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Parvathamalai

Parvathamalai is located near Thiruannamalai and Polur. This hill has ancient history and it is habitat for various herbals. On the top of the there is a temple for Sivan and Parvatha amman. It is really on adventurous to travel to Parvathmalai. We can start the travel from two points 1. Kadaladi 2. Mahadevamangalam. Both points are on the way to Chengam from Polur. We started from Mahadevamangalam

How to reach from chennai: First you  have to go to Polur, Many buses are available from Koyambedu. It is a 4hrs travel. From Polur you take bus to Chengam, but you have to get down at Kadaladi or Mahadevamangalam. From any one of this points your trekking starts…

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The Tamilnadu has many temples apart from the famous ones. Lots of Amman temples, Ganesh temples and Murugan temples are there in cities as well as in villages. In most of the Amman temples festivals are occurring in the tamil month of Aadi and Chitthirai. In chennai you can see most of the small Amman temples are in celebration mode in the month Aadi.

A typical village temple festival is conducted in 3 phases.

Announcement Phase:  The first phase is the announcement of celebrations, this is normally done by hoisting a holy flag in a post (called as Kodimaram in tamil and it is typically made up of wood) which is located in the entrance of a temple opposite to the main shrine. It is called as kodiyetruthal (raising the flag) or satruthal (announcement) or Kappukattuthal. After this in the village no one should consume non veg and no one should leave the village.

Kodimaram

Celebration Phase: the next phase is festival celebrations. Normally there will be a week time between the announcement and actual celebration day. In between the announcement and celebration the Statue of the God will be taken in a procession normally in the midnight around the village with traditional music and dance (Karakam, Devarattam-folk dance).

The people of the village invites their relatives who lives in near by villages for the festival. On the day of festival every family with their relatives come to temple and offer their prayer. The offer (Nerthikadan or Venduthal) would be done by many ways Theechatti (bringing fire filled pot to temple with spare hands), Kavadi, Vadam ilthual, Ma vilakku, Kann pannai, Mulaipari (normally done by girls), Pookuli (walking in hot lignite), Palkudam etc.

Theechatti:

TheeChatti2

Kavadi:

Kavadi

Mulai pari:

Mulaipari

Car Festival:

Car festival

End of Festival: the next phase is end of festival. A week later the people offer the prayer once again which is called as Marupoojai (Prayer once again). On this day the villagers play with their relatives by pouring Manjal thanni (water mixed with turmeric power) on each other. Mostly a girl used to pour Manjal thanni  on a boy who has a relationship called Mama.

You can click the below links to know more about some of the thinks mentioned in this Post

Link for Folk dance– http://www.folkdance-tamilnadu.com

The Tamils wont forget the help offered by someone and they will be remembered for ever. This is reality that you can see even now. Yes the Pennycuick is a british engineer who constructed the engineering marvelous Mullai Periyar dam which brings the livelihood for the cumbum valley farmers. The dam was planned and built to facilitate irrigation in the southern districts Theni, Madurai, Dindigul, Sivaganga and Ramanathapuram. Even though the british government lost hope on the possibility of dam across Mullai periyar to divert the water to the cumbum valley, the Colonel John Penny cuick who had the hope and succeeded on the construction of dam.

His birth day is on 15th January. Mostly on 14-15 January Pongal (which is thanks giving day by farmers to all the subjects who helped them in the irrigation) will be celebrated across Tamilnadu. The peoples in Theni districs will celebrate his birth day along with pongal and offer their remembrance.

In theni district most of the new born babies and shops are named after him. Most of the farmers house will have his portrait. On his birth anniversary people will gather as large group, prepare pongal and offer their prayer to the portrait of Pennycuick. They will conduct several traditional sports as part of celebrations.

Recently the tamilnadu goverment constructed and opened a memorial for him in the cumbum valley. Surely this memorial will be a worship place for all farmers in theni district and they will show their gratitude to this royal engineer till the end of this world.

