Friday, October 24, 2008

The Story of Diwali Festival

This year deepavali festival will celebrate on 27th October 2008 Monday. Deepavali, or Diwali, (Markiscarali) is a major Indian festival, and an important festival in Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism. Today it is celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs across the globe as the "Festival of Light," where the lights or lamps signify victory of good over the evil within every human being. The festival is also celebrated by Buddhists of Nepal, chiefly the Newar Buddhists.

According to one theory Deepavali may have originated as a harvest festival, marking the last harvest of the year before winter. In an agrarian society this results in businessmen closing accounts, and launches a new accounting year. The deity of wealth in Hinduism, goddess Lakshmi is therefore thanked on this day and everyone prays for an excellent year ahead. This is the common factor in Deepavali celebrations all over the Indian subcontinent.

Return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya: Deepavali also celebrates the return of Lord Rama, King of Ayodhya, with his wife Seetha and brother Lakshmana to Ayodhya after a 14 year exile, and a war in which he killed the demon king Ravana. It is believed that the people of Ayodhya lit oil lamps beside the way to light their path in the darkness. Since Lord Rama traveled from South India to his kingdom in North India, he passed through the south earlier. This is the cause why the festival is celebrated a day earlier in South India.

The Killing of Narakasura: Celebrated as Naraka Chaturdasi, two days before Deepavali day, it commemorates the killing of Narakasura, an evil demon who created havoc, by Lord Krishna's wife Satyabhama. This happened in the Dwapar Yuga during this time of Lord Krishna's avatar. In another version, the demon was killed by Lord Krishna (Lord krishna provokes his wife Satyabhama to kill Narakasura by pretending to be injured by the demon. Narakasura can only be killed by his mother, Satyabhama) himself.[citation needed] Before Narakasura's death, he requested a boon from his mother, Satyabhama, that everyone should celebrate his death with colorful light.

Austerities of Shakti: According to the Skanda Purana, the goddess Shakti observed 21 days of austerity preliminary from ashtami of shukla paksha (eighth day of the waxing period of moon) to get half of the body of Lord Shiva. This vrata (austerity) is known as kedhara vrata. Deepavali is the completion day of this austerity. This is the day Lord Shiva accepted Shakti into the left half of the form and appeared as Ardhanarishvara. The ardent devotees observe this 21 days vrata by making a kalasha with 21 threads on it and 21 types of offerings for 35 days. The final day is celebrated as kedhara gauri vrata.

Krishna defeating Indra: Govardhan Puja is celebrated the day after Deepavali. It is the day Lord Krishna defeated Indra, the deity of thunder and rain. As per the story, Krishna saw huge preparations for the annual offering to Lord Indra and questions his father Nanda about it. He debated with the villagers about what their 'dharma' truly was. They were farmers; they should do their duty and concentrate on farming and security of their cattle. He continued to say that all human beings should merely do their 'karma', to the best of their ability and not pray for natural phenomenon. The villagers were convinced by Krishna, and did not continue with the special puja (prayer). Indra was then angered, and flooded the village. Krishna then lifted Mt Govardhan and held it up as guard to his people and cattle from the rain. Indra finally accepted defeat and recognized Krishna as supreme. This aspect of Krishna's life is typically glossed over - but it actually set up the basis of the 'karma' philosophy later complete in the Bhagavat Gita.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thiruparappu is a good tourist spot

Thiruparappu is a panchayat town in Kanniyakumari district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is known for its waterfalls, and for an ancient Shiva temple, which is one of the twelve temples visited in the annual Shivalaya ottam pilgrimage. see the picture is Thiruparappu falls.

The English term for this Thiruparappu is a pavilion of beauty and holiness. This place is fascinating to watch. There is a shrine, wherein the green hills are located at the back drop of the shrine, and the Kodayur perennial river running in front of the shrine. There is a waterfall near the shrine which is really wonderful. This is 70 km far from Kanyakumari. Below view of the picture is topview Thiruparappu falls.

The river Kodayar makes it’s descend at Tirparappu and the water fall at this place is about 13km. from Pechiparai dam. The river bed is rocky and about 300 feet in length. The water falls from a height of nearly 50 feet and the water flows for about seven months in a year. The whole bed above the falls is one rocky mass which extends up to a distance of about quarter of a kilometer upstream where the famous Thirparappu weir has been constructed for supplying water to the paddy fields. On either side of the river, on the left bank of the river in between the water falls and the weir, there is a temple dedicated to Siva enclosed by strong fortification. The District Administration has recently constructed a swimming pool for children over here which is very popular among the children.

