6 Must-visit Waterfalls during Munnar Tour

Munnar is a hill station, located in the Idukki district of Kerala. The literal meaning of the word Munnar is three rivers that refer to its location at the confluence of Nallathanni, Muthirapuzha and Kundala. It is known for the wild orchids – Neelakurinji, which bloom only once in every 12 years. This beautiful hill station is bounded by the tea gardens and travellers can enjoy amazing views of haze peaks and moving clouds from terraces of their hotels during the Munnar tour. The pleasant weather and peaceful ambience make the travel trip even more enjoyable. This stunning hill station has many attractions like vast tea plantation, hills, mountains, wildlife sanctuaries and amazing waterfalls that can be explored by tourists by booking Munnar tour packages.

Plantation and tea factory visits, paragliding, boating, cycling, tour to the wildlife sanctuaries and many other activities can be enjoyed by tourists during their visit to this beautiful place. In addition to these, Munnar also houses a number mesmerising waterfalls that can be visited by tourists during their Munnar tour.

Attukal

Attukal Waterfalls Munnar

Attukal Waterfalls Munnar

This destination, located about 9 km from the town, is an idyllic tourist attraction surrounded by hills. This cascade usually presents a panoramic view of hazy mountains. In addition to this, mesmerising valleys of this place provide many trekking routes, which make this location famous among trekkers. The real beauty of this place can be seen after the monsoon, when everything looks greener and fresher. Tourists usually visit this place for its charming sceneries, rolling hills and glittering waterfalls.

Kuthumkal

This charming cascade is located near Rajakkad in Idukki district, at a distance of 24 km from the town. Its picturesque views attract thousands of travellers every year. The water falling on rocks creates a water mist, making it a beautiful backdrop for family and group pictures. This is a perfect picnic spot to spend some quality time amidst nature.

Valara

Valara Waterfalls Munnar

Valara Waterfalls Munnar

It is located in between Adimali and Neriamangalam, at a distance of around 42 km from the town. The sound of the chilled water falling from a height of approximately 1000 metres appeals to visitors. In addition to this, they can get a chance to see rare species of birds and animals in the dense forest, surrounding this place. Its scenic beauty, misty landscape and pleasant climate attract nature lovers from all across the country.

Nyayamakad

This destination is located at a distance of 10 km from the town, on the way to Rajamala hills. It is an idyllic place for both nature and adventure lovers. Travellers can enjoy the beautiful surroundings, take a peaceful mountain walk or opt for trekking in the lush green valleys of this place. It also attracts photography lovers, who come here to capture the beauty of water falling from a height of around 1600 metres and its lush green surroundings.

Power House

It is located at a distance of around 18 km from the town. The perfect landscape, featuring the mesmerising western mountain ranges and water falling on the rocks at the height of about 2000 metres, make it an ideal destination for picnic and group outings. It is believed that the water of this waterfall has curative powers.

Cheeyappara

Located at the distance of 38 km from the town, Cheeyappara is situated at an elevation of around 1000 feet above sea level. It is one of the most beautiful cascades of Kerala, and is an important part of Munnar tour packages. The beauty of this place is at its zenith during and after monsoons. Nestled between Neriamangalam and Adimali towns, it is one of the most visited tourist spots in Kerala.

All these beautiful cascades with their picturesque surroundings are worth a visit during a Munnar tour.

The Ruining Magnificence of the Pratapgad Fort

Mahabaleshwar is a beautiful hill station, situated among the Western Ghats in Maharashtra. The town is surrounded by numerous small and large lakes, some of which are natural and others are man-made. Tourists can take trains and flights to Pune from major Indian cities like Delhi and Mumbai. The roughly 117-kilometre distance between Pune and Mahabaleshwar can be covered in just a little more than 2 hours by road. This town can be visited during any part of the year as the temperature here usually stays around 30 degree Celsius. The months of June, July, August and September should, however, be avoided as it rains heavily during this period. There are hordes of sites that can be visited during a Mahabaleshwar tour like Venna Lake, Pratapgad and Kate, Elephant, Wilson and 3 Monkey vantage points.

Pratapgad

Situated about 21 km from Mahabaleshwar, Pratapgad is a pre-modern fortress built in the first decade of the second half of the 17th century. The construction of the fort was undertaken by Moropant Trimbak Pingle, the first Peshwa prime minister under Chhatrapati Shivaji. On November 10th, 1959, Afzal Khan, the commander of the army of Ali Adil Shah II, invaded the fortification. The war ended with the victory of Chhatrapati Shivaji and the firm establishment of the legendary Maratha Empire. Between 1817 and 1818, the last of the three battles between the Maratha Empire and the East India Company was fought at the end of which, this military stronghold of Pratapgad finally fell. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of independent India, on November 30th, 1957, unveiled a 17-feet high statue of the greatest Maratha ruler within the complex.

