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Bangalore, Mysore, Ooty, Kodaikanal

 

Bangalore is home to many well-recognised educational and research institutions in India.Bangalore is called as the Silicon Valley of India because of the large number of information technology companies located in the city which contributed 33% of India's INR144214 crore (US$22 billion) IT exports in 2006-07Bangalore's IT industry is divided into three main clusters Software Technology Parks of India (STPI); International Tech Park, Bangalore (ITPB); and Electronics City. UB City, the headquarters of the United Breweries Group, is a high-end commercial zone. Infosys and Wipro, India's third and fourth largest software companies are headquartered in Bangalore, as are many of the global SEI-CMM Level 5 Companies.The growth of IT has presented the city with unique challenges. Bengaluru is a hub for biotechnology related industry in India and in the year 2005, around 47% of the 265 biotechnology companies in India were located here; including Biocon, India's largest biotechnology company.
 
 
Mysore : Referred to as the cultural capital of Karnataka. Mysore is called the City of Palaces because of several ornate examples in the city. Among the most notable are Amba Vilas, popularly known as Mysore Palace; Jaganmohana Palace, which also serves as an art gallery; Rajendra Vilas, also known as the summer palace; LalithaMahal, which has been converted into a hotel; and Jayalakshmi Vilas.
 
Brindavan Gardens is a garden located in the state of Karnataka in India. It lies adjoining the Krishnarajasagara dam which is built across the river Kaveri. The work on laying out this garden was started in the year 1927 and completed in 1932. Visited by close to 2 million tourists per year, the garden is one of the major attractions near the city of Mysore.The garden is laid out in 3 terraces which contain water fountains, Ficus trees, foliage plants such as Durantaplumaria and Euphorbia and flowering plants like Celosia, Marigold and bougainvillea. The garden is open to general public and an entry-fee is charged. The garden also has topiary works (sculptures of animals created by clipping shrubs), pergolas (shaded passageway covered by creepers) and gazebos. The main attraction of the park is the musical fountain in which bursts of water are synchronised to the music of songs. There is also a lake within the garden with boating facilities available for visitors.
 
Shravanbelagola has two hills,Chandragiri and Vindhyagiri. Acharya Bhadrabahu and his pupil Chandragupta Maurya are believed to have meditated there. Chandragupta Basadi, which was dedicated to Chandragupta Maurya, was originally built there by Ashoka in the third century BC.The 57-feet tall monolithic statue of Gommateshvara is located on Vindyagiri Hill. It is considered to be the world's largest monolithic stone statue.
 
Ooty, which is situated deep within the Nilgiri hills, is also known as The Blue Mountains. It was originally a tribal land and was occupied by the Todas along with other tribes who coexisted through specialisation and trade. The major tribes of Nilgiri area are Todas, Kotas, Badagas and Alu Kurumbas.
 
Ooty Botanical Gardens
If you are on a sightseeing tour to Ooty, you might want to visit the Government Botanical gardens, which were laid out in 1847.The picturesque gardens that are maintained by the Horticulture department of the state, cover an area of about 22 hectares. The Gardens have well over 650 species of plants and trees, including a fossil of a tree, which is believed to be more than 20 million years old. The garden is very popular with nature lovers and those who long to walk among greenery and see rare ferns and shrubs up close. If you are in Ooty in the month of May, then you can also be a part of the summer festival, which is held here annually. The festival holds flower shows and various cultural programs showcasing the talent of the locals and the renowned artists.
 
Doddabetta peak
The Dodabetta Peak stands at an altitude of 2,623 meters. It is the highest point in the district, making it possibly the best vantage point around Ooty. It is merely 10km from Ooty so you can simply grab your camera and head straight to the peak, and click amazing pictures of he valley below.
 
Annamalai Temple
Annamalai Temple is a situated about 20 km distance from Ooty. This place has grown as a famous temple of Lord Muruga, known as 7th Hill house of the lord. The view from the Temple is really awesome. There is an observatory at the top of hill for the public to enjoy the magnificent panoramic view.
 