Friday, October 17, 2008

List of tourist places to see in and around kanyakumari

Kanyakumari town and Nagercoil are directly connected by rail with almost all metropolitan cities in India. Nearest Airport : Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) International Airport, 85 km away from Kanyakumari Town and 65 km from Nagercoil.

The district is a major tourist attraction in India, with year-round tourist traffic at Kanyakumari town and several important tourist spots like Padmnabhapuram while seasonal in other tourist spots. The following are some of the major tourist attractions in Kanyakumari District, distances being given from Nagercoil:

  • Kanyakumari, the Land's end, and the confluence of the three water bodies, is 20 km to the south of Nagercoil, with tourist attractions of its own which include the Vivekanda Rock Memorial, 133 ft (41 m) high statue of Tamil poet-saint Tiruvalluvar - both on the mid-sea on rocky islands; the place is also famous for its distinctly beautiful (reddish) sunrise and sunset.

  • Vattakottai Fort, or Circular Fort, is a fort near Kanyakumari, right on the sea-shore, built under the orders of De Lannoy during the reign of Marthanda varma (1729-58 AD). The view from the top of the fort, of the sea and the palm-fringed beach below is fantastic.

  • Suchindrum (Thanumalayan) Temple, about 6 km from the heart of town and Nagaraja Temple (in the town), are some tourist attractions within the town.

  • St. Xavier’s Church, (Kottar in the town), built in the year 1600 AD, has historic importance due to the visit of St.Francis Xavier. The church was built in the land allotted to St. Xavier by the Venad king.

  • Swamithoppe Ayya Vaikundar Pathi, about 11 km from Kanyakumari, which is the religious headquarters of Ayyavazhi, is well known for its non-idolatry system of worship.

  • Padmanabhapuram Palace, (22 km from Nagercoil), once the seat of the Travancore kings, is India's only palace made completely of wood (16th century).

  • Chitharal Jain Monuments (about 35 km near Marthandam), impressive rock shelters and idols dated 9-11th Century.

  • Thirunandikkara temple (about 20 km), rock-cut cave temple of Pallava art can be traced back to seventh and eighth century AD.

  • Thengapattinam Beach. This beach is located on the west coast near Painkulam village in Vilancode Taluk. It is a fine beach adorned with coconut groves. It is also a magnificent estuary where the river meets the sea. Riding in a catamaran (small boat) in the river can be a pleasant experience which can be arranged through local fishermen. It is 35 km from Nagercoil, 12 km from Kuzhithurai and 54 km from Kanyakumari.

  • Udayagiri Fort, built by the Travancore kings, is a fort previously used for training the Travancore forces and also served as Barracks. Capt. Eustachius De Lannoy's tomb is within the fort. The fort (about 90 acres and almost full of vegetation now, with several plants, reptiles, etc.) is presently declared as a bio-diversity park and maintained by the Kanyakumari forest department.

  • Mathur Hanging Trough, near Thiruvattar in the District, is an aqueduct that carries irrigation water through a canal between two hills. The canal itself goes above a small river. Built on very high pillars, it is said to be one of the biggest aqueducts, both in height and length, in Asia. See this Mathur bridge picture.

  • Mathur Aqueduct
  • Olakaruvi waterfalls, about 20 km from Nagercoil is on the middle of a hill and requires an hour's trek by foot from the base of the hill (better to go in a group, as it is a forested area)

  • Keeriparai - for nature-lovers and adventurers - pristine and beautiful, places like Keeriparai haven’t been publicized much by the Forest Department for various reasons - Keeriparai hills (30 km from Nagercoil) and the nearby Kalikesam are good picnic spots - one can enjoy water rushing through small mountain streams - with pebbles and ferns all around. There are also a few small waterfalls in this area - the popular one being Vattaparai Falls. Maramalai, which is further up in the hills of Keeriparai is famous for Wild elephants.

  • Kodhayar (called Kodhayar Lower Camp) – is about 60 km and takes travellers through some exciting hill roads (motorable roads) with some thrilling 'hair-pin bends' and U-turns - Kodhayar forests are famous for bisons, though there are other wild animals too. Access to some areas needs prior permission from the Forest Department.

