Thursday, December 6, 2007

Napier Museum

The Napier Museum is situated in Trivandrum, capital city of Kerala.

Architecture of the building, bronze and stone sculpture, wood and ivory carvings, lamps, textiles, handicraft items, kuftgiri works and traditional musical instruments.

Best Time to Visit
October to March
Museum Attractions
The museum has a vast collection of artifacts of artistic, cultural and antique importance, which comprises sculptures in bronze and stone, carvings of wood and ivory, lamps, textiles, Kathakali models, handicraft items, Kuftgiri works, traditional musical instruments, a treasure of numismatic collections representing Chera, Chola, Pandya dynasties of Southern India. The bronze display include fascinating images of Siva, Vishnu, Parvathi and Lakshmi in 'Silpa Sastras'. The metal images illustrate the features of South Indian sculpture style of 8th to 18th Century. The Vishnu image of 8th Century collected from Ambalapuzha temple in central Travancore which has Pallava style is the oldest metal image in the State. The stone sculptures belong to 8th to 18th century. All the wood carvings exhibited here shows high degree of excellence. Each and every exhibit has a wonderful and fascinating tale twined around it.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Vivekananda rock.....In lights


The statue of the Tamil saint Tiruvalluvar...... on an island just off the southern tip of India at Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu...............Thiruvalluvar (Tamil: திருவள்ளுவர்) is a celebrated Tamil poet who wrote the Thirukkural, a well known ethical work in Tamil literature. He is claimed by both the Tamils who practice Hinduism and the Tamils who practice Jainism as their own. Norman Custer considers Thiruvalluvar to be a Jain citing internal textual evidence from Thirukural.[2]

Thiruvalluvar's period (based on the Thirukkural per se) is between the second century BCE and the eighth century CE. [3]

Both Thiruvalluvar's faith and identity are disputed. His disputed identity includes a low-caste Hindu, Jain, Buddhist, crypto-Christian, high-caste Hindu, Brahmin and half-Brahmin. [4]

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Kanyakumari has been a great centre for art and religion for centuries. It was also an area of great trade and commerce. It was ruled by the Cholas, the Cheras, the Pandyas and the Nayaks. The architectural beauty of the temples is the work of these rulers. Later Kanyakumari became part of the Venad kingdom with its capital at Padmanabhapuram. The king of Venad, Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma established Travancore by extending his domain further north up to Aluva, during his reign from 1729 to 1758. By this, the present Kanyakumari District came to be known as Southern Travancore. King Marthanda Varma defeated the Dutch East India Company at the famous Battle of Colachel in 1741. Kanyakumari was under the rule of the Kings of Travancore under the overall suzerainty of the British till 1947. Travancore joined the independent Indian Union in 1947. Obviously, the royal reign came to an end. In 1949, Kanyakumari became part of the reconstituted Travancore-Cochin State. By this time, the popular agitation for the amalgamation of Kanyakumari District with Tamil Nadu by the Tamil majority under the leadership of Thiru M.A. Nesamani intensified. Eventually, in 1956, Kanyakumari was integrated with Tamil Nadu (then known as Madras State) as per the language-based reorganisation of States.

According to legend, Christianity arrived in South India around AD 52 through St. Thomas, one of the twelve Apostles of Christ. However, European missionaries, who arrived in the 16th century, propagated Christianity in the area. St. Francis Xavier (April 7, 1506 – December 2, 1552) was the pioneer in preaching Christianity in the present day Kanyakumari district. Islam is believed to have entered the southern part of India through Kanyakumari during the early part of the eighth century AD through the sea route with traders and missionaries. Islam, Christianity and Jainism have also contributed to the architectural wealth and literary heritage of the region.

It is very popular to watch the sunrise/sunset here. This is the only place in India where both sunrise and sunset can be seen. Because of the meeting point of three ocean bodies - the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean, and the Arabian Sea - the spectacular sunrise/sunset sight is considered to even more special. During Chitra Pournami one can see the spectacular view of sunset and moon rise at the same time.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

A pillar inside the palace

The ceiling of the poomugham has carvings of 90 different flowers in full bloom, while on the behind the chinese chair- a gift from visiting Chinese traders - can be seen coloured wooden planks depicting the reclining figure of Lord Vishnu, also known as Padmanabhaswamy. The chair bears the inscriptions of 17th century Chinese art, and complements the other magnificent piece of furniture in the room, a glistening black bed made of seven pieces of granite.

A steep and narrow flight of wooden stairs leads to a trap door that opens into the first floor, which houses the mantrasala, or council chamber, where the king held his cabinet meetings. The narrow staircase and the heavy trap door are said to have been designed with the intention of warding off unexpected attacks- only one person can enter at a time. The black, highly polished floor here is quite special. It is made of a mixture of lime, burnt coconut shells, the whites of eggs, water from tender coconuts, sand, laterite and the juices of various herbs.

This majestic old palace is 63kms from Thiruvananthapuram. It is situated at Thucklai, on the way to Kanyakumari. This palace was once the capital of the State of Travancore. The palace is built in the Travancore architectural style. This is famous for its 17th and 18th century murals, carved mahogany ceiling, colored mica windows, secret underground passages, inner courtyards, durbal hall, museum, four poster medicinal bed, Belgian mirror, pictures of Lord Krishna, granite dance halls and special black shiny floors which are made from a unique combination of egg white, jaggery, lime, burnt coconut, charcoal and river sand.

It will be closed on Mondays.

Palace front view

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sea view

The Veli Tourist Village on the outskirts of Trivandrum is a delightful waterfront park which has become extremely popular with Trivandrumites. The main attraction at Veli is water - a large inland lake, separated from the ocean by only a narrow sandbar. -There is a floating bridge, and a floating restaurant .

Another view

Floating bridge ..Veli........Within hailing distance of the capital city Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram), is the Veli - Akkulam lagoon with a delightful waterfront park growing increasingly popular among the natives and tourists alike.
Only a narrow sandbar separates the lagoon from the sea. You can opt for rides in motor-driven safari launches, power boats, pedal boats or row boats. Kayaks and hovercraft attract the brave-hearted. A floating bridge and a floating restaurant add to the overall excitement. The eastern end of the lake is flanked by two scenic hillocks coming through as a perfect hiking ground.

Another view

Saturday, August 25, 2007