Republic Day weekend: Go on a road trip to these 7 historical places in South India
The first long weekend of the year is here - The Republic Day weekend. Although Monday is a working day, it won't harm if you take a day's leave, even if you are WFH. Pack your essentials, toiletries, some food, check your car's fuel and tyres, and hit the road to explore seven historical places in South India that are a must-visit. We tell you what to do and what to expect at these heritage sites:
Thanjavur district, located in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, it is one of the well-maintained sites of the Chozha dynasty. The cool weather of the month of January is ideal to head to this spot. Most of the temples in the district are UNESCO World Heritage Monuments. The Brihadeeshwaran Temple, which has been around for more than a 1,000 years, is a visual treat. Other architectural wonders include the Gangaikonda Chozhapuram and the Raja Raja Chozhan Samadhi (Raja Raja Chozhan’s tomb). We highly recommend you buy those cute Thanjavur dolls and rich paintings that are available around the site.
The colossal Nandi idol made of granite and the beautiful paintings surrounding it are reasons enough to visit the historical site of Lepakshi. The destination is situated in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, and is home to two of the most beautiful temples ever seen: the Veerabhadra Temple and the Lepakshi Temple. Don’t forget to buy a souvenir from the local shops there that specialize in indigenous handicraft!
Vontimatta, located in Kadappa district of Andhra Pradesh, is home to the popular Sri Kondadarama Swami temple. What makes it special is the fact that the idols of the three main Hindu gods are carved from a single rock. The temple also portrays events in paintings and sculptures from two of the greatest epics of all time: the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Why do we say this is a must-visit? It's because of the stunning carving and sculptures that are unforgettable.
If you are wishing for something serious, and are wondering who can fulfill this wish, then head to Kadiri that's located in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh. This quaint historic site that houses the Mahalakshmi Temple, Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swami Temple, Mata Mandir, and the Samadhi Shrine, also has a Wish-Fulfilling Tree. Locals believe that anything you wish for gets fulfilled here... maybe it's time to try your luck on a road trip to this lesser-explored destination?
There's already a lot written about Karnataka's UNESCO World Heritage site Hampi that was once ruled by South India's most dominant empire, the Vijayanagar Empire. However, what we have discovered is that this historical site that's famous for the Virupaksha Temple, Lotus Mahal, Queen’s Bath, and the enormous Elephant Stables, also offers something more interesting to do. If you are the adventure-seeking traveller then try bouldering at this destination. The activity happens usually around the Hampi Bazaar and Goan Corner. If you are a bouldering rookie, then ask for help at the Goan Corner, there are locals who are experts and will be happy to help for a fee.
Murdeshwar is another spot in Karnataka that will leave a lasting impression on the minds of its visitors. The Murdeshwar temple that has a massive Shiva statue right near the beach is the highlight of the shrine. Apart from the temple, the beach nearby and Netrani Island also have diving and other coastal activities.
Kochi in Kerala offers numerous options for a fun, history-filled trip, with the Mattancheri Palace, Fort Kochi, and Jewish Synagogue all guaranteed to provide an unforgettable experience. The Jew Town, numerous backwaters around the area, Cherai Beach, and the Marine Drive are other options that make for a great day at Kochi.