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12 Dec 2002


(Contributed by V. Hari) (12 Dec 2002)
A trip finally materialised during the weekend of 15th & 16th. A trip for which the seeds was sown as early as Feb of this year (in fact, the idea was conceived even more earlier) did finally materialise, though the destination was finalised only recently. After much deliberation & planning, it was decided to go to Goa on this particular weekend and hence a trip was arranged within a short span of time (just less than a week).

30 Nov 2002


In the Arabian Sea, west off the coast of Kerala, lie the islands of Lakshadweep, the best Coral Islands. Out of the total 36 islands comprising the Union Territory of Lakshadweep and covering a land area of 32 Sq. Km., only 10 are inhabited. These are Andrott, Amini, Agatti, Bitra, Chetlat, Kadmat, Kalpeni, Kavaratti, Kiltan and Minicoy. Five of the islands - Kavaratti, Kalpeni, Minicoy, Cheriyam and Thinnakara are open to Indian tourists only. Bangaram and Kadmat islands are open to both Indian and foreign tourists.

24 Aug 2002


Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of the state of Kerala, is a beautiful seaside city built on seven hills. The city gets its name from the word, Thiruvananthapuram meaning the abode of the sacred serpent Ananth, on which Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the Hindu trinity, reclines.

12 Aug 2002


(Contributed by V. Hari) (12 Aug 2002)
Last weekend saw me going to the place in U.S with a lot of history. Yes, its Philadelphia the place with history dating back to 1776. After doing some shopping in NJ, in the morning on Saturday, I set out with my friend to Philadelphia in the afternoon. It was a good 2 hour drive from the place where my friend was staying. Instead of driving through the highway, we took the roads which lead through the different counties of New Jersey. The climate also being nice, it was a wonderful drive where you could find lots of greenery, and some calm counties all through your way.

5 Aug 2002

Mumbai-Malavli-Lohgad-Bhaje Caves-Lonavla-INS-Nagphani-Lion's Point- Bhusi Dam

(Contributed by Jacob) (02-04 August 2002)
Our trek for Mumbai-Malavli-Lohgad-Bhaje Caves-Lonavla-INS-Nagphani-Lion's Point- Bhusi Dam.

31 Jul 2002

PONDICHERRY (Puducherry)

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Pondicherry is where French dreams of an Indian Empire began and ended and in the scattered territories of Pondicherry, there remains the best of what little there is of the French influence in India.The Union Territory of Pondicherry comprises four widely spread enclaves namely Pondicherry and Karaikal in Tamil Nadu, Yanam in Andhra Pradesh and Mahe in Kerala.

22 Jul 2002


Guruvayur is one of the most sacred and important pilgrim centres of Kerala. It’s chief attraction is a temple dedicated to Lord Kirshna, locally known as Guruvayurappan.


Guruvayur Sree Krishna Temple

The temple of Lord Krishna is one of the most sacred and important pilgrim centres in Kerala. The deity in the temple is locally called ‘Gurvayurappan’. The installation and consecration of the idol is believed to have been done by the Celestial Guru, the preceptor of Devas alongwith Vayu, the God of Wind, hence the name Guruvayur. It is at this temple that Melpathoor Naryana Bhattithiri (in the 16th century) composed his renowned Sanskrit devotional poem ‘Narayaneeyam’ as an offering while he was seriously ill. The temple is renowned for its healing powers. Several modes of offering are made to the deity, one such is known as ‘Thulabharam’, where a devotee is weighed against offering of bananas, sugar, jaggery, coconut, etc.

Ladies are required to wear traditonal Kerala dress or sari and Gents are required to wear traditional dhoti. The main festivals Ulsavom (Feb/Mar) and Vishukani (Apr/May) are celebrated in the temple. Temple Timings: 0300-1230 hrs. & 1700- 2100 hrs.

Punnathur Kotta

This is the place where the Guruvayur temple elephants (numbering over 40) are housed and fed. Visitors are allowed to watch these elephants in the premises.


Area : 7.45 Sq.Km. Altitude : Sea level.

Temperature : Summer Max: 35.0 Deg.C. Min: 22.5 Deg.C.

Winter Max: 32.3 Deg.C. Min: 20.0 Deg.C.

Rainfall : 254 Cm.

Season : October to March STD Code : 0487.


Air : Nedumbassery Airport near Kochi (87 Km.) is the nearest airport to Guruvayur and is well connected by Indian Airlines and private airlines with major cities. Fare: Mumbai-Kochi Rs. 5990/-(Y) & Rs. 8685/- (J).