  • Pechiparai Reservoir, about 30 km from the town, in the hills, and also Perunchaani and Chittar dams are a must-see for the nature-lover (with clouds touching the top of the hills around the dams on a misty day!).

  • Thiruparrapu Falls is a waterfall near Thiruparrapu. See that this falls below the fig.

  • Muttom, a coastal village, is another popular place with tourists. The terrain in this village and its surroundings is hilly and from a height one can have an idyllic view of the place, with a Portuguese style church standing in the middle of the village. The beach-area is somewhat rocky. There is also a 100-year old lighthouse. The lighthouse, though near the sea, is situated on a land mass some 105 feet (32 m) above sea level. Another attractive feature of this area is a reddish ravine-like area with casurina trees near the seaside. This place with very popular with Tamil and Keralite film-makers, especially Tamil film director Bharathiraja.

  • Sanguthurai Beach, about 8 km from Nagercoil is a palm-fringed and sandy beach. Sothavilai Beach is another good beach, about 7 km from the heart of town. Both beaches were hit by the Indian Ocean Tsunami, but authorities have taken steps to improve facilities again. There is a very good lagoon (estuary - place where the river meets the sea) at Manakudy - 10 km from the town. See this Chothavilai Beach fig below.

  • Chothavilai Beach
  • Panchappathis, the five holyplaces of Ayyavazhi, all situated within 10 km radius from Kanyakumari

  • Mukkudal reservoir : Fresh water supply to Nagercoil is from the Mukkadal Reservoir, about 8 km from the town, in the interior - itself a very scenic place, with a small bushy island in the middle of the dam. The dam is surrounded by hills of the Western Ghats.

It's oh so amazing! Cats of YouTube Music Video

Monday, October 13, 2008

Kanyakumari is a beautiful tourist spot

Kanyakumari district is the southernmost point of peninsular India, bounded by Tirunelveli district in the north and northeast, by Kerala state in the northwest and confluence of Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean in the west and south. The coastline is almost regular except for some points of land projecting into the sea at Cape Comorin. Besides its importance as a pilgrim centre, it is famous for its beautiful views of sunrise, sunset and moonrise over the waters. Kanyakumari is also famous for its vast green stretches of paddy fields, rich forests, coconut groves and mineral sands. The beach itself is a beautiful sight with multicolored sand. There is a light house from where one can get a panaromic view of the sea. During the British Raj, Kanyakumari was bestowed the title of Cape Comorin, necessitated perhaps by the Englishmen's inability to pronounce local names.

Beginning the early part of the 1970s, tourism has been an important activity in the town. Today, it is one small town in South India where one can see different languages of India spoken at different street corners, among the tourists and traders. Of late, Tourism is increasingly being promoted in the district also, apart from the town, with several beautiful natural landscapes, historic and religious places found around the district.

A total of 1.9 million tourists (domestic and foreign) visited Kanyakumari in 2007. [1]
With tourism also picking up in neighbouring Kerala, the future prospects for the growth of tourism looks bright both in Kanyakumari town and the district. Though there are several places of tourist-interest in the town and district, Kanyakumari is especially popular in India for its spectacular and unique sunrise and sunset. The confluence of three ocean bodies - the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean, and the Arabian Sea - makes the sunrise and sunset even more special. On balmy, full-moon evenings, (locally called Chitra Pournami) one can also see the moon-rise and sunset at the same time - on either side of the horizon.

On two rocky islets just off the shore, southeast of the Kumari Amman temple, are the Vivekanda Rock Memorial, built in 1970, and the gigantic 133 feet statue of Tamil saint-poet Thiruvalluvar, one of the biggest statues in Asia. One of the rocks called Sri Padhaparai is said to bear the footprints of the virgin goddess. Swami Vivekananda is said to have seated on this rock in deep meditation. Also on this rock, there is a Dhyana mandapam, an area for meditation. Ferry services are available to reach the memorial.

