Author Archives: George Thiruvilakalayil George

About George Thiruvilakalayil George

George Thiruvilakalyil George is a blog writer. George is an expert on Local Business Citations, having created thousands of Local Citations for clients in USA, Australia, India, etc. George is also a web site designer with around 2 decades of experience. George started working on web related technologies from early 1996, immediately after internet access was introduced in 5 cities of India in August 1995.

St. Mary’s Church, Chennai, The oldest British building in India

Saint Mary’s Church is the oldest Anglican church, located East of Suez, at Fort St. George, Chennai, India. Its the first Anglican church in Asia. St. Mary’s church was constructed by the British East India Company.

Saint Mary's Church, Chennai
Saint Mary’s Church, Chennai

St. Mary’s Church at Chennai is a CSI Church and is also known as the ‘Westminster Abbey of the East‘. Construction started on 25 March 1678. Consecrated on 28 October 1680, this church was the only bomb-proof building in the Fort at the time of construction. The Present church tower was added at the end of the seventeenth century. (Fort Saint George which now houses the Tamil Nadu state government secretariat, was constructed by the British East India Company in 1644.) The church was constructed using voluntary contributions from the Governor and other officers, who inhabited the fort.

St. Mary’s church was designed by Edward Fowle or or William Dixon, Gunners of the fort. There are numerous memorials, commemorative inscriptions, wooden and glass furnishings inside the church. A painting of the “The Last Supper” by unknown artist, believed to be brought to Madras by the British troops who stormed Pondicherry in 1761, is synonymous with the Church. In 1710, a spire was added.

During the Second Carnatic War between the British and the French (1758-’59) and again when Hyder Ali invaded, Saint Mary’s Church was used as a barrack and granary.

There are 104 tombstones at the Church premises. The oldest tombstones is that of Lord Pigot, dating back to 1777. (There are a few Catholic tombstones also, which were brought to this church cemetery from a catholic church, which got destroyed.) Baptism, death, burial and marriage registers, right from the consecration day, are still preserved. The very first registers are stored at the Fort Museum and the remaining ones at the Church itself. Fort Museum has some plates and chalices on display, that were presented by Elihu Yale. There is also a large silver basin, silver flagon and communion cup on display at the Fort Museum.

The ancient prayer house which exited before the construction of the church, solemnized the marriages Robert Clive (governor of Fort St. George) and Elihu Yale. Yale University in the United States of America was funded with Elihu Yale’s gift of money to the institute.

How Do I Go to Saint Mary’s Church, Chennai?

Saint Mary’s Church is situated on Rajaji Salai (Salai means Road in Tamil language), which is one of the major roads in Chennai.

Chennai Central railway station, one of the major railway stations in India, is situated at around 3 kilometers distance from St. Mary’s Church. Chennai International airport is at around 20 kilometers distance from Saint Mary’s Church at Chennai Fort Complex.

Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary Known for Venomous King Cobra Telemetry Reserch

Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in Karnataka state, India. It is named after “Lord Someshwara”, the presiding deity at the famous “Someshwara temple”, located inside the sanctuary. This sanctuary is known for Venomous King Cobras.

Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary
Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary. Image Courtesy –

Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary is situated below the Agumbe range. Agumbe receives the maximum rainfall in South India. The park is spread over 314.25 square kilometers in Udupi & Shivamogga districts. This park along with Kudremukh National Park, Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary and Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary forms a contiguous protected area. Sitanadi River flows through this wildlife sanctuary. Mahasheer fishes and Otters are found in Sitanadi river.

The sanctuary is rich in Flora and fauna. The wildlife sanctuary is known for venomous King Cobras. Agumbe Rainforest Research Station inside the sanctuary, conducts telemetry based projects (recorded using scientific instruments) on King Cobra.

Seethanadi Nature Camp which is run by Karnataka State Forest Department, is situated inside this sanctuary. Trekking, Bird Watching, Nature Walks, Rafting (from July to September), Fish feeding, etc, are some of the activities in the Nature Camp.

Agumbe Sunset point gives excellent view of the sunset. Jomlu Theertha falls, Kudlu Theertha falls and Onake Abbi falls are situated inside the wildlife sanctuary.

How Do I Go to Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary?

Hebri town is the nearest town at around 14.5 kilometers distance from this wildlife sanctuary. Udupi and Mangalore are two nearby major cities to the wildlife sanctuary. Udupi is at around 55 kilometers, whereas Mangalore is at around 100 kilometers distance from Someshwara wildlife sanctuary. Shimoga Town is at around 110 kilometers distance from this wildlife park.

Udupi and Shimoga are the nearest railway stations. Mangalore airport is the nearest airport.

Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary Timings

The wildlife sanctuary is open from 06:00 am– 06:00 pm, on all days. There is an entry free of INR 200 for adults and INR 100 for children. November to April are the ideal months to visit this Wild Life Sanctuary.

