Amritapuri Ashram, Embracing the World, Hugging Saint

Amritapuri Ashram, the main Ashram of the hugging saint, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, is situated at Amritapuri in Vallikavu village , near Karunagappally in Kollam district, Kerala. Its also the headquarters of of Mata Amritanandamayi Math.

Mata Amritanandamayi  of Amritapuri Ashram
Mata Amritanandamayi of Amritapuri Ashram

Matha Amritanandamayi was born as the third child of Mr. Sugunanandan and Mrs. Damayanti, in a fishermen family. She founded Mata Amṛtanandamayī Math in 1981. Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi is called ‘Amma’ by her disciples. Amma means mother in many of the Indian languages.

Mata Amritanandamayi always hugs her disciples or visitors, before talking to them. Hence she is known as Amma hugging saint nyc to her NYC disciples. She has visited a large number of foreign countries and is regular in visiting Amma’s NYC disciples and disciples across USA, every year.

Amritapuri Ashram is spread over more than 100 acres of land and is also the headquarters of Amrita University. Amrita university offers different courses; mainly in Kerala, Karnataka and Tamilnadu states. Amritapuri Campus and Kochi Campus are the main campuses in Kerala. Tamilnadu campus is at Coimbatore. Bengaluru and Mysuru Campuses are the ones in Karnataka. Amritapuri Ashram also runs many schools.

Amrita Institute of Medical Science (Amrita Hospital) is leading hosptial in India, founded by Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi.

Amma Ashram has a charitable trust, “Embracing the World“, a leading charity foundation among global charities, which does a lot of humanitarian and social welfare works. They did a commendable work as a Charitable Organization, when the worst Tsunami hit Indian shores in 2004. They helped in providing food and shelter. They took up the restoration works and has built around 6000 houses for the worst affected Tsunami victims.

Sanitation projects were also done under the Ashram during the famous annual Sabarimala Temple pilgrimage season. Amma has donated a sum of $15 million US $ $15 million in 2015, to construct toilets for the poor, who lives along the Ganges River.

To know more about the Ashram, the activities, Amma’s teachings,etc, Please visit mata homepage.

How Do I Go to Amritapuri Ashram?

Amritapuri Ashram is situated at around 9 kilometers from Karunagappally railway station. Karunagappally is situated in between Kayamkulam Junction and Kollam Junction railway station on the PalakkadThiruvanathapuram railway line. Kayankulam railway station is at around 15 kilometers distance from the Amma Ashram.

Karunagappally Bus stand is the nearest main bus stand from where buses to Amritapuri Ashram are available. Cabs and auto rickshaws are also available from Karunagappally.

Victoria Memorial Hall, Museum

Victoria Memorial is memorial at Kolkata in memory of Late Queen Victoria (1819–1901) of England.

The north facade of the Victoria Memorial
The north facade of the Victoria Memorial

Victoria Memorial Hall construction was started in the year 1906 and the foundation stone was laid by the then Prince of Wales, who later became King George V. (Prince of Wales was the Grandson of Queen Victoria). The memorial construction was completed in 1921 and was opened to public in the same year. This hall is now a museum and is called Victoria Memorial Museum. It is situated on the banks of the Hooghly River,

Victoria Memorial museum was designed by the great Architect William Emerson. Emerson was the president of the Royal Institute of British Architects. The funding was a collective effort of individuals of the British Raj in India, erstwhile Princely states of India and the British government.

Victoria Memorial museum was constructed with same type of marble used for the construction of Taj Mahal, in Indo-Saracenic revivalist style. The building is 338 feet in length and 228 feet in width. The height of the memorial hall is 184 feet. There is a beautiful garden spread over an area of 64 acres, designed by David Prain and Lord Redesdale.

Victoria Memorial museum has 25 galleries, including the Royal gallery. Some of the other prominent gallerias includes the central hall, the arms and armory gallery, national leaders gallery, the portrait gallery, the sculpture gallery and the Calcutta gallery which was added a quarter century back. Rare and antique books of William Shakespeare, Omar Khayyam, etc, can be found here.

How Do I Go to Victoria Memorial Museum alias Victoria Memorial Hall?

Victoria Memorial Hall is situated in the heart of the city, near Jawaharlal Nehru road.

Kolkata is well connected by all modes of transport. The erstwhile capital of the British India, the historic city of Kolkata has an international airport which is connected to all parts of the world. (Capital of India was transferred to Delhi by King George V in 1912.)

Kolkata railway station is a major railway station in India. Some of the other major railway stations in the city includes Howrah Station in Howrah, Santragachi Junction railway station in Howrah, Sealdah Station in Kolkata and Shalimar Station in Howrah.

Kolkata or Calcutta as it was known earlier, is well connected by different National Highways to other parts of the country. There is a major seaport in the city.

Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam National Memorial

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam National Memorial is situated at Pei Karumbu, Rameswaram, Pamban Island in Ramanathapuram district, Tamilnadu, India.

Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam National Memorial was inaugurated by the honorable Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, on the second death anniversary of the great leader, i.e. on 27th July, 2017.

The memorial showcases Dr APJ Abdul Kalam’s history. Personal belongs of the late leader are also displayed here. Statue of the late President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, playing the musical instrument Veena, was also unveiled by the Prime minister of India on the same day. There are two other silicon statues of Dr. Kalam, in presidential suit, in sitting and standing postures.