Portrait of Pennycuick:

Pennycuick

Memorial for Pennycuick:

Memorial

For further readings:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Pennycuick_(British_engineer)

http://madrasmusings.com/Vol%2021%20No%2023/pennycuicks-marvel.html

Kodaikanal is one of the best spot for natural lovers and a good tourist place. The Princess of western ghats have many attractions.

How to reach from Chennai: 

  • By Road: From Chennai->Trichy->Dindigul->Batlagundu->Kodaikanal. This is the best route to reach Kodaikanal from Chennai by road. From Chennai CMBT direct buses are available to kodaikanal. There are many buses are available from Batlagundu (Vaththalakundu in Tamil ) to Kodaikanal throughout the day.
  • By Train: From Chennai Egmore there are many southern bound trains are available such as Pandian Express,  Nellai Express, Pothigai Express, Pear City Express and Anandapuri Express. By anyone of the train come upto Dindigul/Kodaikanal Road station. From Dindigul/Kodaikanal road you have to reach Kodaikanal by bus/car.

Accommodation Facilities:  

It is better to get ready to enjoy the hills while you are moving up in Ghat road. In Dindigul some budget/luxury hotels are available near to both Railway junction and Bus stand. In Batlagundu/Ghat road junction (after Batlagundu) many marriage halls/Bathing facilities  are available you can use those also suppose if you come as a  group.

As a tourist spot Kodaikanal has many hotels/resorts/villas.  The tamilnadu tourism development corporation also has a hotel Tamilnadu (http://tamilnadutourism.org/Hotels/TTDCHotels/ttdc-kodai.html) in Kodaikanal. The Hotel Tamilnadu has youth hostel which is cheap and best for group stay.

Sight seeing Facilities: In most of the hotels you can get this facility. You can hire a local cap also in kodaikanal.

Where you should stop while moving up:

While you started to move up in your left you can enjoy the beautiful view of Manjalar dam valley. There is a point called Dam Dam parai to park your car and view the beauty of this valley. You can also enjoy the beauty of Eli Val Aruvi (rat tail falls) from this place. There are most beautiful flowers and scenic valleys in the road side which is usual in hills area. After some time you will reach Silver Falls where you can have some tea by hearing the rhythm of falls and you can take some good snaps in front of the falls.

Next stop is Shenbaganur Museum which is maintained by Sacred Heard College. They open only after 9 am so it is better to spend enough time is Silver falls and Dam Dam Parai. You may ask a question is it necessary to visit this museum? Yes it is. Once you come out of this museum you will realize it.

Manajalar Dam view from Dam Dam Parai:

Manjalar

Eli Val Aruvi from Dam Dam Parai:

Elival

Silver Falls:

Silver Falls

Places to see in Kodaikanal:

It is better to leave early as possible for sight seeing because the mist will restrict you from visiting some of the places.

Pine Forest – where you can speak with pine trees, run in between them, enjoy the infiltrated sun light through the pine leaves.

Pine Forest

Berijam Lake – You should get prior permission from forest official to visit this natural lake since it is protected bio reserve.

Guna caves – The cave entrance is only available to see. One of the must see place because of the beautiful surroundings.

Guna caves1

Guna caves2

Coakers walk – from this place you can take snaps of green valleys. It has viewing point equipped with telescope, by which you can see the foot hills areas like periyakulam.  A good place to have a relax walk/sit and feel the nature.

Coakers walk

La Saleth Matha Church – Near to Coakers walk. A good holy church in Kodaikanal which is next to TV Relay Station.

La Saleth

Green Valley (Previously called as Suicide point) – Breath taking view of  wonderful valley (hope there would be no mist when you visit).

Pillar Rocks – View of pillar like rocks. Adjacent there is a small park with wonderful flowers  

Kurunji andavar temple – A holy hindu temple dedicated for lord muruga. Palani hills view point is available near to this temple.

Kodaikanal Lake – For boating/Horse riding/Cycling. Near to Bryant park.

Kodaikanal lake

Bryant park – Marvelous collection of flowers, Kurunji plants, Bodhi maram. It has a good play area (only for children). Green fields to lie down our body and to take rest.

Shopping – around the lake you can shop for home made chocolates/Sweater.

