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Through Hotel Svatma, Tamil Nadu Gets its New Paradise Gateway to Temples and Palaces

The main building of Svatma was built a century and half years ago as the colonnaded colonial-style home of a British trader

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Thanjavur Palace. Wikimedia
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September 28, 2016: Tamil Nadu is known for its cultural attractions and most famously the three Unesco-inscribed Great Living Chola Temples. Of these three temples, Brihadeeswarar in the state’s ancient capital Thanjavur – is the one which is not to be missed. Apart from that, there is Thanjavur Royal Palace, and the collection of Chola bronzes it holds, not to mention the nearby Chittanavasai Cave, famous for its murals, and the nearby towns of Thiruvaiyaru and Kumbakonam, with their brightly painted temples.

Apart from that, there is Thanjavur Royal Palace, and the collection of Chola bronzes it holds, not to mention the nearby Chittanavasai Cave, famous for its murals, and the nearby towns of Thiruvaiyaru and Kumbakonam, with their brightly painted temples.

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An Indian architect and designer Krithika Subrahmanian explain Tamil Nadu as a state-off the tourist route. In spite of the cultural attractions and the famous temples the tourists drive away because of the lack of luxurious stay places people would stay only for a night, mentioned Telegraph.

According to the reports, to overcome this and let the tourist live the cultural feel of the place Krithika came up with the idea of setting up a hotel one with a spa, three restaurants, and the usual attributes but also one which mirrored her background and training. Krithika was not only an architect but also a Bharatnatyam dance, which is a classical dance which has its origin in the Hindu temples of the place. All these factors summed up and resulted in ‘SVATMA.’

The main building of Svatma was built a century and half years ago as the colonnaded colonial-style home of a British trader. The building has been empty for the past 75 years. When Krithika and her architect Sumantha visited this place, it was treacherous and was stocked with antiques. This place now houses the hotel’s seven heritage suites. A further 27 rooms, with a slightly more contemporary style, can be found in the adjoining new wing, said the leading news portal.

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Swimming Pool at Svatma
Swimming Pool at Svatma

Places where they could not find sources in the building they made a swimming pool, the bar, for instance, is sited under a traditional porch recovered from a 220-year-old house in the neighbouring region of Chettinad.

They have also created galleries showcasing different aspects of Tamil art and culture. One area accommodates Chola bronzes, another veena and another sitar. The hotel has consequent programs of  recitals both Indian classical music and dance.

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With the emergence of modern day lifestyle the culture and traditions of India are fading out. Svatma having been opened one will get the feel of the lost culture and traditions of Tamil Nadu,Vedic chanting and Tamil Naidu’s vegetarian cuisine.

Svatma is a five-hour drive from Chennai International Airport (to which British Airways flies direct) or an hour from Trichy (Tiruchirappalli) Airport, which has connections to Delhi and Mumbai. Rooms from 16,000 rupees/£170.

-Prepared by Enakshi Roy Chowdhury of Newsgram. Twitter: @enakshirc58

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Copyright 2016 NewsGram

  • Antara

    Great initiative to promote Tamil tourism!

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All You Need to Know About the Sport of Jallikattu

Jallikattu is certainly a dangerous sports, which poses a risk of life for the participants.

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banned bull taming sport of Tamil Nadu
Jallikattu sport of Tamil Nadu, Wikimedia

By Ruchika Verma

  • Jallikattu is a traditional Tamil sport
  • The sport involves bulls and humans, the latter trying to control the former
  • The sport was banned in 2014, which created a lots of controversy

Jallikattu or Sallikkattu, also known as ‘eru thazhuvuthal’ and ‘manju virattu’ traditionally, was in news last year, around this time due to the ban imposed on it by the Supreme Court. The ban was much hyped and gathered a plethora of media’s attention.

Jallikattu ban was much hyped. Wikimedia Commons
Jallikattu ban was much hyped. Wikimedia Commons

Jallikattu ban has also garnered lots of political attention due to the involvement of Tamil Nadu and Central governments. The issue is much hyed due to the political context involved in it too.

What exactly is Jallikattu ? 

Jallikattu is a traditional sport and spectacle in which bulls of the Pulikulam or Kangayam breeds are released into a crowd of people, and multiple human participants attempt to control the bulls while they try to escape.

Jallikattu is seen as animal cruelty by many activists. Flickr
Jallikattu is seen as animal cruelty by many activists. Flickr

Jallikattu is practised in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu as a part of Pongal celebrations. The districts, Madurai, Thanjavur, and Salem are the most famous for conducting Jallikattu. The game dates back to Tamil classical period, which went back to 400 BC. Ancient Tamil Sangam literature described the practice as ‘Yeru thazhuvuthal’ which literally means “bull embracing.” With time the sport has become synonymous with valour and bravery.

Also Read : Tamil Nadu legalises Jallikattu with a New Law

What happens in Jallikattu and how?

The bulls participating in the game are all lined up behind a narrow gate and released one by one into the arena. The participants have to either control the bull by holding its hump or clutch away a flag attached to the horns. Owners of the bulls often announce prizes for the man who gets the hold of their bull.

The objective of the game is not to kill or overpower the bull, but to hold onto their hump for a certain amount of time or distance.

The participants are only allowed to hold onto the hump of the Bull. www.in.com
The participants are only allowed to hold onto the hump of the Bull. www.in.com

There are three variants to the game. First, when the  bulls are released from an enclosed area. Second, when the bull is directly released into open ground. And third, when bull is tied to a rope as the only restriction, and a team of 7-9 members has to untie the prize from the bull’s horns in 30 minutes of time period.

The gate through which bulls enter the arena are called vadi vasai. The bulls charge at the men standing most near to the gate. One of the rules also say that a participant is only allowed to hold bull’s hump and no other body part. The other rules varies from region to region.

Also Read : Animal rights organisations challenge new law on Jallikattu

Jallikattu Ban and Controversy

Jallikattu is certainly a dangerous sports, which poses a risk of life for the participants.

In 2014, The Supreme Court banned the sport, endorsing the activists’ concerns according to which, Jallikattu is not only cruelty towards the animal, but also poses a threat to humans. According to the data provided, between 2010 and 2014, 17 people were killed and approximately 1000 were injured during Jallikatu.

The Jallikattu ban was protests by many Tamilians.
The Jallikattu ban was protests by many Tamilians.

However, the ban invited a lots of protests. Many Tamil communities called this ban a violation of their culture and tradition.

In 2017, many lawyers plead to remove the ban which was rejected by the court. After requests and arguments of Tamil communities, central government reversed the ban, however, after Supreme Court stuck the order down, the ban was imposed again. However, the government of Tamil Nadu sanctioned the sport and brought it back into the practice.