India is more than your imagination, and this time we go way down south to another extravagant and vibrant city - Madurai, as we explore its culture, architecture, cuisine, ethnicity, hotels and lots more. Here presenting lots of excitement around Madurai, its festivals and food in this edition.
Hope you would enjoy reading it!
Eyed By Indian Zing
Kadambavanam Ethnic Resort, Madurai
Kadamavanam is laid out against a hillock centering a sea of green that stretches into the horizon in the countryside of Madurai. The stage is all set up to give you an experience into the Tamilian way of life!
Set in a sea of green with a serene and soothing ambience at Madurai - Natham Road, this beautiful ethnic resort features exquisitely designed ethnic rooms, a multi-cuisine restaurant, conference hall, bar, a swimming pool, 24 hour room service and laundry service.
The resort also features a cultural center where you can catch the village folk playing native games & sports and participate in it tooor take a peek into your future with fortune teller and palmist, withness the evening pooja, classical music & dances and local martial arts.
The two week long Chithirai Festival is one of the biggest celebrations in Madurai. It reenacts the wedding of Lord Sundareswarar (Lord Shiva) and Goddess Meenakshi (Lord Vishnu's sister).The deities are wheeled around the Meenakshi Amman Temple in massive chariots that form part of long, colourful processions.
After the celestial wedding, the location shifts to Alagarkoil temple in the Alagarkoil hills near Madurai, where Lord Kallazhaga (Lord Vishnu) leaves his abode. A grand feast also takes place after the wedding and special arrangements are made for international tourists to see the celestial wedding from TiruvalluvarKazhagam in North Adi Street.
The Chithirai Festival is a great opportunity to experience local life in Madurai, and see a traditional Hindu wedding ritual.
When: May, every year Where: Madurai
Chennai may be the capital of Tamil Nadu, but Madurai claims its soul. Also known as Athens of the east, Madurai is one of the oldest but liveliest cities in India, a metropolis that traded with ancient Rome and was a great capital long before Chennai was even dreamt of. Most popular attraction of the city is Meenakshi Amman Temple, a labyrinthine structure ranking among the greatest temples of India.
Meenakshi Amman Temple is the holy temple of hindus where Lord Shiva and Goddess parvati idols are worshipped.The temple complex is within a high-walled enclosure, at the core of which are the two sanctums for meenakshi and Sundareshwara, surrounded by a number of smaller shrines and grand pillared halls.Their soaring towers rise from solid granite bases, and are covered with stucco figures of dieties, mythical animals and monsters painted in vivid colours.
Vaigai dam is a giant dam constructed on the river Vaigai and is situated near Andipatti in southern India. The dam has been the life line of the agricultural lands in the neighbourhood and because of it the areas have flourished in leaps and bounds.
Gandhi museum is a great master piece in Southern India and it has great historical background and mythology in its background.
TirumalaiNayak's palace is a secular architecture. Although itís said to be only a quarter of its original size, its massive scale and hybrid Dravidian-Islamic style still make quite an impression and testify to the lofty aspirations of its creator.
Madurai teems with cloth stalls and tailors' shops. A great place for getting cottons and printed fabrics is PuthuMandapam, the pillared former entrance hall at the eastern side of Sri Meenakshi Temple.
This fort is located to the north-west of Ludhiana and is also known as Abdul KadirGalani. It draws both the Hindu and the Muslim pilgrims.
From the Kitchen...
Chicken Kozhi Fry
Chicken Kozhi fry is a Chettinad recipe popular in Tamil Nadu. Though most of the Chettinad dishes are known for its blend of fresh spices, this one is different as itís not loaded with spices. Letís get started:
Chicken - 1/2 kg in medium size peices
Shallots (Pearl Onions) - 20 (sliced)
Ginger - 1/2 " piece (crushed)
Garlic pods - 20 (crushed)
Tomato - 1
Dry Red Chilies - 10
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Fennel Seeds - 1 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
Curry Leaves - 1 sprig
Cilantro (Coriander Leaves) - 1 tbsp (finely chopped for garnish)
Marinate the chicken with salt and turmeric powder. Let it rest.
Heat oil in a pan and add the fennel seeds and curry leaves.Break and add the dry red chilies.
Next add the chopped shallots, crushed ginger and crushed garlic. Saute till it turns soft. Then add the chopped tomato and cook till tomato turns pulpy.
Add the chicken pieces and saute for couple of minutes.Add required salt and about half a cup of water. Cover and cook the chicken for about 10-15 minutes.
After the chicken is cooked, open the lid, increase the flame and stir fry till all the moisture evaporates. Continue until all the chicken pieces are fried and get a nice brown color.Finally sprinkle the chopped coriander leaves and serve as appetizer or with steamed rice or parottha.