Sunday, 5 October 2014

Roundup of South India: History and Tourist Attractions Part-I


South Indian attraction
A round up of best tourist spots in South India would include a journey through three states – Kerala, Tamilnadu and Karnataka. These places are ideal for family travel because they are close to each other. To understand the significance of various landmarks, forts, palaces and gardens, one must understand history of each place. Different cultures, unique to each state led to significant historic events that shaped architecture and fashioned each state into what it is now. Plan your annual vacation to one or more Wodeyars of Mysore who served in Vijayanagara Empire leased this state from Aurangazeb, the Mughal king in 15th century. It passed on to Haider Ali and then to Tipu Sultan, Tiger of Mysore. With the death of Tipu Sultan, it then became a part of British Raj. Each of the rulers added something garden or palace and thus Karnataka has splendid palaces, museums and gardens today. Children would love it, as would adults. Family tours to Karnataka are ideal for low and medium budget travel.


Three unique states and their attraction
Kerala lies on the western shore of India on the seaward side of Western Ghats. Tamilnadu lies basically at sea level on other shore of Indian peninsula and is renowned for its rich culture and learning. Karnataka is landlocked state that rose to be an independent political entity in 5th century during rule of Kadamba dynasty. However, it has been part of great Mauryan Empire since 298 BC when Chandragupta Maurya ruled in India.

Peep at Karnataka
Wodeyars of Mysore who served in Vijayanagara Empire leased this state from Aurangazeb, the Mughal king in 15th century. It passed on to Haider Ali and then to Tipu Sultan, Tiger of Mysore. With the death of Tipu Sultan, it then became a part of British Raj. Each of the rulers added something garden or palace and thus Karnataka has splendid palaces, museums and gardens today. Children would love it, as would adults. Family tours to Karnataka are ideal for low and medium budget travel.


Important places to visit
Places worthy of a visit in Karnataka would include stops at these places.
a) Hampi
Hampi was capital of Vijayanagara Empire has plenty of temples. It is a religious centre and most prominent temples are these.
i. Big Shivalinga temple
ii. Virupaksha temple
iii. Hemakuta hill
iv. Lakshmi Narasimha temple
The city’s big boulders are top attraction for rock climbing enthusiasts. Several temple ruins some of which are designated UNESCO World Heritage Site mark the city.

b) Bangalore
Bangalore is replete with botanical gardens, palaces and museums. Tourists will enjoy wandering and exploring these ancient buildings and hearing about their history.
i. Lalbagh Botanical Garden: Lalbagh Botanical Garden has over 1000 species of trees and plants. Some of the trees are over 100 years old. One rock formation Lal Bagh rock is over 3000 million years old. You will also find electronic quartz Flower Clock in this garden. Well suited for family tourists and children.
ii. Tipu Sultan Fort and Palace: Situated near the KR market, this palace is well maintained. Ruins of fort are nearby.
iii. Wonderla Amusement Park: Enjoy unlimited free rides in Wonderla Amusement Park. The authorities maintain strict hygiene as far as water purity is concerned.

iv. Dodda Ganapati temple: You have a huge Ganapati and Nandi in this temple.