Burma’s Famous Padamya Nga Mauk

Burma’s famous Padamya Nga Mauk disappeared in the night from 29 November to 30 November 1885, when after the British had occupied upper Burma, the Burmese king Thibaw, his chief queen Supayalat and the royal servants were about to start their journey into exile (first to Rangoon, then to Madras/India and, finally, Ratnagiri/India) and the royal treasures had been handed over to the British Colonel Sladen.

There are many descriptions of Nga Mauk’s unprecedented beauty and brilliance, this is one of them. When placed face down on a velvet covered pedestal Nga Mauk shines like a lighted lamp, when immersed in a glass of milk, the colour of the milk turns red and when held in the hand, a red liquid appears to seep through the fingers drop by drop. Wow, that is something, isn’t it?

You do now certainly think that is all well and good, Markus, but what exactly was or is Burma’s famous Padamya Nga Mauk? My brief answer is that Nga Mauk was or is a royal ruby. A ruby in size, colour and brilliance unprecedented, unrivalled and as it is said, “Worth a kingdom.”

It was the most precious gem of the Burmese Crown Jewels. Nga Mauk was set into a ring of pure gold and carefully kept in the royal treasures by the Burmese kings of the Konbaung Dynasty from king Bodawpaya, the 6st Konbaung king (reign 1782 to 1819) to king Thibaw, the last Konbaung king (reign 1878 to 1885), to be worn only at very special occasions. So, now you know that Padamya Nga Mauk is or was a ruby. Why do I always say, “Is or was?” The answer is that I do this for the simple reason that with the exception of the person who has stolen Nga Mauk no one knows whether Nga Mauk, this exceptionally beautiful and valuable ruby still exists. More details on this I will give you at the end of the article.

However, this article is much less about rubies against the backdrop of geology, gemology, mineralogy and chemistry (what would be boring) as it is about rubies (both in myth and reality) in connection with Burma, in general, and the story that the allegedly most precious ruby ever found has to tell, in particular.

As for the general description of what a ruby is I do not want to spend much time and confine myself to the following. The ruby is one of four minerals that make up the family of precious stones comprising diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald. It is a crystal of the category mineral variety and consists of the mineral corundum (aluminium oxide) with chromium. And it is this chromium that gives the ruby its name. The name ruby has its roots in the Latin word ‘ruber’ what means red. The colour of rubies range from pink to red and is the foremost criteria (followed by clarity, cut and carat) that is determining the price. With ‘9’ on the Mohs scale the ruby takes second place behind the diamond that is with ’10’ the hardest mineral on this scale.

Since at the time of this writing about 1.000 years is that what is nowadays called Burma (since 1989 also Myanmar) famous as source of rubies of the highest quality surpassed especially in terms of colour by no other country in which rubies are mined. When I say Burma as I have just done this is not quite correct because this may easily create the impression that rubies are found all over Burma, which is not true.

The site where the world’s most precious rubies have been found is located some 313 miles/500 kilometres north of Yangon, formerly Rangoon, and 125 miles/200 kilometres northeast of Mandalay; its name, Mogok. It is also called ‘The Valley Of Rubies’ and the Mogok Stone Tract.

Mogok city is situated at 4.000 feet/1.200 metres above sea level. It has at its centre a lake and is surrounded by mountains. The four highest of them are between 5.600 feet/1.700 metres and 7.500 feet/2.300 metres high and the climate here is cool. The famous gem-producing area is actually made up of several valleys and their towns and the total population of the valley is said to be about 550.000. Mogok is the site where also Nga Mauk, The Royal Ruby, has allegedly been found.

There have of course other famous rubies from gem-rich Mogok been in the royal treasure trove but not one of them came even close to Nga Mauk’s quality and value. These other rubies were the Hlaw Ka Tin Galay ruby 20 rati/18 carat, the Hlaw Ka Tin Gyi ruby 40 rati/36 carat and the Sin Ma Taw ruby 40 rati/36 carat, just to mention the largest of them. Nga Mauk is said to have the size of a Betel nut and a weight of 98 rati/88 carat whereas his ‘twin brother’ Kalahphyan has a weight of 82 rati/74 carat. More to Kalahphyan a few lines further into the article.