Replica of missiles and rockets with which Dr. Abdul Kalam had worked are also on display. Information on APJ Abdul Kalam’s life is depicted through the 500 odd portraits, displayed at the memorial. Acrylic paintings numbering around 90, are also on display.

Library, planetarium, auditorium, etc, are planned for the second phase of the Abdul Kalam memorial, to be completed in the next 18 months or so.

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam was the 11th President of India. He was called as ‘Missile Man of India’. Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam contributed immensely to the defense and missile projects carried out by DRDO (Defense Research & Development Organisation) and ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization). Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam worked for both of these organizations, before becoming the president of India.

Built by Defense Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) with which Dr. Kalam was associated as a key scientist, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam National Memorial is located on the land where the late president’s tomb is situated. (Dr. Abdul Kalam was buried here at Rameswaram in 2015.) This monument is one among the latest national monuments in India; other being Shaurya Smarak, National War memorial at Bhopal, inaugurated on 14th October 2016.

How Do I Go to Dr APJ Abdul Kalam National Memorial?

Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam National Memorial is at Rameswaram. Rameswaram is connected to the mainland by Pamban Bridge. There are direct trains to the island from the state capital, Chennai. RMM is the railway station code for Rameswaram. Road connectivity is also available.

The nearest airport to Abdul Kalam National Memorial is at Madurai, at around 169 kilometers distance. Tuticorin airport is at 192 kilometers from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam National Memorial at Rameswaram.

Stok Kangri, High Altitude Climbing, Himalayas

Stok Kangri is the highest mountain with a height of 6,153 meters or 20,187 feet, in the Himalayan Stok Range. It is situated at a distance 15 kilometers away from Leh, in Jammu and Kashmir state of India.

View of Stok Kangri
View of Stok Kangri

Stok Kangri peak is situated inside the Hemis National Park. Its very popular with High Altitude Climbing community. Base Camp for trekking is at an altitude 4,980 meters or 16,339 feet. Stok Kangri climbing normally takes anywhere between 8 hours to 14 hours to complete the 3,281 feet trekking, depending on the weather conditions.

The shortest route for the Stok Kangri expedition is through Stok Chu and Stok village; often used while descending. Stok Kangri peak can be be trekked even by the non-technical trekkers, from July-August.

Please bear in mind that the this High Altitude Climbing requires a lot of stamina and is not for the mentally weak. Acclimatization is also required in most cases.

How Do I Go to Stok Kangri?

Stok Kangri is situated in Stock village, 15 kilometers southwest of Leh, the second largest district in India.

Leh–Manali Highway National Highway, 1D, connects Leh to Srinagar, the Summer capital of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Manali is at 479 kilometers distance from Lah through this highway. National Highway, 1D, is open only for 4 to 5 months in a year, depending on the snowfall.

There is an International airport and railway station at Srinagar.

Ratapani Tiger Reserve, Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary, Indian Tiger

Ratapani Tiger Reserve is located in Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh state in India. The Tiger reserve is part of Ratapani wildlife sanctuary. In-principle approval has been granted in 2013 by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), to make this wildlife sanctuary a Tiger reserve.

Road inside the Ratapani Tiger Reserve
Road inside the Ratapani Tiger Reserve.

Ratapani Tiger Reserve, spread over 823.84 square kilometers, is known for its finest quality teak trees (Tectona grandis). These forests are rich in flora and fauna.

UNESCO World Heritage Site Bhimbetka rock shelters is within this Tiger Reserve. Tiger, panther, jackal, wild dogs, hyena, fox, sambhar, chital, blue bull, four horned antelope, rhesus monkey, languor, wild boar, etc, are some of the animals found in this reserved forests. 150 birds species are found in this wildlife sanctuary. A large species of snakes, lizards and chameleons are among those reptiles found here.

The Ratapani dam is a major tourist attraction on the periphery of the Ratapani reserve forests. It attracts a lot of migratory birds. The resorviors inside the sanctuary attracts a large number of wading birds like painted stork, sarus crane, black-necked stork, and white-necked stork. Ratapani Tiger Reserve is home to Oriental white-backed vulture,red-headed vulture and long-billed vulture.

How Do I Go to Ratapani Tiger Reserve?

Ratapani Tiger Reserve is situated less than 50 kilometers away from Bhopal, the capital of the state.

Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary

Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Yavatmal district, Maharashtra state, India.

Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary is spread over an area of 148.63 square kilometers. Its on the northern border of the state, near Telungana state.

Tipeshwar Wild Life Sanctuary is rich in flora and fauna. Teak trees forms the majority of vegetation. The sanctuary is rich in Herbs.

Fauna includes endangered endemic spices. 29 mammals species including some of the endangered species like Tiger, Panther, Sloth Bear, Pangolin, Jackal, Four Horned Antelope, etc, are found here. Since Tigers are found here, the sanctuary is also called Tipeshwar Tiger reserve.

Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary is home to 6 endangered reptile species. More than 180 bird species belonging to 46 bird families are found here. 9 species of endangered birds, including the peafowl, are found in this wildlife sanctuary.

How Do I Go to Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary?

The road access to Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary is through Pandharkawada.

Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary is at a distance of around 35 kilometers from Adilabad Railway station, the nearest railway station in the nearby Telungana state.

Amravati railway station and Badnera railway station are at around 165 kilometers from the wildlife sanctuary.

Nagpur airport is at around 172 kilometers distance from Tipeshwar wild life sanctuary.

Mumbai is at a distance of around 850 kilometers from Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary.