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So0O Wow Temples Of South-India!

Hey there! This friday we are talking about the majestic temples of south India.

If you have any plan for a vacation to South India this season, then you must visit the magnificent temples that decorate the region throughout. These Dravidian architecture masterpieces are a great way to discover hidden historical facts, and cultural secrets. These temples showcase the greatest of temple architecture in India, and here are the top five South Indian temples that you must visit.

 

  • Meenakshi Temple, Madurai:Ancient Madurai was one of the biggest religious and cultural centers of India, and it is also the home to the most impressive temples of South India. Meenakshi temple is one South Indian temple you must definitely see, the temple complex is spread over 15 acress, with 4500 pillars and 12 towers. The most stunning feature about the temple is its various sculpture, and then there’s the Chithrai festival that goes on for 12 days. During this festival the celestial marriage of god and goddess of the temple is re-enacted during the month of April. This is truly one of the top five South Indian temples.

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  • Tirumala Venkateswara, Tirupati:This majestic temple is not only the part of our list of favorite South Indian temples, but is also one of the most amazing temples around the world. It is one of the most sacred temples of Vaishnavites, and is dedicated to Lord Venkateswara, one of the most powerful gods in the Hindu religion. Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam, one of the richest religious bodies in the world, maintains this temple. The temple is also famous for the prasadam, Laddu. It has the largest solar power kitchen, and the whole temple complex uses only solar and wind energy. Moreover, around 75,000 devotees visit this temple every single day.

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  • Ramanathaswamy Temple, Rameshwaram:The Ramanathaswamy temple is known for its wondrous pillared-hallway that is the longest in India, with an amazingly painted ceiling. It is located in the holy city of Rameshwaram and just 100 mts from sea, where devotees have to take bath before entering the temple, and taking a bath in its 22 wells. The water in these wells is considered purifying and holy. Rameshwaram is located at the tip of Indian peninsular, and is a holy land from where Lord Rama and his army built a bridge to cross the sea to rescue Sita. It is definitely one of the top five South Indian temples.

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  • Kumbakonam:The town of Kumbakonam is located 40 kms from Tanjore and is home to 18 temples, specially the Sarangapani temple. It is one of the top five south Indian temples. This town is best known for temple hopping, and Sarangapani, the most magnificent of all is a shrine in the form of a chariot. Then 4 kms from Kumbakonam, there’s also 12th century Airatesvara temple.

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  • Thanjavur:Thanjavur is known to be the stronghold of Tamil culture during the 11th century, when Raja Raja I of Chola Kingdom built magnificent temples around the region. In total, Cholas built 70 temples in Thanjavus, with Brihadeswara being the most beautiful one, it is also known as the Big temple and is now a UNESCO world heritage site. The temple turned 1000 years old in 2010, and is the symbol of the might of Cholas, it is also one of the oldest temples in India that is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

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Let me tell you that there are several other temples that i have not mentioned. So when are you heading to South India.

That’s all for today!

Catch you on next blog.

Keep smiling 🙂

 

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More of The widely known Golden Triangle!

Hey You, yes you!

You are awesome and i am sure this year is yours, you will do wonders. So just don’t forget to smile each morning. Words are all i have for you – to make you smile.

Or get turned on to my favorite song which has been on repeat for me all month, its right below-

 

“Pack yourself a toothbrush dear, pack yourself a favorite tshirt / blouse. Take a withdrawal slip, take all your savings out. Cause if we don’t leave this town, we might never make it out.” – Sleep on the floor by The Lumineers.

 

Golden Triangle Tour

Don’t you even know yet? Lets make twenty minutes to know all about it. 😉

The golden triangle of North India is the most highlighted travel package in the list of all the travel planners. Tour the “Golden Triangle” covers the most famous and most interesting cities of Central India. This is the route Delhi — Jaipur — Fatehpur Sikri — Agra.

 

What you’r gonna see?

More sightseeing than the Golden triangle, perhaps, difficult to find. Cities like Agra, Jaipur, Delhi are major tourist centers of India and store a lot of interesting places, historical monuments and architectural masterpieces of the times of the Mughal dynasty.

 

Jaipur

The most vivid city can rightly be called the Pinkcity – Jaipur.