There are several stories about Nga Mauk in circulation one more unbelievable than the other especially as the weight of Nga Mauk and the early history of the uncut ruby are concerned. Every Burmese will proudly tell you his most probably exaggerated version. Some of the inconsistencies and variations in these stories pertain to the finder, his profession and how Nga Mauk was found, others to the number of pieces into which the uncut ruby was broken, at what time the pieces were cut, and which cut was used. Yet other inconsistencies relate to the history of the individual pieces of the stone, the king who reigned at the time the ruby was found and, finally, the person(s) who has/have stolen Nga Mauk. You see, Nga Mauk is through and through a mystery from the beginning to the end, the ruby’s disappearance. And even after the end it remains a mystery because (with the exception of the thief(s) or the present owner) no one knows where Nga Mauk is and what happened to it after it disappeared. Surely, Nga Mauk is somewhere. Will it resurface one day? Will it be forever lost?

In all of the stories on Nga Mauk are so many obscurities and inconsistencies that I would seriously doubt that Nga Mauk has ever existed would there not be some credible witnesses who confirm that they have seen and even touched the ruby. This means essentially that Nga Mauk did (or does) exist, that it was (or is) cut and of very high value and that the ruby disappeared in the night from 29 November to 30 November 1885. These are the facts and everything else is pretty much open to speculation for there is no proof of anything that is written and said about Nga Mauk. Did the Burmese royal couple steal it? Did members of the royal family steal it? Did high ranking members of the Burmese court steal it? Did Colonel Sladen steal it? Did other high ranking British officer steal it?

I have analysed the different stories (more precisely phrased legends) and compared one against the other in the effort to get as closest as possible to what has probably happened and how. Here now comes, at long last, that (abridged) version of the story of Nga Mauk, the fabulous Burmese ruby, that I think is the least unrealistic one of all of them. I am fully aware of the fact that even this story is in some parts obscure and inconsistent. I cannot say for sure what of it is true and what not; you have to reach your own decisions on this matter.

This story begins with the finder of the stone a certain U Nga Mauk (Mr. Nga Mauk) from Laungzin near Kyatpyin after whom the ruby was named. When Nga Maung found the stone that is said to have initially been weighing 620 rati/560 carats he was immediately aware that it was a ruby of exceptionally high quality and value. Usually, that would have been reason to be very happy but there was one big problem and that was a royal decree according to which a gemstone above a certain size and price did automatically belong to the king and was not allowed to be kept in private possession or to be sold. Those not strictly adhering to this decree were threatened with severest punishments. Obviously, Nga Mauk was neither willing to take the risk of keeping and/or selling the entire stone nor was he willing to hand the entire stone to the king. The most practical solution to this problem was to give one part of the ruby to the king and sell the other part in order to significantly improve his and his family’s financial situation; and that he did.

Using a natural crack in the uncut stone to his advantage he split the stone into a larger and a smaller part. He then handed the larger part that would later became the’ Nga Mauk Ruby’ to king Bodawpaya, while selling the smaller part that would later become the ‘Kalahphyan Ruby’ to Calcutta/India. If this would have been the end of this part of the story it would have been a satisfying outcome as both parties involved (the king and Nga Mauk) had greatly benefitted from the ruby. But unfortunate for Nga Mauk this was not the way it turned out. Somehow king Bodawpaya learned that Nga Mauk had tried to cheat him and ordered that not only Nga Mauk and his family but also the entire population of his village were to be burned alive. This was done but by sheer luck Nga Mauk’s wife Daw Nann seems to have escaped the execution. Here comes the Daw Nann legend (another legend) into the picture.

