A memorable day passed on with divine spiritual beliefs and adventurous and retreating excursions, both having its own importance and confronting memories to my mind. My place of accommodation was an actual bliss to my journey. All the staff members and hotel managements was so friendly and co-operative, and provided me with exclusive treatments to make the best use of my stay. They have been hugely helpful in escorting me to my commutes, through reliable travel agencies which was very complementing to a single traveler like me. This day, they had yet again been great service provider for arranging my conveyance to Araku Tribal Museum Visakhapatnam, a real depiction of tribal culture.
A less commercialized and least populated tourist’s destination of the South India, Araku is the valley of inhabited varied tribes. The best time to visit this spot is the chilled winters with its temperature dropping down to almost four degrees. Araku Tribal Museum is situated in the covering area of Padmapuram Botanical Garden, which offers a sight of the tribal community’s life. It is a splendid work of the Indian artisans, constructed with clay and mud, consisting of the magnificent clay monuments depicting the day to day activities of the tribes in the best possible way. Varied artifacts exhibited in the museum include hunting tools, jewelley and kitchen appliances and utensils.
A Tribal Art and Craft Centre are possessed by the museum to encourage excellent art of the prevailing tribe of the indigenous Eastern Ghats, where frequent exhibitions and workshops takes place. I was quite successful in housing the handicrafts item displayed in the museum for my intact memories of the visit. The accommodation facilities and the refreshment corners serving the traditional foods were outstanding and offered at a very reasonable rate.
With all the amusing features and the replica of ancient tribes of India, Araku Tribal Museum Visakhapatnam reflects the traditional lifestyle and living standards of the native tribes. The museum has an objective of preserving the importance of original culture, fine arts and the handicrafts of the primitive tribes and the tradition. With no more of delays in my travelling I stepped forward to my next spot of visit, Indira Gandhi Zoological Park Visakhapatnam, an Eco-tourism hub of the district.
I take extreme pleasure in my visit to any heritage site. The Pallipuram Fort Kochi was a perfect heritage site to grant me that pleasure. Situated in Ernakulam, Kerala, this fort was built by the Portuguese in 1503. It is one of the most ancient European forts housing a huge collection of rich cultural heritage. It is located in the northern extreme part of Vypeen Islands which is accessible by a 1 km long main boat jetty. This grand structure beholds a majestic history within the territory.
I could easily spot tourists from all over the country taking a walk inside the alleyways of history and admiring the beautiful architecture. I could relive the European memories that place unraveled from within as I took every step ahead. Amidst huge trees ascending to the skies, this fort holds a royal position in the center. I discovered that this was the oldest surviving European monument in India also called ‘Alikotta’. The huge hexagonal shaped architecture of the fort is truly a work of art. The fort has been constructed with the use of laterite, wood and chunam while the walls comprise of thickly plastered mortar. The outer bounds of the fort were designed to mount countless guns round the fort with the cellar used as a magazine at that time.
The local people hoed a belief that the cellar was a secret tunnel that leads to Cheraman Masjid. There is the Manjumatha church dedicated to the Lady of Snow located in close proximity. Palli means church that is where this fort got its name as the area surrounding church is called PalliPuram. Fort also consisted of giant gates, door posts and beautiful carved lintels. There is also present a square well inside the premises itself which used to be a fresh water source in the ancient period. I could reckon three embrasures; piled one on the other installed at all the faces of the fort. The amazing past and the grandeur of the Pallipuram Fort Kochi compel every tourist to pay a visit to this primary tourist destination in Kochi. After all the museums and the forts, it was time for some relaxation at the Cherai Beach Kochi.
If you have an interest for archaeology, then visit the biggest archaeological museum located in Kerala. Constructed in 1865, Hill Palace Museum Kerala served as a permanent shelter to the royal family of Kochi. It is situated in close proximity with the Kochi city on the route Kochi-Chottanikkara. I bought the ticket and submitted my camera at the entry itself as it was strictly prohibited inside the premises of the museum building.
The palace falls under the supervision of Department of Archaeology since 1980 and opened for public visit in 1986. It is an elegant piece of architecture with the building consisting around 50 units while being spread over a land having an area of 52 acre. It is renowned due to its terraced landscape beautified with lawns, ponds and fountains. The palace is house to a well maintained ethno museum and is Kerala's first ever museum of its kind. I was amused by the temple right beside the museum and a beautiful pond. The architecture of the palace had a beautiful amalgam of western and traditional essence. The main office of the building is a three-story modern style structure which really stands out of the lot. I went through all 14 categories of exhibitions the museum had to offer. These included paintings, murals, sculpture made out in plaster of Paris, carvings, manuscripts and a lot more that made me wonder how beautiful ancient art is.
One of the major attractions was the rich collection of exquisite coins from the old times, ornaments belonging to the royal house and epigraphy samples displayed in the museum. I have always been an antique lover and this love was reverted by 200 antique artifacts displayed at the museum. It was so unfortunate they refused me to take pictures due to the protocols. My favorite part of the visit was the weapon and armory gallery. I saw old war time weapons from different places and different periods added to the collection. The Hill Palace Museum is a must-visit place regardless of your age as it offers amusing stuff for everyone. Next destination on my list was the Indo Portuguese Museum Kochi.
This was my second last day in the city of temples and ironically I was visiting a mosque this day. Since I had only one more day to go, I wished to make the most of my remainder days in Madurai. This famous mosque can be accessed from the Periyar or the Central Bus Stand and also from the Madurai Junction. With such a strategic location of the mosque, the mosque therefore finds a great place in the heart of the city. The Kazimar Big Mosque and Maqbara, Madurai is a very important religious place for the Muslims and for the believers in all religion; this place also finds great attraction.