This small but incredible  city was built according to the Canon of ancient Indian architecture: a rectangular plan with narrow picturesque streets, filled with people, shops and stalls, surrounded by a fortified wall that protected the city from raids and wild animals.

Most of the historical monuments of the city built of pink Sandstone, symbolizing hospitality. The most colorful attractions in Jaipur can be considered as the Palace of winds (Hawa Mahal) and City Palace complex. The Hawa Mahal is a truly fabulous place, specially built for the harem of the Sheikh in the form of a honeycomb. This layout was designed by the architects to a wonderful resident and not be afraid to be seen, to observe the life of the city.

City Palace complex is not less interesting. You will have to spend almost the entire day to explore palace. The Palace itself consists of many interesting museums, which exhibits musical instruments, items of clothing and samples of textiles, collections of ceremonial weapons, ancient manuscripts, miniature replicas of famous Indian monuments.

Ooops! How could i forget my favorite Amber Fort to mention here, Amber Fort – one of the most famous attractions of Jaipur, which is among the best fortified structures in India and is an exceptionally beautiful complex of palaces, halls, pavilions and gardens. The construction of the fortress-Palace of red and white Sandstone was started by Raja man Singh in 1592г. The Amber fort is actually situated over the hill, take a walk, use jeep or better enjoy an elephant ride to reach the fort. 🙂

 

In the city in early November, held a Grand celebration of Diwali or the festival of lights dedicated to the goddess of love and prosperity, Lakshmi, when the whole city light up candles, houses are decorated with lights and the sky is lit with extraordinary firework.

 

Delhi

The next gem on the tour is none other than Delhi, where you will explore not only the sights of the Old city but also enjoy the masterpieces of the British-Indian architecture of the New Delhi. In the first place offer tourists to explore the huge JAMA Masjid mosque. A beautiful building of red Sandstone and white marble is an excellent example of ancient Indian architecture. Here you can get your hands on in the pool or climb the South minaret overlooking the magical panorama of the Old town.

Further — the Red Fort, built in 1648. On the territory you enter through the gate of Lahore, and then to be one of the first indoor markets Chatta Chowk.

Not less interesting is the examination of the Hindu temple of Lakshmi-Narayana, named in honor of the goddess of abundance and wealth Lakshmi. The walls of the temple are decorated with carvings and images of Hindu mythology.

Akshardham Temple – (My Favorite Place) If you look at the map, the Akshardham temple Swaminarayan (Swaminarayan Akshardham) is on the other side of the Jumna, opposite the gateway of India.

To get to the temple you need to hand over all the gadgets. Sight of Akshardham cannot be described in words! The complex occupies a huge territory and involves the actual temple, a huge splash fountain in the form of a Lotus, ponds with fountain, all surrounded by covered galleries.

For completeness, I will add some figures: outside area of the temple is decorated with 234 carved by hand columns, 148 stone elephants, 125 human figures and 42 animal figures. All figures presented in the scenes of the myths and legends of India. Water fountains were brought in from all rivers in the country. According to the official version, the construction of the temple at a cost of five hundred million (500 000 000) us dollars, collected by the followers of Swaminarayana. Akshardham, with all its strangeness, still is a traditional Hindu temple.

 

In Delhi there are many holidays, but if you are a music connoisseur should visit here Republic day, January 26. This day is usually a festival of folk music and dances at the National stadium.

 

Agra

Another gem of the tour “Golden triangle” is a fabulous town Agra. It is famous for yes one of the seven wonders of the world — the Taj Mahal. Among the cypress trees on the banks of the river majestically located the immortal monument of love, built by the Shah Jahan in honor of his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal. Unusual tomb still delights the eye with its exquisite beauty. Made of white marble, the mausoleum completes a double dome perfect shape and four minarets. The tomb of the Empress is built of marble, inlaid with precious stones, decorated with ornaments made of black marble.

Another interesting attraction of the city is Agra Fort made of red Sandstone. The complex has retained its ten mtr high walls of terraces, halls, gardens and beautiful marble mosque, Moti Masjid. Here is the same explore the halls of public and private audiences, Grape gardens and the Mirror Palace. Tomb Itamad-UD-Dauly — the heart of the Arabian Park is one of the most beautiful attractions of the city. Empress Noorjahan built it for his parents. Small in size, the tomb is considered to be Small Taj, travelers hitting finishes of white and black marble, openwork panels, decorated with precious stones and unusual mosaics.