The Gandhi Memorial has been built on the spot where the urn containing the Mahatma's ashes was kept for public viewing before immersion. Resembling central Indian Hindu temples in form, the memorial was designed in such a way that on Mahatma Gandhi's birthday, October 2, the first rays of the sun fall on the exact place where his ashes were kept.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tenkasi Kasi Viswanathar temple

The Tenkasi Kasi Viswanathar temple is a palace of sculptural expertise of the stone craftsmen of Tamilnadu. There are twin statues, two Veerabadras, two Thandavamurthis and two Tamil women of highest standards of art. The sculpture of Rathi-Manmatha, the divine lovers, individual idols of Thirumal and Kali Devi are the creations of artists with divine skills. Tenkasi get the same benefit of worship undertaken in Utharakasi (Varanasi). The Durga in Tenkasi faces the west, opposite to the swami sannidhanam, while the tradition is that Goddes Durga faces the North in almost temples. It is also famous for saral (drizzling). During May-August every year, people enjoy saral in Tenkasi. The main tourist attraction of Tenkasi is Courtallam, with exotic waterfalls and healing spas.
Tenkasi temple
A famous Murugan temple called as "Thirumalai Kovil" is situated at Panpoli which is about 5 kilometer away from Sengottai. There are other temples situated in shengottai itself such as - Arultharum Aramvalarthanayagi Amman temple, Perumal Temple, Nithya Kalyani Amman Temple and Vandimalachi Amman Temple.

Tenkasi is a place was most people are agriculturists and commercial activity is much related to agriculture. There are numerous coconut like MSP Velayutha Nadar Lakshmithaimmal Polytechnic College (Pavoorchatram), and MK. V. Kandasamy Nadar Matric School, Tenkasi, are some of the community run institutions at Tenkasi.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Kids Fun Videos

List of places to see in and around kutralam

Water Falls list in coutrallam

1. Peraruvi (Main Falls) The most popular and frequented waterfalls are the Main falls. Not only during the season, but also during the period November to January, the crest receives the Northeastern monsoon emptying itself on the slopes to swell the falls and the Chittar River. From a height of 300 ft., the Chittar River makes its last descent to the plains.

2. Chittraruvi Adjacent to the Main falls is a small cascade called “Chittraruvi”.

3. Shenbaga Devi Falls A mile away from the Main falls is the Shenbagadevi falls, so called because of its location near to the temple of Shenbagadevi. During full moon days large crowds visit this temple.

4. Thenaruvi (Honey Falls) About 3 miles from the Main falls on the upper crusts of the rocks is the Honey falls. It is so called because of beehives on the promontory. It is a romantic place of solitude and those who seek seclusion come here to meditate on reality.

5. Aintharuvi (Five Falls) Connected by a good road about 3 miles from the Main falls are the Five falls, so named as the cascade spreads in five heads like a hooded cobra. This spot is venerated highly as it presents an image of Adishesha with several hoods.

6. Pazhathotta Aruvi

7. Puli Aruvi About 6 furlongs form the Main falls is the Tiger Falls with a temple for Shastha nearby. Bathing ghats have also been provided for pilgrims.

8. Pazhaya Courtallam About 4 miles from the Main falls is the Old falls, rarely frequented. Apart from all these falls the place is also famous for the Shiva shrive, Thirukootala nathar, (“Lord of three peaks”).

9. Puthu Aruvi Perched at an elevation of 1,00 ft, and one and half miles from the Main falls is the New falls amidst a sylvan landscape of wild forest. The panoramic view from this ledge is beautiful affording a sight of the entire town below.

Water Falls around coutrallam:

1. Gundarau Falls

2. Kummaroutti falls

3. Paalaru

4. Agastiyar Falls

5. Baanatheertahm

Temples in and arround coutrallam:

1. Kutraleeswar Temple. Couratallam

2. Kashivishwanathar Temple.Tenkasi

3. Kumaran Temple.Ilanji

4. Thirumalai Kumarasamy Temple. Tirumalai koil

5. Shenbaga devi Temple.Senbagadevi

6. Anjaneyar Temple. Krishnapuram

7. Thoranamalai Temple.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Memorable moment in Gandhi mandabam with school friends

I miss all my friends when I completed my schooling life. After 6 six years back we all met together (Marirajan, Visu, Duri, Suresh, Vionth, Karthiban, Senthil, Gipson, murali, periyasami ) 20th Aug in the morning around 10.00 am at Gandhi mandabam, Adyar, Chennai. On that day we have lots of fun; we are chatting and sharing about each moment in our life. Everybody is enjoying a lot on that day. We had a lunch at Adyar hot chips arranged by Marajan. Then we are leaving at 4.30 pm. This is an unforgettable superb memorable instant in my life. Unfortunately we are missing some friends on that day. See below my school friend’s photos.