Please avoid plastics and carry bags and preserve this praise of nature for our next generation.

Pongal Festival

The Pongal festival is one of the most important festival for Tamilians. It is a harvest festival celebrated by four days. Tamilian thanking Sun, Farmers, Ox and Cows who all are helping in their cultivation in each of the four days. It is celebrated in a Tamil month called Thai (between January and February). The whole week during the Pongal Festival will be in celebration mode across Tamilnadu. Most of the shopping areas will be fully occupied with abrupt seasonal shops which sell products used in Pongal celebrations such as Turmeric plant, Sugarcane, Pots, Color powders.

On BOGI: The First day is called as Bogi Festival when the houses are cleaned, Painted and given color borders on the walls. On Bogi evening in each of the house people will tie with Mango, Neem leaves.

On Pongal: The first day is to thank Sun (Suriyan in Tamil) which is necessary for agriculture. In the early morning the house wife will cook a recipe which is also called as Pongal normally in the outside of the house where we can get sun light. The Pot which is used for cooking tied with turmeric plant and the place is decorated with Rangoli (Kolam in Tamil) and Sugarcane (Karumpu in Tamil). With the cooked Pongal they worship the Sun in their traditional way.

Figure of Pongal where a home maker is preparing pongal and everyone is worshiping.

On MattuPongal: The second day is to thank Ox and cows. On this day the Ox and cows are decorated with Flowers, Color Powders and painting on the horn. They will be tied with Salangai around the neck. This day also People cook Pongal and worship the Ox and Cows. On this day in most of the villages a game called Jallikattu (Taming the Bull in bare hands) will be conducted.

On Kanum Pongal: The third day the tamilian will celebrate Pongal by spending time with their relatives and Friends. They will go to nearby tourist spots and will enjoy by playing some games within themselves. This day is actually to build the relationship among relatives and friends. In chennai the people gather and celebrate Kanum Pongal in marina beach, Vandaloor zoo and Mamallapuram.

Visit Tamilnadu during Pongal festival (normally on January 14-17) and feel the village tradition. The tamilnadu tourism department is also organizing some of the Pongal festival celebrations with traditional games for foreigners.

Tamil Ethnic Wear

Mens wear:

Dhoti and Shirt:

Traditional Tamilian men’s garments are Veshti(Dhoti in English) and Shirt on Top. Dhoties are mostly white in color with different borders but Shirts can have any color.

Actor Rajkiran in Dhoti:

Lungi:

While in home most of the men wear Lungi also called as Kaili. It looks similar to Dhoti and wearing method is different for Dhoti and Lungi. The below picture shows actor Dhanush and others wearing Lungi in the film Adukalam.

Ladies Wear:

They have many options Skirt, Sudidhar, Halfsaree, Saree

Pavadai (Skirt): In tamil it is called as Pavadai (which means ladies wear).This is opt only for little girls.

Cute Little girls in Skirt:

Dhavani (Halfsaree): It is called as Dhavani in Tamil. A girl looks more traditional if she wears this Dhavani. For traditional celebrations such as Temple festivals, Pongal, Classical Music seasons most of the girls wear this half saree.

Girls in Half Saree:

Sudidhar:

It becomes the most common wear for women from little girls to aged woman. In sudidhar there are more varieties.

Saree:

Saree is the wear which adds more beauty to a woman. There are lots of varieties are available in Sarees based on the material it made upon such as Silk saree, Cotton saree and also based on the design. The wearing styles varies based on the region around the world. Sarees are also classified based on the place of manufacturing such as Kanchipuram Silk Sarees, Sakkampatti Sarees, Chinnalapatti Sarees. In tamilnadu the more common styles followed are the normal one, Mami and Village style.

Women in Casual Saree:

Actor Trisha in Pattu (Silk)  Saree: The below images are the examples of silk (Pattu) sarees which adds more traditional and homely look.

 

Stores :

Some of the Stores where these kind of garments available are listed below,

http://www.ramrajcotton.in/

http://www.harinisilks.com

http://www.pothys.co.in

https://www.rmkv.com/