Monday, 13 August 2012

Pichavaram Mangrove Forest Chidambaram Cuddalore District Tamil Nadu

Pichavaram the second largest Mangrove forest in the world, near the temple town of Chidambaram , is one of the unique Eco-tourism spots in South India. The backwaters, inter connected by the Vellar and Coleroon river systems, offer abundant scope for water sports, rowing, Kayak and canoeing. The Pichavaram forest not only offers waterscape and back water cruises, but combines another very rare occurrence - the mangrove forest trees permanently rooted in a few feet of water.The Pichavaram mangroves are considered among the healthiest mangrove occurrence in the world. Pichavaram consists of a number of islands interspersing a vast expanse of water covered with green trees. The area is about 2800 acres and is separated from the sea by a sand bar which is a patch of extraordinary loveliness.
The Pichavaram mangrove biotope, with its peculiar topography and environmental condition, supports the existence of many rare varieties of economically important shell and finfishes.The Pichavaram mangroves attract an appreciable bird population of residents, local migrants and true migrants. At the mangroves, so far, 177 species of birds belonging to 15 orders and 41 families have been recorded. The season for birds is from September to April every year. Peak population of birds could be seen from November to January. This is due to high productive nature (in terms of prey organisms) of the ecosystem and coincidence of the time of arrival of true migrants from foreign countries and local migrants from their breeding grounds across India. The availability of different habitat types such as channels, creeks, gullies, mud flats and sand flats and adjacent sea shore offers ideal habitat for difference species of birds.In the above background, the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation and the District Administration of Cuddalore District have proposed to conduct an Eco Tourism festival namely " DAWN FEST " (Vidiyal Vizha) at Pichavaram. .
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Kodandarmaswamy Koyil Vishnu temple Ariyalur Tamil Nadu

 Kodandaramaswamy Temple is a Hindu temple in the town of Ariyalur in Tamil Nadu, India. The presiding deity is Vishnu. Though the presiding deity in this temple is Srinivasaperumal it is popularly called as Kodandaramaswamy koyil because of the existence of a shrine in which Rama, Lakshmana and Sita are enshrined.The temple faces the east. The main shrine is dedicated to Srinivasa Perumal and His two consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi. It has a garbagruha (15 feet square) and ardhamandapa (17 feet long) and Mahamandapa.

The Kodandaramar shrine is a later addition which is built of chalk stone and attached with the ardhamandapa of the main temple by facing the south. Inside the shrine is installed the stone sculptures of Rama, Lakshmana and Sita on a Pitha and bronze images of them are also in the shrine. It is said that the idols were found from the Kollidam river bank near Vikramangalam and brought here by a Chief of Ariyalur who built a shrine and installed the deities in it. In front of the main temple is built a spacious mandapa called Dasavatara mandapa. Four rows of pillars (20 feet heigh) with 10 pillars in each row are set up in the mandapa. In these pillars the figures of the ten avatars of Vishnu are carved out. The figure is about 6.6 feet high. At the entrance of the row, the sculptures of a Chief and his Queen are also carved out. The whole complex is surrounded by a raised compund wall and a 6 storied Gopura (90 feet heigh) is built at the entrance. The basement of the Gopura is built of chalk stone and the upper stories are built of brick and mortar. A shrine for Garuda is built in front of the Gopura. A tank called Kodanda pushkarani is excavated in the southern side of the temple.

There are two inscriptions and one Copper plate in this temple. The earliest record is dated to A.D. 1635 and it is engraved in the south base of the main temple. It is damaged and refers to an order of Ariyalur Arasu nilaiyitta Oppila Malavarayar who agreed not to collect some taxes in anju parru nadu in Vitta parru. A Copper plate charter dated to A. D. 1729 and issued during the reign of Arasu nilaiyitta Rangappa Malavarayar refers to the decision reached by the shepherd community (called Ayppadi Gopala vamsattar) to contribute one panam per head and house of their community to this temple during the time of marriages in their families.

Lastly an inscription of A.D. 1742 of Vijaya Oppilada Malavarayar son of Rangappa Malavarayar and grandson of Vijaya Oppilliada Malavarayar mentions a brahmana Venkatapathi Ayyan. However the last two records now disappeared from this temple.

The above records show that this temple came into existence during the period of Arasu Nilaiyitta Oppilada Malavarayar. The portrait sculptures in the Dasavaratara mandapa may be that of this Chief and his Queen. The beautiful ornamental workmanship of the adhishtana, kumbapanchara in the sanctum, Dasavatara sculptures and the Gopura – all make this temple as a beautiful centre of the architectural achievements of the Ariyalur Chief.
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Gangaikondacholisvarar Siva Temple Ariyalur Tamil Nadu

Gangaikondacholisvarar temple in Gangaikondacholapuram, Ariyalur Tamilnadu the biggest temple constructed during the reign of Rajendra–I in Ariyalur region. Following the conquest of the Gangetic plains in A.D. 1023 Rajendra–I built a great city called Gangaikondacholapauram and a Siva temple Gangaikondacholisvarar and a lake Chola Gangam in commemoration of his victory. The place, the temple and the lake (Chola Gangam) are the living embodiments of the heroism of the Tamils who unfurled the Chola‘s Tiger flag on the banks of the River Ganges. He also shifted his capital from Thanjavur to this newly built town.
Gangaikondacholisvarar Siva Temple Ariyalur Tamil Nadu
From his period to the end of the Chola family rule in A.D.1279 this city was the capital for the Chola Empire for a period of 256 years. The gigantic stone temple which he built in this place is rich repository of beautiful sculptures of middle Chola period. This city is celebrated in the literature of Muvar ula of Ottakuttar and Kalingattuparani of Jayankondar.

 Gangaikondacholisvarar temple  is a living history of the Cholas in stone from the period of Rajendra-I and a beautiful gallery of Chola art and architecture. Many sculptures brought from Andhra, Karnataka and Bengal as war trophies are also preserved in the temple and in the nearby villages. Chandesura Anugraha Murthy and Sarasvathy are the most beautiful sculptures of the temple.
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