The Golden Triangle Tour is much more than i’ve discribed, Come & experience!!

That’s All for Today.

Stay tuned to upcoming blogs.

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Экскурсионная программа «Золотого Треугольника» охватывает самые знаменитые и самые интересные города центральной Индии. Это маршрут Дели — Джайпур — Фатехпур-Сикри — Агра.

Что посмотреть

Более насыщенной экскурсионной программы, чем Золотой треугольник, пожалуй, не найти. Такие города, как Агра, Джайпур, Дели являются основными туристическими центрами Индии и хранят множество интереснейших мест, исторических памятников и архитектурных шедевров времен династии Великих Моголов.

Джайпур

Самым ярким городом по праву можно назвать Джайпур.

Совсем небольшой по своим размерам, город был построен по всем каноном древнеиндийской архитектуры: имеет прямоугольную планировку с узкими живописными улочками, заполненных людьми, магазинчиками и лавками, окруженный крепостной стеной, защищавшей город от набегов и диких зверей.

Большинство исторических памятников города построены из розового песчаника, символизирующего гостеприимство. Самыми колоритными достопримечательностями Джайпур можно считать Дворец ветров и Городской дворцовый комплекс. Дворец ветров поистине сказочное место, построенное специально для гарема шейха в виде медовых сот. Такая планировка была специально продумана архитекторами, чтобы прекрасные жительницы могли без страха быть увиденными, наблюдать за жизнью города.

Городской дворцовый комплекс не менее интересен. На его осмотр придется потратить чуть ли не весь день. Сам дворец состоит из множества интереснейших музеев, где выставлены музыкальные инструменты, предметы одежды и образцы текстиля, коллекции церемониального оружия, древние манускрипты, миниатюрные копии известных индийских памятников.

Форт Амбер – одну  из самых знаменитых достопримечательностей  Джайпура, который входит в число лучших укрепленных сооружений в Индии и представляет собой необычайно красивый комплекс  дворцов, залов, павильонов и садов. Строительство  крепости-дворца из красного и белого песчаника  было начато раджой Ман Сингхом в 1592г.

В городе в начале ноября проходит грандиозный праздник Дивали или праздник огней, посвященный богине любви и благополучия Лакшми, когда по всему городу загораются свечи, дома украшаются огнями, а небо освещается необыкновенные фейерверки.

Летом здесь можно побывать на праздники Тидж, который проходит в третий день новолуния. Это довольно интересное зрелище, когда качели города украшаются цветами и листьями, в этот день празднуют начало сезона дождей. Для любителей рептилий праздник Нагпанчми будет крайне любопытен, ведь именно в этот день восхваляют это священное животное. Люди подносят к змеиным норам молоко, повсюду показывают свое мастерство заклинатели змей.

Дели

Следующим пунктом экскурсионного тура станет Дели, где вам удастся осмотреть не только достопримечательности Старого города, но и вполне насладятся шедеврами британско-индийской архитектуры Нового. В первую очередь туристам предложат осмотреть огромную мечеть Джама Масджид. Прекрасное здание из красного песчаника и белого мрамора отличный пример древнеиндийской архитектуры. Здесь можно омыть руки в бассейне или подняться на южный минарет, откуда открывается волшебная панорама Старого города.

Дальше — Ред Форт, построенный в 1648 году. На территорию вы попадаете через ворота Лахор и тут же оказываетесь на одном из первых крытых рынков Чатта Чоук. До сих пор здесь сохранилась ни с чем несравнимая атмосфера Индии, какой она была сотни лет назад. На прилавках можно найти самые невообразимые товары, купить украшения и сувениры, ароматические свечи, масла, ткани и одежду.

Но не стоит покупать здесь ничего съестного.

Не задерживайтесь долго на рынке, отправляйтесь в музей Форта, где выставлены предметы быта и музыкальные инструменты.

В северной части Нью-Дели располагается площадь Коннаут — деловой и туристический центр Нового города. Здесь находятся лучшие магазины и рестораны города, отсюда начинается дорого к Воротам Индии, где горит вечный огонь в память о погибших солдатах Второй Мировой войны и проходят военные парады. Не менее интересным станет осмотр индуистского храма Лакшми-Нарайан, названного так в честь богини изобилия и богатства Лакшми. Стены храма украшены резьбой и изображениями из индуистской мифологии.

