GR Travels

Vivekananda Rock Memorial

A magnificent wooden palace of the 16th century, Padmanabhapuram Palace lies at the landís end of mainland India - Kanyakumari. An enticing edifice to any lover of art and architecture this old palace of the Rajas of the erstwhile Travancore (1550 to 1750 AD) is a fine specimen of Keralaís indigenous style of architecture. The antique interiors are replete with intricate rosewood carvings and sculptured decor. The palace also contains 17th and 18th century murals. One can see: the musical bow in mahogany, windows with colored mica, royal chairs with Chinese carvings, Thaikkottaram or the Queen Mothers palace with painted ceilings, rose wood and teak carved ceilings with 90 different floral designs. People believe that Swami Vivekananda swam to this small rocky island and meditated here in his quest for enlightenment. The Shripada Mandapam, having a study hall and a museum, and the Vivekananda Mandapam add to the spiritual significance and purity of the memorial.      Book Now



padmanabhapuram palace

Padmanabhapuram is the former capital city of the erstwhile Hindu kingdom of Travancore. It is about 20km from Nagercoil, and about 50km from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. The palace is complex inside with an old granite fortress around four kilometers long. A magnificent wooden palace of the 16th century, Padmanabhapuram Palace lies at the land. The palace was constructed around 1601 CE by the then Travancore ruler, Iravi Varma Kulasekhara Perumal. The palace was rebuilt around 1750 by the maker of modern Travancore, Anizham Thirunal Marthandavarma. It was the king Marthaanda Varma who dedicated the kingdom to his family deity believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu Sree Padmanabha. He ruled the kingdom as Padmanabha Dasa or the servant of Lord Padmanabha. Hence, the name Padmanabhapuram or, literally, city of Lord Padmanabha The splendor of the palace is a fine example of the architecture of Kerala. The interiors, from what I have heard, consist of intricately detailed rosewood carvings and immensely fine sculptures. There exist intact 17th and 18th century murals as well as a musical bow in mahogany.      Book Now



Thiruvalluvar Statue

The Thiruvalluvar Statue is a 133 feet (40.6 m) tall stone sculpture of the Tamil poet and philosopher Tiruvalluvar, author of the Thirukkural. The Tamilnadu Government has installed a statue of Saint Thiruvalluvar who gave us quintessential words of wisdom known as Thirukkural. The stone statue is 133 feet high including the pedestal. The 3 tier pedestal known as Atharapeedam is surrounded by an artistic Mandapa known as Alankara Mandapam with 38 feet height. Surrounding the Alankara Mandapa stand 10 elephant statues signifying 8 directions, with earth and space down. The father of Sri. Rama, the hero of Ramayana was called Dasaratha as he was able to charioteer in ten directions. To help the tourists to worship the holy feet of Thiruvalluvar 140 steps are constructed inside the Mandapa. The pedestal with a height of 38 feet represents the 38 chapters in the Book of Aram in Thirukural and the statue of 95 feet on the pedestal represents the total chapters in Porul (70 chapters) and Inbam (25 Chapters). Thus the statue symbolically and artistically signifies that the theme of Porul and Inbam are based on Aram.      Book Now



Vattakottai Fort

Vattakottai Fort is an imposing seaside fort in Kanyakumari District in Tamilnadu. The fort was constructed with granite blocks and today, a section of it extends into the sea. Vattakottai translates into circular fort in Tamil. The fort is a protected site under the Archaeological Department of India. Recently a major overhaul of the fort took place. From the fort, you can savor fabulous views of the sea on one side and the magnificent Western Ghats from the other. Vattakottai Fort is worth a visit because you will feel like you have gone back in time as you traverse it from the ramparts to the watchtowers and weapon rooms to the tranquil outdoors. An interesting feature of the fort is the predominance of the fish motif, which you will see on many walls. The fish motif was believed to be a symbol of the Pandyas; consequently archeologists believe that the Fort must have been under the control of the Pandyas at some point.      Book Now


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