half a century later, the Nayaks were in power. They established the Rock Fort and developed it as the trading city.

Rock Fort Temple : The temple is manifested on a rock that is 83 metres tall. There are 437 steep steps to reach the temple. Enroute to the temple is the Sri Thayumanaswamy temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It has a 100- pillared hall, and a vimana covered with gold. On the southern facade of the rock, many beautifully carved rock-cut temples of the Pallava period are found. Non Hindus are not allowed into the Sanctum. The Nayaks who built this temple also developed the city.

Tiruvanaikkaval : The Jambukeshwara temple, here, is dedicated to Shiva, and it houses five concentric walls, and seven gopurams. once an elephant worshipped Lord Shiva under the holy Jambu tree and hance the name Jambukeshwar. Shiva Lingam is partially submerged in water which flows from an underground spring.

Srirangam (Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple) : This magnificent temple complex is situated at 3 km from the Rock Fort. This is one of the finest temples in South India dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is probably the largest temple complex in the whole of India. This 13th century temple is surrounded by 7 concrete walls with 21 gopurams. Non-Hindus are not allowed into the gold topped Sanctum but can visit as far as the sixth wall. The whole place is very fascinating and sets you crave for more. There is a small museum containing sculptures within, the temple precincts.

Vayaloor : Vayaloor is located on the outskirts of Tiruchirapalli. There is a small Lord Muruga temple, set amidst the lush green vegetation.

St. John's Church : Built in 1812, this Church has louvred doors, which when opened, turns the church into an airy pavilion. The brilliant architecture of the church is a treat to the eyes.

KUMBAKONAM
Kumbakonam known as Temple City because of the presence of 108 temples in this town, is the second bigger town in Thanjavur District, also . It is located about 313 Kilometres away from madras on the south, about 90Kms. from Tiruchy on the east and about 40kms from Thanjavur on the North East. The town is bounded by two rivers - " River Cauvery" on the north and "River Arasalar" on the south.

Kumbakonam is the temple city of South India situated in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu. It is a fertile area on the banks of river Cauvery and one of its tributaries Arasalaru. The city is famous for the "Mahamaham" festival that is celebrated once in 12 years in the Mahamaham tank located in the heart of it. Kumbakonam is flooded with temples of large size. There are as many as sixty temples, in and around Kumbakonam within 40 Kms. of radius.

VELANKANNI
Velangani also known as the Mecca of South Asian Christianity is situated on the Coromandel Coast, in south India.

It is here that in 1560, Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to a shepherd, asking him for milk to quench the thirst of baby Jesus. When the shepherd returned to his master, after performing the good deed, his pitcher kept filling up with milk. Consequently, a small thatched chapel was built at the site. At the end of the 16th century, Virgin Mary materialised again, in front of a lame boy, who, after the divine visitation, regained the use of his limbs. This occasioned the construction of an actual church.

The legends that go behind the construction of this Church are many. The church is dedicated to 'Our Lady of Health', Virgin Mary. Ever since some sailors were saved from a ship wreckage by Virgin Mary, three centuries ago, in Velangani, this place has earned the reputation of curing Maladies and sicknesses. Every year a fascinating festival (29th August to 8th September) is held and pilgrims from all over the globe flock to Velangini to offer their prayers in various forms. Hindus form a considerable part of the pilgrims.

The Armenian Church : Built, in 1772, on the site of the Armenian cemetery, this church houses a magnificent belfry - 6 bells, claimed to be the largest bells in Chennai.

St.Mary's Church : The first anglican church in India, it was built in 1678-79 in Fort St.George . The original rectangular building was about 60 ft. by 90 ft. Its outer walls were 4 ft thick and its roof 2 ft. thick and bomb proof. It's treasures are the altar piece, a large painting of the last supper, a 1660 bible and silver plates.

Santhome Basilica : This church is located on the southern end of Marina Beach. A rare church raised on the tomb of St. Thomas, an apostle of Christ, it has in its possession a small hand bone of Thomas and the head of a lance which brought him down. Renovated in the early 1970s, this Basilica draws huge crowds. There is a beautiful stained glass window at the basilica which portrays the story of St. Thomas and the central hall has 14 wooden plaques depicting scenes from the last days of Christ. In the cathedral is a 3ft. high statue of Virgin Mary which is believed to have been brought from Portugal in 1543.

C.S.I. Holy Cross Church : More than 120 years old, it was originally called the Perambur Railway Church, when it was under the railway authorities. It earlier had a predominantly Anglo-Indian congregation though now there are also families from other southern states.

St.Thomas Mount : Legand has it that Thomas, an apostle of Christ, preached atop the hill here. He is said to have been killed on this 300 ft. high mount. The paintings of 'The Holy Lady and The Child' and 'Our Lady of Expectations' exhibited in this church are believed to have been done by St. Thomas.

St.Andrews Church : Called `The Queen of Scottish Churches in the East', the church has finely etched white Doric columns, black and white tiled marble roof, and a high, sky-blue dome of enviable beauty. On the inner surface of the dome, constellations of stars, as they can be viewed in Scotland, are painted realistically.

St. George's Cathedral : A striking piece of architecture, the St. George's Cathdral was built in 1815. It has a towering 45m spire and lonic columns. The highlight of this Cathedral is the graveyard just adjacent to it with its guard rail made up of war emblems - muskets, bayonets etc. - of the capture of Srirangapatnam in 1799.

Descanso : Lying amidst the cultural and religious centre of Mylapore on St. Mary's Road, this 17th century church is said to have been the place where St. Thomas took rest and also served the people.

Big Mosque : Hidden behind the modern buildings on Triplicane High Road, this renowned place of worship for muslims, built in 1795, is a marvellous granite structure.

Thousand Lights Mosque : Close to the Anna flyover on Mount Road lies this mosque on 3 acres of land. Renovated a couple of times this century, it has two tall minarets and a separate place of worship for women.

GURUDWARA
The holy place for sikhs, Sri Guru Nanak Sat Sangh Sabha is remarkable for its serene ambience.

Jain Temple : A striking contrast to the rock hewn temples of Tamilnadu is the Jain temple at T Nagar. The two-tiered, 70' high temple is built of lime-and-soapstone and marble giving it a dazzling appearance.

Bah'a'i Centre : Another place of worship in T Nagar, though not as well known as its lotus-shaped counter part in Delhi. A place of solemnity, sobriety and peace.

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