As legend has it Daw Nann was away from home to collect fire wood when her family and the other people from the village were arrested and put to death. The legend further says that watching from the top of a nearby hill the execution being carried out broke her heart into two pieces just like the Nga Mauk ruby had been broken in two pieces. The hill is since then called, ‘Daw Nann Gyi Taung’, meaning ‘the hill from which Mrs. Nann looked down’.

The king had also ordered some of his agents to travel to India and bring the second part of the ruby back to him. This mission was accomplished and the recovered gem became also part of the royal treasure. The ruby was cut and the king named it ‘Kalahphyan Ruby’, meaning ‘the ruby that came from the land of the Kalas’.

Now we are coming to the last part of the Padamya Nga Mauk story: the ruby’s disappearance. On 28 November 1885 British forces had captured Mandalay and surrounded the Mandalay Palace with the Royal City. Colonel Sladen who accompanied the British forces as Political Officer was sent by General Prendergast into the Palace to discuss with king Thibaw matters of unconditional capitulation to end the 3rd Anglo-Burmese war. On 29 November 1885, King Thibaw did publicly acknowledge his sound defeat by the British Army by capitulating to the British General Prendergast. Afterwards Colonel Sladen and other high ranging officers went to the Mandalay Palace to personally observe the preparations for the Burmese king Thibaw, his chief queen Supayalat and the royal servants to be sent into exile early the next morning. Being in the palace Colonel Sladen took the opportunity to take a close look at Nga Mauk and handed it allegedly very reluctantly back to the Queen’s maid of honour, Chuntaung Princess Thu Thiri Sanda Wadi. That was the last time that Nga Mauk was actually seen. Later, when king and queen were about to board the ship that was to bring them to Rangoon, Colonel Sladen returned and requested that Nga Mauk was (together with other royal gems) handed over to him for safekeeping. He was given the box in which the ruby used to be kept but no one saw the stone itself, only the box. Maybe Sladen checked whether the ruby was in the box, maybe he didn’t.

After the former Burmese king Thibaw had arrived in Ratnagiri in April 1886, he informed the British Political Officer H. Fanshaw on Nga Mauk and the other royal gems he had given to Colonel Sladen and requested that they be returned to him. In November 1886 the India Foreign Office replied that a ruby with the name Nga Mauk could not be found. The former Burmese king Thibaw did not allow this to pass in silence and in December 1886 investigation into the Nga Mauk case began.

Chief Commissioner Sir Charles Bernard assigned the task to investigate the case to the Political Officer Thirkell White in Mandalay. From then on till the death of Colonel Sladen on 4 January 1890, all persons involved in this case such as General Prendergast, Colonel Sladen, Colonel Sladen’s interpreter Nicholas, Commanding Officer Captain Budgin, Commander Lambert, President of the Committee in charge of confiscated royal properties, several officers of the British army, several members of the royal family, Thibaw’s ex-treasurer U Hla Bu, Thibaw’s former Minister of the Royal Treasury, Shwe Taik Wun, etc. were contacted and questioned and a lively exchange of letters and documents took place in the course of the investigation.

To cut a long story short, all activities with respect to finding Nga Mauk were to no avail and its disappearance and whereabouts remain a mystery.

I hope you have found my ‘Padamya Nga Mauk article’ informative and entertaining.



Source by Markus Burman

The Different Ways Of Minting Indian Coins

In India, different rulers minted various varieties of coins. These coins were minted in different ways. Earlier, beads and stones were used as currency and this system was known as the Barter System.

However, as it was difficult to differentiate between these items, coins were introduced. Based on minting technologies, ancient Indian Coins can be broadly divided into four groups:

– Punch Marked Coins: These are the earliest recorded coins in India. They were used in the 6th Century BC. The symbols on them were abstract or nature related elements. As both the sides of the coins were struck simultaneously, hence they were called the punch marked coins.

Most of the punch-marked coins had different number of punches impressed upon them. These coins were formed into different shapes, such as the bar-shaped, oblong, or cup-shaped. All these varieties of coins were struck with dies.