Rail : The railhead at Guruvayur is connected with Thrissur (Trichur) which in turn is connected with major cities and towns in India.

Fare: Mumbai-Thrissur II A/c.: Rs. 1853/- & II Class: Rs. 429/-

Road : Guruvayur is well connected by good motorable roads with Alappuzha 173 Km., Kanniyakumari 419 Km., Kochi 108 Km., Kollam 258 Km., Kottayam 169 Km., Kozhikode 129 Km., Munnar 175 Km., Ootacamund 230 Km., Palakkad 95 Km., Palani 247 Km., Thekkady (Periyar) 242 Km., Thrissur 29 Km. and Thiruvananthapuram 331 Km.


(* Hotels approved by the Dept. of Tourism, Govt. of India)

Single Double

*Hotel Sopanam Heritage *** A/c. -- Rs. 800- 1149/-

East Nada,Tel:555244,Fax: 556753. Non A/c. Rs. 700/- Rs. 800/-

*Hotel Krishna Inn*** A/c. -- Rs. 1100-1500/-

East Nada, Tel: 550777. Fax: 554169.

*Hotel Vanamala Kusumam** A/c. -- Rs. 800-900/-

South Nada,Tel: 556702, Fax:555504Non A/c. -- Rs. 550-600/-

Other Hotels

The tariff of the following hotels ranges from Rs. 300-600/- for a Non A/c. room and Rs. 500-900/- for a A/c room.

Hotel Ayodhya, West Nada, Tel: 556226; Hotel Elite, East Nada, Tel:556215-18. Fax:555218; Hotel Govindam Residency, West Nada, Tel: 552540-42; Hrishikesham Tourist Home, East Nada, Tel: 556750; Poornima Tourist Home,

East Nada, Tel: 556690-1; R.V.K Residency, East Nada,Tel: 556204. Fax:554655;

Yadava Tourist Home, East Nada, Tel: 555462;

Other Hotels

Tariff of the following hotels ranges from Rs. 150- 500/- for double room.

Aradhana Tourist Home, West Nada, Tel:556477; Brahmaputra Tourist Home, East Nada, Tel: 556761; Guruvayur Township Rest House, West Nada, Tel: 554795; Murali Hotels & Resorts Pvt. Ltd., West Nada, Tel: 556363; Nandini Tourist Home Pvt. Ltd., East Nada, Tel: 556509; Sri Kripa Tourist Home, East Nada, Tel: 552415/21; Thulaseedalam Tourist Home, West Nada, Tel: 554019.

Other Accommodation

*Hotel Mangalya*(KTDC), East Nada, Tel: 556266/7 (Tariff: Non A/c. Rs.450/- (6 beds); *Hotel Nandanam*(KTDC), East Nada, Tel: 556266, Fax: 555513 (Tariff: A/c.Dlx. Sgl. Rs. 550/-, Dbl. Rs.600/- & Non A/c. Sgl. Rs. 275-325/-, Dbl. Rs. 300-400/-); Hotel Anjanam (KTDC), West Nada, Tel: 552408, Fax: 555513 (Tariff: Non A/c. 175-375/-). Reservations: Central Reservations, Kerala Tourism Dev. Corpn. Ltd. (KTDC), Mascot Square, Thiruvananthapuram, Tel: 0471-316736. Fax: 314406. E-mail: ktdc@vsnl.com Website: www.ktdc.com

Accommodation maintained by the Temple Devasom - Kausthubhom Rest House, Tel: 556537; Panchajanyam Rest House, Tel: 556535; Sathram Guest House; Sathram East Block; Sathram South Block; Sreevalsam (VIP Guest House), Tel: 556539. Reservations: The Administrator, Guruvayur Temple Devaswom, Tel: 556365.

Govt. Guest House, Tel:556696 (Tariff: A/c. Rs. 200-500/- & Non A/c. Rs. 100-200/-).


Hotel Mangalya & Hotel Nandanam, KTDC, East Nada, Guruvayur, Tel: 556266/7.

KTDC, C/o. Kairali Emporium, Nirmal Bldg., Nariman Point, Mumbai.

15 Jul 2002

Bangalore (Bengaluru)

Capital of Karnataka state, Bangalore, also known as the 'City of Gardens', is one of the most attractive cities in India with its beautiful parks, avenues and impressive buildings.

Bandipur National Park

Nestling at the foothills of the Nilgiris, the Bandipur National Park was formed by extending the Venugopal Wildlife Park which was set up in 1931 by the Mysore Maharajas. The Moyer River forms a natural boundary between the Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu and the Bandipur National Park in Karnataka. The Bandipur National Park is one of the fifteen Tiger Reserves in the country, launched under the Project Tiger Scheme during 1973. 