The place has a great history and is said to have been constructed in the 13th century when the Hazrat Kazi Syed Tajuddin from Oman received the premise from the Pandyas. It is huge and can hold as many as 2500 people at once. The mosque also has the maqbara or the shrine of the descendants of Prophet Muhammad within its premise. The mosque has a distinct aura within it. A certain sense of divinity and peace invaded me as I spent some substantial time in the precinct. Also, there is a Madrasah inside the Mosque, where numerous students learn Arabic. The management of the mosque is really worth mentioning because the services were immaculate and the Board of trustees that look after the mosque continues the legacy well.
I tried my best to offer my prayers in the traditions of the Muslims; whether or not they were authentic in nature does not matter because I am sure the prayers must have reached the Almighty. The Kazimar Big Mosque and Maqbara, Madurai despite being the place of worship for the Muslims gave me the kind of peace that the temples provided. I felt blessed. Time was slipping out of my hands and as the day concluded I made preparations for the next day’s sightseeing to Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam, Madurai for yet another exciting albeit last day in Madurai. If only I could hold back some of the moments spent here, then it would have added to my pleasure.
Goripalayam Mosque, Madurai : I decided to visit the goripalayam mosque with my cousins. This mosque is one of the largest and most popular mosques in Madurai. This mosques consist the graves of mughal rulers Madurai Hazrat Sulthan Alauddin Badusha and Hazrat Sulthan Shamsuddin Badhusha. It is said that word “Goripalayam” is derived from the persian word “Gor” which means grave.
Gandhi Museum – Madurai - One of the Five in the Country Celebrating the Life of Father of Our Nation
The day had started quite normally but I knew that soon the day would get special. I was to visit the Gandhi Museum - Madurai and that would make the day special for sure. Built by donations and contributions of the Indian citizens, the Museum of Gandhi was created on the premise of the palace of Rani Magammal, which had been renovated for the purpose. I had my breakfast in the quietness of my room and got ready rather quickly because the rental car was on its way to take me to the museum. Madurai, its people and sightseeing in the city were all agreeing with me, and I was having so much fun that there was no other place in the world where I would want to be other than in Madurai.
Soon I was on my way to the museum and the moment I reached, I was taken aback by the sheer size of the Museum building. The important relics that the building housed were being done full justice by the imposing exteriors of the museum. I entered and went through the courtyard to the main exhibit areas. The information counters has enough literature on the history of the museum and the various important relics and replicas that it has. The place was inaugurated by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in the year 1959. Some of the important exhibits in the Museum premise include an original letter written personally by Mahatma Gandhi to Narayanan Sathsangi of Devakottai, a letter addressed to Adolf Hitler and also a congratulatory letter written by Mahatma Gandhi to Subramania Bharati, a great poet and freedom fighter.
I went through the visual biography of the great man, which has all the information about him right from his childhood till his last days. Amongst other notable items at the Gandhi Museum - Madurai is the blood stained replica of the clothes of Mahatma Gandhi, which were his last. The day was finally coming to an end and as I was returning back to my hotel, everything about Bapu kept repeating in my psyche. It had to be an early night for me because the next day I planned on visiting the Koodal Alagar Temple, Madurai.
After leaving Arignar Anna Zoological Park, we had our lunch. I had heard about Government Museum Chennai from some of my friends who had travelled to Chennai before. We caught an auto rickshaw and reached Egmore where the museum was located. The building itself has a grand look on scale of fabulousness. The museum was built in the year 1851 and is the second oldest museum in India spread over more than 16 acres of land.
Government museum, Chennai displays many national treasures, under sections like Art, Anthropology, Archeology, Botany, Geology and Zoology. There is also a Children’s Museum. Children’s museum attracts more than 1000’s of visitors daily. Art gallery majorly consists of paintings of sculptures. Chennai museum is also the proud owner of few Raja Ravi Varma paintings. There are also many antiquities under the archeological section. Bronze figures collection in the museum takes you through a guided tour through the religious and cultural India. One can also find many stone sculptures in the museum. Mediaeval metal and stone inscription gives you an insight towards the rich Tamil country dynasties that flourished during a long time in south India.
For the science lovers there are museum also possess a zoological and botany section. There are many interesting skeletal displays including 60 feet long Great Indian Baleena Whale that washed ashore in Mangalore in 1847. Geological section provides general information about geological structure of south India and displays samples of scientifically important rocks. There is also a children’s museum which apparently attracts lot of regular visitors. Children’s Museum seems to have been set up with an intention to provide education in a pleasant way. Children usually find it interesting due to the recreational value the museum provides. There are live size Tyrannosaurus and Stegosaurus in the museum.
It took us more than 4 hours to complete visiting all that Government Museum Chennai has to offer. I wish we had come with more time. From all the vacations I had in the past, this one with friends turned out to be one I would never forget. We had to catch the train back home next day early in the morning. But I had also made up my mind that I will be visiting Chennai again, maybe alone next time.
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Sharing is what I always believe in, since childhood I have been most expressive kid in my family. Making new friends, jelling up with people, traveling or participating in any event, I have always been in the fore front. Hello friends this is Soumya Shetty a Pharmacist, I love reading, travelling to places, visiting spiritual places the rich history behind the existence attracts me. Moreover, at the same time I too enjoy shopping with friends, movies, food, and parties. Most importantly, “sharing” so here is crazy Soumu sharing her experiences and life with you friends. Hope you would like being part of my life’s journey.