Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Kanyakumari (Cape Comerin) Tamil Nadu

Kanyakumari (Cape Comerin) is the southern most tip of peninsular India. The location is so special in many ways. It is the meeting point of three seas – Bay of Bengal in the East, Indian Ocean in the South and Arabian Sea in the west. This place also offers you see sunrise and sunset (over the sea) at the same location.

Thiruvalluvar statue & Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Cape Comerin, KanyakumariIn addition to the sunrise and sunset, the main attractions are the Kanyakumari Temple (Devi Kanyakumari is the deity), Vivekananda Rock (where Swami Vivekananda meditated) and Gandhi Memorial (the place where Mahatma Gandhi's ashes was briefly kept before submersing in the holy spot).

The architecture of Gandhi memorial follows Indian temple architecture style. A unique distinction of the memorial is that on October 2 (Gandhiji's birthday), the rays of sun fall on the place, where the urn with Gandhi's ashes was kept. Sun rays don't fall at the place on other days of the years.

The Vivekananda Rock Temple has a dhyana mandapam (a meditation place), which offers you the most peaceful atmosphere, even as the outside is buzzing with big crowds.

You can't miss the 133 ft tall statue of Tiruvalluvar, an epic Tamil poet and the Vivekananda Rock memorial, which are both seen just off the shore towards south east.

the foot of 133ft tall Thiruvalluvar StatueYou might wonder why I said about Kanyakumari in Kerala Tourist. The reason is historical and geographical. Historically, the whole of Kanyakumari district was part of today's Kerala (the then Travancore-Cochin state) until 1956, before it was amalgamated to Tamil Nadu based on the majority Tamil population here. After Nagercoil, Thiruvananthapuram is the major city nearest to Kanyakumari. Nagercoil is 30Km away, while Thiruvananthapuram is 60Km away. Thiruvananthapuram is also the connecting point, as the nearest airport is in Thiruvananthapuram, 86Km away.

Most importantly, from the deep blue seas of Kanyakumari to the thick greenery of Kerala, it is a memorable journey. The places en route include Padmanabhapuram palace at Thakkala, Thiruvattar Aqueduct (the biggest of its kind in India), Thripparappu water falls, Udayagiri Fort, Vattakkottai, Pechippara Dam, etc. These are all places, full of greenery and capable of making you feel like you are in Kerala.

Photographs copyright © Amal V

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Onam Illumination Works in Thiruvananthapuram City

Onam festival used to decorate Thiruvananthapuram city, Kerala with the best illumination works imaginable. Now too, there are quite some nice light work to make this Onam a memorable event. Government offices, private buildings and avenue trees wear fine illumination works - a nice treat for everyone who likes to hang out in the city to celebrate Onam.

a government office illuminated with color lights for onam celebrationsI fancied taking the photographs of the illumination works. In fact, I tried it last year and spend so much time with my camera, photographing the illumination works in the city roads. The result was a great disaster. That was last year. This year I've learnt a lesson or two – like placing the camera on some solid surface like a wall (to avoid camera shake). And, though I am not extremely happy, I am quite comfortable with the results as seen below.

city road illuminated

The images in this post are taken from different parts of Thiruvananthapuram city on Sep 12.
a government office illuminated with color lights for onam celebrations

Onam Illumination 2011 photos

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Athapoo Contest by The Hindu MetroPlus Thiruvananthapuram

On Sep 9 was a nice athapoo contest conducted by The Hindu MetroPlus at Women's College, Thiruvananthapuram. There were 51 athappoo designs created by individual groups and different organizations. It was a real visual treat to see as much onam floral decorations at one place.

For those people who are unsatisfied about the little options of hangouts in Thiruvananthapuram, such occasions are fine choices. Here I post a few of the photographs I have snapped from the contest.

athapoo, onappookkalamOver the years, I have seen several thousands of athapoo designs and the curious thing is that two designs are never identical. It appears, that every group (however small it is) has a fine artist, who can create floral decoration designs at will.

athapoo designs, athamathappoo, athapoo designNeedless to say, each one of the design is a wonderful floral art in its own merit. There were 51 of them.

Vijay Yesudas & his wife Darsana
Vijay Yesudas and his wife were the chief guests of the event.

visitors enjoying athapoo; a scene from The Hindu, MetroPlus Athapoo Contest 2008The pookalam contest organized by Metro Plus (the supplement of) The Hindu attracted people from far and near.

I was so happy I could experience the festival vibe at this venue, although most of my attention has been on photographing the details.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Police on Horse Back

I can't stop fascinating at the sight of policemen on horseback at the capital city, Trivandrum. Mounted Police is rare in India, the only other unit in India is at Kolkata, West Bengal.

I snapped the following image after a lucky encounter in one of the city roads.

policemen on horses patrolling city roads in Thiruvananthapuram

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Elephants Find Home at Kottoor

a tusker in elephant rehabilitation center
Indian elephants find good home at Kottoor reserve forest in Thiruvananthapuram. Here I post two snaps from the elephant rehabilitation center Kottoor, as snapped by my friend Amal.

elephant bathing with his mahout (elephant keeper)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Thenmala: a Place for Freshness & Serenity

The only thing you can notice about Thenmala is the serenity it wears. Thenmala is a very special place on earth, blessed by nature, attracting visitors to its serenity.

The eco-tourism project here ensures Thenmala retains its charm for quite a long time. A thoroughly managed tourist site, this place also offers adventure sports like mountain biking.

This lake, though low in water still has the charm, as the clouds offer themselves as crowns and necklaces to the blue hills in the background.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Kerala Butterfly Safari Park Thenmala

Asia's first butterfly safari park goes open in Thenmala, Kollam district of Kerala. The 3.5 hectare artificially created expanse attracts different species of butterflies. The butterfly safari park atmosphere simulates natural habitat for butterflies of almost all the different species. The park is now filled with action of winged beauties.

The butterfly safari park is designed by Kerala Forest Research Institute, set up by Thenmala Eco Tourism Promotion Society and funded by Kerala Tourism Department. KFRI scientist George Mathew, the chief architect of the butterfly park confirms appearance of 125 different species, including rare butterflies in the park.

Butterfly safari park has got a variety of plants to attract butterflies. Different species of butterflies have their own favourite species of plants. The park also has rich variety of shrubs and leafy trees. Water sprinklers and artificial puddles inside the butterfly safari park ensure humid atmosphere suited for butterfly breeding.

Visitors to the butterfly safari park will also get a chance to closely witness the lifecycle of various species of butterflies. The butterfly park also has plans to promote the idea of mini-butterfly parks at every home, which would help in conservation of butterfly variety.

[Absence of photographs regretted. I'll add photographs of the butterfly safari park after a visit to the place, which will happen sooner than later.]

Monday, February 04, 2008

Flower Show Thiruvananthapuram

Flower Show Thiruvanathapuram in its 37th edition is buzzing with activity. The sprawling hills of Observatory hills have turned to an enchanting garden - thanks to dozens of nurseries and persons bringing the best of their ornamental plants, totalling 250,000, for the visual delight of Thiruvananthapuram People.