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COVELONG SIGHTSEEING

 

SPELT IN VARIOUS WAYS, COVELONG IS A FISHING SETTLEMENT WITH A FINE BEACH AND IS THE SITE OF THE EXPENSIVE TTDC FISHERMAN'S COVE RESORT (TEL 268)


COVELONG SIGHTSEEING AROUND

 

TIRUKKALIKUNDRAM (TIRUKAZHUKUNDRAM) ----------------------------------- FOURTEEN KM FROM MAHABALIPURAM, THIS PILGRIMAGE CENTRE WITH ITS HILLTOP TEMPLE IS FAMOUS AS THE PLACE WHERE TWO EAGLES COME EACH DAY,JUST BEFORE NOON, TO BE FED BY A PRIEST.LEGEND HAS IT THAT THEY COME FROM VARANASI (BENARES).FIVE HUNDRED VERY STEEP STEPS LEAD TO THE TOP OF THE HILL WHERE THE SOFT DRINK SELLERS AT THE TOP DO A BRISK TRADE WHEN IT'S HOT! SOME LESS -FIT VISITORS GET THEMSELVES CARRIED UP IN THE BASKETS.WHAT MOST GUIDEBOOKS IGNORE ABOUT THIS PLACE,HOWEVER,IS THE AMAZING TEMPLE COMPLEX WITH IT'S ENORMOUS GOPURAMS AT THE BASE OF THE HILL.IT'S VERY IMPRESSIVE,YET SEEMS TO HAVE FEW VISITORS.YOU CAN GET HERE FROM MAHABALIPURAM BY BUS OR BY BICYCLE. CROCODILE FRAM -------------- THIS FARM BREEDS CROCODILE TO AUGMENT THE CROCODILE POPULATIONS OF INDIA'S WILDLIFE SANCTUARIES.THERE ARE NOW ONLY A FEW HUNDRED OF THESES REPTILES LEFT.VISITORS ARE WELCOME AND YOU CAN SEE CROCODILES OF ALL SIZES,FROM THE NEWLY HATCHED TO ADULTS.THE FRAM IS ABOUT 15KM FROM MAHABALIPURAM ON THE ROAD TO MADRAS,AND IS SIGNPOSTED.YOU CAN GET THERE BY BICYCLE OR ON ANY MADRAS BUS FROM MAHABALIPURAM. TIRUVANNAMALAI=>FURTHER SOUTH TOWARDS PONDICHERRY,66-KM DETOUR INLAND FROM TINDIVANAMWILL BRING YOU TO THE TEMPLE TOWN OF TIRUVANNAMALI.THERE ARE OVER 100 TEMPLES HERE,AND THE SIV-PARVATI TEMPLE OF ARUNCHALESWAR IS SAID TO BE THE LARGEST IN INDIA.THE MAIN GOPURAM IS 66 METERS AND 13 STOREYS HIGH,AND THERE IS A 1000-PILLARED HALL.THE SPLENDID OLD FORTRESS OF GINGEE CAN VISIT


COVELONG SIGHTSEEING AROUND

 

PLACES TO STAY ------------- TRY EITHER THE PARK HOTEL OR THE MODREN CAFE,BOTH OF WHICH ARE CLEAN. GINGEE=>GINGEE(PRONOUNCED "SHINGEE")IS ABOUT 150KM SOUTH-EAST OF MADRAS,ON THE ROAD TO TIRUVANNAMALAI.THERE IS AN INTERESTING COMPLEX OF FORTS HERE, CONSTRUCTED MAINLY AROUND 1200AD DURING THE VIJAYNAGAR EMPIRE.THE FORT IS BUILT ON THREE SEPARATE HILLS,JOINED BY THREE KM OF FORTIFIED WALLS.THE BUILDINGS-A GRANARY,AUDIENCE HALL,SIVA TEMPLE AND A MOSQUE IN MEMORY OF A FAVOURIE GENERAL-ARE FAIRLY ORDINARY,BUT THE BOULDER-COVERED MOUNTAIN LAND SCAPE IS IMPRESSIVE. GINGEE IS PLEASANTLY FREE OF POSTCARD SELLERS AND THE LIKE;IN FACT IT'S DESERTED.YOU CAN EASILY SPEND A WHOLE DAY HERE EXPLORING.THERE'S AN UNEVEN STAIRCASE OF STONE SLAPS UP KRISHNAGIRI HILL,BUT THE ROUTE TO RAJAGIRI FORT IS MUCH MORE DIFFCULT TO FOLLOW.A RICKSHAW FROM THE TOWN TO THE HILLS AND BACK,INCLULDING WAITING TIME AT THE SITE WHILE YOU EXPLORE,COSTS ABOUT Rs20.


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