Ooty Rose gardens
its an amazing and very large area garden. You can enjoy varieties of roses there. The roses bloom only for 2-3 months a year (not sure when), so going there off-season is not very interesting. If interested can buy the seeds and plants also.
 
Wax World - (Wax Museum)
Its a private investment not supported by Govt. Don't expect much like other foreign wax museum which are helped by tourism authorities for advertisements and promotions.
 
Sims Park (Coonoor)
Similar to ooty botanical garden, very rare plants and trees are present. The park is famous for the fruit show it hosts annually during summer festivals.
 
The Tea Factory
Several tree gardens and factories are there. They will approach you with free tea taste and offer some tea packets to buy. But be cautious if you don't have much knowledge about tea, better not to buy from them as the packet tea has not the same taste as they gave you to taste.The spices quality is not so good.
 
Kodaikanal Lake, is an artificial, roughly star-shaped 45 ha (60 acres) lake built in 1863. It is recognized as Kodaikanal's most popular geographic landmark and tourist attraction. Rowboats and pedalos can be hired at the Kodaikanal Boat Club. Horses and bicycles can be hired beside the lake for short periods. The 5 kilometers 3.1 mi) path that skirts the periphery of this lovely lake is a favourite walk for the locals and tourists alike.
 
Bryant Park : Just east of the lake and 500 meters (1,600 ft) from the bus stand, is a wonderfully maintained 20.5 acres (8.3 ha) botanical garden. The park was planned and built in 1908 by a forest officer from Madurai, H.D.Bryant, and named after him. With 325 species of trees, shrubs and cactuses, the park is a rainbow of stunning flowers during the peak season. A large section is dedicated to nearly 740 varieties of roses. There is a 1857 Eucalyptus tree and a Bodhi tree which adds a religious significance to the park. Ornamental plants are cultivated in a nursery for sale. The park organizes horticultural exhibits and flower shows every summer, to coincide with the peak season. Entrance fee to the park is nominal and it is open all year.
 
Coaker's Walk, 500 meters (1,600 ft) from the bus-stand, constructed by Lt.Coaker in 1872, is a 1-kilometre (3,300 ft) paved pedestrian path running along the edge of steep slopes on the southern side of Kodai. The walk, winding around Mount Nebo, starts in front of the Van Allen hospital, running parallel to the Van Allen Hospital Road and joins the main road beside St.Peter's Church, providing a stunning panoramic view of the plains. On a clear day one can view as far as Dolphin's Nose in the south, the valley of the Pambar River in the southeast, Periyakulam town and even the city of Madurai. A fascinating rare phenomenon called Brocken spectre can be witnessed, when a person can see his shadow on the clouds with a rainbow halo. This occurs when the sun is behind the viewer and clouds and mist are to the front. There is an observatory with a telescope halfway along the walk. Entrance fee to the walkway is nominal and it is open all year.
 
Bear Shola Falls, 3 kilometers (1.9 mi) from the bus-stand, is a tall waterfall in a Reserve forest. The final approach to this quiet area is a gently climbing foot-path.
 
Green Valley View, (formerly called Suicide Point) 5.5 kilometers (3.4 mi) from the bus-stand and near the golf course, has an excellent panoramic view of the plains and a sheer drop of 1,500 meters (4,900 ft) overlooking the Vaigai Dam to the south. The stairway leading up to it is highly commercialized and lined with rows of shops to tempt tourists.
 
Pine forests, In 1906, with a view to growing valuable timber, Mr. Bryant started the Kodaikanal pine plantations in the south-west of Kodaikanal.
 
Shembaganur Museum of Natural History, 6 kilometers (3.7 mi) from the bus-stand, founded in 1895, is open to the public (except Tuesdays) for viewing their outstanding taxidermy collection of more than 500 species of animals, birds and insects and a living collection of over 300 exotic orchid species. The museum is affiliated with Loyola College in Chennai and exhibits artifacts of the ancient Palaiyar tribes people whose descendants still live in these hills.
 