Акшардхам Сваминараян – Если смотреть по карте, то храм Акшардхам Сваминараян (Swaminarayan Akshardham) находится на другом берегу Джамны, напротив Ворот Индии. Сахаджананда Свами (1781-1830) еще известен, как Бхагаван Сваминараян, основоположник направления в индуизме, известного как Движение Сваминараян. Его приверженцы поклоняются ему, как аватаре Нараяны — одной из форм Вишну и исходящего из Кришны.
Чтобы попасть в храм пришлось не только разуться и сдать все гаджеты, но и вытащить все из карманов – из-за террористической угрозы проносить в храм ничего нельзя (деньги – можно).Увиденное словами описать невозможно! Комплекс расположен на огромной территории и включает собственно храм, огромный поющий фонтан в виде лотоса, пруды с фонтанами, а по периметру все окружено крытыми галереями.

Для полноты картины добавлю несколько цифр: снаружи храм украшают 234 вырезанных вручную колоны, 148 вырезанных из камня слонов, 125 фигур людей и 42 фигуры животных. Все фигуры представлены в сценках из мифов и легенд Индии. Вода для фонтанов была привезена со всех рек страны. По официальной версии, строительство храма обошлось пятьсот миллионов (500 000 000) американских долларов, собранных приверженцами Сваминараяна.

Акшардхам, при всей своей необычности, все-таки — традиционный индуистский храм.

В Дели отмечается множество праздников, но если вы ценитель музыки стоит побывать здесь в день Республики, 26 января. В этот день обычно проводится фестиваль народной музыки и танцев на Национальном стадионе.

 

Агра

Еще одной жемчужиной экскурсионного тура «Золотой треугольник» является сказочный город Агра. Славится он, конечно же, одним из семи чудес света — Тадж Махалом. Среди кипарисовых деревьев на берегу реки величественно расположился бессмертный памятник любви, сооруженный при Шахе Джахане в честь его прекрасной жены Мумтаз Махал. Необычная гробница до сих пор восхищает глаз своей изысканной красотой. Выполненный из белого мрамора, мавзолей завершает двойной купол совершенной формы и четыре минарета. Усыпальница императрицы выстроена из мрамора, инкрустирована драгоценными камнями, украшена орнаментами из черного мрамора.

Другой не менее интересной достопримечательностью города является форт Агра, выполненный из красного песчаника. Комплекс сохранил за своими десяти метровыми стенами террасы, залы, сады и прекрасную мраморную мечеть Моти Масджид. Здесь же стоит осмотреть залы публичных и приватных аудиенций, Виноградный сад и Зеркальный дворец. Усыпальница Итемад-уд-Даулы — сердце Персидского парка и одна из самых изящных достопримечательностей города. Императрица Норджахан построила ее для своих родителей. Небольшая по размеру усыпальница по праву считается Малым Таджем, поражая туристов отделкой из белого и черного мрамора, ажурными панелями, украшенными драгоценными камнями и необычайной мозаикой.

 

Спасибо большое.

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Diwali with us!

Hey guys! Welcome back to our blog.

Today let us talk about the recent passed and everyone’s favorite festival “Diwali”. We had a good experience offering our foreign guests to live Diwali with us. So we decided to let people who could not make a trip to India this year know about this grand festival of lights. Diwali is one of the most colorful, sacred and loveliest festivals of India. It is celebrated every year with great joy and enthusiasm across the length and breadth of the country.

The shimmer of trillion lights, deep music that sounds from everywhere, plates full of delicious-smelling sweets in the hands of adults and children, the crackling of firecrackers and the glitter of sparklers, bustle of crowded bazaars / markets, this is the feast of the triumph of good over evil, a time of bright fire of generosity on the streets and in the hearts of all Indians.

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We at monks-n-monkeys have made some exclusive highlights of Diwali tour for our foreign guests: day after day and year after year. After analyzing previous years’ celebrations, we decided to redesign Diwali-tour like never before. So plan your tour to India on such a promising journey.