Mehrangarh Fort

Mehrangarh Fort is an ancient fort built around 1460, by Rao Jodha. It is situated in Jodhpur city, Rajasthan, India.

Mehrangarh Fort Jodhpur
Jodhpur Mehrangarh Fort

Mehrangarh at Jodhpur is an exquisitely-carved fort known for its expansive and stone-latticed courtyards. Its a fine example of Rajput architecture. It is situated on a Cliff.

Jodhpur ka Mehrangarh or Mehrangarh Fort, is at a elevation of 410 feet above the city. There are seven gates for this historic fort, namely Jai Pol, Loha Pol, Fateh Pol, Amrita Pol, Doodkangra Pol, Gopal Pol and Bheru Pol. One among the seven gates, Victory gate or Jaipol or Jayapol, was built to commemorate the victory of Jodhpur army over the attack of Jaipur, Udaipur and Bikaner armies. This gate was built by Maharaja Man Singh. Fattehpol is another victory gate built by Maharaja Ajit Singh,to commemorate the victory of Jodhpur army over Mughals. Another gate, Dedh Kamgra Pol, has still the cannonballs scars; caused by Jaipur army’s attach. Loha Pol is the last gate to the Mehrangarh fort complex.

Remains of the marks of Sati, a practice prevailing those days, when woman burns to death on her husband’s funeral pyre, can be seen immediately to the left of the Loha Pol . This happened in 1843, after the death of Maharaja Man Singh.

Jodhpur which was previously known as Marwar, was founded in 1459, by the chief of the Rathore clan, Rao Jodha. An year after his accession to the throne, he sifted the capital to Jodhpur from the 1000 year old Mandore fort. Mehrangarh fort or Jodhpur ka Mehrangarh, is one of the best places to visit in Jodhpur. Folk artists perform different cultural programs daily, in different courtyards at the fort.

Chamunda Devi temple is temple inside the fort. A stampade killed hundreds of people here at this temple, in the last decade. Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park is an adjoining park spread over an area of 2 hectares near the Mehrangarh fort. This Rock park and its surroundings has distinctive volcanic rock formations. Some are aged 600 million years. Nagnecha Mataji Temple is another tourist attraction at Jodhpur.

Museum Inside Mehrangarh Fort

There is a Museum in the fort. There are different galleries for Art and Armour, along with an excellent collection of elephant howdahs, costumes, Marwar paintings royal artifacts and palanquins. Collections dating back to the Mughal period, including those of Emperor Akbar, can be seen here. Turban Gallery has different types of turbans on display, used by different communities or regions of Rajasthanis (natives of the state of Rajasthan).

How Do I Go to Mehrangarh Fort?

Jodhpur is well connected by roads to other parts of the country. ‘Jodhpur Junction railway station’ with station code JU, is the railway station at the city of Jodhpur. Jodhpur Airport is the nearest airport to Mehrangarh Fort.

Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur, Heritage Palace cum Hotel Near Mehrangarh Fort?

Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur is one of the best hotels near Mehrangarh fort. Taj Umaid bhawan palace was once the residence of the Great King, Gaj Singh II. The palace has 347 rooms. A portion of the palace serves as the principal residence of erstwhile royal family and the reaming part is converted into hotel, which is run by the Taj Group. Construction of Umaid Bhawan palace was completed in 1943. Taj Umaid bhawan palace, is located at Chittar Hill, the top point in Jodhpur. In the past, it has been awarded World’s best hotel organized by TripAdvisor, at the Traveller’s Choice Award. In conclusion, Umaid Bhawan palace Jodhpur is the best place to stay in Jodhpur.

There are many other hotels, near to the fort and, in and around the city of Jodhpur .

Which is the Best Time to Visit Mehrangarh Fort Jodhpur?

The best time to visit Mehrangarh Fort at Jodhpur, is from October to March, when the climate turns pleasant. April to September are summer months and should be avoided.


Toranmal Hill Station, Satpura Range, Gorakhnath Temple

Toranmal is a hill station is hill station located in the Satpura Range of Mountains in Nandurbar district, Maharashtra state, India.

Toranmal View Point
Toranmal View Point – Source –

The hill station is a small plateau. From south to north of this plateau, a streamfeeds two lakes; Yashawant Lake and Lotus Lake. Lotus lake got its name because of the lotus flowers, which covers a large portion of the lake.

Gorakhnath Temple is located in this hill station. This temple is famous for the Mahashivratri Yatra, which is attended by thousands of devotees. Devotees from Maharashtra and its neighboring states walk barefoot for days and reach Gorakhnath Temple or Gorakhnath mandir, especially on Mahashivratri day.

How Do I Go to Toranmal Hill Station?

This hill Station is situated at a distance of 55 kilometers from Shahada city. Dondaicha railway station with station code DDE, is at around 75 kilometers distance from Shahada city.

Nandurbar railway station with station code NDB, is the nearest railway station at around 76 kilometers from the hill station. Dhule with station code DHI, is situated at around 90 kilometers distance from the hill station.