– Casting Techniques: In this minting technology, coins were minted using molds. This technique was faster in comparison to the way the Punch Marked were produced and many coins could be produced at one time from a single mold. The main drawback of this technique was that the impression of the mold was not always transferred to the coins properly. So, the rulers at that time eventually developed a brand new technique.

– Repousee Technique: These coins were thin and lightweight. They bear devices only on one side and the other side had a negative impression. This technique was a time-consuming one, so there were fewer numbers of coins minted using this technique.

– Die-Struck Technique: Die-Struck technique was developed because of the fact that the Repousse and Casting techniques had many disadvantages. There were many Ancient Indian Coins minted with this technique during the rule of Gupta and Indo-Greeks. In this technique, both the sides of the coins received impressions.

Hence, there were many different varieties of coins minted by using these different techniques. Some of these coins are still present in the collections of the world and they can even be found in some museums. A perfectly designed coin is one which looks attractive, beautiful and is produced through keeping the technical aspects in consideration.

Transferring the image from a die to the coin requires a great deal of force. If the force is unbalanced, then the coins would gradually disintegrate. These disintegrated dies can be seen on the surface of the coins in the form of lumps or lines.

Hence, it is very important that the coins be minted in the correct manner.



Source by Yogini Bhambhani

Balinese Mask – Spiritual Force Behind

Introduction

Bali is an island, which throughout the ages has been influenced by many other cultures. While Bali’s religious root stems from animism and ancestral worship, Hindu mythology and Buddhism have been major influences. However, regardless of what they were practicing, one factor has always remained constant: “Life in Bali is governed by religion” . Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the art of mask making derived as a religious act, rather than a quest to create aesthetic beauty. Masks thus give form to godly and chthonic forces and are used in theatrical performances to teach adaptations of Indian Sanskrit Texts . In addition, theatrical mask dances are used for, “planting and harvest celebrations and at times of transition in the lives of individuals and communities”. Mask dances, such as Topeng, also discuss politics of the past and present, and morals. I will further discuss the masked dances in another section of this article.

Theatre in Bali, Indonesia is more than a distinguished discipline; it is a performance entwined with every day life. Theatre, like all art, is a part of the religion and culture in Bali; thus all Balinese participate in art in some way. Furthermore, music, dance, costumes, and drama are not separate entities, but rather pieces of Balinese Theatre that rely on each other to achieve their ultimate purpose: Creating unity and harmony between the three worlds. In this article, I am going to discuss Balinese masks and the religious-socio-cultural role they play in Balinese Theatre.

Balinese Beliefs & Mythology

The Bali Hindu religion, the foundation of the ordered Balinese society, pervades every aspect of life. Bali Hinduism, which has root in Indian Hinduism and in Buddhism, adopted the animistic traditions of the indigenes, who inhibited the island around the first millennium BC. This influence strengthened the belief that the gods and goddesses are present in all things. Every element of nature, therefore, possesses its own power, which reflects the power of the gods. A rock, tree, dagger, or woven cloth is a potential home for spirits whose energy can be directed for good or evil. However, even art shop masks, those wood masks made in an unconsecrated assembly-line manner to be sold to tourist, have been known to become possessed. A former director of Bali’s Art Center has a concise explanation: “If you make an attractive home, someone will want to live in it.” A desirable proposition

According to Bali Hinduism, for every positive principle or constructive force there is an equally powerful destructive forces. These are sometimes referred to as forces of the right (high) and forces of the left (low). The two elements ideally coexist in balance so that neither assumes too much power. Maintaining this precarious equilibrium is a constant preoccupation for the Balinese, who prepare daily offerings to satiate the spirits and keep them under control as well as plead for blessings.

Offerings, or banten, vary according to the nature of the ceremony and whether they are intended for a high or low spirit. They may consist of combination of incense, flowers, old Chinese coins, fabric, betel nuts, arak (liquor), holy water, palm-leaf decoration, and food. The food is not actually meant to be eaten by the gods but functions as means by which the people give back what rightfully belongs to the spirits. The most significant moment in the life of offering is its dedication. After that, what happens to it is important. Consequently, offerings to low spirit, which are left on the ground, are usually scavenged by chickens or dogs. The larger offerings to high spirits are taken back to the family home after residing for a while at the temple, and the edible parts are then consumed by family members.

Balinese temples, embellished with a decorative display of stones carvings, consist of breezy, open air courtyards, surrounded by a wall and entered through a large split gate. Once inside the entrance is a free standing wall (aling-aling). Beyond the wall is a large, open area with many small shrines of various sizes, each dedicated to a different god or goddess. At temple festivals, the normally somber shrines are highly decorated, and worshippers come to pray and dedicate their offerings, then retire to talk with friends. A festival is a highly social occasion, culminating in a live performance of mask dance or puppets presented for all to enjoy-local villagers and guests as well as the spirits of visiting deities and ancestors, and even an occasional tourists.

The dance and masks dramas that are performed at the temples as part of the odalan are considered important offerings to the god and goddess. The deities would be hesitant to attend any birthday celebration where there is no entertainment. A mask dancer makes an offering of his skills each time he performs, in some cases serving in a capacity similar o a priest. Wali dances, those permitted to occur in the inner sanctum of the temple complex, are directed toward the deified ancestors, who are honored guests, and tend to be involved with spirits rather than plot, character, or story.

Balinese Mask Performance

Masks performances have been important rituals on the Indonesian island of Bali for over a thousand years. Although many ancients societies used wooden masks to celebrate their religions, Bali is one of the few places where the ritual art has never disappeared and is, in fact, thriving. Wood carvers are producing more beautiful and more elaborate wood mask than ever, and thousands of people worldwide collect these compelling objects. The proliferation of Balinese artists and performance groups indicates that the tiny island is undergoing a cultural renaissance, the centerpiece of which is the tapel-the beautiful Balinese masks.

Masks may represent gods, animals, demons, or humans and can be whole masks or half masks depending on the dance they are used for. Masks can also be sacred or non-sacred depending on their purpose and preparation. Because the mystical theatre in Bali has captured the attention of so many foreigners to the land, non-sacred masks are made abundantly for sale. However, the best of the mask carvers have not abandoned their calling to create the sacred, consecrated masks when they have a “feeling” to do so.

The Balinese classify the masks of heroes, clowns, and low spirits according to their qualities. The dashing heroes (often incarnation of gods), beautiful queens, and virtuous kings are describe as halus, a Balinese word meaning “sweet,” “gentle,” and “refined.” Low spirits, animals, and brutish types, including antagonist kings, are referred to as keras, or “strong,” “rough,” and “forceful.” There are certain distinctions in between, which usually encompass the clowns and servants.

The three types of wood masks used in these dramas depict humans, animals, and demons. Human-looking masks can be full face or three-quarter face (extending to the upper lip), or can have a movable jaw. They are expected to resemble certain character types rather than specific people. Heroes and heroines are stereotypically handsome, with refined features matched b the movements of the dancers. The coarser a character is, he more exaggerated the features are: eyes bulge, mouths and noses thicken, and teeth become fangs. Color is also employed to reveal character of mask.

Animal masks are mythological rather than realistic. Conscious of the distinction between humans and animal, the Balinese emphasize the difference by designing animal wood masks that seem closely related to demons, even for magically powerful and god-related animals like the heroic and delightful Hanuman, the white monkey of the Ramayana epic. Birds, cows, and even frogs have gaping mouths and horrendous protruding fangs. Protuberant eyes with black pupils stare from golden irises in masks that can hardly be called attractive despite elaborate crowns and earrings.

Perhaps the most exciting wood masks are those of the witches and what are called low spirits. The low spirits, who can be troublesome if no appeased, are sometimes describe by Westeners as demons. This is inaccurate, since low spirits have power to perform good deads and provide protection. The Balinese do not separate the supernatural from the natural. The spirit world is a living force that must be recognize and appeased through rituals and offerings. Because the Balinese grant the masks powers that befit their roles and society, the masks of witches and low spirits are the largest and most grotesque of all traditional masks. The imposing wigs on most of these wood masks magnify the head and stature of the wearer. A basket device attached inside the construction holds it to the wearer’s head. Since the arrangement is relatively unstable, dancers often steady their unwieldy wood masks while they perform.

In some parts of Bali, trance is a frequent part of ritual; elsewhere, it is nonexistent. In Calonarang and Barong mask dramas, trance is common. The subject matter of these dramas is witchcraft, the supernatural, and the battle of positive and negative forces. The major characters, Durga, the Goddess of Death as Rangda, and Barong Ket, Lord of the Jungle, battle with every ounce of magical power they can harness, occasionally assisted by armies.

Kerambitan in southwest Bali is one of the areas known for highly active spirits and the frequencies of trance possession. A dancer who once worked as director of Bali’s Art Center tells a story about the Rangda and Barong masks of Kerambitan, his village: “Our priest had a dream that Rangda and Barong masks must be part of the village temple, so we had them created in the prescribed manner. Once they were brought to their temple home, they began fighting with each other while they were inside their baskets. They created so much noise and tension that the masks had to be separated.” Although the Rangda mask was moved to another temple, the two mask still fought and the Rangda mask was moved to another village. On the mask’s birthday, the day they were both consecrated, they had to be united in the temple again. Rangda was brought from the other village, displayed in the ceremony, and then immediately put away.

Balinese Mask With Supernatural Energy

Masks are regarded as powerful receptacles for wandering spirits. A wooden mask filled with divine energy becomes tenget (metaphysically charged). Made from a particular wood that is cut at specific times, tenget masks are generally associated with a certain number of rituals. Wooden masks in a tenget state may lose some of their special energy over time and need to be “recharged” in a special ceremony Initiations of renewed or new masks, called pasupati, can involve as many as ten days of feasting, performances of dance and Wayang Kulit (shadow puppets), cockfights, and processions. A high priest is called to officiate the exact moment when the “body” of the wood mask separates from the “head” (spirit) and the god inhabiting the wood mask is “sent home”. After the newly vitalized mask is returned to the temple, another set of ceremonies is held to invite the spirit back to the wood mask. The powerful mask of Durga, Goddess of Death and Black magic, and sometimes called Rangda is occasionally tested to see if its power is still burning. If explosions of fire come from the eyes, ears, head, nose, or mouth of the mask, it is considered sakti (sacred or powerful). It is placed in the village cemetery in the middle of the night during an especially auspicious time called Kanjeng Kliwon Pamelastali, a powerful time when spirits are present and must be acknowledge with offerings.

Sacred wood masks are never displayed on walls as works of art as in Western homes, but are kept in simple fabric bags with drawstring tops. The color of the bag is important-whether yellow, white, or black-and-white checked-because color symbolism affects the spirit of the wood masks. Once encased in the bags, the wood masks are placed in baskets, which in turn are stored within the temple complex. If a wood mask belongs to an individual, it will probably be kept inside the family temple. Sacred wood masks are only displayed for their birthdays, which will be apart of an odalan, or temple festival. Dancers unveil their wood masks when commissioned to perform at an odalan. Only rarely is a wood mask uncovered in order to be reconditioned: the paint refreshed, worm holes filled, and gold leaf touched up. This is never done casually, but in conjunction with elaborate rituals.

Masks made from the same tree are felt to have family ties. When a tree produce a knot like growth, it is called beling, which means “pregnant.” Care is taken not to damage the tree, and when the cut is made, a special ceremony is held to appease the spirits of the tree. If these rituals are not followed, a spiritually powerful tree could use its energy to cause destruction. In Singapudu village, home of two Bali’s most renowned woodcarvers, wood is no longer taken from an especially tenget tree that grows at the edge of the village. Two priests performed the requisite ceremonies before removing wood, but within a week both died of mysterious causes.