Srisailam - Mantralayam

Srisailam, also known as Sriparvata is situated in the Rishabgiri Hills on the southern banks of the river Krishna, in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh.  Mention of Srisailam as Sriparvata has been made in the epic "Mahabharata".  Srisailam is famous for the Mallikarjunaswamy Temple, one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in the country.

Mantralayam is situated on the banks of the River Tungabhadra in Kurnool District.  Brindavan - the 'Samadhi' of Sri Raghavendraswamy located here, attracts lakhs of pilgrims.  The Sanskrit Vidyapeeth at Mantralayam conducts a 12 years course, on completion of which, the pupil is conferred the title of "Vedanta Shiromani".

Horsley Hills (Andhra Pradesh)

A small hill resort situated in the Chittoor district in Andhra Pradesh. It is surrounded by a ring of peaks and it's deep valleys are lush with vegetation. This resort was discovered in 1870 by W.D. Horsley, a European member of the Indian Civil Services who made it his summer resort.


Puttaparti is a small town in the Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh famous worldwide for the ashram of the Saint-Philosopher, Satya Sai Baba.


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Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh was founded in the late 16th century by the Qutab Shahi Dynasty. Hyderabad is a city of oriental glory, reminiscent of the great days of the Indo-Muslim culture. It was till recently the seat of the fabled Nizams. Today, together with adjoining Secunderabad, it is one of India's largest cities. Medieval Indian, Saracenic, Mughual and Colonial architecture create an exuberance and richness here, rarely found in other parts of the country.


Mudduraja Keri was the capital of the Kodagu King Mudduraja in 1681. Later it came to be known as Madikere. It is the headquarters of Kodagu District standing at a height of 1170 metres above sea level. Madikere is famous for its coffee and oranges.


The foundations of this historic city were laid during the reign of the Chalukyan Dynasty. They called it 'Vijayapura' or the 'City of Victory' from where comes its present name Bijapur. Bijapur experienced a great burst of architectural activity under the Adil Shahi dynasty, who encouraged building activities. Bijapur itself has over 50 mosques, more than 20 tombs and a number of palaces. It is well known for the monument of Gol Gumbaz, the second largest dome in the world.

14 Jul 2002



Situated on the banks of river Yagachi, Belur was the capital of the Hoysala Empire 800 years ago, before it was shifted to Dwarasamudram (Halebid). Today, Belur is a small town basking in the glory of one of the greatest monuments of medieval art in India-the Chennakesava Temple.



A popular Jain pilgrim centre, Sravanabelagola is wedged between two rocky hills, Indragiri and Chandragiri. The 1000 year old colossal 17 metre high Monolithic statue of the Jain Saint Gomateswara Stands majestically atop the Indragiri Hill. Sravanabelagola can be approached by road from Bangalore (160Km.), the nearest airport and Hassan(49Km.), the nearest railhead. It is also connected by road with Bangalore 149 km, Hassan 52 km., Mysore 80 Km. and Mangalore 221 Km.



(15 Km from Belur)

Known earlier as Dwarasamudra, Halebid the ancient capital of the Hoysalas was founded in the early eleventh century AD. Deserted afterwards, Dwarasamudra came to be called Halebid or "the old capital". Of the many buildings of this ancient city, only a few have survived the Muslim invasions.

Halebid can be approached by road from Mangalore (170Km.), the nearest airport and from Hassan (32Km.), the convenient railhead. Halebid is also connected by road with Arsikere 45 Km, Bangalore 216 Km, Belur 16 Km, Mysore 149 Km, and Shravanabelagola 86 Km. The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation. (KSRTC) operates regular bus services from Halebid to Belur and Hassan.

11 Jul 2002

Nagarhole National Park

The name Nagarhole is derived from the Kannada words 'Naga' meaning 'snake' and 'Hole' meaning 'streams'. A number of streams snake through the rich tropical forests of Nagarhole which is situated at Karapur in the picturesque districts of Kodagu and Mysore in Southern Karnataka. The Nagarhole National Park was first constituted in 1955 and later enlarged in 1975 to include more expanses of reserve forests. Once an exclusive hunting preserve of the erstwhile rulers of Mysore, it is an ideal habitat for a wide variety of wildlife.

15 Jun 2002


Hampi, one of the World Heritage Monuments of India, was once the capital of the mighty Vijayanagar empire (1336-1565) which extended from the Arabian Sea to the Bay of Bengal and from the Deccan Plateau to the tip of the Indian Peninsula. The Vijayanagar kings were great patrons of art and architecture as is evident in the vast ruins of Hampi.