Nearest Airport is at Surat in Gujrat state. Mumbai is at around 500 kilometers from this hill station.

Is There Any Good Hotels at Toranmal Hill Station?

Yes. Toranmal Hill Resort is one among the best Toranmal hotels resorts. Furthermore, there are many good hotels at Satpura Town, a nearby town to Toranmal Hill station.

Suruli Falls, Silapathikaram, Agastya Rishi

Suruli Falls is a 150 feet high, two stage cascading falls near Cumbum Town in Theni District, Tamilnadu state. After falling into a pond, this waterfall again plummets another 40 feet.

Suruli FallsSuruli Falls near Cumbum Town, Tamilnadu.

The falls is on the Suruli River, which originate in the Meghamalai mountain range. Meghamalai mountain range is part of Pothigai Malai or Pothigai hills, which is divine to Hindus.

It is believed that Lord Shiva and Goddesses Parvati were married at Mount Kailash. Due to the presence of the large number of holy beings witnessing the marriage, Mount Kailash got unbalanced. Therefore, Maharishi Aagastya or Agastya Muni (meaning Saint Agastya) was sent to this mountains by Lord Shiva to balance the world, which he did successfully. At the same time, Agastya Muni was able to visualize the wedding of Lord Shiva and Goddesses Parvati, at a Shivalingam at Tiru Kalyana Teertham, at Pothigai hills. This area is frequented by saints, on full moon days. There is an idol of Aagastya Muni, situated at the peak of Agasthyamalai.

Many 11th Century caves can be found near Suruli Falls. These caves are fine examples of Indian rock-cut architecture. Tamilnadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC) conducts an annual summer festival at Suruli falls. Chinna Suruli or Cloudland Falls is another fall, at around 54 kilometers distance from Theni town.

Suruli Aandavar temple (Subramania Swami temple) is a famous temple at Suruli hills. Suruli Velappar Temple, shaped like an OM Pranava, is another temple near the falls. (Om is a sacred icon in Hindu religion. Om is also a sacred mantra in Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism.)

as a matter of fact, Suruli Falls is mentioned in Silappathikaram, the ancient Tamil epic written by Ilango Adigal.

How Do I Go to Suruli Falls?

Suruli Falls is well connected by roads. Tamilnadu state government buses are available frequently from Cumbum and Uthamapalayam. Cumbam is the nearest town, at a distance of 10 kilometers from the falls. Uthamapalayam town is at around 20 kilometers distance from the Falls at Surali. Theni Town is at around 55 kilometers from the falls. The falls is on the way to Periyar National Park.

Which is the Ideal Season to Visit Suruli Falls?

June – October months are the ideal season to visit Suruli falls; although there is some flow all through the year. #SuruliFalls

Sajjangad Fort

Sajjangad is a historic fort located near Satara, in Maharashtra state, India. Sajjangad means Fort of Good People. This fort is the final resting place of the 17th century Saint Ramdas.

Shivaji Mahadarwaja entrance of SajjangadShivaji Mahadarwaja entrance of Sajjangad

Saint Ramdas was a saint born in 1608. Dasbodh is a famous book written by him which has his teachings. Many people from the state of Maharashtra follows his teachings. Sajjangad has thus emerged as a popular pilgrimage destination.

Sajjangad was known by different names throughout its existence. Asvalayana Rishi lived here and hence it was one of the the earlier names of this historic place. It was also known as Aswalya gad as many Aswals or bears were found here. Bahamani Emperors took control of the fort in between 1347-1527. Adilshah dynasty took control of the fort in between 1527 and 1686. The fort then came under Mughal Emperors. Later on, King Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj took control of the fort. This fort was finally captured by the British in 1818. After the British left India in 1947, the fort came under Indian Goverment.

Samadhi of Sadguru Shri Samarth Ramdas Swami is taken care of by the trust, Ramdas Swami Sansthan; a trust established during Swami’s time itself. Dasbodh , The manuscript written by Sant Ramdas is read here, daily. There are morning prayers and Bhajans at the samadhi. Abhishek, Puja and Maha Naivedya are also offered to the swami.

Ruins of some of the historic buildings can be seen here. Scenic beauty includes a dam and its waters. Thoseghar waterfall, the biggest waterfall in India, is a nearby falls, at around 14 kilometers from the fort.

How Do I Go to Sajjangad?

Sajjangad Fort is at a distance of 18 kilometers from Satara city. Cabs, auto-rickshaws and buses are available from Satara city. Private or Hired vehicles takes you to the top of the hills. You need to climb a hundred steps or so, to reach the fort.

It is at a distance of around 275 kilometers from Mumbai.

What are the Timings of Sajjangad?

Sajjangad is open daily from 5.00 am to 9.00 pm.

Accommodation at Sajjangad?

“Bhakt niwas”, run by the trust Ramdas Swami Sansthanthe, offers free accommodation. There are many hotels at Satara, suiting the budget of every tourist or pilgrim to Sajjangad.