Tourist information about the holiday Diwali

At this time, people are out to buy new clothes and gifts for relatives. Because October-November is the most  favorable time for the fair. And  you can find chaotic holiday markets (regardless of whether you are in the north or south of India). Fabrics, sarees, sweets, nuts, art, souvenirs at affordable prices – all this can be bought in India in 5 festive days of the festival.

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About the weather

October-November is the most favorable time to visit India. Days are dry and warm (25-30 degrees) and temperature drops to + 21 at night which is suitable for most of Europeans.

Date of festival

Start date of the festival changes every year because it depends on the lunar cycle. Diwali is celebrated exactly on the 15th day of the Hindu lunar month of Kartika.

The concept of the festival has a deep religious meaning. Hundreds of years ago,  after the 14 years of exile  the king of Ayodhya – Rama came back home after victory over evil,  people all around lit their homes  with earthen lamps to illuminate his way home, and have the opportunity to welcome the beloved king.  Since then, the Indians repeat  this tradition and illuminate their homes in a sign of the manifestation of spiritual light, the light of purification of the soul and heart.

Monetary concept:

Before the festival all Hindus are trying to finish old business, pay off debts. And then make new starts. The people of India believe that the ventures initiated in the week of Diwali prosper to greatest extent. People worship  the Goddess of wealth- Lakshmi and the God of auspicious beginnings- Ganesha.

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 The festival of lights lasts for five days.

And each day has its own name, and has a deep sense of ancient traditions and requires devoted  compliance with Hindu rituals and ceremonies.

THE FIRST DAY OF DIWALI.

DHANTERAS – the day of goddess Lakshmi,

All women of India on this day, clean up their home and decorate them in the best possible way and also lit diyas (lamp oil clay vessels) all over. It is believed that on this day goddess Lakshmi descends on earth and chooses to visit homes which are clean and beautiful with many lights and music.

Women pray, sing hymns to Goddess Lakshmi, praying her to bless their home with wealth and prosperity.

THE SECOND DAY. NARAKA CHATURDASHI – “Small Diwali”

Creative day of the festival. People put efforts in order to decorate around.  Rangoli is a projection of the fiery light to the earth. They make the likeness of a fiery glare on the pavement and lawns of flowers and rocks, spilling out of colored powders and bright sand, dyed rice or grain cereals.

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THE THIRD DAY. DIWALI, festival of DIYAS – the main day of the festival.

On this day people get together with family to light the lamps prepared before, to worship. And in the evening, they visit friends and family generously exchange sweet gifts and best wishes. The presence of relatives accompanied by mass celebrations, explosions of firecrackers and fireworks.

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Why so many crackers n fireworks without even caring of environment?

Well, from parents I heard a more “earthly” explanation of the use of fireworks during the festival. It turns out that November is the month of the breeding of dangerous insects that spread disease and often becomes the cause of deadly epidemics. Smoke, steam, noise from the blasting of firecrackers and the smell of incense helps to reduce their number.

FOURTH DAY. PADWA / Govardhan Pooja

The fourth day of Diwali celebrations is ‘Padwa’ or ‘Varshapratipada’. In the North India, it is called as Govardhan Puja. This pooja is performed with great zeal and enthusiasm and in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. In this pooja, there is a tradition of building cow dung hillocks, which symbolize the Mount Govardhan, the mountain which was once lifted by Lord Krishna. After making such hillocks people decorate them with flowers and then worship them. They move in a circle all round the cow dung hillocks and offer prayers to Lord.

THE FIFTH DAY-  BHAIDOOJ – a day of brotherly love

After the high voltage celebrations of Diwali, the festival of lights and fire-crackers, sisters all over India get ready for ‘Bhai Dooj’ – when sisters ceremonise their love by putting an auspicious tilak or a vermilion mark on the forehead of their brothers and perform an aarti of him by showing him the light of the holy flame as a mark of love and protection from evil forces. Sisters are lavished with gifts, goodies and blessings from their brothers.

Bhai Dooj comes every year on the fifth and last day of Diwali, which falls on a new moon night. The name ‘Dooj’ means the second day after the new moon, the day of the festival, and ‘Bhai’ means brother.

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Now if you think this tour takes all the boxes on your holiday checklist, go online to monks-n-monkeys travel.

For other mesmerizing destinations in India, visit our website and subscribe to our blogs and also like us on facebook.

If you have already traveled to India please comment below your views.

So that’s all for today, have a happy time 🙂 .