22 May 2002


Kottayam, a premier commercial town, with palm fringed backwaters of Vembanad Lake and vast paddy fields of Kuttanad to the west and to its east the scenic part of Western Ghats with rubber, tea, coffee, pepper and cardamom plantation. Kottayam is an important centre of education, having led the country in achieving total literacy.

15 May 2002


Reputed to be one of the oldest and most venerated holy shrines of the Hindus, Tirupati is the abode of Lord Venkateshwara (Balaji).  The main temple is ensconced in the seven hills - Tirumala (13 Km.) and the town at the foothill is known as Tirupati.

1 May 2002


A prosperous commercial town, Kollam lies on the Ashtamudi Lake heavily fringed with coconut groves. In ancient times, Phoenician, Persian, Arab, Greek, Roman and Chinese ships touched the port here. Kollam figured prominently in the early history of Christianity in India. The present day Kollam is famous for it's varied modern industries, cashew nut processing and research, fisheries, etc.


  • Backwaters


  •  Picnic Village - housing an Adventure Park, a Tourist Boat Club and Children's Traffic Park
  • Thangassery (5 KM) – A seaside village known for the ruins of the Portuguese/Dutch Fort and a 18th century church and a light house
  • Thirumullavaram Beach (6 KM)


Kundara (13 KM): Kundara is famous for its ceramic and aluminium factories

Chavara (16 KM): Chavara is the site of an Indo-Norwegian fishery project

Valikavu-Mata Amritanandamayi Ashram (20 KM): The residence and Headquarters of Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, one of the India's gurus is situated at Amritapuri near Valikavu. The Ashram is accessible both by road and boat. Tel: 0476-621279 / 897578

Sasthamkotta (29 KM): An important pilgrim center and it has the largest fresh water lake in Kerala

Ochira (34 KM): The Parabrahma Temple here is dedicated to the Universal Consciousness

Varkala (39 KM): A seaside town and a pilgrim center.

Accom (STD Code: 0472): Taj Garden Retreat, Tel: 603000. Fax: 602296. (Tariff: Sgl.Rs. 2300-2400/- & Dbl.Rs. 2900-4000/-), *Preeth Beach Resort**, Tel: 600942 (Tariff: Rooms Rs. 500-800/- & Cottage Rs. 750-2500/-), Hilltop Ayurvedic Beach Resort, Tel: 601237 (Tariff: Rs. 400-900/-), Sea Pearl Chalet, Tel: 605875 (Tariff: Cottage Rs. 1000/-), Hotel Sky Lark, Tel: 602107 (Tariff: Rs.150-500), Thiruvambadi Beach Retreat, Tel: 601028 (Tariff: Rs.500-950/-), Govt. Guest House, Tel: 602227 (Tariff: Rs. 100-500/-), Sivagiri Guest House, Sivagiri Mutt, Sivagiri, Varkala

Thenmala (66 KM): It is a damsite covered by dense forest, rubber and tea plantations. An Eco Tourism Development Project is under implemetation here

Ariankavu (70 KM): Ariankavu is a pilgrim centre with a temple dedicated to Lord Sastha (Ayyappa)

Palaruvi Waterfalls (75 KM): A picnic spot, located 5 KM from Ariankavu. Accom: Hotel Aaram (KTDC), Tariff: Rs. 150-300/-

Alappuzha (87 KM): Alappuzha is the center for backwater cruises in Kerala

Courtallam (104 KM): A charming health resort, Courtallam is located in Tirunelveli Dist of Tamil Nadu. There are 9 important waterfalls in Courtallam. The best season is from July to Sept. Acco:Hotel Tamil Nadu (TTDC), Tel: 04633-22423, M'bai Contact Tel:4110118 (Tariff: A/c. Dbl. Rs.700/-, Non A/c. Rs.400-450/-).

Palaruvi Waterfalls (75 KM): A picnic spot, located 5 KM from Ariankavu. Accom: Hotel Aaram (KTDC), Tariff: Rs. 150-300/-

Alappuzha (87 KM): Alappuzha is the center for backwater cruises in Kerala

Courtallam (104 KM): A charming health resort, Courtallam is located in Tirunelveli Dist of Tamil Nadu. There are 9 important waterfalls in Courtallam. The best season is from July to Sept. Acco:Hotel Tamil Nadu (TTDC), Tel: 04633-22423,

Mumbai Contact
Tel:4110118 (Tariff: A/c. Dbl. Rs.700/-, Non A/c. Rs.400-450/-).