Pratapgad Fort in Maharashtra

Pratapgad Fort in Maharashtra

Structure

The fort complex is constructed atop a long ridge amidst the Western Ghats at a height of about 1080 metres above the sea. This site has an elongated plan and the structures, situated on different heights of the ridge, are inter-connected by steps or winding roads. Through the Abdullah Tower, situated in the southern part, a narrow road leads to the main entrance, protected by a bastion tower on either of its side. Only a few structures within the fortress now survive that too in ruins, including some huts and a temple of Goddess Bhavani. Overtime, lichens, moss and small plants have covered its thick, stone walls giving it a nice antique look. Along the walls are slightly raised brick platforms, probably built to allow soldiers to keep a watch on the area nearby.

In the southern section is the temple, dedicated to Goddess Bhavani, built in 1661 by Shivaji as he was unable to visit the actual shrine in Tulijapur. During his invasion campaign, Ali Adil Shah II had desecrated the original temple like other Muslim invaders, had done to other Hindu places of worship over the years. The shrine, within the fortress, has a hall that has been rebuilt and another, with 12-feet high wooden pillars, with the idol of the goddess, inside the latter. Atop its roof rises a conical tower called shikhara in Hindi, which is a characteristic of such houses of god. The eastern and western sides of the complex have gorges, some roughly 800 feet deep. Another minaret, called Afzal Tower is part of the fort and rumoured to be the burial site of Afzal Khan.

The Significance of Gateway of India

Mumbai, the commercial hub of India, is located on the western coast in the state of Maharashtra. It is one of the largest and most populated cities in the nation. The Nhava Sheva Port, the largest container port in India handles almost 70% of the maritime trade. The city perhaps is best known for its entertainment industry. The search for stardom and wealth brings people here from all over the country in huge numbers. The city houses many government agencies like the Reserve Bank and the National Stock Exchange. Many big industries also have their headquarters here. The region is quite famous for its beaches like the Marina Beach and Juhu Beach. The Marine Drive, which runs along the Arabian Sea coast, is probably the most iconic road in the country, being featured in a multitude of films. Many historical monuments also adorn the city like jewels, many of which have architecture reflective of the European conquest. The CST, Churchgate Station and Mumbai Police headquarters are all built in the Gothic Revival style, which was prevalent in the Victorian era from 1837 to 1901. Besides these attractions, another such structure that is worth visiting during Mumbai tours is Gateway of India.

Gateway of India

Gateway of India

Gateway of India

This stone and marble structure is the biggest tourist attraction of the state. The monument, designed by George Wittet and made with a combination of Hindu and Muslim architectural styles, was commissioned in 1911 in the honour of the visit of King George V of England and his consort, Mary. Built on land reclaimed from the sea, the gateway was opened to public on December 4th, 1924 by the then viceroy. The whole construction expense was borne by the then colonial government. In the past, it actually served as an entrance to the country as the viceroys and governors used to land here. After strolling through ebony archways of this 85-metre high tourist attraction, travelers reach a stone and brick platform, overlooking the mammoth Arabian Sea. It is also popular as it is just opposite to the Taj Mahal Hotel, one of the most famous hotels in the world. The place has five jetties from where ferries are available for the nearby Elephanta Caves. Like Marine Drive, this iconic Indian attraction too has been featured in many songs and motion pictures. Travellers should check that their holiday package in India is inclusive of this stark reminder of the colonial era.

The November 26th, 2008 terrorist attacks have also led to a surge in its popularity as it was the point where the terrorists docked and entered India. This incident serves as a depressing reminder of all the bloodshed initiated by conquerors and traders who came from overseas and went about massacring Indians and plundering their wealth.

Travel Guidance

 

Gateway of India is situated in Colaba and is 2.5 km away from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus or the erstwhile Victoria Terminus and 2.4 km away from the Churchgate railway station. Taxi services are available at both stations and at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. The best time to visit Mumbai is in the post-monsoon season from November to March as the city experiences pleasant weather and low probability of rainfall during this time.

Forts of Maharashtra- Murud-Janjira

Famous for its diversity, India is a land of vibrant cultures and traditions. The large states of this country are replete with natural beauty and colorful cultures, which attract hordes of tourists every year. Maharashtra is one of the biggest states of India and boasts of a rich heritage, which is beautifully reflected in its edifices. The geographical richness of the place has resulted in several natural formations, which add to the value of this place. Maharashtra holidays are unique opportunities to explore and experience the lifestyle and heritage of this place that can be a delightful memory to take back. Another noted fact about the place is the presence of several forts, which stand proudly, depicting the elegance of eras, to which they belong.