Kodaikanal Solar Observatory, 6 kilometers (3.7 mi) from the bus-stand on Observatory Road, at 2,343 meters (7,687 ft) is the highest location near Kodai. The first observations were commenced here in 1901.[51] Former Director John Evershed, discovered the phenomenon of radial motion in sunspots, now known as the Evershed effect. The Kodaikanal Terrestrial Telescope can view a grand panorama including: Sothupparai Dam, Vaigai Dam, Periyakulam and Varaha river. This Indian Institute of Astrophysics facility has a comprehensive Astronomical Science museum with organized public tours, access to the astronomy library, and scheduled night-time telescopic sky viewing. It is open daily to the public during peak season, and a few hours each Friday the rest of the year.
 
Pillar Rocks, 8 kilometers (5.0 mi) from the bus-stand, is a set of three giant rock pillars which stand 122 meters (400 ft) high. Managed by the Tamil Nadu Forest Department, The viewpoint can be crowded but is not commercialized. There is an excellent public garden adjacent to the viewpoint.
 
Guna caves,made popular by the Tamil movie Guna, previously called Devils Kitchen, are deep bat-infested chambers between the three gigantic boulders that are the Pillar Rocks. The deep narrow ravines of the caves are now closed to public due to the tragic deaths of twelve youths there. These dangerous caves are highly protected now, and tourists can see sections of the cave system from afar. In the late 1970s the inside of the caves was well photographed.
 
Silver Cascade, 8 kilometers (5.0 mi) from Kodaikanal at a wide bend in the long and winding Laws Ghat Road, at altitude 1,800 meters (5,900 ft), is a 55-metre (180 ft) waterfall formed from the outflow of Kodaikanal Lake. The water quality is reportedly poor and not good enough for bathing. This impressive waterfall is a popular stop for first-time visitors. There are a few souvenir and fruit vendors and many monkeys here. There is also a smaller but more serene waterfall below the bridge which crosses the stream here.
 
Dolphin's Nose, 8 kilometers (5.0 mi) from the bus stand, is flat rock projecting over a breathtaking chasm 6,600 feet (2,000 m) deep. It is an undisturbed area 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) down a very steep rocky trail beginning soon after Pambar Bridge. Orange juice vendors along the trail offer a welcome rest stop. Beautiful views of steep rocky escarpments rising from the plains can be seen. The old village of Vellagavi can be reached through a rugged bridle path here. A short paved walkway leads from the road here to Pambar falls (which is also locally addressed as 'Liril Falls' after the famous Liril Soap Advertisement filming in 1985).
 
Kurinji Andavar Murugan temple, 4 kilometers (2.5 mi) from the bus-stand, is famous for its Kurinji flower which blossoms in the area only once every 12 years. The deity here is called Sri Kurinji Easwaran, who is in fact Lord Murugan. This temple was built in 1936 by a European lady, who on coming to Celon, converted to Hinduism.She changed her name to Leelavathi and married Mr.Ponnambalam Ramanathan. She is also known as Lady Ramanathan. This temple was handed over to Arulmighu Dhandayuthapani Swamy Thiru Kovil, Palani by Mrs Devi Prasad Bhaskaran(also known as Padmini, niece and adopted daughter of Mr S Natesan Pillai, son in-law of Lady Ramanathan) and her husband Dr R. Bhaskaran.
 
Berijam Lake : A calm serene lake surrounded by mesmerizing nature at a distance of around 20 km from Kodaikanal. Boating is prohibited as the lake is a source of water for villages. Forest department permission is required and limited number of vehicles is allowed to enter forest area where the lake is situated. Entry is restricted into the Berijam Lake area to between 9.30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Bison, deers, panthers and snakes are often spotted in this area. Fire tower, Silent Valley, Medicine Forest, and Lake View are other attractions around the lake. Psilocybin mushrooms which produce hallucinogenic effects when consumed, and other poisonous mushrooms grow around Berijam. Medicine forest has a certain species of trees whose fragrance is believed to be having hallucinogenic effects.
 
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