Conclusion:

Through this brief examination of Balinese Masked Performances, it becomes clear that the elements of theatre, the story, the masks, the performance, are all special and require much preparation. Balinese masks that are used in religious ceremonies have great concentrations of power and, therefore, must be treated very carefully. Woodcarving masks used in traditional dance and drama performances, even if not sacred, also must not be handled casually

It helps to understand that to the Balinese, there is not the same differentiation that we in the West make between animate and inanimate objects. Everything contains spirit. When you consider that some of the woodcarving masks represent evil spirits, such as Rangda, queen of the witches, or that some represent gods or mythical protectors, such as the Barong, it is a big responsibility to wear these woodcarving masks and blend with these powers. This is usually done either in ceremonies or as part of acting out the great dramas that derive mostly from ancient Hindu epics. In Bali, it is customary that the dramas will end with neither side “winning” out over the other – instead, there is a restoration of the harmony between the good and evil forces, which, according to Balinese belief, must be kept in balance.

When someone from the West puts on a mask, he’s usually pretending to be someone else. But in Bali when someone puts on mask, especially a sacred mask, he becomes someone else. The mask has a life force – a spiritual magic. A sacred mask is considered to be literally alive, and when the performer puts it on, the mask’s power also enters his body. The Balinese world is filled with magical power. Objects that we as westerners would normally consider to be devoid of the ability to exert influence on other objects or people to them may possess a mystical force.

By examining the craftsmanship of these masks, it is crystalline why Bali is famed for its beautiful masks and masked dance performance. To see a various Wood Carving Mask & Sculpture from Bali, please visit : www.ebaliart.com [http://www.ebaliart.com]



Source by Alexander Halim

A Vacation in South India

South India is a great place to spend a vacation. There are numerous interesting spots in this wonder land where one can enjoy a wonderful vacation. Some of them are a vacation at the lovely beaches, at magical backwaters, visiting beautiful hill stations and wonderful monuments, enjoying the beauty of heritage sites of temples, engrossing in a wildlife tour and revitalizing in an ayurvedic resort.

Whether it is for honeymoon, or just for a leisure holiday South India is a wonderful place to spend a memorable vacation. The South Indian States are Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Andhra Pradesh has a long stretch of nearly 1000-kms of naturally enriched coastline with scenic beaches. Karnataka has 320-kms long coastline with a picture perfect world of fascinating palm-fringed beaches.The beaches of Tamil Nadu, the southern most state of India have got a charm of their own and also has a credit of having the second longest beach in the world.

Kerala, the greenest state of India, has 900-kms long coastline with sandy beaches, rocky promontories and coconut palms that attract lot of tourists from all over the world. These beaches are renowned for the gentle and blue waters, making a beach vacation exciting. Goa is another great beach destination with 100 kms long coastline, for any beach lover.

South India has enchanting hill stations to spend a delightful summer vacation in all the four states.

Some of them are Munnar (Kerala), Coorg (Karnataka), Ooty (Tamil Nadu) and Horsely Hill (Andhra Pradesh).

This charming land, Destination South India, also offers great heritage sites to enjoy amazing sculptures of Indian temples created by highly skilled artisans, which are centuries old.

The backwaters of South India are yet another great tourist attraction in this captivating land.

South India is also a land of temples. You can find numerous temples with remarkable carvings in every state. This delightful land is also dotted with churches, mosques and jain temples.

Those who love to spend a cultural holiday this marvelous land is a place for consideration. You can find various cultures in this greeny land.

South India’s place in Medical Tourism is also not at the back. There are specialty hospitals, clinics

and health centers that can compete with the best healthcare facilities available in the world. Kerala’s Ayurveda treatments and massages are world famous.

Apart from the above, this alluring land is also famous for ecotourism and spiritual tourism.



Source by Lakshmi Menon