Fort of Murud-Janjira

Murud-Janjira

Murud-Janjira

Murud-Janjira is one such structure, situated on a small island near the coastal village of Murud. This fort is one of its kind and among the only forts, which are located towards the western coast. Once belonging by the Siddis, it has a glorious record of being undefeated from attacks of the Marathas, Dutch as well as the English East India Company. The isle on which the fort is located is oval in shape and lies near the Arabian coast. It had a strong position as it is the strongest marine fort present in the country. The site can be reached through sail-boats approaching from the Rajapuri Jetty. Its frontal area is so protected that it can be seen only after approaching it, after which its exquisite details become visible.

Description

This glorious structure has maintained its 19 rounded bastions till date that speak of its gallant past. Several cannons of native and European styles can be seen near these bastions. After watching it carefully, it can be predicted that the edifice has served as a full-fledged palace, having all sorts of facilities in it. It has various living quarters for important officials, besides areas for formal purposes. There are two large freshwater tanks for catering to the water-related needs of people. A mosque is also situated on the site that was used for worshiping in those times. On the outer walls, a large sculpture depicting a tiger-like animal can be seen. One noteworthy fact is the presence of Ashok Chakras on all the prominent entrances of the fort.

The defensive edifice was strategically built to be helpful during any crisis; hence, there are a number of hideouts and escape routes inside. It can be said that the overall construction is quite strong and unique in that sense. The fort has taken a long span of time to reach this state of magnificence as it was originally built on a small scale, somewhere near the 15th century. Since then, various great rulers added to its worth and kept it undefeated for a long time. There are several such historically-splendid structures in the city that can make any holiday in Maharashtra a memorable experience for visitors.

 

Caves of Maharashtra-UNESCO World Heritage

India is a vibrant Asian country, which is known for its culture, history, cuisine, wildlife, natural beauty and various other aspects. It is a frequented tourist destination across the globe and receives a great footfall of international travelers throughout the year. As this city has a chronicled history of several millennia along with deep religious roots, it is regarded as a historic destination and a venerated site for various religions. Every part of the country has plenty of ancient, medieval and modern sites and buildings, which speak of its past glory. Holidays in India are mostly focused on its culture and heritage, which are preserved in the form of remarkable architectural landmarks and edifices.

When talked about historical and religious sites, a place that earns a notable mention is Maharashtra – the western state. Revered places of pilgrimage for various religions and archaeological sites of immense significance are dotted across the entire landscape of this beautiful coastal state. From modern structures like Gateway of India to medieval-era Maratha forts, there are many famous places to explore in the state. Another fascinating aspect of Maharashtra is the presence of caved structures and rock-cut temples, which have a deep-root association with three important religions of India – Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.

Discover the Ancient Caves

The ancient caves of Maharashtra are significant archaeological sites, which have prominent international recognition. Amongst the various such formations in the state, Ajanta, Ellora and Elephanta Caves are the most popular ones. The Ajanta Caves situated in Aurangabad comprise a total of about 30 rock-cut structures, which are primarily related to Buddhism. Paintings and sculptures depicting traditional Jataka tales are present at this highly-regarded site. This place earns a mention in the list of protected monuments by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) as well as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Another World Heritage Site and ASI-protected monument is the group of rock-cut monuments, collectively known as Ellora. Caved in the Chanderi Hills, this site has several temples, mathas and viharas, which are associated with Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The Elephanta Caves near Mumbai are also under the auspices of ASI and UNESCO. Primarily belonging to the Shaivite sect of Hinduism, these are fine examples of traditional Indian rock-cut architecture

A prominent Buddhist site amongst these protected national monuments is the one of Bhaja Caves. Having a significant relation with the Hinayana sect of Buddhism, this place is known for its elaborately-carved stupas and beautiful wooden architecture. Their design is similar to Karla Caves, which comprise ancient Buddhist shrines carved out of hilly rocks. Old prayer halls and monastic complexes have been discovered at this site, which is also protected under ASI. They are regarded as important holiday destinations in India in terms of architecture, history, religion and heritage.

Apart from the aforementioned structures, there are various other caved formations in Maharashtra that belong to various periods of its timeline. Bahrot, Bedse, Kanheri, Jogeshwari and Tulja are some other similar sites in the state that are known for their distinctive rock-cut architecture and religious significance.

Forts of Maharashtra-Raigarh, Sindhudurg and Vijayagarh

Maharashtra is a populous state of India that ranks second in terms of population and third in terms of geographical area. The vast Arabian Sea guards it from the west while several Indian states encompass it from other directions. It earns international recognition as the wealthiest and most developed state of the country. This state is particularly recognised for its resplendent history, which is awash with sagas of religious enlightenments, notable battles and bravery. The most influential rulers to have ruled this expansive region were from the great Maratha dynasty, which rose to prominence in the 16th century and reached its peak by the 18th century. Shivaji Bhonsle – the iconic warrior king – is the name synonymous with the Marathas. During their reign, the Marathas established several fortifications on the hilly terrains and shores. A holiday in Maharashtra is incomplete without a visit to these imposing citadels, which are reminiscent of a golden era.