Area        : 16 Sq.KM            Altitude    : Sea Level.

Temperature    : Summer    Max: 35.0 Deg.C.    Min: 25 Deg.C.

         Winter    Max: 33.5 Deg.C.    Min: 24 Deg.C.

Rainfall    : 279 Cm.

Season    : October to March.        STD Code    : 0474.


Air    : The nearest airport Thiruvananthapuram (71 KM) is connected by Indian Airlines and private airlines with major cities in India. Fare: Mumbai-Thiruvananthapuram: Rs. 6700 (Y) & Rs. 9920/- (J)

Rail    : Kollam is connected by rail with major cities and towns in the country. Fare: Mumbai-Kollam II A/c. Rs. 1997/- & II Class: Rs. 461/-.

Road    :     Motorable roads connect Kollam with Alappuzha 87 KM, Guruvayur 258 KM Idukki 239 KM, Kaladi 187 KM, Kanniyakumari 160 KM, Kochi 150 KM, Kottayam 106 KM, Kottayam 106 KM, Kozhikode 372 KM, Munnar 282 KM, Palghat 310 KM, Sabarimala 177 KM, Thekkady 220 KM, Thrissur 229 Km and Thiruvananthapuram 72 KM

Conducted Backwater Cruises

Alleppey Tourism Development Council (ATDC) & District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) operate backwater cruises from Boat Jetty, Kollam to Alappuzha (Dep: 1030 hrs. Daily, Fare: Rs. 150/-); Alumkadavu (Dep: 1030 hrs. Daily, Fare: Rs. 100/-); DTPC Backwater Village Cruise (Timings: 0900-1330 hrs. & 1400-1830 hrs. Fare: Rs. 250/-); Canal Cruise to Monroe Island (Timings: 0900-1300 hrs., Fare: Rs. 300/-). DTPC also operates exclusive house boat holiday packages.



(* Hotels approved by the Dept. of Tourism, Govt. of India)

                        Single        Double

*Aquaserene ***            Cottage    --        Rs. 3600-3800/-

South Paravoor, Tel: 512410-17, Fax: 512104.

*Hotel Sudarshan**                    Rs. 200-450/-    Rs. 300-500/-

Parameswar Nagar, Tel: 744322. Fax: 740480.

Ashtamudi Resort            A/c.        Rs. 2150/-    Rs. 2800/-

Chavara South P.O., Tel: 0476-882288. Fax: 882470.

Hotel Central Park            Non A/c.    Rs. 225/-    Rs. 250-850/-

Kadappakada, Tel: 749287. Fax: 749287.

Lake Sagar Resort                    --        Rs. 300-500/-

Paravoor, Tel: 514300. Fax: 750170.

Hotel Sea Bee            Dlx.        --        Rs.1100/-

Jetty Road, Tel:744696, Fax:744158.Reg.        Rs. 200/-    Rs. 300-600/-

Other Hotels

Tariff of the following hotels range from Rs.100-300/- for a Single room and Rs.200-500/- for a Double room.

Aiswarya Lodge, Main Road, Tel: 750214/15, 750384/85; Hotel Ambadi, Beach Road, Tel: 748243; Hotel Karthika, Chinnakada, Tel: 751821-30; Prashanti Hotels, Beach Road, Tel: 742292/94; Safire Tourist Home, Paikada Road, Tel: 751006; Shine Tourist Centre, Iron Bridge Road, Tel: 752452; Shree Uma Maheshwara Tourist Home, Main Road, Tel: 743712; Sika Lodge, Chinnakada, Tel: 750096;

Other Accommodation

Yatri Niwas (KTDC), Ashramom, Tel: 745538 (Tariff: Sgl. Rs. 165-385/- & Dbl. Rs. 220-440/-), Govt. Guest House, Tel: 742630 (Tariff: A/c. Rs. 200-500/- & Non A/c. Rs. 100-150/-), PWD Rest House, Kollam, Tel: 742838.

24 Apr 2002


Munnar is a small hill station at an altitude ranging from 5000 to over 7000 feet above sea level. Some of the largest tea estates can be seen around Munnar. Beyond the estates are rich tropical forests. Anaimudi, the highest peak of South India is at a short distance from here.

15 Mar 2002


Mysore has been an important centre of religion, education and culture for centuries. The lavish ways of the Maharajas find reflection in the numerous palaces and parks.

1 Jan 2002



The port city of Mangalore is situated at the source and confluence of two rivers Netravati and Gurpur. It derives its name from Queen Mangaladevi who according to tradition, is said to have lived here in the tenth century AD.