 

These forts were built in order to serve the purpose as royal dwellings and military strongholds. Most of the forts in the state are associated with Shivaji and speak of its heydays under his glorious reign. Apart from him, the Portuguese also built several bastions, which are reminiscent of the colonial times. While being on their Maharashtra holidays, tourists can explore the heritage of the state by visiting its impressive citadels on hills and by the sea.

 

Raigarh

 

Raigarh Fort

Raigarh Fort

This fort stands atop a hillock in Raigarh, which was the capital of Shivaji. It is the place where he was crowned as the king of the Maratha clan as well as took his last breath. This strategical fort has an excellent defensive design, which speaks of the excellent military planning of the Marathas. Vestiges of constructions used as royal chambers, assembly hall and pillars can be seen scattered within the precincts of this prominent fortification from the past.

 

Sindhudurg

 

Sindhudurg

Sindhudurg

 

Perched on a rocky island, Sindhudurg is a 17th century fortress and one of the finest of its kind across the state. More than 100 Portuguese experts and 3000 skilled workers were involved in its construction, which took about three years in completion. The construction material used in it included above 70000 kg of iron and huge stones, which were arranged in a zigzag formation. It has the well-preserved palm and footprints of Shivaji in dry lime. A unique temple of this great warrior is also an integral part of this historic fort complex.

 

Vijayadurg

 

Vijayadurg

Vijayadurg

The name of this massive complex translates to the fort of victory and is reminiscent of conquests by various regional dynasties and foreign powers. It is counted amongst the strongest marine forts, which lie along the western coastline of the country. This citadel stands on a hill, which is situated on the estuary of the Vaghotan River. Three sides of it are guarded by the expansive sea while the fourth by a ditch, which has been filled in present times.

Architectural Marvel That Is Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus at Mumbai

Mumbai is an ideal destination for spending a holiday in Maharashtra. It is the capital city of the state and there are a number of popular tourist attractions here. CST or Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, which was previously named Victoria Terminus, is the railway station of this place and headquarters of Indian Central Railways. It is a World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO and a prominent place of historical interest. The structure, located in the Bori Bunder locality of the city, was constructed in the year 1887 for the commemoration of the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria. The name of the station was changed to the present one in the month of March in the year 1996. People from different parts of the world come to this city to behold and discover the quaint beauty of this ancient railway station. It serves as a terminal for trains of Mumbai Suburban Railway, both for commuters as well as long-distance travellers. There are 18 platforms in the station, 11 for long routes and 7 for local ones.

 

Exquisite Architecture of CST

 

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

The edifice features an exquisite blend of Victorian Italianate Gothic Revival design and Mughal architecture, and it was designed by famous architect Frederick William Stevens.

Frederick William Stevens

Frederick William Stevens

The eccentric ground plan, pointed arches, turrets and skyline in the structure hint towards the influence of traditional Indian architectural design. Students of the famous art school – Sir Jamsetjee Jeejebhoy School of Art designed the intricate wooden carvings, brass and ornamental railings, tiles, grills, and balustrades for the staircase. The construction of CST was done by applying high level of civil as well as railway engineering. It is a unique and possibly the finest implementation of Gothic Revival Style and the technology of the industrial revolution. One of the main architectural highlights of this building is the central dome, which features a platform over 320 feet long. This platform is connected to a train shed, which is more than 1200 feet long. The dome of the station has dovetailed ribs and has been built without centering.

 

The interiors feature a series of large halls, which have high ceilings. The building has a C-shaped symmetrical plan and features a utilitarian design. The focal point of the building is the high central dome, which has an octagonal shape and ribbed structure. This dome has a colossal female sculpture holding a spoke wheel in her left hand and a torch in her right hand pointing it upwards.

Female sculpture atop CST

Female sculpture atop CST

This sculpture symbolizes progress and is one of the most popular architectural highlights of the CST. Wings on the side are anchored by turrets and enclose the courtyard opening to the street. The building has a façade, which appears like rows of arches and windows aligned in proportion. The statuary, friezes and bas-relief ornaments render exuberance in the appearance of the structure. The entrance gates have columns, which are crowned by symbolic structures, such as a sculpture of lion represents Great Britain and that of a tiger represents India. The main building as been constructed using a blend of Indian limestone and sandstone, while rich in quality Italian marble has been used for decorative elements. Maharashtra holidays are incomplete without a visit to this mesmeric historical site.